Well another record breaking year.
For spending and for the time it took to spend it. Not a bad thing per se.
Finally heard publicly what had been written about previously relative to the TA raise.
Little to no real controversy at the meeting. Except our friends in the Historical Society and the Historical Commission are yet again involved in a dispute.
Believe it or not, there are a fair number of people who believe these two groups are one in the same. Two separate groups folks. One is town appointed. One is private. One does the vast bulk of the work on the issues. The other ... still not quite sure what the other one actually does.
Outside of that bit of head scratching debate, not much to do about anything.
Most people seemed please with the new format and especially the presentation for the budget. They seemed to like the idea of being informed by the administration of just what was available, what we were spending and why we weren't spending everything we had available.
Indications are that going forth we will be seeing even more detailed information. I always said, give TM a good reason to support a plan and you won't be disappointed. It is when you add a bit of confusion or smoke is where you run into the problems.
Anyway, it was extremely short for an annual with a special. Under three hours. The doing away with the reading of all the line items definitely is a time saver. Now we run a fiscal year seeing if giving departments some added free reign works. It certainly can work. It works in many other communities. It most definitely should. No doubt we will see a glitch or two, but shouldn't be any worse than the glitches that have constantly come up under the old format.
With the removal of the sale of the school article and the auto/boat zoning thingy, it ended up mainly smooth sailing for TM (with a minor rogue wave here and there as noted).
That was the beauty of the thing. The beast of course is that at some point the beast will make an appearance on the issues. Certainly for the school sale anyway. One thing I think many members were thinking, this better be the last consultant's report we absolutely must have to solve the issue of what to do.
Not sure how I really did with the over/under and the odds. It was an exercise to kill some time yesterday morning. I do know I was definitely off with the number of members for the start time. What did I say? 250? I think is was like 200. I know it crept up to like 228 at about 10:00 A.M. Not sure if it went higher. That is the number of people who checked in by the way. Not the number in the room at any given point in time.
In truth it was a fitting start for the new way of life. Minimal discussion on operations. A rather sound vote of support for placing oversight of day to day affairs into the hand so four new TA. We may very well see mostly speedy Town Meetings where the debate will be relegated to the big things. Sale of old buildings, zoning battles, borrowing issues, the stuff the law still requires a separate and distinct vote by Town Meeting.
Some will lament the loss of involvement, but involvement has been disappearing for a long time. Not just in our fair haven but across the realm.
Solid support for the concept though. The issue of a raise, not so much an issue with Town Meeting. The attempt to defeat the legal fee increase for essentially hiring labor counsel, pretty soundly defeated.
People kind of get the concept I think. It seemed that they embraced it fully, most that is.
Will we miss it down the road? Not really. You cannot embrace the concept of moving forward but also insist you follow the old owner's manual. Some seem to be trying. Some always will. This is one of those buses though you better get on, because it is the only mode of transportation to get down the road.
Certainly, we are still early in that journey. Perhaps the ultimate destination will not be as appealing as the brochures highlighting the spot. Time, as with all things, will tell. We are for the most part beyond the point of no return so kick back, relax and enjoy the trip as much as possible.
And while you are traveling, remember ... Be Safe.