The Town Meeting form of government "speaks for the belief that a society is safer and freer when the bulk of its citizens understand the programs and goals that their government has chosen and when they have achieved this understanding because these programs and goals have been honestly discussed in public." Quote from Town Meeting Time: A Handbook of Parliamentary Law, published by the Massachusetts Moderators Association 2001
When we are removed from the decision-making process it is easy to feel that we have no control over the how and why of government. Attending TM gives us the opportunity to vote on local expenditures - for schools, roads, police, water/sewer, fire, etc., and to decide how we want to regulate our town through bylaws. We get to know our elected and appointed officials and town employees and they get to know us through our participation.
"Freedom in the concrete, freedom as it is experienced in daily life, is the experience of having a hand in the determining of issues that touch the individual closely and intimately." From Rockefeller Panel Report on American Democracy: The Power of the Democratic Idea