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Town meetings exclude too many

A HEARTY hear, hear to Edward Glaeser (“Too much hot air at town meetings,” Op-ed, Oct. 17).

As a former New Yorker who moved here a decade ago, I’ve found the concept of town meeting befuddling, archaic, and potentially disenfranchising to a lot of people.

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Residents may miss the town meeting because they’re sick, because of a business meeting out of town, or because of an ill or no-show babysitter. So even if I’ve attended every open committee meeting on the subject at Town Hall, read every long-winded letter to the editor in our local newspaper and in our local online resources, attended a League of Women Voters’ coffee on the subject, talked about it with neighbors and colleagues prior to the meeting, and am a taxpayer in good standing, if I’m not physically at the town meeting, I’m essentially disenfranchised.

There must be a better way — one that reflects the realities of engagement and time constraints in the 21st century.

Dianne E. Butt


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