Some post-Town Meeting Day thoughts:
- Democrats have come in third in the last two big Vermont races - for governor and mayor of Burlington.
- I wasn't at City Hall for the November election, but I was there for the September primary at which a team of vote counters unconscionably went home before they finished because they were tired. Though turnout yesterday was considerably less, I can tell things looked a lot better organized than they were that day in September. A lot better.
- School budgets fared pretty well, but plenty had pared them in the final days of budget preparation. You can credit the school boards' sensitivity to the economy or you can credit the governor's call for level funding, depending on your view of the world. In Shelburne, a budget that is the same as this year's passed by just 10 votes. In Burlington, a 9 percent increase passed easily.
- People in 33 towns told Vermont Yankee to go away. This will give armor to those who want to close it and will be disregarded by those who don't.
- There were lots of signs that participatory democracy was alive. Even in Essex, a town you might think is too big for this town meeting stuff. It's pretty cool to think that a whole auditorium full of people came out because they cared.
- Terri Hallenbeck