Candidate’s Survey: Town Moderator 2022

The Moderator is a critical but often overlooked position in the function of Belmont’s government. In fact, there is no concise description on the Town’s website of what the Moderator does. But, suffice it to say, it’s a lot. In addition to presiding over the annual Town Meeting, the Moderator plays a critical role in setting the agenda for Town Meeting – working with the Town’s various committees and professional staff, residents and Town counsel to set the warrant (or list of items to be considered and voted on).

In Belmont, the Moderator also has substantial appointment powers. S/he appoints all members of the Warrant Committee – the Town’s main financial oversight committee – as well as three members of the seven person Capital Budget Committee, a majority of the Bylaw Review Committee and members of the Permanent Building Advisory Committee. The Moderator is also tasked with appointing members to special purpose committees, such as the Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee.

One year position (vote for one)

Only one candidate appears on the ballot for this position.

Michael Widmer (candidate for re-election)

NameMichael Widmer
I’m a candidate for:Moderator
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I am seeking my ___ term in office:11th (or more)
Volunteer & community activitiesFeel free to list any volunteer or community activities you have engaged in. This could be serving on a committee, coaching/assistant coaching a youth team, volunteering for a civic/religious organization, etc. etc.
Town Meeting Member, Warrant Committee member and Chair. Coaching youth soccer and baseball teams, high school music parent chaperone. Church volunteer — Finance Committee. Active swimmer.
Candidate’s StatementPlease provide a short statement (100-200 words) about why you are running. (You may re-use or expand upon your LWV statement.)
As Town Moderator I work many hours with all parties to ensure that sponsors of articles, whether Town initiated or citizens’ petitions, get a fair hearing at Town Meeting, by providing TM Members with enough information and clear points to assist in their discussion and voting. I am a strong believer in active participation of Town Meeting Members as long as the debate is civil and on point.
My other major responsibility is to appoint members to a number of committees. Several long serving and highly talented individuals will be stepping down from the Warrant Committee and Capital Budget Committee in the near future. If Town Meeting approves, I will also be appointing a Rink Building Committee. As always, I am looking for qualified and diverse individuals from a variety of backgrounds to serve on these committees.
These are some of the qualifications that, over time, have proven to be important in serving effectively:
–Willingness to work hard and collaboratively;
–Ability to be independent minded and open to all points of view;
–Familiarity with budgets and conversant in finances;
–Some experience in Belmont town government and involvement in volunteer activities.
Please email me at with suggestions or expressions of interest.
Thank you for your feedback and support over my years as Town Moderator.
AccomplishmentsBriefly: describe your main accomplishments in your most recent term in office.
In collaboration with the Town Clerk’s office and the IT department, we successfully conducted ten remote sessions of Town Meeting under unprecedented and challenging conditions.
The DPW/Police Building Committee, whom I appointed, successfully completed functional and attractive renovations of these buildings while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Mike Widmer, Candidate for Town Moderator