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Old 03-03-2021, 11:46 PM   #25
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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.
That's the point. If it is important to you, you show up and vote, and bring friends to vote. If it is less important, as Flying Scot suggests, you don't show up, for whatever reason, work, babysitter etc.
At town meeting, the Fire truck is outside the door so they can vote, not because they think the school will explode. Or, so they can sell sandwiches to raise money for a new engine. This is real democracy. As is the ham and bean supper to raise money for a new ambulance, etc. This stuff still happens west of I-495, too. Don't pretend it doesn't. Nationally, something like 60% of fire departments are volunteer.
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