Town meetings can be congenial, enjoyable, and contentious all by turn, but they are rarely fun; that is unless you live in Alna and enjoy the moderating services of the always entertaining Chris Cooper.
In this day and age where it seems the representation at the top seems farther and farther away from the citizens on the bottom, this is still a chance to go participate in the very essence of democracy. You go, you state your case, and the people decide right then and there.
Democracy on the hoof as it were.
Representative government is the very thing the founding fathers of this country fought and died for. People in other countries still die for this principle every day.
Town meetings are certainly not life and death affairs but they are a vital public function.
People like to complain about how nothing ever gets done, about how the government is doing the citizens wrong, and is a body of evidence to make the case why people feel that way.
The thing is we, the people, are the government. While layers of bureaucracy may serve to obscure that fact as we move up the chain of power and influence, it is never more evident than at town meeting, where you have a direct stake in what your town is doing.
A frequent lament is that town meetings are not attended like they used to be, and it is disturbing to see a fraction of any given town's voting population settle the town's business for the year, but decisions are made by those who show up.