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March 07. 2013 9:05PM

Town meeting? What town meeting?

Do you know what issues are up for a vote at your town meeting next week? Do you even know if your town has a meeting next week? If you cannot answer at least one of those questions, then won't you be surprised when your taxes go up by $179 a year to finance the construction of a 10-story, gold-plated monument to the sitting members of the select board - on the vacant lot right next to your house.

Perhaps we exaggerate just a little bit. (It's probably a bronze statue of David Hasselhoff.) But really, if you have no idea what is on the agenda for town meeting, you could be in for a rude awakening later.

Town meetings might seem like nuisances, but they are important. They give you the chance to vote on serious local issues, such as a town hall renovation (Pelham), a new middle school (Windham), road and bridge reconstruction (Salem), town labor contracts (Hudson), a new highway garage (Hopkinton) or a giant statue of David Hasselhoff (just checking your attention span).

The good news for you, dear uninformed voter, is that most towns will meet next Tuesday or Wednesday, so you have the weekend to learn what issues are on the ballot and how you want to vote on them. Our advice: no matter how appealing it sounds, go with "no" on the Hasselhoff statue. (A cardboard cutout for the lobby of town hall is much cheaper.)

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