Here it is: our annual call to every voting-age resident of Lincoln County to go to town meeting.
Why does town meeting matter?
Well, does it matter to you how much you pay in property taxes this year?
Does it matter to you what kind of education your children or grandchildren receive?
The issue of school choice in Alna will probably be the most hotly contested issue in this first round of town meetings.
Bristol will decide whether to become only the second town in the county to have a full-time fire chief.
Jefferson, Nobleboro, South Bristol, and Whitefield also have town meetings on the way this month.
Another good reason to go to town meeting is to preserve the form of government itself.
Jefferson, Waldoboro, and Wiscasset have all moved on from the traditional town meeting in favor of a referendum vote. They get higher turnout because residents can go in any time of day and cast a ballot, and they don’t have to sit through any long-winded speeches. But we think they have lost something too.
The open meeting allows for debate. It allows for questions and answers, which help residents understand each item before them. It forces us to get together in one room and engage with one another in person – no small feat in itself these days.
Some of us might be a little rusty when it comes to actual, in-person social interaction, let alone having to work with people of different backgrounds and beliefs to pass a budget.
Go exercise your social muscles. You might find it gives you some hope to observe and participate in one of these generally amicable meetings.
We will be at our town meetings. We hope to see you there.