Town Meeting

March 29, 2008

John and I went to the town meeting this morning.  I took out my notebook and started writing about the “fodder”.  High school basketball court, plastic folding chairs lined up with an aisle down the center with a microphone, people lined up to talk to the moderator, blah blah blah.

“Regarding article 57 on the financing of a new floor for the town DPW.  Would this be a new floor that is energy efficient, and why would a new floor cost $12,000?”

“Hi, Paul Shoemaker from 47 Crest Lane here.  I have three questions.  Is the new fire chief’s car used for his commute to and from home or just for work, and have we done a study on cost savings of replacement now versus two years from now if he doesn’t use it for his daily commute?  Those are my first two questions.  And why does he need a new car at 105,000 miles when my car is just being broken in at that mileage?  That is my last question if you can please address them one by one, thank you.”

“On line item 153, you have an expenditure of $250,000 for a new town sewer.  The way I understand it is, if proposition 2 1/2 passes, then we’ll have a 5% increase in property taxes for this item.  If it doesn’t pass, then we’ll have a net savings of 6% on the total overall expenditure.  Is that correct?”

How can one possibly write about a town meeting?  It’s got to be Earth’s most boring community get-together.  I told John that he should go up to the mike and complain that the moderator was only voting nays, and not yays, thus allowing potential illegal double-voters.

Plus, I have another beef.  A fellow co-worker, who is Chinese by citizenship cannot vote at the town meeting even though he is a member of the town and his two children attend school in town.

What about THOSE things, Mr. Town Moderator?

Ah, but such is life in New England.  Town meeting and one’s civic duty, of which I suppose I don’t feel strongly enough about, I’m here to confess.  It’s all about taking the time out to balance your checkbook, but on a much larger, and less immediate personal level.  And who actually balances their checkbooks, even though it’s the fiscally right thing to do.