By Camilla Behn
I realize that it is only December and most of us are thinking more about the upcoming ski season or impending holidays, but I am going to make a plea to Warren voters to think ahead to next spring. In particular, I am asking you to have conversations, ask questions and give serious consideration to your town government.
On March 1, 2022, we will go to the polls and you will see four out of five seats on the Warren Select Board on your ballot. Such a situation has the potential to have a significant impact on our town as we move forward.
This is not to say that none of the current seat holders will be running again, they may or may not be, but the possibility exists.
My reason for bringing this to your attention is not to suggest that we need radical change or to imply that there is any reason for these seats to turn over. Rather, my intention is to raise awareness of the opportunity that municipal governance presents. The voters in our small Vermont towns have a unique ability to participate on a level like no other. There are virtually no barriers to any registered, legal resident of Warren getting on the ballot and finding themselves actively participating in the leadership and decision-making that impacts every level of our day-to-day lives relative to our community. That is phenomenal when you stop to consider.
So, my real purpose in writing this piece is to awaken in all of us the realization that it is both a privilege and a responsibility to actively engage and participate in the governance of our small town of Warren, Vermont. All meetings of municipal boards are open to the public, all agendas are posted in advance and all minutes recorded and available for our viewing. We have the right to be heard and the obligation to make ourselves heard whether we are concerned, appreciative, confused or delighted.
At whatever level you choose to engage in the process, there is no excuse for showing up at the polls on Town Meeting Day and being surprised by the names on the ballot or the issues you see in front of you. This is your town and your government -- get involved!
Behn lives in Warren and serves on the select board.