How do we encourage increased attendance at Rockingham's Annual Town Meeting?

BELLOWS FALLS — Town Meeting is a Vermont tradition that allows ordinary citizens to meet annually with their neighbors to create local legislation and oversee their town's affairs. It is democracy in action at its most basic level.

Rockingham residents may recall that voters at last year's Annual Town Meeting discussed whether to continue the tradition of an annual in-person Town Meeting or to switch to voting all articles by Australian ballot.

Although the decision was made to continue holding in-person Town Meetings, there were good arguments on both sides. One idea that all seemed to support was that if we are to continue the Town Meeting tradition, we should do all we can to encourage increased attendance.

To this end, the Rockingham Selectboard is in the process of surveying voters to learn what changes would make it easier for people to attend. I encourage all voters in town to respond thoughtfully to the survey.

Furthermore, I am convening a working group of interested citizens to support the Selectboard by researching and developing additional ideas for making our Town Meeting more accessible, relevant, and inviting.

My hope is that we will come up with a number of ideas that could be implemented in time for our next Town Meeting in March 2024.

If you'd like to join this working group, or if you have suggestions, please contact me directly at [email protected] or 802-275-4646.

Here's to democracy!

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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