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Old 03-04-2021, 04:40 PM   #27
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: So. California & Lakes Region
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Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
The small town Town Meeting is truly a great form of democracy. Every voter can ask questions of anyone with information about any budget item.

When you question the police budget the Police Chief and maybe the Finance Committee Chairman stand up to explain the numbers and the reasons behind them. The same is true with every other department and budget line item from the school department to the DPW. Someone will answer your questions.

One of the down sides to this is people with a vested interest in some individual item may pack the meeting and sway the vote. For example: When the Fire Department wants to add two Firefighters, all the Firefighters, and their spouses and their neighbors show up and skew the vote.

Some residents get very involved, others are not aware of most everything going on in their town. Their only concern is that their street gets plowed when it snows and what day their rubbish gets picked up.
In my town close to 70% of the tax collected comes from lakefront property. Many locals off the water forgot that their taxes are much lower and enjoy many benefits because of the Lakes. When Covid became an issue the locals started to harass waterfront owners who are not residents. After a month of people telling the non-residents to stay home someone did the math. They pointed out to the locals how much of their business was supported by the lake residents and what their taxes would look like without them. Many did not realize that their taxes are unusually low because of the "non resident seasonal". Thankfully they backed off when they realized they were only hurting their own pocketbooks.
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