|Member||Title||Phone||Term Start||Term End|
Donna A. Forgea
Meeting times: None
|Term: Elected for 1 years at the Annual Town Meeting|
The Moderator also serves on the Cummington Finance Committee as an Ex-officio non voting member to familiarize themselves with the financial issues that will be on the warrants for town meetings. Small Towns in New England practice the purest form of democracy found anywhere. Once a year at the annual town meeting and several more times during the year at special town meetings the towns registered voters convene in the Community House to vote on the towns operating and capital budgets, proposed bylaw changes, and any other special issue put before the town. In Cummington the Moderator guides his actions by the parliamentary handbook used by most Massachusetts Moderators known asTown Meeting Time. The proceedings of Cummington Town Meetings are governed by the Town's By-Laws and Town Meeting Time. The Annual Cummington Town Meeting is held on the first Friday in May. The meeting is chaired by the Town Moderator, whose job it is to present the articles scheduled for discussion, regulate debate, and count the vote. The Moderator decides all questions of order and makes public declaration of all votes. All persons address the Meeting by leave of the Moderator and if anyone, after due warning, persists in disorderly conduct, the Moderator has the authority to have the person removed. To make a motion, to ask a question, or to be heard in debate, an attendee must raise a hand and, when recognized by the Moderator, rise to speak. The speaker must then identify himself (herself) and state where he (she) lives. Everything is addressed to the Moderator, or through the Moderator to the person who should respond, and should be confined to the motion under consideration. It is always an attendee's privilege to ask procedural questions of the Moderator. The Moderator states the subject matter of each article, a motion is made by a member of the Cummington Finance Committee concerning this article or by the person responsible for the warrant article. For a Cummington Town Meeting to act, a quorum of 15 registered voters must be present. The Moderator cannot start the deliberations of theCummington Town Meeting until the Cummington Town Clerk informs him (her) that a quorum is present. Main motions are the essential motions basic to action contemplated by the Cummington Town Meeting all other motions revolve around them. The Moderator requires that any amendment to the Main Motion be presented to the podium in writing before it may be considered by theCummington Town MeetingSee the Cummington General By-Laws of the Town of Cummington for additional information on the Cummington Town Meeting
Parting Thoughts from Bill Volk
As this is my last Annual Town Meeting as Moderator, I thought I'd put down a few parting thoughts. First of all and formost I want to thank all of my fellow town citizens for all of the support that you have given me as Moderator and before that as Selectman. Cummington is a great place to live, made even greater by the many civic minded citizens we have that stepped forward to serve in the various town positions that are required to make this town move forward.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease for which there is no cure. So I am sorry to say that I have been slowly backing out of myt responsibilities. the Town Moderator's position is one of those responsibilities that I regret not being able to continue with.
Every town in the Commonwealth is required to have a certain number of town positions. Some are old, even archaic positions such as "Fence Mender". Some like Assessor or Tax Collector are thankless others are tedious. However all are important. Those positions need to be filled and many of them (ie Accountant and Treasurer) cannot be filled by the same person (by law). When you do the math htere are over 30 positions that need to be filled by over 30 different citizens. Mony of these positions are on boards like, Recreatyion, Finance, Assessors, Selectmen, Board of Health, etc.
My philosophy is that all of those boards should always have one rookie member. He or she should be the one that asks "Wait a second; Whare are we doing this? It makes no sense" Wherein a verteran board member (and there always needs to be a veteran) steps forward to explain why the board is doing this and if he can't the practice needs to be eliminated.
You all have a budget summary (assuming you picked one up). You can see that the salaries paid to those that fill town positions are nothing to brag about. (However let me brag and say that during my tenure as Town Moderator my salary has doubled from $50 to $100 per years. (Were you invited to the partyy the last time my salary went up by $5 a year?)
I guess what I'm trying to do here is to encourage every citizen to get involved by volunteering for one town position. I know it has been a very rewarding experience for me. (I use the word "volunteer" because if it's an appointed position you will be appointed if you step forward and if it's and electe3d positon often the person elected is the one least reluctant to run. During my tenure there have been few contested elections. I consider it the dues you have to pay for living in this wonderful community. As Dennis Miller sayts:"Of course that's my opinion. I could be wrong. But I'm not.