Wayland’s Public Ceremonies Committee invites all to attend a dedication ceremony to introduce the C. Peter R. Gossels Good Government Award on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 7:30pm in the Wayland Town Building. This award has been established by unanimous vote of the Public Ceremonies Committee with unanimous support from the Wayland Select Board and Wayland Town Moderator, Dennis Berry.
There will be light refreshments served in the Large Hearing Room immediately following the dedication ceremony.
C. Peter R. Gossels cherished democracy. A resident of Wayland for 58 years, he served the town for 50 years, first on the Finance Committee and as Town Counsel and then as elected Town Meeting Moderator for 30 years. As television host of “Ask the Candidates Live,” Peter provided a forum to inform voters and candidates about issues. As Moderator of Wayland’s Open Town Meeting, Peter codified and published rules for the proceedings and introduced a balanced format with separate lecterns for Pro and Con and Procedural speakers to inform voters and enhance fairness during debate on each warrant article. He oversaw the introduction of electronic voting which not only recorded precise vote counts and significantly reduced time required to vote on motions but also provided a secret ballot for Town Meeting voters. Peter felt spiritually indebted to those who invested their lives and fortunes to meet the British Regulars at Lexington and Concord to re-establish and preserve Town Meeting. His non-partisan generosity of spirit, fairness, and passion for good government marked his volunteer service as Moderator of Open Town Meeting.
The C. Peter R. Gossels Good Government Award is bestowed upon a long-time resident of Wayland who has served as a volunteer for 20 years or more with generosity of spirit to improve and support operation of good town government. The award honors unpaid, secular service that promotes positive citizen engagement with town government; provides information to voters and officials to enhance fairness and well-informed decisions; and may recognize innovative initiatives that enhance operation of the Town of Wayland. The award will annually recognize an individual who exemplifies Peter’s passion for justice, civility, and high standards of conduct. This award may be bestowed posthumously.
(The Public Ceremonies Committee will invite all Wayland residents to offer nominations for this annual honor beginning in January 2022).