Since Better Thurston is making an effort to change the county government maybe we should consider the town hall form of government where the citizens come together and vote on specific issues such as the budget.
This form of government is popular in many parts of New England. It even works well in larger towns such as Brookline, Mass.which has a population of about 58,000. Brookline’s web site describes it best. “Town Meeting is Brookline’s Legislative arm of government. It consists of 240 elected Town Meeting members, plus the members of the Board of Selectmen, and any state representative or state senator who resides in Brookline. In addition, the Town Moderator, who presides over Town Meeting, and the Town Clerk, who acts as secretary, are voting members. The 240 are elected by precinct, with 15 members elected from each of the town’s 16 precincts. The members are elected for staggered 3-year terms so that 5 members are elected from each precinct each year in the May annual town election.”
Each elected member represents about 240 of their fellow citizens.
More information can be found at their web site http://www.brooklinema.gov/264/Town-Meeting.
There are many ideas and opinions that are never heard with our present form of government from those of the socialists to libertarians all of which deserve to be heard. Bringing together a larger group of elected citizen might provide us with an opportunity to hear more and perhaps innovative ideas.