Alan Wilson Thanks Voters


To the Editor,

I write to thank more than 550 voters who came to last night’s Town Meeting.  The quality of the discussion showed that they had done their homework despite the volume and detail of the materials for the meeting.  Most importantly, although many comments obviously represented strong and even passionate views, the voters maintained Manchester’s tradition of civil and respectful debate.  For that, I am especially grateful.

Many voters expressed their gratitude to members of the Planning Board for their years of tireless work revising, reworking and revising again the proposed amendments to the Town’s Zoning By-law.  I join in thanking them.  Having followed the process closely and attended most of their Zoom meetings, it is clear how diligently and carefully they have worked.  Presenting the results of that effort in an understandable format was clearly a challenge, but that was the nature of the effort.

The performance of the electronic voting system was disappointing and frustrating for everyone.  The connection between the two rooms failed repeatedly, preventing us from counting and displaying the total from both rooms automatically and delaying the early part of the meeting.  We were forced to work around the system, resorting to hand counts in some cases and ultimately separate electronic votes in the auditorium and cafeteria, manually adding the two pieces to determine the combined total.  The good news is that because we compared the total vote on each motion with the number of voters checked in at that time, we can be confident that the outcomes were accurate.

Three individuals deserve special mention.  Town Clerk Dianne Bucco and Communications Coordinator Tiffany Marletta helped find the work-around for the voting system’s failures.  Their good humor helped maintain mine.  Assistant Moderator Jay Bothwick presided effectively in the cafeteria and helped keep the meeting moving.  I thank all three of them.

Sincerely yours,

Alan Wilson

Manchester Town Moderator

manchester, town moderator, dianne bucco, planning board, tiffany marletta