Sally Willard

Sally Willard

Candidate for Re-Election
Town Moderator
Burlington, MA


Rally for Sally

Re-elect Sally Willard Town Moderator

  • Conducts Town Meetings impartially and fairly
  • Reactivated Bylaw Review and Rules Committees that were inactive for many years
  • Bylaw Review Committee presented, and Town Meeting passed, almost 20 updates, some more than 30 years old
  • Initiated Town Meeting Information Sessions
  • 17 year Town Meeting Member
  • Chaired Land Use and Capital Budget Committees
  • Independent and proven dedication to strong local government in Burlington that benefits all residents
  • 30 year Burlington resident
  • BA (Economics) — Wells College; MBA — Simmons College
  • National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) — successfully completed Preparation for NAP Membership Exam
  • Supported by almost two-thirds (2/3) of Town Meeting Members

Vote to Re-Elect Sally Willard on Saturday April 9th!

During my campaign in 2015, I promised to conduct Town Meeting effectively and to encourage debate in a fair, intelligent, and impartial manner. I have fulfilled that promise.

I impartially moderated the proceedings through the last four Town Meetings, including one Special Town Meeting (TM) to approve the TIF agreement with EMD Millipore.

I have the support of almost two-thirds (2/3) of Town Meeting Members.

At our Annual Town Meeting in May, I asked any Town Meeting Member (TMM) to request appointment to committees. I appointed several new members to Town Meeting committees, including the Rules and ByLaw Review committees that were inactive for many years. The committees elected their Chairs and Vice Chairs and are seriously engaged in a process that has strengthened their ties to each other and their responsibility for governing our town.

The reactivation has resulted, among other accomplishments, in updating Burlington’s bylaws with changes that should have been made more than 20 years ago.

These two committees presented several Articles at the January Town Meeting. In case you missed it, here is a link to download the Warrant. Here's a link to the (draft) minutes. BCAT has the meetings on-demand.

Watch the 2016 Moderator Debate and Sally's Guest Appearance on Burlington & Beyond

I have been an information analyst for most of my professional life. This 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 are neutral and objective. I strongly believe the moderator, like the Town Clerk, should not be involved in town politics.

The Moderator should be independent. There must be no perception of conflicts of interest.

I am independent, impartial and fair.

I respect and listen to others' opinions.

I believe that Town Meeting Members have been elected because they want to participate in the process. As Moderator, it is my job to enable 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 article or motion under consideration.

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.

My re-election bid is supported by almost two-thirds (2/3) of Town Meeting Members and more than a dozen elected and appointed 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 other Town Moderators to learn about their experiences and procedures. Burlington becomes a stronger, richer community by strengthening and expanding healthy participation to meet 21st century challenges.


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There are many ways to Increase Community Participation And Interest

As Moderator, I have explored practices that enable greater, more effective participation by TMMs.

As a former TMM for 17 years, I understand the frustration of members who believe the Moderator misses calling on members who want to speak on an issue.


The Town Moderator conducts 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 makes appointments to standing and special committees of Town Meeting and to other town committees on which Town Meeting members serve.

I have demonstrated that I conduct meetings and make appointments in a fair, intelligent and impartial manner.

During the 17 years I served as a Town Meeting Member, I 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 conduct the debate and discussion at the Town Meeting. read more.

Help the campaign
A campaign can only succeed with the help of the community. The campaign has many opportunities for volunteers and welcomes financial contributions as well.