The town of Mechanic Falls used to be a quiet bedroom community. People who lived there (pretty much) minded their own business. But then the Town Council abruptly dismissed the town manager. Two town employees immediately walked out, in protest. These coincident events made we townsfolk … curious. We had questions.

To each successive Town Council meeting came more townsfolk and yet more — aroused, angry townsfolk with long, accurate memories, with bagfuls of canny, searching questions, and with loud, forthright public comments.

In between council meetings, we townsfolk consulted one another. And we discovered that — rich and poor, town and country, Republican and Democrat, liberal and libertarian — our differences vanished in the face of our shared American values. We discovered that, as Americans, we are impatient with incompetence; we despise corruption; we abhor injustice; we hate tyranny.

Now we have our town manager back. A petition to recall the Town Council has been submitted. But the important thing is that by listening to each other, we townsfolk found common ground; we organized; and we found our power.

Here in Mechanic Falls, we have learned that the government isn’t some remote, unapproachable monolith. The government is our prize to win. The government is for us to become.

At the next Town Council meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 3, let’s welcome our Town Manager, Zakk Maher, back into our feisty fold.

The world is run by those who show up.

Steve Turner, Mechanic Falls

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