The RTM is the legislative body of the town, with its powers vested by the Town Charter. Today’s RTM consists of 230 members elected by the voters in the town’s 12 districts. RTM delegates run on a non-partisan basis, serve without compensation, and are elected for a two-year term.
What are the RTM’s Powers?
The powers and functions of the RTM extend into the following three basic areas: Fiscal, Operational and Organizational. It has the authority to:
- Approve all expenditures by the town over $5000;
- Approve or reduce the Town budget;
- Pass “sense of the meeting” resolutions urging that other branches of government initiate desired legislation, or expressing disapproval of actions that have been taken;
- Initiate and pass ordinances;
- Approve or reject nominations to town bodies as made by the selectmen;
- Decide whether the town shall accept federal or state funds for town projects;
- Create special committees to deal with particular subjects such as labor contracts, claims, and redistricting;
- Act as the final planning authority on municipal improvements;
Who can run for the RTM?
Any Greenwich citizen who is registered to vote is eligible to serve on the RTM. Candidates must live in the district they hope to represent.
What is the time commitment?
Flexible, depending on committee involvement, 8 months of the year.
- 2-3 hours: Regular RTM meetings, for all 230 members, are held in January, March, April, May, June, September, October, December. These meetings are currently held via Zoom usually on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. These are the meetings where voting takes place.
- 1-2 hours: Committee meetings. You may choose to join one or more committees or serve as an alternate. Committee meetings are held via Zoom about a week in advance of the District RTM meetings usually either Mondays or Tuesdays around 7:30 p.m.. Committees vote on matters that have been referred to them or that they choose to take up. These votes are reported back to the RTM for members’ information.
- 1-2 hours: District RTM meetings are currently held via Zoom about a week in advance of the Regular RTM meetings, usually either Wednesday or Thursdays around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.. These are meetings to report to district members about Committee meetings.
How long is the term?
2 years. There are no term limits for RTM members.
When are the elections?
Every two years (odd years) in November and every seat is up (230 seats total). The next election is Tuesday, November 5, 2021.
How do I get on the ballot?
New candidates must file a petition signed by at least 25 residents of their district with the Town Clerk by September 15, 2021. Candidates are listed on the ballot in A-Z order by last name, without party affiliation.
What is involved in campaigning?
No speeches are required. How much, or how little, campaigning you do is really up to you. You may want to introduce yourself to your neighbors and others in your district and ask for their support. This could be done in-person, by phone, by mail or e-mail, as you deem appropriate. The Greenwich League of Women Voters publishes an “RTM Voters’ Guide” which includes candidate information. You may want to have a presence at your district’s polling location on election day.
What happens if I get elected?
All elected RTM members attend one Organization Meeting on the third Tuesday of January (in even numbered years). In advance of this, a seminar, called by the RTM Moderator, is held for all newly elected members of the RTM to provide information with respect to the RTM rules and procedures.
For more information:
If you’re inspired to take action, write to your RTM members and let them know how you feel.
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