Letter: Reform of the ATBM Needed

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the undemocratic nature of the Annual Town Budget Meeting (ATBM) process in our Weston community. The current system not only disenfranchises a significant majority of voters but also undermines the principles of inclusivity and equal representation that are essential for a thriving democratic society.

It is evident that the ATBM process is fundamentally flawed, as it fails to accommodate the diverse needs and circumstances of our community members. Consider this: approximately 95% of our town’s population did not participate in this year’s ATBM, many due to various constraints. Whether it be the need to travel for work, the challenges of childcare responsibilities, the struggles of single parenthood, or the limitations imposed by disabilities or homebound status, a vast majority of our residents are unable to engage in the ATBM proceedings.

This systemic disenfranchisement is unacceptable and goes against the very essence of democracy. Every voice in our community deserves to be heard, regardless of individual circumstances. By perpetuating a process that excludes the majority of voters, we are failing to uphold the principles of fairness and equality upon which our society is built.

To address this pressing issue, it is imperative that we open up the town charter for revision and reform. I urge our town officials and fellow residents to come together to dismantle barriers to participation and cultivate a more inclusive and democratic system that truly represents the voices of all citizens.

— Sarah Grigerick

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