Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
Below is an excerpt from an email that I sent (on my own behalf) to Moderator Peter Gossels, copying the Board of Selectmen, the chair of the Finance Committee, and the chair of the School Committee.

1. Feedback speaker for Moderator
In the same way that music bands have small speakers so that they can get a sense of how they sound, why not provide a small speaker on the Moderator's podium to provide the sound coming from the main speaker system. Of course, it would be important not to interfere with the Moderator's microphone.

2. Pro/Con microphone lighting
It may have been where I was sitting, but it appeared that the lighting was better on the Con microphone than the Pro microphone. Positioning a light in front of and above both microphones might make it easier for the Moderator to see the people speaking there.

3. Babysitting
It would be great to offer babysitting, either on-site at the HS or over at Happy Hollow, as has been done in the past. Also, it would be great if the Town (or perhaps a group of HS students) could organize a babysitting network that people could access to have a sitter at home. This could be student volunteer work to keep costs down, or have a nominal fee.

4. Electronic vote counting
I think that people would be much more tolerant of the meeting in general if the counting of votes didn't create large chunks of dead time. There must be hand-held voting systems that we could rent (or purchase with a consortium of towns) that would make voting instantaneous. We could test it on some non-controversial articles, and maybe use it in a non-binding way to check the standing counted vote before we make it official. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see what sort of difference there is between the standing count and the electronic count.

5. "Re-poll"
What we've been calling a recount is actually a "re-poll." Recounts are for something tangible like ballots that presumably aren't changing. Re-polls are of voters who may change their votes, not vote at all, or even depart. We might consider limiting re-polls to voice votes (if that's allowed by the state statute). Or, we might require someone requesting a re-poll to have a reason why (with "close vote" perhaps not being a sufficient reason). For instance, the requester might say that the tellers missed a row, or the math was incorrect, or something like that. Of course, with electronic vote counting, this might not be an issue.

6. Terminate debate
We might change or even eliminate the terminate debate rule. With the 60 minute time limit, it's not as if one side or the other can "filibuster" for all that long. And, as voting currently stands, the count may take longer than running out the clock. Perhaps we might require the person making the motion to give a brief reason why (e.g. "no one is offering new information"), with the Moderator having discretion to rule in order or not.
While I might have posted point #6 as #1 (as I feel this is the most serious issue facing TM), I too am interested in the response here as I feel like Jeff has certainly highlighted many key issues. Two agreements in one month -- not sure what to think of that turn of events

I might have added one more...a prohibition on citizens entering the floor/voting if they have not checked in before the beginning of the article discussed. It seems to be patently unfair to allow people to "jam the ballot box" by entering the floor just as a vote is being started if they were no willing to put in the time to listen to the debate (as was shown by the 100 or so people that showed up just in time for the reconsideration vote at the end of the evening).