BRATTLEBORO — Like many others, I'm not sure just where the idea of adopting a mayoral system in Brattleboro came from. The only thing I've heard is that some people think it might permit more participation by more people in the affairs of the town. If that's the motivation for proposing this change, I think it's fundamentally misguided.
It's difficult for me to imagine a more open and participatory form of government than we currently have in Brattleboro. Everyone from the department heads to the town manager to members of the Selectboard is completely approachable and, in my experience, will give almost every idea a chance to be considered, no matter how cockamamie it sounds to me.
And at Representative Town Meeting, a modicum of organized effort can bring substantial results, even if the price at times feels like practically endless debate.
So what's the point, really?
I confess that I don't know, and I believe a mayoral system would be worse than what we have now, which seems to be working pretty well.
And if you don't like some of the decisions made recently, the remedy is to get involved in the process. The process is wide open, so step right up.
Yes, it involves some work, and you may have to present your ideas more than once, but it's called democracy, and it's definitely the worst form of government - except for all the others.
I'll be voting no on the article on the March 3 ballot.