My no-good demmerkrat office mate Fudrucker has penned his own op-ed in the Greenwich Time (only posted now or I’d have written about it earlier. As a lawyer, there isn’t much I’m unwilling to do but paying for the Greenwich Time is one of them) pointing out that the Representative Town Meeting is a useless collection of bored citizens disenfranchised and led by the nose by a handful of semi-professional bloviators.
This is news to no one who has ever served on the RTM or had to deal with that body but every time someone of either party – Jim Lash was the latest one to try – suggests cutting it down to a workable size, he’s shut down, crucified and set afire. Why? Because, as Fudrucker points out, a tiny handful of people run the thing – he claims 40, I’d guess 30 – and the road to charter revision runs through them. Or doesn’t, in this case.
A few days ago the same paper looked at the attendance record of RTM members and discovered, not surprisingly, that many members had full lives and little time to hang around on Monday nights rubber-stamping decisions already made for them by their “leaders”. And, while no one among us does not love Chris Von Keyserling, are there minds strong enough to stay alert and attentive through four hours of his monologues? I suspect not. Von Keseryling’s perfect attendance record, and that of Carl Carlson, tell you all you need to know about both men and the RTM.
The annual town meeting in East Holden, Maine, was a different animal. Seventy-five voters might show up and they’d discuss and vote on every item in the budget. Did our constable Eugene Winchenbach really need a new cruiser? He was the only law in town and surely we appreciated that, but that car had just 350,000 miles on it and it was, after all, an Oldsmobile – should be good for another couple of years, at least.
So Eugene had to wait for a new car. Real voters, real power. Not so in the configuration down here, where 2,179 stupefied citizens sweat in uncomfortable chairs and pretend to know what’s going on and pretend to care. Time for a change.