Just short of criminal
The recent meeting at Montpelier City Hall to discuss proposals for the use of the about-to-be-purchased Carr Lot (at a reported 50 percent over appraised value) is another situation where relatively few squeaky wheels (in this case 30 residents) appear to have a disproportionate influence on the goings-on of our fair town.
School budgets are another case in point where a very few helicopter parents, with obvious priorities for their respective children, will publicly beat the school board over the head to protect pet programs, classes and/or activities, regardless of the cost to the town majority.
The fact that a significant majority of eligible voters neglect their civic duty at election time (by not voting), results in very small, sincere and organized interest groups having undue influence upon the direction of our municipal, state and national institutions. Voter apathy is a must for their success.
Imagine the possibilities for this country if it took more than 25 percent of eligible voters to elect our current crop of Washington misfits. We might actually elect folks that truly represent the interests of their constituents, rather than the special interests to whom the vast majority our reps currently kowtow and serve.
Sadly, even tragically, we consider a voter turnout of 40 percent to 50 percent a huge success. I think it is just short of criminal.
For the record, while I do vote in any election for which I am entitled, my schedule does not often permit me the luxury of attending public forums.
Now that my mini rant is over, I would like to make a suggestion for the Carr Lot project. I believe that a competition for the design, use and name of the facility is in order. The competition could be open to anyone in Vermont, particularly students of any architectural program within the state. The prize could be a small cash amount and/or a paid consulting role in the implementation process to bring the project to fruition.
Kenneth A. Saxe
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