I think that the Sun Journal editorial of April 25, relative to the Rumford citizens seeking a secret ballot vote to replace the hands-raised vote at the annual town meeting, was misleading.
With the proposed secret ballot change for Rumford there will be many public meetings that citizens can attend to learn about the town budget. The only change will be from a hands-raised vote on the budget to a secret ballot vote.
Rumford citizens will be able to attend the selectmen’s meetings and then the finance committee’s meetings as these committees craft the budget. Then citizens will be able to attend two public, or “town,” meetings, before the secret ballot vote, where they will be able to ask questions about the budget again.
So, we have many public meetings that Rumford citizens can attend to learn about the budget. The “town” meeting is not lost. The only change is from the hand-raised vote to the secret ballot vote.
As the past Rumford voting record points out, five times as many citizens vote by secret ballot at town elections than vote at town meetings. The proposed secret ballot change is a recognition of citizens’ voting habits and will create an improvement in the town’s democratic process.
Tom Fallon, Rumford