We went to our first Town Council Meeting last week. In part because it seemed like the thing to do, in part because we want to dig under a road to lay pipe and get water to cattle in fields across a dirt road (and we were told that being present at the meeting would allow the mayor and councillors to ask us questions about the proposal directly).
Given that notre village d’adoption has a population of 3,700 people and that these meetings take place at 9pm on Mondays (I suspect because the councillors have day jobs), I wasn’t expecting a huge turnout. There was a whopping 13 townspeople though, and gender parity, both in terms of councillors and citizens present. Pas pire ! Plus the mayor is a woman and during la période de questions, women were as vocal as men.
What won me over during the proceedings (other than the gender parity), was one townsperson’s empassioned defense of the community library. She had been a library volunteer for two years and had stepped down due to a lack of team spirit and willingness to make the space more organized and user friendly. She talked about the coordinator using the space for personal aims (some sort of shady massage business) and distributed copies of the town’s own ethics manual to make her case that this person should get the boot. It was well performed. I couldn’t tell if she was that someone who always spoke out at these meetings, but I choose to believe that she is a true lover of the written word, une grande défenseuse de la parole écrite et du bouquin.
We learned, halfway through the meeting, that proposals were to be reviewed at a private Council work day later that week. But I did ask the question, receive a kind answer, and got my name in the minutes (which basically means that we have arrived).
Bonjour petit village, nous voici.