Thanking The Voter


Erika Brown, Editorial Director

Manchester Cricket

P.O. Box 359

Manchester, MA 01944

Dear Editor,

            I write to thank Manchester’s voters for reelecting me to another term as moderator.  After 28 years in office, my enthusiasm for the job is undiminished, and I’m grateful for their support.

            As it was last year, turnout at the election was strong.  1,332 voters went to the polls out of 4,351 registered, or 31%.  This was driven, of course, by contested races for Select Board and Planning Board.  Competition for elected positions is healthy for Manchester, introducing new candidates and possibly new ideas to town government.  I congratulate those who were elected and thank those who were not for participating. 

            This election evidenced differences of opinion on critical issues facing the town:  operating budget and capital expenditure questions, potential changes to our zoning by-law, and on the horizon, whether and – if yes – how to comply with the mandate of state law for communities served by the MBTA.  These are questions that will profoundly affect the future of Manchester; they also elicit strong emotions. 

            In fact, they are potentially divisive.  It is crucial that we address them as friends and neighbors, respecting those whose opinions differ and recognizing that we all want the best for our town.  Each of us has a responsibility to state our views clearly, but equally to listen to those with whom we disagree.  Only by both speaking and listening can we hope to forge a consensus on the town’s future.  Without consensus – or at least a strategy that most residents support – we face dissension and dysfunction.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Residents have met tough challenges in the past; I am hopeful we will do so again.

                                                                        Sincerely yours,

                                                                        Alan Wilson

                                                                        Town Moderator

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