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Moderator Candidate Dennis J. Berry

Over the last several years I have had the pleasure and the responsibility to serve as the Moderator of the Wayland Town Meeting. I have also been privileged to serve on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Moderators Association. As a long time local resident and participant in numerous roles within Wayland government for more than 25 years, I have considered it an honor. I ask for your support again for my re-election.

The role of Moderator is to preside at the Town Meeting, rule on questions of procedure and announce all votes. The Moderator has to act within the prescripts of the Massachusetts General Laws and town bylaws and Moderator’s Rules while keeping the discussion on track and in a civil, yet efficient manner. The goal is to have a good discussion and to fairly put before the voters the motions supporting the articles in the Warrant.

In order to accomplish this, the Moderator has a great deal of authority in making public decisions. I believe that I have exercised that authority responsibly and with restraint in order to facilitate the deliberations and votes in a fair and efficient manner.

During my tenure I have introduced open and direct post meeting feedback sessions in which anyone can attend and speak freely about the nature of the meeting. Thus, I have given the public a chance to voice their concerns. I believe these have improved my performance as Moderator. I have also held Moderator’s forums before some of the meetings where proponents and opponents have the opportunity to come forward in an informal setting and present their articles, practice their presentations and perhaps find common ground with their opponents.

There have been numerous suggestions on how to improve Town Meeting. I have responded by changing some of the Moderator’s Rules, explaining most of my actions as I go along and working to keep the meeting moving along at a reasonable pace.

With all of its quirks and problems Town Meeting is still the most open and democratic legislative process there is. In our open Town Meeting any registered voter, can speak, ask a question and cast a vote. It is my job to make sure that every voter not only has that opportunity to come forward to speak, but feels that his or her comments are respectfully considered and instrumental in informing the voters. I believe I have shown that I accomplish that in a responsible and efficient manner and with a measure of good humor to make the Town Meeting experience a pleasant and productive portion of our town government.

I hope that I have earned your trust and support. Your vote on March 28th would greatly be appreciated.