One resident characterized my Moderator work as “worst town meeting ever.”
It was my responsibility for the hesitation in blocking shouting, and
fumbling the nested amended warrant articles. I’d like the community to
understand how I tried to prepare.
From the date of town meeting, wherein I was elected, until the March 2019
meeting, there was only one live training from the Secretary of State’s
office. It was for all elected officials and addressed cybersecurity. We
don’t use computers but I attended.
There was a single live training event for Moderators from the New
Hampshire Municipal Associations. I was told I was fifth on the overbooked
list for that training session (so no training).
Before town meeting I called the Secretary of State’s office to see if they
had any training videos. No, but they were kind enough to send me another
copy of the typed training manual. I read the manual but its value may best
be judged by the overbooked status of the live training.
The town officials, and I, did do a pre-town meeting prep session.
If you own a problem you should work to fix it. Suggested solutions:
a) I advised the Select Board to request the Secretary of State’s office, and
the New Hampshire Municipal Association, to provide a live training session
every 3 or 4 months. Those sessions should be taped for review and made
available online. The Moderator needs to have a basic grasp of all the
- b) I advised the Select Board to request the Secretary of State’s office, and
the New Hampshire Municipal Association, to provide a certification exam
(like a driver’s test) for Moderators.
- c) I advised the Select Board to adjust moderator compensation for the next
budget to attract more candidates.
I will fulfill my term but not run for Moderator for March 2020.
To those who were not amused by my on-the-job-training stumbles. No hard
To those who offered sympathy: Thanks, its OK. I recall Theodore
Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena”.