This week, Andover News is publishing profiles of the candidates running for select board, moderator and school committee in the 2023 Andover Town Election on March 28 to help voters make decisions. You can also view all Andover News election coverage.

Responses are from a questionnaire sent to all candidates in February and, in some cases, have been edited for length and clarity. Today’s profile is from Keith Saxon, who is challenging incumbent Moderator Sheila M. Doherty.

All Andover News coverage of the town election on March 28 will be available free to non-subscribers as a service to Andover voters. Please consider supporting local news by subscribing to Andover News.

The Basics

Family: Wife and daughter in High School.

Education: BS Civil Engineering w/Environmental Emphasis – Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Occupation: Sr EHS/Facilities Manager

More about Keith Saxon: When it comes to Town Meeting, every citizen should be comfortable having their voice heard if so desired and be able to vote their preference period. I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tue Mar 28th and won’t let you down if given the honor of serving.

Campaign Website:

Qualifications for Office

Previous public service:

Greater Lawrence Technical School Improvement Council member (current); previously elected Representative Town Meeting member and previously appointed Conservation Commissioner and Recycling/Solid Waste Advisory Committee members. I will always do and stand up for what I believe is right, proper, and fair even if it is not the popular choice.

Experience relevant to serving in elected office:

Over two decades successfully managing EHS compliance with very often competing and conflicting interests.  This includes extensive knowledge and comfort with rules, regulations, and laws with the ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives while garnering respect from those with strongly differing opinions.

What differentiates you from your opponent?

My overriding goal is to make sure that the Town Meeting process is fair, equal, and respectful to every participant.  The same rules and speaking time applying to everyone without exception.   I want established rules available to all – not vagueness – and a time clock for speakers like used at other Town Meetings and the MA Legislature.

Above all I want a Town Meeting empowering its citizens – the Legislature of Andover, not one of admonishment of what can’t be done, but rather one encouraging the possibilities of what can.  Where the will of the people can be expressed. 

Anything else Andover voters should know about your candidacy?

I will always do and stand up for what I believe is right, proper, and fair even if it is not the popular choice.   When it comes to Town Meeting every citizen should be comfortable having their voice heard if so desired and be able to vote their preference period.  I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tue Mar 28th and won’t let you down if given the honor of serving..

On the Issues

Andover News asked candidates a series of questions on issues facing the board or committee they are running for, as well as general issues the town is likely to face during the candidate’s term.

Moderator Issues

Do you support keeping open town meeting in Andover? Why or why not?

I support all of the Citizens of Andover being given the opportunity via a townwide vote in the near future to choose their form of legislative government, whether it be Open Town Meeting, Representative Town Meeting, or a Town Council. It is the people’s choice, not that of a small group.

Town wide choice being of utmost importance, my personal preference would be for a Town Meeting versus a Town Council, as this gives every citizen the opportunity and right to heard on an issue whether it be Representative or Open.   

Do you support electronic and/or remote voting for Andover Town Meeting? Why or why not?

I fully support electronic voting at Town Meeting for two key reasons:

  1. Allows citizens to truly vote their preferences without any undue influences or pressures.
  2. Dramatically improves efficiency of meeting — no longer need to stand up & down with manual counting on certain votes and speeds up voting process overall (no need two tallies on each article)

Remote voting is not currently legal in MA. However, I strongly support having important issues on a town-wide ballot whenever possible – any property tax overrides, etc.  

Other important issues for the candidate:

It is time for a modern and fair Town Meeting where its citizens can make “Their Own Individual” decisions on the articles before them without any undue influence or manipulation.

  • A standard set of rules of procedure that applies equally & uniformly to all participants.
  • A time clock so the same time is knowingly given every speaker as used elsewhere.
  • The ability to ask questions, submit amendments, and present slides equal to all participants — for instance if a town budget is presented then questions pertaining to the entire budget should be allowed and not restricted only to limited out-of-context subsection.
  • Full discussion and debate on articles not a Timeshare sales pitch.

Keith Saxon photo.

Previous Candidate Profiles

Key Dates For The 2023 Town Election

The town election is scheduled for March 28. The last day to register to vote in the 2023 Andover election is March 18, 2023. You can register to vote online or by visiting the Town Clerk’s office.

March 15, 7 pm at Memorial Hall Library: Andover/North Andover League of Women Voters’ Candidates Forum

March 18: Deadline to register to vote in the March 28 election.

March 21: Deadline to submit a vote by mail application.

March 28: Election Day. Polls open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. (completed mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day).

More election information from the Town of Andover.

Share Your Thoughts!
One thought on “Andover Votes 2023: Keith Saxon, Moderator”
  1. I am glad to hear that someone is in favor of a clear set of rules for Town Meeting. After the fiasco of the last May’s Town Meeting, where a petitioner (Mike Meyers) stated that that the Moderator (Sheila Doherty) had not held to their agreement about debate time. Excuse me, why is debate time even subject to some backroom deal? Answer, because no written rules exist. After listening to their exchange I tried to find anything written about rules of debate in Town Meeting and found nothing. I even asked the Town Moderator about it and checked the Moderator’s Association website – nothing. That is why the pro or con side of a warrant debate may have tremendously unequal debate time, it is at the whim of executive fiat by the Town Moderator. Clear and transparent (and written) rules governing Town Meeting would be a huge improvement and also contribute to the civility we all desire. If Mr. Saxon is in favor of clear uniform written rules to promote fair debate at Town Meeting, that is very persuasive in his favor. I do hope that Ms. Doherty would endorse and embrace this positive change at well.

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