SB2 proponents outnumbered at Deerfield public hearing
“I think we’re trying to do democracy light,” said Town Moderator Jack Hutchinson. “We’re trying to have the right to voting, and not the responsibility of the citizenship, and that’s what’s making Deerfield a much more difficult place to run.
“I enjoy Town Meeting. I (attended) Town Meeting for many years, in Auburn and here, but the current flavor, and the current enthusiasm for participation in the town, in general, is very weak, and I don’t think that many people want to spend that time in a meeting, and I don’t think they’ll get the turnout they used to get in the old days,” she said. “It’s just modern life is too hectic and people don’t have time, and people with kids can’t come out. … I just don’t think the participation is there. I think people are too involved in other things.”
“I’ve seen how Town Meeting works and how it’s suppose to work, and you certainly end up having an opportunity to take and hear both sides of the issue, or at times you had multiple sides, it wasn’t just necessarily two, and then you could make your decision based on that,” he said. “You also had the opportunity to take and amend articles and budgets, and then vote on that and … people voting under Senate Bill 2 really don’t have that opportunity, and they form their own decisions based on their own context they have, and they may not have sufficient information from the other side.”
“Those Town Meetings did not give freedom of expression. You’d have 300 people, and by the end 179 were voting the total budget and tax bill of the people of this town,” said Cady, who for for five years petitioned with others for SB2 in Deerfield before it was adopted. “Am I completely pleased with Senate Bill 2? … No, I’m not completely pleased, but I am much happier that all the population get a chance to vote on their tax bill, and that’s what it comes down to. And if you had to put the total checklist in any building, you’d never fit them in any buildings in this town.”