Democracy in Action

Here in Concord, Massachusetts we run things the way they have since before the Revolutionary War - we get together at town meetings in person to debate and vote on the legal and operational aspects of the town. Town meeting opened tonight with some notes that were taken in the special town meeting of Dec. 31, 1772, where the members of the town voted to fight back against increased intrusion in their lives by the King of England.

Tonight’s meeting is a revote of a contentious issue regarding some new playing fields at the high school. The first time it came up there were some procedural issues with how the discussion was handled, so someone petitioned to have it brought up again. We’re now voting at the 3 hour 15 minute mark. Previously this issue had been debated for over 6 hours earlier in the spring.

Its interesting to have to brush up on Roberts Rules and mechanisms that govern a meeting like this. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town that still does this, make sure you participate!