Published DateTo the editor,
In today's Sun, someone replied to my letter supporting SB-2 (originally published on April 16). This reply was so focused on personal issues, it totally forgot about the actual issue — which is giving all Sanbornton residents a say in town decision-making, even if they cannot attend the town meeting.
The letter in today's Sun was quite critical, launching a personal attack against myself and others who might support SB-2. It implied that those who exercised their vote under the auspices of SB-2 would become easily overwhelmed and confused — and so flummoxed that, instead of making intelligent choices, would just "throw up their hands" in frustrated ignorance.
It went on to further imply that those attending town meeting, having had the opportunity to ask questions and share information with the other incredibly knowledgeable attendees, would vote to make the "right" decisions, thus preserving not only the treasured process of town meeting, but ensuring the long-term future of Sanbornton as well.
And it doesn't seem to matter why someone might not attend the town meeting — preferring not to go to a 4+ hour town meeting obviously would not qualify as a legitimate excuse for absence. But neither does illness, having to work, being called away on business or taking a vacation. In other words, if you aren't able to participate, too bad for you; you don't get a say in how your taxes are spent.
To summarize: a town meeting with limited attendance and a few people making decisions about our town — GOOD; SB-2: allowing all people to participate in the decision-making regardless of ability to attend a meeting — BAD. Seems that participating and "enjoying" the town meeting isn't an inherited treasure after all — it is more like an inherited coercion. Participate in the town meeting or your rights are forfeited.
Didn't they have similar ideologies in Nazi Germany? And don't they still have them today in North Korea? Hmm... the last time I looked, this was still the USA... land of the free. WIth this in mind, shouldn't we consider what this really means to our other "inherited treasures" — like freedom of choice?