Sally Willard

Sally Willard

Candidate for Town Meeting
Precinct 4
Burlington, MA


Rally for Sally

What is the Role of the Town Moderator?

The Town Moderator conducts Town Meeting proceedings and makes appointments to standing and special committees of Town Meeting, our local legislative body. Moderating the meeting can be compared to chairing a meeting of any of our elected or appointed boards. The notable differences are the size of the assembly that must be conducted, the formality of the meetings and the length of the agenda (warrant).

The Moderator’s job is to conduct the proceedings according to the warrant by stating the question the assembly will be debating and voting, recognizing members who want to speak and declaring the result of votes. The Moderator rules on questions of order.

What is the Moderator's Impact in Burlington?

The Burlington's Town Moderator sets the tone and atmosphere at Town Meeting, which has a direct impact on how Town Meeting Members (TMM) engage with the process. A respectful, impartial, positive and engaging attitude/style benefits the entire community. Town Meeting is a showcase for community participation.

The Moderator’s impact in the community is substantial by the appointments to standing and special committees. The Moderator has the ability to influence activities and votes by the selection of committee appointments. The entire community is better served when committee appointments reflect the diversity of background, culture and political views of the community. It is vital that the Moderator’s appointments be impartial with respect to factions/cliques in town.

Standing committees review and report on warrant articles that will be voted at Town Meeting. Burlington's Moderator appoints the members of standing committees are: Bylaw Review, Capital Budget, Facilities, Human Services, Land Use Committee, Rules and Ways & Means.