This year’s Town Meeting had problems getting and keeping a quorum of 128 voters. Let’s review the usual reasons.
It’s inconvenient: Multiple weeknight meetings are indeed a problem for some. Some other towns hold their town meetings on a single Saturday each year. Yes, this will cause problems for some folks as well, but in balance it might be better for more people.
It’s too long: Hopkinton has more articles than other towns. This year there were 53 articles. Over the past 10 years (excluding 2020, which had an abbreviated warrant), we’ve averaged 54 articles each year, with a high of 68 in 2013. In contrast, the average for eight towns around us was 29 (Ashland only had 10!). Why does Hopkinton consistently have so many articles?
It’s boring: While there have been occasions where things have gotten, well, interesting, indeed much of Town Meeting can be rather dry. Perhaps the long budget presentations at the beginning could be prerecorded and made available prior to the meeting, allowing the gathering to move quickly to questions and a vote.
Democracy isn’t always exciting, but it is always important. I hope we have more participation next year.
— John Ritz, Hopkinton
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