#1 Mar 13, 2010
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr Curley for your very fine description of the problems with Town Meeting as a form of government.
The issue here is power. Those who defend the present form of voting on budgets at town meetings do so because they know that they have the power and they do not want to give it up.
And like you said it is also elitist. We should go full bore and call it the House of Lords, because in most towns it leaves out the regular people. Funny when you delve into this a little you would find that the stauchest supporters are also people who talk seriously out of the other side of their mouths about protecting the rights of the poor, disadvantged, and minority. Oh and the uninsured. How about that Reformer...you want to protect the uninsured ...well how about protecting those who in Dr Mansbridge's words... "in practice, the immediate costs of political participation usually vary considerably from one individual to the next, depending on the other individuals’ obligations, financial resources, verbal skills, social ties."...and thus can't attend or are, frankly, intimidated by the "privileged minority" repesented by the likes of Mr McClean.
One of the most egregious examples of the abuse of the town meeting is the BUHS District town meeting. It is typically packed with teachers, family and friends of teachers who routinely have voted down any amendment to cut the budget and control spending. I would consider this years budget cut vote nearly a miracle even in light of the near bankrupting state budget deficits. The cry around Brattleboro is where to heck were you last year.
We need to get the budgets on the Australian Ballot and we need to do it immediately. The cute or quaint anachronism of the Town Meeting where the landed gentry come out once a year to debate things like whether the town needs a new grader or fire truck is just that. A cute anachronism. It is not good governance.
#2 Mar 13, 2010
Mr Block has show himself to be completely ignorant. A exit sign has 20-25 curies of tritium. The highest concentratuion ever found at vy is 2.5 million PICO curies per liter. So lets do some math. 20,000,000,000,000 pico curies in an exit sign (i used the lower number and there are a trillion pico curies in a curie) and then divide that by 2,500,000 pico cries and you get 80 million liters of water equals one exit sign. multiply that by 0.264 to convert to gallons. The answer is 2,112,000 gallons. That means 2.1 million gallons of water (with the HIGHEST tritium concentrations found) equal ONE exit sign. The math shows how little Mr Block knows, and he felt the need to write a letter to the editor without even attempting to understand anything about the tritium leak. tsk tsk
#3 Mar 13, 2010
#4 Mar 13, 2010
Vermont workers, it is time to take your voice back.
#5 Mar 14, 2010
Regarding Mr. Hermiz letter about taxes in Athens, a friend showed me the Town reports which have the joint school budget. It looks like the school has had a lot of grant money that is drying up. how didn't anybody see this coming. Mrs. Wymans mistake did not cause this but I guess it could not have come at a worse time.
#6 Mar 18, 2010
It's so sad that anybody can write a "letter to the editor" claiming anything they want and actually have it posted without a fact check. People like Mr. Block(head?) do more damage than we give them credit for. Our society is either far too gullible, lazy or ignorant. And it would be nice if the Reformer disqualified such outrageous claims before posting.
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