Preparing for Town Meeting – The Unwritten Rules

November 11, 2022

The moderator has shared the Town’s Guidelines for Civil Discourse to remind us how people should behave in this setting.  Besides these rules, there should be a set of unwritten rules for everyone to follow.

The meeting is likely to be contentious with a lot of passion on all sides.  So crowded, in fact, it was decided to move the whole town meeting into the gymnasium.  It’s likely to be packed, hot, and uncomfortable.  Let’s go over some common sense rules that we should all be able to live with.

Comfort:  We will be sitting in the bleachers, The term bleacher comes from the ancient Latin, incommoditas, meaning uncomfortable place to sit for more than a minute.  They’re hard, and were invented to keep the casual sport fans away.  Bring something to sit on, but make sure it’s not too tall.  It might be useful to make sure it’s a bright color so people will be jealous.  Think ahead,  book your chiropractic or massage appointment for after the meeting asap.  They will be busy.

Hygiene:  Clean clothes, fresh breath are all important.

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Pre-Town Meeting Meal:  Chili….NO!  French Onion Soup, don’t even think about it!!  All cruciferous veggies, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage, should not be eaten within 48 hours of STM.

Tailgating Before:  DON’T!  The mood definitely feels like a sporting event.  The battle lines seem to be drawn, but let’s remember this is not a sporting event.  

Entertainment: This is likely to be a long evening. You may be tempted to stream a movie.  Remember the WiFi in the gym isn’t that good.  Please download all movies before arriving at the gym. Which brings us to our next point.

Headphones:  Bring them.  People will already be jealous of your cushion; no need to let them hear what you’re watching.

Shot Clock:  It’s not been officially decided, but it would be great if the town could implement the shot clock for comments. Twenty-four seconds will help speed things along.  If they do implement the shot clock, do not count down at the end 5-4-3-2-1.  That’s just bad form!

Bingo Cards:  Do not yell “bingo!” in the middle of the meeting. Wait until the speaker is done before you collect your prize. 

Editor’s Note: The Scallion is a lighthearted attempt to poke gentle fun at ourselves.  It’s satire and not to be taken too seriously.

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Heidemarie MacMaster
November 15, 2022 12:12 am

BINGO! About 10 minutes into article 10! Loved the levity ! 1200 citizens who care enough to vote for the welfare of Bedford at 1030pm on a “school night” is impressive ! I would have had blackout except
I didnt clearly hear the word
Viaduct ( just tunnel) . Thank you for tips and the bingo game !

Linda P.
November 11, 2022 7:43 pm

A hoot! Bingo cards will surely help keep things light ;-)

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