, Kingston, NH

February 28, 2013

Bring back East Kingston Town Meeting - Repeal SB2

Carriage Towne News

---- — Bring back East Kingston Town Meeting - Repeal SB2

If you are reading this, give yourself a pat on the back. Reading this indicates that you take an interest in your town, and wish to educate yourself about the issues of your community. Unfortunately, nowadays, far too many people do not.

Volunteerism is at an all time low. Many of our community boards and committees struggle to maintain adequate membership levels. Our historical committee has only two members, and our agricultural commission was de-funded because of lack of interest. How sad that our population is at an all time high, yet community involvement is at an all time low.

Several years ago, a resident passed a citizens petition to adopt Senate Bill 2, which did away with town meeting. Town meeting in East Kingston has always been a time for the community to get together, discuss issues and vote on matters that affect the town. Whether or not one was previously aware of matters of debate, the discussions and arguments on the floor would always be educational, and often entertaining.

Town meeting is the purest form of Democracy. Everybody has a voice - everybody’s voice is heard, and every voice counts. If you don’t like the terms of a warrant article, you get to motion a change. If you don’t understand an issue, you can request clarification on the spot. With the passage of SB2, only a handful of residents choose to attend deliberative session, where they decide what goes on the ballot. How sad that we choose to give up our freedoms for the convenience of casting a ballot, rather than hearing our neighbors and voicing our own opinions. Our community is small enough that Town Meeting should be an enjoyable event, and an effective form of government. Town meeting should be seen as the heart of our town that pumps blood to the vital organizations and committees that keep our town running.

I have sponsored two citizens’ petitions for the upcoming ballot on March 12. The first is to Repeal SB2 and bring back Town Meeting. The second is to hold Town Meeting on Saturday Morning, rather than! Tuesday night. The purpose of this is to make attendance easier. Please join me and vote yes on Articles 9 and 10.

Matthew Dworman

East Kingston