Friday, January 22, 1999
How About Saturday?
Tentative dates have been set for this spring's Town Meetings. The Special Town Meeting may be held on April 5, while the Annual Town Meeting could be on May 4 and 11. As we face another series of weeknight meetings, I have my own millennium proposalwhy not try scheduling Town Meeting 2000 on a Saturday?
The reasons in favor of such a change are abundant: for parents with young children, babysitting would be easier to arrange on a weekend than on school nights. There would be no rushing home after work to face a Town Meeting that lasts long into the evening. A daytime Town Meeting would also be more accessible to some senior citizens. Presentations and discussions would not suffer the consequences of being squeezed between 10 and 11 p.m. on a weeknight. We could even have a lunch break that would afford various town groups the opportunity to sell refreshments and raise money. Voters would be fresher and I suspect the problems we sometimes encounter reaching a quorum on second and third Town Meeting nights would prove a thing of the past.
Some nearby towns, such as Harvard, have made this change and say it is all to the better, so how about it, Carlisle? The Town Meeting system of government will probably never be perfect. but can't we try to make it more convenient?
Wouldn't it be nice?
I was driving home from Concord last week, half-listening to WBZ News, when the awful words penetrated my meandering consciousness: "According to Concord police, a gun and 500 rounds of ammunition were found in the high school locker of a 15-year old student ..." Could it be true? Here in our cozy haven of Concord and Carlisle? A few seconds later I realized that the event occurred in Concord, New Hampshire, not Concord, Massachusetts. Still bothered by the possibilities, I did what I often do in such situations ... I switched from 1030 AM to 103.3 FM. All oldies all the time. Soon I was humming along with the '60s' Beach Boys hit, "Wouldn't It Be Nice."
Once home, I was still singing but also thinking about the many problems we face as parents and as a community. It also happened to be time to write my quarterly Forum essay. What follows may be read or sung, as you wish.
Wouldn't it be nice if kids could grow up
Knowing that they're safe and not alone?
So they wouldn't end up feeling desperate
For the love they didn't find at home.
Wouldn't it be nice if folks who feel their
Town has acted wrongly could cool down?
There are better ways to settle conflicts
Than to sue your very own hometown.
Wouldn't it be nice if kids would realize
Even as the stress becomes extreme
Alcohol is not the best or smartest
Of the many ways to let off steam?
Wouldn't it be nice if all those living
Affluent and healthy, happy lives
Helped the many local not-for-profits
Who are truly straining to survive?
Wouldn't it be nice if all our vistas
Could be long protected and conserved
Even as we grow and welcome others
Carlisle's gifts from nature are preserved?
Wouldn't it be nice if all God's children
Learned that every person on this earth
Never matter race or sex or color
Has the right to freedom and true worth?
Wouldn't it be nice if adults knew that
We hold all the answers in our hands?
All it takes is will, goodwill and willingness
To take control and make a stand.
Wouldn't it be nice?
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito