Special Town Meeting is next Thursday, and we think it should be every registered voter’s duty to participate. Or more crudely, put up or shut up.
Town Meeting is an old, sometimes unwieldy and time-consuming tradition but, as Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.”
Instead of leaving decision-making of town affairs to a mayor and city council, our town of roughly 18,000 carries out its business by direct citizen participation. Any registered voter can submit articles, show up and voice an opinion or suggest an amendment, then vote in an (mostly) orderly way.
Special Town Meeting is in the large high school gym with overflow seating if necessary and childcare provided inexpensively. Next week, a crowd is expected to vote on the $7.2 million needed for the middle school construction to begin. There are other warrant articles to consider as well.
Because Article 5 is a debt exclusion, to pass it needs a two-thirds majority on the floor of Town Meeting and a simple majority of the ballot vote on Feb. 16.
We encourage all citizens to read up on what they will vote on, weigh the pros and cons of each article, and then show up by 7 p.m. If you don’t like the decision that the body voted for, it’s pointless to complain if you stayed home.