Town meetings tend to be notoriously under-attended. Perhaps folks prefer not to spend hours of one of their Saturdays cooped up with other townsfolk? Or maybe people feel a little intimidated because they don’t know what happens at town meetings or how to participate?
I, for one, know I sometimes hesitate to speak up and ask a question about topics I may know little about. So I did a little Googling (something I am pretty good at) and I found this lovely Guide to Town Meetings on the Maine Municipal Association’s website.
The entire MMA website is a terrific resource for people who want to learn more local and state government – and even take classes on how to become a representative.
Don’t be intimidated to participate in your town government. I know many folks are skeptical or even jaded that their involvement doesn’t matter – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Not every idea, suggestion or argument you make will be followed and acted upon, of course, but if your voice is never heard, you never have that chance to make a difference – and at the town level, these differences can have major impacts.
So…..when is your next Annual Town Meeting? Go check out your town’s Facebook page and website. Maybe give the meeting a go this year!