Monday, August 31, 2015

Town Meeting Follies. The New Hampshire View (2): Quaint Characters

As noted in the previous post, a chance historic preservation and genealogy conversation on Twitter some years ago about antiquated New England town offices led me to a humorous piece on the character of town meeting in New Hampshire Magazine. As I also mentioned, the URL for that piece has vanished, a victim of link rot. But, as they say, when God shuts a door, he opens a window: and so, my recent, unsuccessful search for that piece brought me not only further information on weird and vanished town offices, but also more commentary on the institution of town meeting.

The article is entitled, "Town Meeting and Other Relevant NH Government Relics" and moreover has the descriptive and charming subtitle, "Like programs on the History Channel, some civic traditions are profound while others are ridiculous, and just like the folks who preserve them, they all have stories to tell."

As I said last time: to share this material is not to voice an opinion on the move for a "Charter vote" that would conceivably abolish Amherst Town Meeting (and my own prestigious and lucrative position on the Select Board: as former Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe used to say on bad days: "82 cents a day."). The purpose is only to share more comparative material on our civic and political institutions. On the whole, I think Amherst comes off looking pretty good. As I like to say: "it could always be worse."

Still, you may see some things that you recognize here. Take a look at this "Town Meeting Cast and Crew" and see what you think. Any familiar types?

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