As a lieutenant in the Harvard Fire Department, Bill Barton has some experience with hot spots, which must come in handy in his new role as town moderator. Barton’s introduction to the job was last year’s Annual Town Meeting, when he assisted former Town Moderator Bob Eubank in handling an unprecedented turnout for a highly controversial issue: the elementary school building project. This year’s Town Meeting was not nearly as dramatic, but it was grueling nonetheless. For more than seven hours, Barton ran the meeting with grace and good humor, recovering quickly from early missteps and bringing hotly contested debates to a reasonably amicable conclusion.
It was an impressive performance, one of the few bright spots in a very long day