Vermont Town Meeting Day, upstairs in the elementary school gymnasium, with the kids running riot downstairs in the darkest reaches of the basement, daring themselves to enter the unlit corner around the boiler.
By discussion and voice vote, the town’s yearly business was transacted today. Here’s what we discussed: fire truck lease payments, the school budget, derelict buildings, whether to pave the upper part of the Cabot Road. At times tedious, riveting, and funny, town meeting has an odd quality of mimicking life and is one of the perks of living in a Vermont town. Where else can you stand up and make an impassioned to plea to keep your small school and have neighbors clap? Where else can you also hear about cement culverts and drainage and which garbage bins in the cemetery need emptying? The people are generally civil, the coffee and homemade lunch unlimited, and you can bring your knitting.
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
– F.D. Roosevelt