SB Agenda 19-10-22.pdf         

Weston Town Moderator

Wayne Granquist

Town Moderator

A moderator is an official of an incorporated town who presides over the town meeting, and in some cases, other municipal meetings. In the United States, the area of the country best known for the town meeting form of government is New England. The office of moderator exists in at least Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Before there were selectboards, clerks or treasurers in Vermont, even before there were established towns, there were moderators. When Governor Benning Wentworth chartered the first Vermont town in 1749, he appointed Col. William Williams to be the moderator of Bennington’s first meeting, "which he is to Notify and Govern according to the Laws & Custom of our Said Province."

Vermont town meetings usually include two phases. The open discussion and voting by voice vote (with occasional paper ballots) occurs the first day, and is presided over by the moderator. The Australian ballot generally occurs the next day, and is presided over by the town clerk. In addition to town meetings, "moderators are needed by town school districts, union school districts, villages, and fire districts."

Town moderators are elected at the annual meeting and serve a one year term. Usually towns have only one town meeting per year; this is the annual meeting. The moderator of a meeting will have been elected at the previous annual meeting.

It is important for moderators to be familiar with Roberts Rules of Order because these rules govern the town meeting (except when superseded by state law). The voters may appeal a ruling by the moderator and vote to overrule the moderator.

Taken from Wikipedia