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Thread: Who wants to abolish Town Hall meetings?

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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    Question Who wants to abolish Town Hall meetings?

    Are you sick of bickering, overblown self-important discussions? Would you rather have your personal time back to yourself or spend it sitting on an uncomfortable chair listening to hours of endless drivel? Who's interested in abolishing the Town Hall in Wayland and replacing it with a modern method of governing and decision making?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    Are you sick of bickering, overblown self-important discussions? Would you rather have your personal time back to yourself or spend it sitting on an uncomfortable chair listening to hours of endless drivel? Who's interested in abolishing the Town Hall in Wayland and replacing it with a modern method of governing and decision making?

    Discuss.
    Not me.
    The "hours of endless drivel" is the part where residents get to voice their concerns, ask their questions and discuss the pros and cons of a given article. It is interactive. It is participatory. No one is forced to go to TM, but those who choose to have to accept that listening to your neighbors express their views is all part of it. In fact it is the value of it.

    As to the question of getting more people to show up, the best idea I've heard is for them to be held on Sundays. If we started at 10am, worst case, a marathon session could go 13 hours and happen all in one day. Babysitters shouldn't be a problem. If it is scheduled far enough in advance, people could work it into their schedule. Even sports teams could make sure there's a black out date for games and practices that day.
    It's only once a year, after all. Except when it's twice. Not a huge sacrifice, if it's planned and scheduled properly.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    Default How about this then?

    Fair point and well stated!

    How about this then... Let's have a "Town Hall" meeting prior to an actual vote. At this meeting, everyone gets to talk as much as they want, as long as they want, and motions can be made and re-made and argued and whatever. No voting would be done here, but the session would be made available for those who could not attend (choose your media - internet, WayCAM, US mail, whatever works). Some time later (choose a suitable delay - perhaps the next available Tuesday?), we could have a conventional vote (identical to how we elect our school committee, selectmen, etc.) where everyone could vote on the issues after having reviewed and discussed whatever they found of interest from the debates. This way, the people who like to argue and influence can do it to their hearts content, and the rest of us can vote without being subjected to it. I've heard the argument that "people have their minds changed by the discussions, that's why they're so important." I'd love to see the data on that. How many people, and how often? What impact, if any, did it have on the ultimate outcome? While I'm sure that there might be one or two examples of an effective discussion, the reality is that 95% of the faces in the meetings have their eyes closed, are reading, doing crossword puzzles, or are in an animated conversation with their friends about something else. The whole idea of "Mr. Moderator..." is so ridiculous, I can't even begin to understand it. I'm surprised that women are even allowed to come to town hall, and men aren't forced to wear white wigs. It's 2014, not 1814. Time to move on. There are 364 other days in the year where people can talk to each other on their own terms. Let's stop wasting our time.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    Fair point and well stated!

    How about this then... Let's have a "Town Hall" meeting prior to an actual vote. At this meeting, everyone gets to talk as much as they want, as long as they want, and motions can be made and re-made and argued and whatever. No voting would be done here, but the session would be made available for those who could not attend (choose your media - internet, WayCAM, US mail, whatever works). Some time later (choose a suitable delay - perhaps the next available Tuesday?), we could have a conventional vote (identical to how we elect our school committee, selectmen, etc.) where everyone could vote on the issues after having reviewed and discussed whatever they found of interest from the debates. This way, the people who like to argue and influence can do it to their hearts content, and the rest of us can vote without being subjected to it. I've heard the argument that "people have their minds changed by the discussions, that's why they're so important." I'd love to see the data on that. How many people, and how often? What impact, if any, did it have on the ultimate outcome? While I'm sure that there might be one or two examples of an effective discussion, the reality is that 95% of the faces in the meetings have their eyes closed, are reading, doing crossword puzzles, or are in an animated conversation with their friends about something else. The whole idea of "Mr. Moderator..." is so ridiculous, I can't even begin to understand it. I'm surprised that women are even allowed to come to town hall, and men aren't forced to wear white wigs. It's 2014, not 1814. Time to move on. There are 364 other days in the year where people can talk to each other on their own terms. Let's stop wasting our time.
    Among other things, that would deny an affected party the ability to address everyone who will vote. If petitioners proposed to distribute free manure to Wayland citizens from a massive pile to be maintained on an empty lot near your home, you'd have no opportunity to persuade all voters to reject petitioner's Article.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    Are you thinking of moving to an empty lot near my home?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    Fair point and well stated!

    How about this then... Let's have a "Town Hall" meeting prior to an actual vote. At this meeting, everyone gets to talk as much as they want, as long as they want, and motions can be made and re-made and argued and whatever. No voting would be done here, but the session would be made available for those who could not attend (choose your media - internet, WayCAM, US mail, whatever works). Some time later (choose a suitable delay - perhaps the next available Tuesday?), we could have a conventional vote (identical to how we elect our school committee, selectmen, etc.) where everyone could vote on the issues after having reviewed and discussed whatever they found of interest from the debates. This way, the people who like to argue and influence can do it to their hearts content, and the rest of us can vote without being subjected to it. I've heard the argument that "people have their minds changed by the discussions, that's why they're so important." I'd love to see the data on that. How many people, and how often? What impact, if any, did it have on the ultimate outcome? While I'm sure that there might be one or two examples of an effective discussion, the reality is that 95% of the faces in the meetings have their eyes closed, are reading, doing crossword puzzles, or are in an animated conversation with their friends about something else. The whole idea of "Mr. Moderator..." is so ridiculous, I can't even begin to understand it. I'm surprised that women are even allowed to come to town hall, and men aren't forced to wear white wigs. It's 2014, not 1814. Time to move on. There are 364 other days in the year where people can talk to each other on their own terms. Let's stop wasting our time.
    Suppose I want to propose an amendment to Article 10 that would increase funding for Community Preservation by $100K -- but only if the Operating Budget (Article 4) is approved without being increased through amendments by more than $100K. How can I know whether to advance and speak to my amendment in your proposed "discussion only" Town Meeting session when resolution of the Operating Budget remains unknown?

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Default

    Your question is irrelevant.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    Your question is irrelevant.
    Translation: the question exposes a fundamental flaw in your proposal.

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