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Moretown Town Meeting needs a boost

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12/20/2007

By Kara Herlihy

Karen Horn and Steve Magill appeared before the Moretown Select Board Monday evening, December 17, to address lagging Town Meeting attendance in the past few years.

The meeting, scheduled for the first Tuesday in March, generally is observed as a holiday for town residents, in order to promote attendance and participation in the meeting.

Horn and Magill presented findings from the book <MI>All Those in Favor<D> written by Susan Clark and University of Vermont political science teacher Frank Bryan, which provides tips and advice for bringing communities together for the traditional town meeting.

Obstacles that typically keep residents away from Town Meeting were mentioned including lack of adequate childcare, lacking youth participation, and free skiing for kids at Mad River Glen on that Tuesday.

Horn suggested providing refreshments at the meeting and creating a pamphlet that illustrates how the meeting is run by 'Robert's Rules of Order' for unfamiliar residents.

Horn also suggested providing childcare at the Moretown Elementary School during the meeting so both heads of household could attend Town Meeting.

Magill called Town Meeting a "citizenship holiday" that every town resident should participate in. "I loved going to Town Meeting when I was a kid."

Select board chair Paula Mastroberardino made a motion to form a committee to encourage participation and attendance at Town Meeting.

Anyone interested in participating or helping out with the committee to save Town Meeting is encouraged to contact the Moretown Select Board.

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