The Town Moderator position is defined by both state law (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 39, Sections 14-15) and local bylaw (General Bylaws of the Town of Shrewsbury, Article 2). The Moderator is elected by the voters of Shrewsbury at the annual town election and serves for a term of 3 years.
The Moderator is the presiding officer of the annual town meeting, held in May of each year, and any special town meeting that may be called by the Board of Selectmen during the year. During the town meeting, the Moderator announces and explains the articles contained in the meeting warrant, conducts the discussion of each article, makes rulings (as needed) on the articles and any proposed amendments to the articles, calls for a vote on each article, and announces the results of each vote.
The Moderator is the final authority on all procedural issues that arise during town meeting. The town bylaws mandate that Cushing's Manual of Parliamentary Practice be used as the procedural basis for conducting town meeting, except as otherwise provided by the town bylaws or state law.
Town Meeting Information
The Moderator traditionally conducts a pretown meeting prior to the annual town meeting, where newly elected town meeting members are welcomed and given an orientation on town meeting procedures, and all town meeting members are invited to ask questions of the Finance Committee and other town officials regarding the town meeting warrant articles.
L to R: Moderator James F. Kane (2020-Present) along with past moderators Kevin T. Byrne (1974-2009) and Christopher G. Mehne (2009-2020) at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting