“Town meeting. It’s the purest form of democracy,” says Secretary of State William Gardner.
“Every year there was a period of time that people did their civic duty.” And people must have been looking for something to do. “At one time town meetings lasted up to seven days in some communities,” says Gardner.
And while things have certainly changed, the town meeting still serves its purpose as a socio/political gathering. Gardner says he always liked what an LA Times reporter once called a New Hampshire town meeting — “the Wal-Mart of elections.”
“Think about it,” says Gardner.
“There’s this big hall where people are standing up and talking about warrant articles, while in the back of the room someone is selling cupcakes, and there’s a booth where you can sign up to be a bone marrow donor, and one where you can donate blood. There’s a Gold Star Mothers table, the local historical society is selling T-shirts and you can sign your kids up for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. That’s still going on right now.”
If you have questions about any of these documents, please contact the Board of Selectmen’s office at (603) 887-4979 or via email