Town meeting

A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. This is a town- or city-level meeting where decisions are made, in contrast with town hall meetings held by state and national politicians to answer questions from their constituents, which have no decision-making power. Town meetings have been used in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century. Town meeting is a form of local government practiced in the U. S. region of New England since colonial times, in some western states since at least the late 19th century. Conducted by New England towns, town meeting can refer to meetings of other governmental bodies, such as school districts or water districts. While the uses and laws vary from state to state, the general form is for residents of the town or school district to gather once a year and act as a legislative body, voting on operating budgets and other matters for the community's operation over the following 12 months.

In 1854, Henry David Thoreau said, in a speech entitled "Slavery in Massachusetts": When, in some obscure country town, the farmers come together to a special town-meeting, to express their opinion on some subject, vexing the land, that, I think, is the true Congress, the most respectable one, assembled in the United States. The painting Freedom of Speech depicts a scene from a town meeting; the Puritans, whose churches used the Congregationalist church governance sysytem, established town meetings when they established the various New England colonies. Its usage in the English language can cause confusion, since it is both an event, as in "Freetown had its town meeting last Tuesday", an entity, as in "Last Tuesday, Town Meeting decided to repave Howland Road." In modern times, "town meeting" has been used by political groups and political candidates as a label for moderated discussion group in which a large audience is invited. To avoid confusion, this sort of event is called a "town hall meeting."

Connecticut town meetings are bound to a published agenda. For example, in Connecticut, a Town Meeting may discuss, but not alter, an article placed before them, nor may they place new items on the agenda. If a Town Meeting rejects a budget, a new Town Meeting must be called to consider the next proposed budget. State Law allows the Board of Selectmen to adopt an estimated tax rate and continue operating based on the previous budget in the event a Town Meeting has not adopted a new budget in time, they do not exercise the scope of legislative powers as is seen in Massachusetts. A moderator is chosen at each meeting. Meetings are held in school auditoriums, however they may be moved to larger venues as needed. Town meetings can physically meet in another town if necessary to find a proper space to host the attendance. Votes are taken by voice, if close by show of hands. Meetings on controversial topics are adjourned to a referendum conducted by machine vote on a date in the future; such adjournment may come from the floor of the meeting, or by a petition for a paper or machine ballot filed before the meeting.

In towns with an Open Town Meeting, all registered voters of a town, all persons owning at least $1,000 of taxable property, are eligible to participate in and vote at Town Meetings, with the exception of the election of officials. Representative Town Meetings used by some larger towns consist of a large number of members elected to office; some towns utilize a so-called Financial Town Meeting, where an Open Town Meeting exists with limited jurisdiction to only vote on financial affairs and the town's legislative powers have been vested in a Town Council. In Maine, the town meeting system originated during the period when Maine was a district of Massachusetts. Most cities and towns operate under a modified version of it. Maine annual town meetings traditionally are held in March. Special town meetings may be called from time to time; the executive agency of town government is an elected, part-time board, known as the Board of Selectmen or Select Board, having three, five, or seven members. Between sessions, the board of selectmen interprets the policy set at Town Meeting and is assigned numerous duties including: approving all town non-school expenditures, authorizing highway construction and repair, serving as town purchasing agent for non-school items, issuing licenses, overseeing the conduct of all town activities.

The part-time selectmen serve as town assessors, overseers of the poor, as road commissioners. There are other elected town officers whose duties are specified by law; these may include clerks, tax collector, school committee and others. In 1927 the town of Camden adopted a special charter, became the first Maine town to apply the manager concept to the town meeting-selectmen framework. Under this system, the manager is administrative head of town government, responsible to the select board for the administration of all departments under its control; the manager's duties include acting as purchasing agent, seeing that laws and ordinances are enforced, making appointments and removals, fixing the compensation of appointees. From 1927 to 1939, eleven other Maine towns adopted special act town meeti

Rowland Stephenson

Rowland Stephenson was a British banker and politician who precipitated the collapse of a bank and took refuge in America. The son of banker and great nephew of his namesake, MP for Carlisle, he had been born at sea when his family returned from Florida when their business failed after the American War of Independence, he joined Stephenson & Company on leaving Eton. He had several properties in Essex, the manor of Cockermouth and How Hatch estate in Dagenham, before adding to his property in Romford by buying Marshalls in 1816. In 1771, Stephenson's father, married Mary Broadley, the niece of Royal Naval commander, Thomas Broadley. In 1776, John became a member of the King's Council in Pensacola, Florida—under British control since 1763—where he worked as a merchant and provisioning agent. During the American Revolutionary War, John's business collapsed and opted to return to London and become a banking partner in his uncle Rowland Stephenson's bank, it was during their return to London while still at sea.

Stephenson was baptised August 1782 in Camden Town, Greater London. Stephenson married his cousin, Mary Eliza, on April 23, 1807, his eldest son, Rowland Macdonald Stephenson, became a civil engineer and managing director of the East India Railway Company, for which he was knighted in October 1856. He was treasurer of St Bartholomew's Hospital from 1824 until 1829. After several attempts he was elected MP for the Leominster constituency from February 1827 to February 1830, although only after the candidate who had beaten him in 1826 was disqualified. Stephenson had invested in Thomas Hornor's London Colosseum and the bank was rumoured to want to remove him from partnership, when he was reported as having taken hundreds of thousands of pounds of securities and cash from Remington, Stephenson, & Coleman on 27 December 1828, he was reported as cashing the securities, buying a brace of loaded pistols from a pawnbroker, disappearing. The case achieved great notoriety: for example, his escape via Clovelly was included in a book of illustrations, the American writer James Fenimore Cooper wrote of being asked in various places about why Stephenson had been allowed to remain in America after landing in Savannah, being taken by bounty hunters to New York, but granted habeas corpus rather being returned England to stand trial.

Kerr, Ian J. Engines of Change: The Railroads that Made India, 28, 105; the Spectator Archive. "Rowland Stephenson". P. 10. Obituary of Mrs. Hannah Wilson, aged 103, Housekeeper for 75 years with the Stephenson Families; the Anthenaeum. 1807

When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light

When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light is the seventh studio album by Finnish extreme metal band Swallow the Sun. It was released on January 2019, by Century Media; the album deals directly with the death of Juha Raivio's partner, the singer Aleah Stanbridge.. It is their shortest studio album release to date, the first to have a much more prominent emphasis on clean vocals. All music is composed except where noted. Mikko Kotamäki – lead vocals Juho Räihä – rhythm guitar Juha Raivio – lead guitar Jaani Peuhukeyboards Matti Honkonen – bass guitar Juuso Raatikainen – drums