The telltale signs of spring’s imminent arrival have started to crop up around the county. Warming temperatures, muddy parking lots, and, of course, the first round of annual town meetings.
It seems like we write this message every year, but it is important enough to make a regular reminder necessary. The annual town meeting is where the municipal and education budgets are voted on, town representatives are elected, and ordinance amendments are considered. Democracy is decided by those who show up, and in Maine, every resident has the privilege to have their voice heard on the local level.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, a few towns have made the decision to change from an open town meeting to a vote by referendum. While there are pros and cons to both formats, voting by referendum does significantly decrease the amount of time spent haggling over donations to nonprofits or changes to land use ordinances.
If the thought of spending hours in school gym was a turnoff, good news! You can now vote at your convenience within polling hours.
Don’t know what’s on the ballot or who is running for office? We have you covered. Every year, reporters interview candidates and comb through town meeting warrants to write a preview of the meeting. These articles run in the edition immediately preceding the meeting.
South Bristol kicked off the March town meetings Tuesday, but residents in Bristol, Nobleboro, Whitefield, Alna, and Jefferson will have their say before the month is out. We encourage everyone who can to participate.
We will close with something we have definitely said before. Don’t vote? Don’t complain!