No one chose to file as a candidate for Little Compton town moderator last July when it was time for office-seekers to declare their candidacies, so there was no name on the ballot Nov. 6 for that position. Just a blank space for write-in votes.
An undeterred 59 voters on election day saw opportunity and wrote Mr. Anderson’s name in for town moderator. Another 15 voters wrote-in the name of Roy Bonner, the second-highest vote-getter for the position.
The charter-created position is put to a vote every two years at the general election. Under the Town Charter (Section 303), the moderator’s principal function is to “preside at all regular and special Town meetings.”
Neither Mr. Anderson or Mr. Bonner gave any evidence prior to election day that they sought or were campaigning for the position and their post-election comments bore that out.
“This is not what I planned or desired, but if the final results are certified, I will likely accept the position,” Mr. Anderson said on Friday when the write-in results were first made known.
Mr. Bonner said he attributed his write-in count of 15 to seven friends (“my breakfast club”) he regularly shares breakfast with, and their spouses.
“I’ve been to most of the town meetings over the last 25 years,” Mr. Bonner said. “The turnout at those meetings has been pathetic. Town meetings of this kind are a colonial construct. I didn’t want to win.”
“Larry has been a dedicated, first class town moderator and did a great job,” Mr. Bonner said. “He’s a good man and has done a good job for the town.”
Mr. Anderson, who had served for six years — three terms, and now begins his fourth — did not file for re-election for several reasons, he said. Among these were his belief in self-imposed term limits and a sense of frustration with the trend toward what he termed a one-vote system for adopting the budget.
However, he said, “I personally enjoyed doing the job, and working with town committees and officers and the council.”
Under the charter, an assistant moderator position exists that has in recent years been filled by David Borden.