Monday, April 24, 2006

Moderator Election

Brian Walsh has been Moderator for four years. In winning the post he succeeded an exceptionally able Moderator in Rick Ward. Rick, like a number of his predecessors, is an Attorney familiar with the law governing the conduct of Town Meeting. While Brian Walsh didn’t bring that knowledge to his new job, he’s acquired a good understanding of it in a short period of time.

The Moderator’s role has two major functions—oversee the conduct of Town Meeting and recruit/appoint Milton residents to a number of standing and special committees. Brian has performed both admirably. His rulings at Town Meeting have been considered, yet forceful. He’s drawn the proper balance between permitting Town Meeting Members to be heard on all the issues, and recognizing the importance of not letting the meeting drag on for many nights, as is often the case in other communities. His committee appointments, especially to the School Building Committee and the Library Building Committee have been very good. And while I disagree with Mr. Walsh, and his opponent, on appointing Town employees to the Warrant Committee, he’s done a good job recruiting members for this difficult job during a period of high turnover.

The voters seem to think he’s doing a good job as well. Last year, Walsh’s fourth campaign for the office, he received a higher percentage of the vote, nearly 60%, than in any prior election. Of course it is ridiculous that such an important office should be subject to annual election. I was happy to support my wife Nancy’s citizens’ initiative to change the term of office for Moderator to 3 years, a change that will take effect at next year’s election.

Walsh’s opponent, as has been true for the past 4 years, is Diane DiTullio Agostino. While it was refreshing to see Ms. Agostino run a campaign free of the vitriol that has characterized her prior campaigns for this office, she hasn’t offered any reason why Brian Walsh shouldn’t be re-elected. Mr. Walsh not only has a track record of success in performing this job, he has the proper temperament to perform a very important function during a coming period of difficult decision making. The voters will expect and hold him to a very high standard of objectivity.

I ask that you join me in supporting Brian Walsh for Moderator in tomorrow’s election.


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