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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Green Dragon Tavern

    This is a thread solely used to discuss the lack of voter representation at the Town Meeting. Please post to this only if you feel strongly about this specific topic. Otherwise the thread "Have we outgrown the Town Meeting" offers a broader discourse on the overall structure of the Town Meeting and its effectiveness.

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Default Response to "villagevoice"

    The following was a reply I posted to the online Town Crier website's letters to the editor (April 30th 2009) to anonymous user "villagevoice" regarding this person's take on our town meeting and why it should not be changed. I don't find it fair game to copy the posting text into this forum out of respect to the author's ownership and sourcing of the content.

    It can be found towards the bottom of the page at the following url:
    http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/n...-April-30-2009

    My response begins:

    Village Voice,
    How ironic that as a defender of the TM structure you consider yourself at the other end of a tyrannical king. Might I suggest that you have gone native?
    With all due respect, perhaps you should read more history. King George’s tyranny over the Colonies was dissolved by their impatience with a government (esp. taxation) without representation more than any other catalyst in that time frame. This is the very same dynamic that I find offensive about TM and you evidently think has been a joyous highlight for the past 300 years. I will grant you the first 250 years it was a living body that produced results. But somewhere in the last 50 years it started to develop gangrene as more efficient means to arbitrate information marginalized its faculties.
    With the advent of well connected information age already behind us my personal view is that TM is now a dead and a bloated corpse stinking up the whole town. You can’t hide this TM stench much longer with this pseudo history conjecture when a majority of the voting population has no faith in it and smells something rotten.
    I don’t know whether to call you an outright fraud, a feeble-minded intellectual poser or just simply plain feel sorry for you because you take yourself so seriously and assume the rest of us “folks” are idiots beholden to your ungrounded authority on our rights.
    Mind you, all of this pales to you placing the presumptuous heel of your foot upon my head as a free-willed voter speaking out about the lack of representation. So after I metaphorically sever your leg from your body I certainly hope you are man enough to not play the victim card post facto.
    And SOS has nothing to do with it as I am not even associated with the group, have no idea who Ms. Strong is, stick up for “naysayers” and have a horrible golf handicap.

    SOS is not the answer to your problem.

    Vernon Essi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
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    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    You can’t hide this TM stench much longer with this pseudo history conjecture when a majority of the voting population has no faith in it and smells something rotten.
    This may well be true, but are you speculating, or is there evidence (a survey, for instance) in support?

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    Default

    The evidence is in the the counterfactual argument (OTM attendance is a solid minority), which speaks of the veracity of my claim. If I told you there were either black and white marbles in a bag and gave you thirty draws and of those thirty you drew 26 black marbles would anyone believe you to be wise if you thought the majority of the marbles in the bag was white?
    Seriously, if OTM smelled of roses and was full of gumdrop smiles, don't you think more people would attend?
    Back to square one of my argument on the other thread:
    The voter knows better than our Town government in how useful OTM is as a means of legislation.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
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    Wayland MA
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    Default

    Low Town Meeting attendance does not necessarily equate to a majority lack of faith in the Town Meeting process, which may nonetheless still exist (marbles or no marbles).

    The report of the Wayland Town Meeting Study Committee is available here, as is the Moderator's response. While the report clearly identifies frustrations that residents have with Town Meeting, those frustrations are expressed by an unspecified percentage of 300 residents (roughly 3% of the voting populace). The report makes no mention of how those residents were selected nor in any way suggests that those residents are a statistically valid cross section of the Town. The closest the report comes to a "lack of faith statement" is the following: "a number [again, unspecified] were so disenchanted with Town Meeting that they suggested we either change to representative Town Meeting or drop TM altogether."

    The report does make the curious statement, "Because many of the survey responses were anonymous the committee felt they represented thoughtful, honest and caring assessments." Readers of the Town Crier discussion boards would be forgiven for not applying any of those adjectives to the comments thereon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default

    It is safe to assume we have all lost our marbles as we feel the need to discuss our town's dysfunction.
    A few things:
    1) the Wayland Town Meeting Study Committee is troublesome for its unnecessarily long and bureaucratic name alone, but it is also written with heavy equivocation (self evident in even your small citing) and was performed by a relatively insular segment of people. Mr. Gossels' self preservation alone dismisses his voice in any concluding commentary as his conflict of interest is tragically obvious. "And to conclude our study of these so-called 'automatic horseless carriages' we refer to the leader of the buggywhip worker's union for his concluding remarks". Furthermore, I have already discussed why I think this study is flawed on the other thread and really should be put into the circular file. Your continued reference to this report brings me to my next point...
    2) I already discussed this on the "Outgrown our Town Meeting" and you put in some healthy commentary. Perhaps you need to revisit your thoughts online to reach a conclusion or are seeking credit for my prior points (you can take it as I claim no ownership) but nobody has any spurious reason for why OTM attendance is very low. When you use the word "equate" I believe you intend to say "correlate" and I went over this on the other thread already. I am skeptical there are any reasons other than people's frustration and lack of faith in the system. I find this a reasonable conclusion and can be upheld to any reasonable doubt.
    3) I will continue to emphasize that our OTM needs to be transitioned to a better form of democratic representation that is capable of having asynchronous factual discourse (e.g. online as opposed to real time in the vacuum of the field house) without a mob mentality drowning out issues that might need to be vetted or, in the other extreme, procedural Jedi mind tricks on Mr. Moderator to the dismay of everyone except the babysitter on the clock.
    4) In the last paragraph:
    "Because many of the survey responses were anonymous the committee felt they represented thoughtful, honest and caring assessments." Readers of the Town Crier discussion boards would be forgiven for not applying any of those adjectives to the comments thereon.
    I agree - it is peculiar to regard what the committee "feels" or felt at the time - even the word usage bothers me. As to your take, if people want to post anonymously, more power to them. If voters believe what they read at face value from any of us (or anyone standing at the podium of OTM) then they don't have anyone to blame but themselves for not taking upon the task of doing their own homework and research. And your statement, like those of the posts on the Crier, underscore my point as to why OTM is damaged goods. These issues will remain for years to the detriment of those who aren't engaged in the battle (i.e. the disenfranchised voter).

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