Charles Tucker Will Not Seek Re-election after 24 years as Exeter Town Moderator and 15 years as Moderator of the Exeter Region Cooperative School District.
Here are a few words from Charlie on his experiences:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed this civic endeavor. When I began, we were operating under the traditional form of Town Meeting, where all was done at one long Saturday session, or, sometimes, several evenings in a row.
We then transformed into the SB 2 form of local government, and we adjusted. During this time we went from the old lever action mechanical voting machines, to paper ballots read by hand for one year, to paper ballots read by machine.
If I did a good job, I owe it largely to Everett Holland, who was the Town Moderator before me, and who I watched at Town Meetings from 1972 until his retirement. He ran a very efficient and fair Town Meeting, and was a great teacher by example. He gave me a 1915 copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, which has been passed on from Moderator to Moderator, upon my election, with the advice to never open it! He said that two rules were enough: only one amendment on the floor at a time, and, be as fair as you can be.
As important, and as enjoyable, is the Moderator’s role in “running” the voting process for every election. Fortunately I had Linda Hartson, and now Andrea Kohler, as Exeter Town Clerks, who both very efficiently organized the election process. I was more of a figurehead, than a director, of what went on, but wore my best dark suit so as to project some semblance of authority when our procedures were questioned by the voters – one citizen sincerely believed that our vote counting machines could be manipulated by evil people using electronic devices from the parking lot, for example, and, at the primaries the lack of education in civics was always apparent among registered Republicans who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary, and vice versa. Calming them down was my job.
The biggest, and most memorable, meeting was my first meeting as Moderator of the Exeter Region Cooperative School District where the main issue was voting to build the Cooperative Middle School, in Stratham. The meeting was held in the PEA field house, as the biggest room in town at the time, and there were over 2000 citizens, plus teachers, students, and others, in attendance. The meeting went very well, and the vote, although close, was over the 2/3 majority needed to pass, and the school is now a reality.
I will certainly assist my successors in any way I can, and will miss doing this civic duty. I hope to continue to serve Exeter in lesser roles in years to come.”