To the editor:

Wendy Wakeman wrote in a recent letter to the editor about Town Meeting that I, as moderator, “let the meeting down” when I ruled that one motion required a majority vote, not a two-thirds vote, as printed in the warrant.

As a former selectwoman, Wakeman is well aware it is my responsibility to follow the law - even if she doesn’t like that law.

Selectmen unanimously voted to eliminate the option to sell The Stevens Estate and keep current operations, affirming language of the motion made in yet another unanimous vote just prior to Town Meeting.

A moderator is like an umpire. An umpire does not know the pitch until delivered, then calls balls and strikes.

Similarly, only when a motion is put in play can the moderator rule. The moderator often has discretion, but in this case the law determined the vote requirement necessary. This is indisputable fact.

The author was passionate in opposition to the motion — it is her right and one that I celebrate - but the notion that law should be ignored to fit anyone’s agenda is alarming.

That the Finance Committee was torn on the proposal is testimony to the manner in which they were chosen to represent the disparate opinions and interests in our community.

The moderator’s job is to preside over a fair, open and efficient meeting - not bend to the whims of political interests. My obligation is to the entire community and the rule of law.

I will continue to call things straight down the middle.

Mark DiSalvo

Town Moderator

North Andover