Town Moderator Mystery & Early Thanks
What to love and hate about living in East Greenwich this week.
RANT: One question – who knows what the Town Moderator does?
Hopefully, about 7,319 of you will be able to answer because you voted last Tuesday (I’ll let the other 3,414 registered voters who did not show up at the ballots on November 6 off the hook).
I have to admit, I had no idea. But I did know that I didn’t like the fact that he was running unopposed. (Apparently, one of his opponents was unable to scare up the required 50 signatures to get on the ballot and the other withdrew.) So I didn’t vote for him. The “him,” in case you’re wondering, is Mr. James W. Patti (Republican), who won by a landslide with 98.3% of the vote.
Apologies, Mr. Patti. I have now done a little research and realize yours is a thankless task. The Town Moderator, who is elected every two years, presides over all regular and special Financial Town Meetings (the legislative session that adopts the town budget), has the power to regulate and manage the business of each meeting and to maintain peace and good order during the meetings. I fell asleep just writing that sentence. For all that power and glory, Mr. Patti will be paid a big fat zero and will be granted zip discretionary authority as to determining the content of the meeting agenda.
I am not sure what one does to prepare oneself for the task of moderating the Town of East Greenwich, but it would seem a lot of patience and, considering no one knows who you are or what you do and you’re not getting paid, a lack of pretension and a sense of self-worth would help.
Just one question – is Mr. Patti available for family fights?
RAVE: Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow.
I have attended a number of meetings over the last week for various local voluntary bodies and all I can think is, we have a lot of talented, devoted, altruistic, energetic people making things happen and/or work in this town. Or maybe they are just the ones who are unable to say no.
Whatever. It all seems to work.
With the holidays approaching, the call for help seems to reach a fever pitch, but this demand is not just seasonal. As our local and state economies continue to struggle, schools, town services and nonprofit groups are increasing the reliance on unpaid help. (The need is so great everywhere in the country right now that I read that some school districts are making it mandatory to commit a small amount of volunteer time – which sort of seems like a contradiction in terms.)
So, in the spirit of the turkey day, thank you one and all. You know who you are.
(Now can we call get together and use some of that incredible creativity and energy to fix the world?)