Letters to the Editor
The Valley News
As a life-long Yankee and a 27-year Vermonter, allow me to translate into blunt English the “report” of the Hartford Charter Revision Committee at the 4/9/12 televised meeting.
What the Charter Revision Committee did for the last three years was to gut (eviscerate) the 300-year-old New England Town Meeting and replace it with a polite debating society.
The reason five or six hundred residents used to show up at Town Meeting is because something real, vital, and immediate was at stake: their voices and votes counted on that very day. One could see and hear in person all the town characters who had thorny opinions, and watch them clash as they voiced those opinions in person, and one could embrace and celebrate the fact that real juices of anger and passion and frustration were flowing in people’s veins because real votes were about to be taken, at that very moment.
Now what we have instead, at the pleasure of the Hartford Charter Revision Committee, is a town meeting without a heart or intestines, a gutted deer, a kind of dissected corpse lying on a table with the innards taken out.
I say, bring back the 300-year old New England Town Meeting. Put the heart and intestines back in the corpse and resurrect the
democracy we have been trying to kill for the last three-years with bureaucratic twaddle, streamlined
procedure, and closed-curtain secrecy, all under the name of “Charter Revision” Vermont
What was good enough for
New England for the last 300 years is good
enough for the next 300 years. Send the
Australian ballot back to and the polite debating
society back to the thumb-twiddling bureaucrats. Australia
Let Vermonters be Vermonters.
Paul D. Keane