As if it wasn’t already, Marge Battin’s name will be linked with Lexington’s Town Meeting for at least the foreseeable future.
In a move each of them said was fitting, the Board of Selectmen on Monday, July 30, approved the naming of the ’s auditorium after the former longtime town moderator and planting a tree in her honor somewhere on the green in front of the town offices on Mass Ave.
“I can’t think of anybody in this whole community who has made more of a contribution to the community,” said Selectman Norm Cohen.
Approval of the dedication came at the request of another respected resident, Bill Dailey, who wrote to the selectmen suggesting naming the auditorium for Margery M. Battin in recognition of her nearly 50 years of public service.
Battin served as a Library Trustee, as a selectman for several terms and was Lexington’s first female town moderator, a post she held for 22 years. She also, as several selectmen and Dailey’s letter pointed out, had a key role in the town’s transition to a Town Manager form of government.
Selectman George Burnell credited Battin with “bringing civility and maintaining civility” to town government and said that was perhaps her biggest contribution to the town.
In his letter, Dailey wrote that Battin, along with Ruth Morey and Natalie Riffin, has been a role model for women in politics in Lexington. He also suggested the auditorium at Cary Hall would be a fitting place to bear her name.
I suggest it would be most appropriate to recognize the commitment of Mrs. Battin to the Town of Lexington by placing her name on the auditorium. Marge served as Town Moderator for years. This was her space where she devoted time to acquainting new Town Meeting members to the protocols and work of Town Meeting, presiding with a firm yet graceful hand to the proceedings, and gave everyone an opportunity to be heard within the bounds of maintaining appropriate order. Her work gained recognition around the state as demonstrated by her election as President of the Massachusetts Moderators Association.