Do you believe your town is going the way you think it should? Become active in your community, volunteer for your town, and run for posted positions in your town to help maintain local control. Attend your town meetings, when you can, but demand to have town meetings and not allow town issues to be decided on a paper ballot.

If you allow town issues to be decided on paper ballot in a voting booth rather than at a town meeting, then you are giving up your “Home Rule” for your town. Why? It is because you haven’t openly discussed, debated, and voted in a public setting with your local taxpayers present, but are voting behind closed voting booths, a privacy situation, for you alone to write your decision.

If your elected officials put town issues on paper ballot, and the voter in a booth doesn’t know about the town issues, then you will lose home rule. Paper ballots can allow the elected officials to address town problems with minimal town input. Why could this be happening? It is cheaper than a town meeting, and there are more people going to vote in a booth than those who attend a town meeting. Voters may be making their private decision by filling in an answer about issues they don’t understand.

“Home Rule” occurs at the town meeting. Town meetings are attended by people who create decisions that affect the operation of their town because they care about the town. This is the best way to educate others about town issues, done by openly participating in a process of group discussions, debates, and voting amongst their local citizens. This is the highest form of local government: “Home Rule.”


Patricia Lanning


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