Letter: Town meetings are a rich New England tradition

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To the editor,

On April 19, close to 300 of our fellow residents came together at Community School to discuss and vote upon the town of Prospect’s municipal budget for 2012-2013.  When the counting was finished the proposed budget was adopted, but what I found the most encouraging was how many folks came out to participate in the process.  The discussions at times were spirited but it was very clear to me that people want to get a better understanding of how things are accomplished in Prospect.

Speaking for myself, but confident that the other members the Town Council and all of Prospect’s other boards and commissions feel the same; it is very frustrating that we see so little participation from the general public. This year again, the Town Council hosted six budget workshops that were held at various times of the day, on different days of the week, and at several different locations. While I specifically want to extend my appreciation to the three residents who showed up for every session, I can’t help but wonder where the other 9,451 were.  At these workshops every line item was discussed in great detail, and in response to even limited public input the Town Council made a series of adjustments to the proposed budget.

There is no town in Connecticut where the Mayor’s office door is so open to everyone or where residents enjoy such unfettered access to their elected officials. When you call the Prospect Town Hall you’ll never get a “Press 1 for this or Press 2 for that”; you get to speak directly to a person who is interested in helping you. So if anyone ever has any questions, comments or concerns as to how things are done in Prospect, I’d encourage them to ‘come on down’ to 36 Center St. Sure, you can get lots of opinions from folks at coffee shops, from various newspaper articles (like this one), or maybe even from your neighbor who will swear that what he tells you is true, but wouldn’t it be better to get your facts directly from their source. We are the Best Small Town in Connecticut, and only by continuing to all work together with a strong sense of community do we keep it that way, and that’s by far our richest tradition.

Tom Galvin

Prospect