The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 5, 2000

News

Contest for Position of Town Moderator and Gleason Trustee at Town Election on Tuesday

Sarah S. Brophy

for Town Moderator

One-year term

Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a museum professional, a mother of two boys in Carlisle Schools, and the wife of a silversmith who is also a volunteer fireman and soccer coach. During 12 years in Carlisle, I've been appointed to three town committees, sat on the board of the historical society, written museum articles for the Mosquito, and twice worked with many volunteers as editor of the Red Balloon (spiral bound) phonebook.

Experience, knowledge, special interests and specifically, experience in conducting meetings: I'll take these two questions together. Museums, as non-profits, have a great many board and committee meetings. During the last 15 years, I've been a staff member assisting boards, an elected chair of national and local non-profit boards, and a workshop/discussion leader at national, regional and local conferences. In 1993, I was elected the first chair of the American Association of Museums' new Council of Affiliates. The council included 21 trade organizations which were excluded from AAM's board. That exclusion created tensions that tested all my chairmanship skills in diplomacy and organizational management, but during my two-year term, AAM and the council worked together to establish effective communication systems and identify common ground.

I was sure that would be my best training for Moderator. It was not; Town Meeting is. In preparation for seeking the position of Carlisle's Town Moderator, I've been attending not only our meetings, but also Special and Annual Town Meetings in Westford and Concord. This experience has shown me that the moderator must be prepared for the particular meeting, know Town Meeting Time rules, be willing to check facts for surprise situations, and be a very quick thinker. Every meeting has a new procedural twist, whether from the nature of the article, the strategies of town boards, or the details of state law.

What ideas do you have on how to strike the right balance between encouraging people to express themselves at Town Meeting, maintaining control of the meeting and providing an appropriate hearing on an issue? We need to be clear on what the moderator does and how s/he should behave. According to Town Meeting Time, the manual for managing Town Meeting, the moderator "presides and regulates the proceedings, decides all questions of order, and makes public declaration of all votes." The moderator answers procedural questions, designates who may speak, and votes in a tie. The moderator is apolitical and does not prod, question, comment on or resolve issues. S/he is neither leader nor speaker, but manager. "The moderator may speak in the debate, but it is a great mistake to do so.If he must speak, he should step down and let someone else preside." (Town Meeting Times, p. 25).

As moderator I would be responsible for creating and maintaining a congenial atmosphere during an efficient meeting. Voters should be confident that they will hear an informed discussion on important issues, that the atmosphere will be free of disparaging remarks or humor at anyone's expense, and that their comments are the most important part of the meeting.

I believe in time limits as a way to limit lengthy treatises, allow more speakers, and eliminate embarrassment. Let's try Concord's policy of eight minutes for presenters and four minutes for comments from the floor, though voters may ask before the meeting for additional time. If speakers understand how long they have the floor, they can prepare properly. If listeners know the presentation will be short, they can be more patient and comfortable. More people may be able to speak before we feel the need to move on. Best of all, with an acknowledged limit, no one will feel slighted when asked to rejoin his or her seat.

I truly enjoy the process and discussions of Town Meetingwhy else would I bother to go to any others? I hope you will vote on May 9 and will consider me for moderator.

Wayne H. Davis

for Town Moderator

One-year term

About myself. I have lived here since 1993, with my wife, Louise Hara, children Leigh and Satchi, mother-in-law Tomoko Hara, and assorted pets. We were attracted by Carlisle's beauty and strong sense of community.

Carlisle is a special place; I feel obliged to contribute my time, energy and talents to keeping it so. As a trustee of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation and Land Trust, I spearheaded the successful efforts to save the Wang-Coombs Fields. I served on the town counsel selection committee and currently represent Carlisle on the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission. Through these and other activities, I've learned to navigate the issues, politics, and personalities of Carlisle's public affairs.

Experience, knowledge or special interests: I graduated from Williams College (1978) and Harvard Law School (1985), then clerked for Justice Ruth Abrams at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This training enables me to understand the legal framework in which Town Meeting operates.

For the next 11 years, I devoted my career to negotiation and conflict resolution. I conducted research and taught (at Harvard Law School and Boston University Graduate School of Management) and consulted to a wide variety of business, governmental, and non-profit organizations. Since 1997, I've worked at Fidelity Investments.

My professional activities have ranged widely, from mediating labor contracts, to advising UN Security Council members during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, to designing and facilitating strategic decision-making processes for corporate and not-for-profit clients.

Distilled to its essence, my work has focused on the same challenge as running Town Meeting: how to bring together people with conflicting views in a rational, deliberative, and sometimes emotional process and help them reach a wise collective decision.

Specific experience conducting meetings: Meeting design and facilitation constituted a significant proportion of my consulting practice, and plays an important role in my current work. I've spent thousands of hours conducting meetings of from two to several hundred participants. These have ranged from straightforward business and organizational meetings to complex, multi-day events.

In my early research with Professor Roger Fisher and other colleagues at the Harvard Negotiation Project in the mid-1980s, we identified meeting design as critical to negotiation success. We developed a set of principles and best practices which have since proven generally applicable to meetings of all kinds. This is part of the science needed to run Town Meeting well.

But running a good meeting also requires art: listening closely, asking the right question, prodding gently, calming emotions, adding a dash of humor and sometimes keeping silent. I've worked hard to master both art and science.

What ideas do you have on how to strike the right balance between encouraging people to express themselves at Town Meeting, maintaining control of the meeting and providing an appropriate hearing on an issue? Town Meeting is pure democracy, so we will always struggle to keep those interests balanced. Here's my approach:

1. As moderator, I would treat everyone with courtesy, respect and fairness. By creating an environment of civil discourse and careful listening, the moderator can encourage the expression of diverse perspectives, especially from those who might otherwise find daunting the prospect of public speaking.

2. Many techniques could improve Town Meeting's efficiency. For example, routine articles that typically pass unanimously can be consolidated for a single vote. Also, speakers could be identified in batches of three or four, so that we don't waste time waiting for the next speaker to approach the microphone.

3. Preparation can make Town Meeting more effective. As moderator, I would encourage both proponents and opponents of articles to confer with me before Town Meeting. I would use such meetings to set expectations for presentation length, suggest approaches that would convey information more effectively, and determine the procedural format most appropriate to the issue.

These steps can lead to a better, more well-informed debate and from there, to better decisions for Carlisle's future.

Thomas J. Raftery

for Town Moderator

One-year term

Tell us a little about yourself. Jan and I have lived in Carlisle since 1975. Our three daughters attended the Carlisle School and Concord-Carlisle High School before going on to college. I have drawn the cartoon "Carlisle Capers" since the inception of the Carlisle Gazette and except for a brief hiatus while I was a selectman, I continued since the merger of that paper into the Carlisle Mosquito. After 25 years I moved my office to Carlisle. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War and, in 1989, I retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve holding the rank of Captain. During my years in the Naval Reserve, I spent 14 years in Special Warfare and ended with command of two CB units (the "Seabees"). In the latter role, I had my Seabee unit help construct the Carlisle Castle.

Experience, knowledge or special interests: I served 14 years as a member of the planning board and three years as a selectman. I was involved in the creation of the Carlisle Land Trust and served as a trustee of both the Land Trust and Carlisle Conservation Foundation for several years. I have been a member of the long-term capital requirements committee and a director of the Carlisle Performing Arts Foundation. At present, I am a director of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association.

More specifically, what experience do you have in conducting meetings?

Besides my experience as chairperson of the planning board and board of selectmen, I am an attorney who concentrates on corporate reorganizations. I have represented corporations, creditors, debtors, trustees CANDIDATES continued from page 12

and creditors' committees. While the primary focus of my practice is in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, I have participated in reorganizations in New York, Delaware, Florida, Michigan and Calgary, Canada. I cannot count the number of meetings that I have chaired, let alone those in which opposing parties viewed each other as the devil incarnate.

What ideas do you have on how to strike the right balance between encouraging people to express themselves at Town Meeting, maintaining control of the meeting and providing an appropriate hearing on an issue? Every meeting takes on a dynamic of its own. Any veteran of a Town Meeting will tell you that there have been meetings where you laughed, others where you cried and others that have left you wondering. To effectively chair a meeting, you have to allow people to have their say. However, at some point you have to recognize that an argument for a position on an issue has been stated and repeated. An effective moderator has to be able to recognize that point and to move on to the question. There is a delicate balance between debate and repetition. Pete Simonds is the master of that balance. So long as new arguments were provided, he would allow debate to go on. Yet, he could read his audience and when debate began to repeat itself, he would end it. "Does anyone have anything new to add?" was his question. It was at that point debate usually ended and the question moved. The other thing that he did with ease was to avoid the tendency of Town Meeting to slump into a hearing. People often want to engage a particular board in a discussion at Town Meeting when the appropriate place to have done that was at that board's hearings prior to Town Meeting. There are three good candidates running this year; if the winner can learn from Pete's style of management, then we should continue to have well-run Town Meetings which provide a forum for debate while at the same time avoiding interminable mediation sessions.

range plan for the library's future will be critical. This kind of thorough and thoughtful planning can only benefit our new facility.

The larger facility will mean higher operating costs...Do you have any ideas on how to close the funding gap? I believe the library is currently doing an excellent job of maximizing its operating budget. It is always a challenge to stretch limited resources across an expanding set of needs. With the larger facility we will certainly be up against higher operating costs. I believe it's in the hands of the community to make many of these critical choices. Choices like adding staffing or additional hours to the current schedule are ones the town can make. The trustees and The Friends of the Library, as always, will continue to do their part in providing fundraising efforts which will serve as a way of enhancing the programming and "extras" our library so deserves. However, we as a community must give thoughtful consideration to our priorities for the library as we seek to make effective and efficient use of our beautiful new facility.

Brooke Cragan

for Library Trustee

Three-year term

Tell us a little bit about yourself. My husband Mark and I moved to Carlisle 13 years ago. We have four children, Wyatt 16, who is a product of the Carlisle Schools; Oliver, 10, Alexander 7 and Brooke 7, who are currently "works in progress" at the Carlisle Schools. I am currently an "at home" parent with a full-time job of volunteer and family activities.

Experience, knowledge or special interests: Prior to having twins seven years ago and deciding to stay home with four children, I was in my fourteenth year of a career in marketing and communications. Most recently, I was working for Toth Design & Advertising of Concord. Since moving to Carlisle, I have been an active member of the Carlisle School Association in many capacities, as vice-president in 1997-98 which included many board responsibilities such as heading up the annual CSA grants solicitation and review board. I have been active in many of the CSA's various fundraising activities since 1988. I am currently a fourth-grade room parent, as well as a weekly reading assistant in first grade. I served as a member of the Carlisle School Council for three years from 1997­1999, which was very much an exercise in teamwork and long-range planning, as well as assessing the needs of the school.

In addition to my school volunteer activities, I have enjoyed serving as a member of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chests' Cornerstone Committee, which is the Chest's Perpetual Fund. This committee has enabled me to work very closely with all facets of the town of Concord from school administrators and teachers to town employees and community members, all to benefit our high school students. I have also had the pleasure of working on the acquisition committee for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest's auction in 1998 and 2000.

What is the role of a Gleason Library Trustee? I see the role of a library trustee as serving as an ambassador for the library; someone who works closely with the library director, Ellen Rauch, to help shape policies, provide direction and positive change for our new facility, as well as to serve as a sounding board to the director with input from the community and the town at large. A trustee has to understand the details of how the library functions, from the day-to-day maintenance issues to its more intricate and long-range budget issues and fundraising challenges.

Biggest challenges: I see the trustees' biggest challenge this term as working in concert with the director and The Friends of the Library in planning for and anticipating the changing needs of the new library and its ever-increasing number of patrons. Helping to develop a responsible and realistic, long-range plan for the library's future will be critical. This kind of thorough and thoughtful planning can only benefit our new facility.

The larger facility will mean higher operating costs...Do you have any ideas on how to close the funding gap? I believe the library is currently doing an excellent job of maximizing its operating budget. It is always a challenge to stretch limited resources across an expanding set of needs. With the larger facility we will certainly be up against higher operating costs. I believe it's in the hands of the community to make many of these critical choices. Choices like adding staffing or additional hours to the current schedule are ones the town can make. The trustees and The Friends of the Library, as always, will continue to do their part in providing fundraising efforts which will serve as a way of enhancing the programming and "extras" our library so deserves. However, we as a community must give thoughtful consideration to our priorities for the library as we seek to make effective and efficient use of our beautiful new facility.

Lisa Jensen Fellows

for Library Trustee

Three-year term

Tell us a little about yourself. My husband Simon and I moved to Carlisle with our two children, Myfanwy (4) and Alexander (1) in 1999. I have been a book lover since childhood. At Princeton I majored in English literature. Here in town I started a reading group with some friends and joined the Friends of Gleason Library. My family uses the library's facilities extensively.

What is the role of a Gleason Library Trustee? The role of a trustee is to oversee the library. The greatest challenge facing our library is certainly the start-up of the newly renovated building. The next year will be a very exciting time, with lots of hard work for the library team. I am certain that the staff and trustees will rise to the challenge. It is my hope that Gleason will be a meeting place for many different people and groups in the heart of Carlisle.

I have particular knowledge and experience which I believe would make me an effective trustee.

Experience, knowledge or special interests:

While at university, I worked for three years part-time in various branches of the college library. My work ranged from check-out of books and other materials to behind-the-scenes administration to the cataloguing of special collections. This experience gives me real insight into the operation of a library and empathy with the staff team. Also, my library work has given me some ideas about the potential of Gleason.

After graduation from college, I trained as a financial analyst and investment manager. This included three years of part-time study to gain a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification and 11 years of on-the-job experience. I am very comfortable working with budgets and accounts.

The larger facility will mean higher operating costs...Do you have any ideas on how to close the funding gap?

People in town are very supportive of the library. Gleason is widely and heavily used. Town Meeting backed the large investment in the new facility. Our library consumes a significant amount of Carlisle's budget. It is important that citizens are confident that the library is being effectively managed. I am sure that this is currently the case.

For example, this year the library's budget request for next year was reduced. It was proposed that the operating hours be cut significantly. This would have been a shame, particularly with the opening of the new building. Instead of this, a much better proposal was put forward. It involved sharing custodial services with other town facilities and curtailing additional staff from three full-time equivalent positions to 1.75. I support this creative compromise between the town's need to control costs and the library's need to provide effective service.

I hope my financial expertise would aid the director and other trustees and further enhance people's confidence in the financial management of Gleason.

The library has just successfully completed a major fundraising drive. At some point during the next three years, Gleason may want to raise more money for some worthy project. While in London, I did volunteer work which involved fundraising for a local community group. We raised a lot of money for a good cause. The key to our success was to emphasize the "fun" in fundraising. My ideas in this area include sponsored readings and a time and talents auction.

I believe I have the enthusiasm and experience to be a good trustee. I hope you will consider supporting me in the upcoming election. Many thanks.

Sarah W. Andreassen

for Town Clerk

Three-year term

Tell us a little about yourself. I am a Carlisle native and have been the town clerk since 1989. I live on Cross Street with my husband Carl. We have a daughter, Alice, and a son, Aaron. Also, we have a "licensed" dog named Hannah.

Experience, knowledge or special interests: As town clerk, I enjoy working with people and the interesting situations that arise, making every day different.

Encountering the joys of our residents with vital records, licensing dogs and censusing their owners, as well as hearing sportsmen's stories about "the one that got away," make my job enjoyable.

The biggest challenges: Making the Presidential election a smooth and successful operation at the new Town Hall will be a challenge this fall. I look forward to working with the new town administrator on this as well as modernizing the art of record keeping.

I hope that you will support me as town clerk for an additional three years. Thank you.

Carol Peters

for Selectman

Three-year term

Tell us a little about yourself: I've lived in Carlisle for 17 years. My husband and I have two children in middle school here. I am a software engineer by training, but have devoted most of my energy recently to volunteer work and community service. A few years ago, I founded a state-wide toll free adoption information phone. I served on the board and helped organize the largest adoption conference in North America, and started a video and audio tape library on adoption and parenting topics. More recently, I've worked for the Carlisle Schools and the recreation commission, establishing new programs and improving town services.

Experience, knowledge, or special interests: I've learned much about town government over the past years. As chairman of the recreation commission, I've prepared bid packets, overseen a successful government construction project, developed budgets, run the Camp Carlisle summer program, hired and fired staff and participated in day-to-day operations at Town Hall. I've worked closely with many town groups. I am a hard worker and I believe strongly in Town Meeting and the rights of citizens to make decisions about their government and their taxes.

The biggest challenges: Our biggest challenges are cost controls and protection of the rural character of Carlisle. We need to watch our spending carefully and work to get the best value for our tax dollars. The biggest threat to the character of the town is probably comprehensive permits which could bypass our zoning and have a dramatic effect on the character of Carlisle. We need to find a way to build affordable housing cost-effectively but most importantly, in a way that will protect our rural quality.

Your position on the four override questions on the May 9 ballot:

Question 1: Carlisle will have more children in the high school this year, and we will have to assume a higher portion of the high school operating expenses. This is unavoidable, and we have to pay our share. Education is important to many of us in Carlisle. We must continue to optimize our spending to make best use of the limited resources we have.

Question 2: By the provisions of the sale of the O'Rourke land to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the town has a limited time to evaluate and locate a future municipal well on this land or we will lose this option. This engineering work now will give us more options and could be invaluable in the future.

Question 3: If we want to control affordable housing in Carlisle, then we've got to build affordable housing ourselves. If we do not choose to build affordable housing, then


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