SB-2 advocate Bill Whalen's botherment with turnout for Town Meeting bothers me. The "approximately 150 Sanbornton residents who attend town meeting" deserve applause. SB-2 would replace that large number with darned few, keeping track of news reports on such.
SB-2's process can include discussion and altering of warrant articles at a required budget hearing (a meeting!), but no final decision-making. SB-2's law, as written (40:13), veritably squirms with "may nots" about that warrant-article altering, throwing doubt on what's behind SB-2's establishment as an alternative to Town Meeting.
Coping with SB-2 at long last a voter is alone in a booth with all the articles on her ballot. No one with whom to discuss. I see potential for exasperated, thrown-up hands and a straight line of "no" voting.
Mr. Whalen went last year to Sanbornton's Town Meeting, using the microphone often. Bravo! People participate in our democratic process, where we are citizen legislators, making time for our town's well-being by coming to Town Meeting, speaking, listening, and there together deciding.
Our town's budget is important; our money spent perpetuates our town. (Everything shouldn't get a "no.") This is where Mr. Whalen's insistence on private voting booth time doesn't convince. He thinks of Sanbornton only in terms of this year and his taxes. Just vote no and get it over with. He doesn't care about a long-term Sanbornton that will succeed him beyond his time here. Yet he came to our town, liking it, because those preceding him did care.
Before May 14's voting share this letter with others, and bring it to May 15 Town Meeting too. Vote no on Question #1, and protect Sanbornton Town Meeting — then participate, even enjoy it. Town Meeting is our inherited treasure.
Lynn Rudmin Chong