Charlie Salisbury Endorses in Town Moderator Race
The retiring town moderator is throwing his support into the race.
As the race for town moderator intensifies to new heights, the man who held the job for more than two decades is making his opinion known regarding who should fill his shoes.
Charlie Salisbury, who announced last year he would be retiring after more than 20 years of service as town moderator has announced that he is endorsing Frank MacMillan.
In a race in which all three candidates -- MacMillan, Mark DiSalvo and Ramsey Bahrawy -- have emulated Salisbury repeatedly and praised him as an example of what a moderator should be, this endorsement may give MacMillan a boost. And it follows another huge endorsement, that of the local Republican Town Committee.
Salisbury is also a Republican. But MacMillan is not enrolled in any political party -- something Salisbury emphasized in his endorsement letter.
"His independence from political causes adds to his ability to function as the meeting’s umpire," Salisbury wrote. "The moderator’s role, unlike that of a legislative House Speaker, is not a leadership position -- but instead one of providing a respected discussion forum where critical decisions can be made by town voters."
The full letter of endorsement reads as follows:
Having served as North Andover’s Town Meeting Moderator for the past two decades, I had not planned on open involvement in the upcoming election of the next moderator. After all, the role of a moderator is to help the process of making decisions, without participating in the debate. However, I can offer a personal opinion.
Frank MacMillan, in his first campaign for public office, would bring independence, and experience at managing public meetings, in serving as our moderator. Frank’s community involvement, service to the town’s Board of Health, and strong interest in Town Meeting procedures would serve him (and us) well. Consistent parliamentary procedures are not an exciting part of town meetings, but are needed to produce a respected outcome. Frank has immersed himself in the application of such rules within a large association of physicians. This campaign season has seen significant (and energetic!) political skills applied to the March 27 election. Frank’s abilities, temperament and independence have helped me decide.
I know each of the three candidates, and their abilities as demonstrated at Town Meetings. I’ve also had the chance to meet with other interested citizens who considered running for this office, but ultimately decided against it. North Andover is fortunate to have strong choices.
Moderating skills are best accepted by a meeting which has trust in the fairness of the proceedings – from all corners of the room. Frank MacMillan’s background – a trusted physician, dealing with multiple complex issues at the same time, schooled and interested in parliamentary procedures – would serve us well. His independence from political causes adds to his ability to function as the meeting’s umpire. The moderator’s role, unlike that of a legislative House Speaker, is not a leadership position -- but instead one of providing a respected discussion forum where critical decisions can be made by town voters.
Town Election: Tuesday March 27