Sally Willard

Sally Willard

Candidate for Town Moderator
Burlington, MA

781-229-6530

Rally for Sally

Vote on Saturday April 9th!

One of my primary goals is to increase participation in the purest form of participatory government, a Representative Town Meeting. I believe the discussions and debate over issues should be widespread among the members of the body.

At our Annual Town Meeting in May, I asked any Town Meeting Member (TMM) to place their name for an appointment to committees. I appointed several new members to various committees including the Rules and By Laws Committees that were inactive for many years. These Committees independently elected their own Chairmen and Vice Chairmen and are seriously engaged in a process that has strengthened their ties to each other and their responsibility for governing this wonderful town.

The Rules and Bylaw Review Committees will present several Articles at the upcoming Town Meeting. When the Warrant is available online, you will find a link here.

Watch the 2016 Moderator Debate on BCAT

There are many ways to Increase Community Participation And Interest

As Moderator, I am exploring practices that enable greater, more effective participation by TMMs. Under Roberts Rules of Order, unless otherwise voted by the assembly and published in the organization’s rules, members must be recognized in the order in which they stand. Many towns have microphones in the aisles for questions and “yes” and “no” opinions. The Moderator recognizes members in the order in which they stand at the microphones with allowance made for people who cannot stand. This practice reduces the perception that the Moderator decides who will or won’t be allowed to speak.

As a former TMM for 17 years, I understand the frustration of many TMMs who believe the Moderator misses calling on members who want to speak on an issue. In the upcoming January Town Meeting, as an experiment, there will be microphones in the aisles. This proposal enables everyone who wants to participate every opportunity to speak as well as improving the pace of Town Meeting.

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I have been an information analyst for most of my professional life which requires research and reporting on a variety of issues. This discipline enables me to assess situations from different points of view, a perspective that makes my analysis unbiased. Decisions I make with regard to proceedings of Town Meeting (TM) and appointments will be neutral and objective. I strongly believe the moderator, like the Town Clerk, should not be involved in town politics.

I believe that Town Meeting Members have been elected because they want to participate in the process. As Moderator, it is my job to encourage greater participation by the members to speak to the matters at hand, ask clarifying questions and freely express their opinions. I am fair but firm and keep members focused on the agenda which is the warrant.

I always treat people with respect and try not to voice negative opinions about anyone or raise divisive issues. My calm and respectful disposition fosters mutual respect which is why I have excellent relationships with Boards and TMMs. I was honored in my inaugural run for office by endorsements from 65 elected officials. I am deliberate and I think before I speak. An even temperament defuses problems before they escalate.

I’ve taken courses and earned certificates from the National Association of Parliamentarians. I’ve consulted adjoining town moderators to learn about their experiences and procedures. Burlington becomes a stronger, richer community by strengthening and expanding healthy participation with new leadership in local town governance to meet 21st century challenges.

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Independent Moderator for a Town with a Bright Future

A cross section of Burlington residents encouraged me to run for the Town Moderator seat. Many more residents agree I will be an independent, fair, firm and impartial Moderator and have endorsed my candidacy.

Patricia Angelo Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Roger Bell Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
Paula Benard, Jr. Library Trustees
Gerald Beuchelt Town Meeting Member - PCT 4 Chair ISAC
Kristine Brown Recreation Commission
Tim Brown Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Tom Conley Town Meeting Member - PCT 4 Past Chair, Capital Budget Committee
Karen Cooper Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Ellen Cormier Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
John Cormier Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
Lucy Damiani Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Ways and Means
Tony and Margaret Desimone
Shari Ellis Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Land Use Committee
Marjorie Foster Town Meeting Member - PCT 7
Louise Freeman Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Joanne Frustaci Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Chair, Human Services Committee
Adrienne Gerbrands Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Martin Grace
Wendy Guthro Town Meeting Member - PCT 2 Land Use Committee
Daniel Hanafin Town Meeting Member - PCT 2
George Judge Former Selectman
Gary Kasky Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
Jack Kelly Planning Board , Chair
Mimi Kelly Town Meeting Member - PCT 7
Barbara L'Heureux Planning Board
Rose Manni Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
Connie McElwain Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Ann McNamara Conservation Commission
Gary Mercier Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Land Use Committee
Virginia Mooney Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Patrick Moreno Town Meeting Member - PCT 1
Steve Morin Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Millie Nash Town Meeting Member - PCT 3
Patricia O'Brien Town Meeting Member - PCT 2
John O'Keefe Town Meeting Member - PCT 1
Cathy O'Neill Board of Assessors
Andrew Olney Town Meeting Member - PCT 2 Vice Chair Land Use Committee
Mary Ellen Osowski Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Ralph Patuto Board of Selectmen
Monte Pearson Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Chair Land Use Committee
Carol Perna Town Meeting Member - PCT 1
Cindy Phillips Town Meeting Member - PCT 2 Vice Chair Human Services Committee
Michele Prendergast Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Paul Raymond Planning Board
Paul Roth Planning Board
Jo Roy Former Town Meeting Member
Lou Rubino Former TMM
Marsha Rubino Burlington Teacher (Retired)
Jon Sachs Town Meeting Member - PCT 7
Myrna Saltman Town Meeting Member - PCT 2 Capital Budget
Phil Santullo Owner, Burlington Car Wash
Joanna Schlansky Town Meeting Member - PCT 6
Al Sciuto Retired Lt. Burlington Police Dept.
Eileen Sickler Library Trustee
Steve Stamm Town Meeting Member - PCT 4
Norm Steeves Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Paul Valleli Town Meeting Member - PCT 3 Land Use Committee
Steve Wasserman Library Trustees
Lorraine Wassermann Town Meeting Member - PCT 7
Larry Way Town Meeting Member - PCT 5 Ways and Means
Dave Webb Town Meeting Member - PCT 7 Land Use Committee
Richard Wing Town Meeting Member - PCT 5
Mark Woods Town Meeting Member - PCT 7
Ernie Zabolotny Town Meeting Member - PCT 5 Chair, Capital Budget
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The Town Moderator manages Town Meeting, Burlington Massachusetts' elected, legislative body, a body that discusses and votes on financial and zoning matters. An independent, fair, firm and impartial Moderator is essential for a productive and balanced Town Meeting. The Moderator also makes appointments to standing and special committees of Town Meeting and to other town committees on which Town Meeting members serve.

Based on my prior leadership roles on various Town related committees, I will moderate Town Meeting effectively while also encouraging debate on the issues before the body in a fair, intelligent and impartial manner. Since I was elected as a Town Meeting Member 17 years ago, I've served on the Capital Budget and Land Use Committees for over 13 years and served as Chair for nine of those years. Additionally, as a volunteer at BCAT for many years, I successfully moderated several candidate forums since 2006.

I believe the Town Moderator position is an extension of my commitment to the town, its issues, residents and its governing.

Increasing participation by showcasing our students' talents
At my first Town Meeting as Moderator, I brought back the performing arts and our talented students to perform before Town read more

What is the role of the Moderator?
The moderator’s job is to manage the debate and discussion at the Town Meeting. read more.

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