December 6, 2019
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More Representative and Transparent

Published April 03, 2019

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In her letter published on March 21 [“Not Fiscally Prudent”], Nancy Barrett asks how a town like North Haven can spend three-quarters of a million dollars on a fire truck based on a Town Meeting vote where perhaps 50 (about 0.3 percent of registered voters!) persons attended.

The answer is quite simple—most of our elementary students can figure it out. So long as the citizens of North Haven tolerate a town meeting form of government, a focused minority (the minutes of town meetings never report the number of voters attending) will make the decisions for the body politic. It is high time to realize that the venerable town meeting form of government that worked so well for small, homogeneous communities 100 years ago is simply absurd for a town of some 24,000 citizens.

Obviously, our power elite prefers this form of government, but the citizens should be insisting on charter reform with the goal of establishing a more representative and transparent form of government.

Stephen Peterson
North Haven