To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I am running for town moderator in the May 12 Sheffield town election for several reasons. The current moderator has held the position for 25 years. I feel it is time for a change and believe I would make a good contribution to the town. As chair of Town Meeting, the moderator is a key element in making the meetings effective. Through public service roles, attendance at town meetings across the five towns of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District and formal education, I've acquired, practiced and demonstrated the parliamentary procedure skills and patience needed by an effective town moderator.
My vision of moderator goes beyond just being an effective manager of parliamentary procedure. I would also seek to make the following changes:
n Addition of a general town bylaw that would set the policies in place on how Town Meeting is run. Many towns have such a bylaw that sets out what rules of parliamentary procedure are to be used, such as Roberts' Rules or others, and other aspects that define a system other than one tied to the moderator's personality and style.
n Use of available technology during Town Meeting to afford people of limited mobility an opportunity to fully participate, specifically hand microphones with district students as aides.
n Community education on how the Town Meeting process works, such as having a brief outline of required parliamentary procedure rules to be followed available.
n Review and implement ways to increase community involvement, participation and satisfaction with our Town Meeting.
When my wife and I came to Sheffield in 1985, one of the many things we fell in love with that led us to move here was the Town Meeting form of local government. The key to a great Town Meeting is a great town moderator and I hope Sheffield voters will vote to let me achieve that goal.