The town of Newfane has been engaged in a whirlwind of democracy in action over the past year or so. We’ve held town-wide votes and re-votes concerning the school’s solar power project, we’ve debated and defeated a proposed charter for the town, and we will soon be engaged in another Annual Town Meeting where we will set the agenda for the next 12 months.
At times like these, we come to understand the full value of the Town Meeting process. An orderly and well-run Town Meeting allows a community to come to grips with a confluence of oppositional viewpoints and to come out the other end with a reasoned and well-debated outcome that everyone can live with.
However, it is easy enough for Town Meeting to get lost in the weeds of amendments to amendments, points of order, convoluted Robert’s Rules, or flaring tempers.
A cool and steady moderator can make all the difference between a confusing, demoralizing meeting and a civil, constructive one.
This year, Newfane voters have a chance to elect Kim Friedman to be our next town moderator.
Kim’s work as a public face of the NewBrook School energy project proved her to be calm, well-informed, unflappable, and concise as she answered hostile questions, explained complicated financial information, and helped the community fully understand the details and scope of the project.
She has already contributed much to the town through volunteer work and by serving on the school board.
We are lucky to have her vying for this position, and I hope that Newfane citizens give Kim Friedman their vote.