More than voting
Mr. Pappas is correct that town meeting has its faults, but that is part of its effectiveness. The social aspects of gathering, looking one another in the face, and speaking one’s mind are why town meeting serves Vermont better than simply pulling a switch in a voting booth.
It is naive to believe town officials are not versed on the risks of town meeting’s fickle tendencies. They plan for it and do all they can to keep the process in line.
As a society, we honor tradition in so few ways, any opportunity to come together to shake hands and converse is a welcome change from busy daily lives. Politics at every level is messy. At town meeting, the mess is exactly what the involvement is about. At the end of the day, mutual decisions are made.
While I appreciate Mr. Pappas’ attempt to rekindle this debate, he has to know it will always fall short. It does take a certain kind of courage to speak up knowing you will be shouted down. For that, I am glad for another chance, with my neighbors across Vermont, to speak out for this fine tradition.
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