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How Government Works: Town of Mamaroneck

The Town of Mamaroneck has kept minutes of its meetings continuously since 1697 said town clerk Christina Battalia, who said she makes the minutes and agendas as clear as possible.

"The agenda says the item right on top, for example 'stop sign on 4th Avenue'. If it’s something you care about, you might read what it is and go to the meeting,” Battalia said.  “Attend any meeting where there is a public hearing that pertains to something you're interested in - a public hearing would take place when they were going to pass a law."

The Town of Mamaroneck is an unincorporated municipality, but some decisions made by the Town Board also affect the Village of Mamaroneck and Battalia suggested residents attend both sets of meetings. The Town Board meets the first and third Wednesday of each month, except July, August and December, when it meets once.

Agendas are posted on the Town website and are published in the local newspaper five days before a meeting, but the town clerk noted agendas are not required by law.

"There's no law that says you have to have an agenda, nor you have to stick with the agenda," she said. "It's kind of a courtesy. The only thing that's legal is you have to notice a public hearing."

The Town of Mamaroneck's agendas can be found on its website calendar, but doesn’t have links to the items listed like the Village of Mamaroneck does. However, Battalia sends a detailed packet of supporting documents to those on the mailing list and anyone who requests them.

While the boards and commissions from the Village of Mamaroneck need to approve minutes before they can be posted, Town boards do not. Battalia said she is required to draft and make the minutes available two weeks after the meeting.

"I think my minutes are fairly concise and to the point," she said. "I do say if someone's in favor of something or not in favor of something, and I’ll say why.

Do you know how your local government works? Do you feel agendas are easy to access? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter.

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