The New England Town Meeting

I live in rural Maine where many of our towns have an annual Town Meeting. Like the ones on Gilmore Girls, but more….real.

At the town meeting, any voter in that town can show up and vote. There is a moderator and the town goes through the budget, line by line, and votes on each budget item. Voters can ask questions about expenditures. There is usually at least one argument or heated discussion.

Only people of that town can speak. If anyone who does not live in that attends the meeting, the townspeople need to vote to allow that person to speak. An example is if the town is voting on how much money to give an an agency, a person from the agency may come to answer any questions the voters may have.

I am currently managing a State Senate Campaign (in a volunteer capacity) and I have had the opportunity to attend a few town meetings so far.

It makes me appreciate why I love living in Maine so much.

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