Weston voters will elect a new town moderator in May as three-term moderator Wendy Spector has announced she will not seek re-election.
"I had always intended to serve for approximately three years," Spector told Patch in an email. "When I first ran to replace Bob Buchanan, it was because there were no other candidates and I felt I could fulfill the role. I saw my tenure as one of transition."
In addition to this decision fitting her original timing, Spector had a more practical reason for stepping away at this time. She said that her family has recently put their home on the market and it's possible she will not be a Weston resident much longer.
Spector said she had enjoyed her time as moderator, particularly the opportunities to talk with residents about local government.
"I love Weston and value the citizen leadership here," Spector said. "I am aware that volunteerism at every level has been steadily on the decline. This is partly due to the many new people who have moved in and are less aware of how things work, and partly it's due to the increasing demands on our time."
Spector said she feels that the people of Weston are generally pleased with and trusting of their leadership and she's been glad to have been a part of the local governance.
"I learned a lot from my experiences as moderator and feel the town learned a lot as well," Spector said, specifically pointing out that she was proud to have made some "minor procedural changes" in Town Meeting that, she hoped, make it more accessible to residents. "In fact, I recognize that in many ways I am just hitting my stride now, so in this respect I do regret not running again."
In her announcement, Spector encouraged interested individuals to consider running for the position and said she hoped her early announcement would give residents plenty of time to consider appropriate candidates before the Town Caucus on March 11, 2013.
When it comes to characteristics that make a good town moderator, Spector pointed to the title of the role itself from some direction.
"The moderator has to be as fair and impartial about issues as humanly possible," she said. "The term 'moderator' connotes these characteristics. The moderator cannot take sides in a debate and shouldn't even voice an opinion about an issue lest there be an appearance of bias."
She continued to explain that the role of the moderator extends beyond the confines of Town Meeting, particularly to the role of appointing members to certain committees and advocating for volunteerism in local government.
The position of town moderator is a one-year term that begins immediately following Weston's Annual Town Meeting in May. Residents can nominate town moderator candidates during the Town Caucus on March 11 or by filing papers with the town clerk by mid-March. Additional information about the position is available on the moderator's page of the Town of Weston website.