The deadline to propose warrant articles for the town of Sidney is every Dec. 31. Most articles are voted up or down at town meeting in March or April. The meeting is held on a Saturday. We vote by holding up a bright-colored card. A few articles and officers are voted on by written ballot the previous Friday.
Sidney is a town of more than 3,500. Several hundred of us vote on Fridays. Last year, only about 100 attended the town meeting on Saturday. The year 2005 marked the third year I voiced my aversion to being taxed for charity. Like many others, my family has its own favorite charities. We believe giving to not-for-profit organizations is a personal, voluntary choice. We choose not to force our preferences onto our neighbors. At town meeting, a minority of our neighbors forces their preferences onto us.
I will not again argue against generosity with other people’s money before this audience. I will not resubmit articles to end funding for out-of-town social service and-or not-for-profit organizations. If asked to do so, however, I will submit articles before another audience in 2007.
Enough signatures on a petition would bring the issue to written ballot on a Friday. This would allow several hundred to decide. Any Sidney resident who finds taxation for charity troubling may contact me. If support is voiced, I will collect all the signatures needed to make this happen. I thank everyone who has expressed support at previous town meetings.