Fall work finally finished. Stone wall done, firewood in, boat ready for winter… of course, some leaves still unraked, some fields unmowed… but spring will fix that. Now, the quiet of winter brings what new projects?

Alan proposes that the town consider moving forward with electronic voting at Town Meeting. Excellent idea. Certainly seems like there’s a consensus that something needs to be done and that electronic voting might be a good step forward.

One question I’ve had is that for all the discussion about the problems with the recent Town Meeting and the potential of electronic voting, where are our “leaders”? Peter Gossells did write a couple thoughtful articles, and that was appreciated. But with most townspeople seeming to agree that there’s a proplem, and talking about solutions, where are the “Selectpersons”. Did I miss it, or was there “not a peep”? Is this leadership?

To me this puts Alan’s contribution in context. Peter Gossels suggests the creation of a committee to study the problem. I feel that could be slow and go the same way as the Electroninc Communications Committee. Alan obviously thinks it’s important and is willing to do something about it, even to the exent of proposing a “Petition” and creating a website. “Here, here” I say. Seems like this is a “win, win”. Where’s the downside, except that the system costs money?

If the system cost less (proposal seems to be $120k), I would be willing to pay my share (over and above town tax) and would have loved to propose a fundraising effort to pay for the whole thing and skip the usual bureaucratic/committee type slowness. But at $120k, this wouldn’t work so easily, so money is going to be an issue, especially with town/school budgets being cut. That’s unfortunate.

And more, even with electronic town meeting voting, other issues don’t go away: the nature and quality of the questions presented for decision making; the quality of information available to the public; whether Town Meeting is in fact democratic; etc., etc. Guess I’m waiting for 23rd century town meetings where all info is open source and handy, and we vote from the comfort of our browsers.

Until then, let’s enjoy the snow storm, staying safe and warm by the fire!

donBustin@verizon.net