As Valley voters gathered remotely around their computer screens this week for pre-Town Meeting informational sessions, people’s comments reflected impatience, disappointment, gratitude, anger, hope and so much more.
With our second pandemic Town Meeting approaching next week on March 1, we’re all way too adept at using Zoom to communicate with each other. But as we’ve learned in the pandemic, Zoom is and has been a good way for elected officials to interact with the public. From one end of The Valley to the other these pre-Town Meetings were well attended and people were engaged. Ask any town official or community leader if they’d like this level of participation to continue – the answer will be yes.
But still, we’re all tired of the pandemic and its attendant restrictions. We’re all looking forward to warmer weather, open windows and gathering outdoors.
Traditionally, gathering with friends and neighbors for Town Meeting on the first Tuesday in March is one of the first steps towards spring. Sap is often flowing and the deepest of the snowpack is waning, as the roads get muddier.
Here is hoping that next March brings some greater semblance of normal and the opportunity to meet in person to conduct the business of our towns. Here’s hoping for a return to people meeting in person to query town leaders about the minutia of the budget and a return to sitting shoulder to shoulder with others in our polling places. And Town Meeting lunches!
Here’s hoping that COVID-19 numbers continue to fall in Vermont, the nation and the world. We’re all looking forward to a time when we don’t have to worry about what today’s CAOVID-19 dashboard numbers are and we don’t have to tally the numbers of Vermonters lost to the virus with such scrutiny.
Here’s hoping that voter turnout is high next week, despite the fact that we’re not gathering in person. Here’s hoping people recognize that their vote is important and that is does count and a yes or no vote on Town Meeting articles matters as does electing the people who govern our towns and our school district.
Here’s to hope.