Forms of Government Summary

Currently the Town of Norton operates under an Open Town Meeting form of government, which means that all town residents act as the legislative branch of the local government, voting on budget, bylaw changes, etc. and electing a Board of Selectmen which hires a Town Manager, who together make up the Executive branch of government. Other forms of government differ in who acts as the legislative (or lawmaking and budget-approving) branch of government. Options include Representative Town Meeting (where the town is divided into districts, and Town Meeting members are elected from each district); or a Town Council, through which a smaller group of council members would be elected from each district. Under each form of government, the legislative branch would hire a Town Manager or Town Administrator to manage the Executive Branch departments. Finally, the Massachusetts Constitution allows any town with more than 12,000 residents to form a city, which may include a City Council and Mayor.  There are also multiple variations on the standard forms of government listed above.