Kursten Holabird: Town Meeting unaccountable, opaque

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Flawed argument by charter opponents

As a supporter of last year’s defeated school building initiative, as well as this year’s initiative to vote in favor of updates to the town charter, I have now heard the same flawed, condescending argument many times from those working in opposition to the charter changes.

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” they say, explaining that those of us who supported the schools project were so disappointed in the results that we are now looking to bring down the whole Town Meeting system, in a sort of blind rage. This is not only a patronizing argument, suggesting that we don’t have the ability to think rationally about these two separate issues, but it’s also flat wrong.

Here’s what really happened for so many of us who supported the school building project: We received a quick, highly effective lesson in how Town Meeting really works. We learned how unaccountable, opaque and undemocratic this system really is, beyond its veneer of “pure” democracy.

We saw with our own eyes how poorly prepared the representative Town Meeting system is to handle complex issues. And we resolved to change it.

That’s why I’ll vote “yes” on March 27.

Kursten Holabird