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No time to devote to governance? Put cellphone down

A 2007 town meeting was sparsely attended in Abington.

Patricia McDonnell for The Boston Globe/File

A 2007 town meeting was sparsely attended in Abington.

Edward Glaeser (“Too much hot air at town meetings,” Op-ed, Oct. 17) has it all backward. It’s not that there’s too much endless discussion; it is that there are too many people who seem to have more important things to do.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard “I don’t have the time” the past few years. I find this a disturbing trend in our society. In my town, we have only a few town meetings per year. It is a forum where detailed information about important issues — yes, sometimes it’s hot air and boring — can be discussed by everyone.

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Would Glaeser rather have the issues in sound bites paid for by special interests? Oh, I forgot, that’s how we have the state and federal government representatives we have today.

I understand that attending a town meeting is somewhat of a hardship for certain folks. Yet many of the “I don’t have time” people DO have time to carry on inane and unnecessary conversations by phone or text. What they don’t seem to have time for is real human interaction, such as a town meeting.

Dan Fennelly

Scituate

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