Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Town Meeting Day in Dartmouth !

OMG!!1! NO WAY!!1!Forget your national primary elections! It's the first week in June, which may or may not be the designated time when the Summer People get to hop into their Zodiac and go to Town Meeting. Yup, today we sent our "representatives" to the high middle old school cafetorium audeteria room where they indulge in the only kind of politics that mean anything: The LOCAL kind.

A celebration of an ancient form of governance which makes people -- especially those whose cars were built before those uppity catalytic converters -- really feel like they're participating in how much the Commonwealth of Massachusetts really doesn't give a crap.
Our old pal Curt Brown (who is still employed by the Standard-Times, unlike just about everybody else), was pulling the string on the office "laptop" extra hard and "liveblogging" the Dartmouth Town Meeting. Here's a sample, his last transmission:
With only three objections, all the nearly $3 million in capital improvements projects were just approved.
Those include the resurfacing of the parking lot at the Police Department, a new roof at the Southworth Library,new windows at Quinn, the reconstruction of Highland Avenue, and a new energy efficient mechanical system at Town Hall.
Yes, We The People voted to do just that. Back in the "special election" in April. But that's the beauty of Town Meeting Day. We get to see: not only how we voted, but how the people whom we humor into representing us voted. Or at least how they voted today. If you were watching on Cable Access. Plus, we don't know how they voted in April. Unless you were that lady who kept walking around behind everybody when we went into the voting "booth."
Resurfacing the parking lot at the Police Station would have been great twenty years ago when I first drove into town, found the police station by accident and some cop nearly backed into me in the gravel parking lot. Yeah, I would've voted for lines, too, but I guess we'll let the Select Board or some committee or other work that out. After all, we're going to get new dilithium crystals for the Town Hall's impulse engines.
Town Meeting also -- in a shock to many -- voted to give elementary school kids new reading textbooks. Shock because the town defeated the referendum question that asked if the town should spend money on books. But, do you see the Magic of Town Meeting? K-5 gets textbooks that no longer will have the pronoun thee in them, and Grades 5-12 get to write their own damned textbooks.
I also believe in the importance of schools and well-maintained public libraries because citizenry must be well-informed (and have as many DVDs of Big Trouble in Little China as they deem necessary) to participate in our democracy. So that was good, and I drove by and hit the horn for the sweating busybodies who voted YEA.

No comments: