The Moderator’s principal role is to preside at Town Meeting, which is Manchester’s legislature. Town Meeting approves the annual budget for all departments and enacts the Town’s governing laws, called By-laws. In presiding, the Moderator follows provisions of Massachusetts law, Article II of the Town’s General By-law, and a book called Town Meeting Time.
Manchester conducts an “open” town meeting, which means that every registered voter is entitled to attend, to speak and to vote. The open town meeting is the earliest and most direct form of American democracy.
The Moderator also appoints three of the nine members of the Town's Finance Committee, two of the seven trustees of the Town's Affordable Housing Trust, and the Town's representative on the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School Committee.