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Tomorrow is Town Meeting Day across Vermont. Tonight was Town Meeting in Wallingford. Democracy at its finest. If you’re not from New England and have never been to town meeting, I strongly suggest that it be a reason for visiting during the midmost of mud season. Tom really wanted to bring popcorn but he held back. Honestly, depending on your town, it can be that good. 🙂
The first Tuesday in March is a state holiday, Town Meeting Day. While some towns in Vermont vote all or a part of their town meetings through Australian ballot, there is no legal requirement to do so and in fact, there are still some towns that do all their voting from the “floor” a town meeting. For instance, tonight herein Wallingford, there was actually a motion from the floor to increase our town’s budget and therefore the town’s taxes from the floor by a fellow citizen. Where else does one person just raise their hand, stand up, state their name and make a motion to increase the town’s taxes? Not in New Jersey, that’s for sure. The vote because it passed, required the moderator to do some math on the fly to revise the following article to reflect the new budget amount when the same group of town residents voted on the town budget.
The issues run the gamut as stated by the Burlington Free Press from whether or not to purchase a new truck in the town to impeaching the president. I remember our first town meeting, we showed up wide eyed and amazed at this wonderful New England tradition. Here in Vermont, the farmer down the road, the local elementary school teacher or the 18-year-old college student can stand up, raise his or her voice and change the whole budget for the town or persuade the town to support a cause or convince them to pull support for a cause or a budget item. Amazing, still after ten years.
Evidently Vermont’s NOFA has come up with a new spin on dating. Weed-dating instead of speed dating. Singles gather at a local farm and pull weeds. When the goat bell rings after seven minutes, they switch rows and/or weeding partners. Makes sense that performing some type of task or activity is a whole lot less stressful than sitting across from each other at a table, just staring.
The first ever weed-dating event was sponsored by NOFA and held at Tunbridge Farm in Tunbridge, VT. Nine singles participated in the event. Whether any dating relationships will stem from the weeding session remains to be seen. What is known however, is that the leek beds at the farm are in a whole lot better shape.
The article explaining the particulars of the weed dating phenomenon can be found at the Burlington Free Press.
Vermont was named the greenest state. According to an article in the Burlington Free Press Vermont and its citizens were considered the greenest in the country since they are more apt to “walk the walk” and follow through on their talk of being green. The poll maintained that Vermonters are more likely to stay away from companies that are not environmentally responsible and more likely to frequent businesses and companies that act green. Way to go, Vermont!