August 27, 2007

Lament of a Newly Engaged Citizen

Justin Katz

I feel as if I should be speaking up about the town fees that are rapidly increasing before my eyes, but I really haven't done my homework on them.

I present as an extenuating circumstance the vast learning curve: Tiverton has a lengthy planning document. There's a massive spreadsheet for the budget. There are countless meetings that I haven't attended. And I don't want to invalidate future action on my part by establishing a history of blind statements.

Am I rationalizing? Is this part of the reason that an apathetic public tends not to become active on general principle (i.e., without a specific issue prompting involvement)?

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Excellent point, actually.

Whether you're interested in the town budget or planning and development or something else in your city/town, there is usually no need to start from scratch on a subject. There is almost certainly someone, several people usually, in the town who has done extensive critical analysis and data assembly on the issue and who would be glad to discuss his/her findings with a famous blog master ... er, with an interested and like-minded fellow resident. It then becomes a matter of identifying those people.

FYI, below is the page on Tiverton's official website which contains on line documents. From where the minutes and agendas of the Tiverton Budget Committee leave off, it looks like the town budget comes up for consideration late winter/early spring.

Posted by: SusanD at August 27, 2007 10:20 PM

Justin, I have confidence in your ability to ask the hard questions and to follow-up on the supplied answers.

Such questions are usually the most straight forward. Soemtimes it is like dropping a small rock over a steep cliff and listening to it fall.

You don't have to be an expert to become involved responsibly. I'm sure you did not need me to point that out, but I do so to encourage you to go ahead and "play dumb" enough to learn what's going on.

Drop a few rocks over that clifftop. At first, any handy rock will do.

Posted by: Chairm at August 30, 2007 3:23 AM
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