A recent mailer sent by the opponents of the “nip ban” stated, “In October 2023, a minority (44 percent) of Plymouth’s 162 Town Meeting members were successful in banning the sale of miniature bottles of alcohol in the Town of Plymouth.” This statement suggests that this Town Meeting vote was not fully legitimate. The implication is that this nip ban article required a 50 percent majority before it should be recognized as lawful by the citizens of Plymouth.

Statements like these undermine our democratic institutions. They cast doubt that the process that the followed at the Town Meeting on Oct 21, was totally “above board.” Losing faith that our democratic process is legitimate can be the forerunner of anarchy. People must have faith that the bodies that make our laws are following all the rules and regulations that empower them. The public record shows that this nip ban article was debated at length at Town Meeting followed by a public vote of Town Meeting members. The process was transparent and fully legitimate. 

Equally, the scale of justice must weigh both sides fairly. When the opponents of the nip ban organized a petition to rescind the ban, some proponents argued that this petition should be denied. Our laws accord the petitioners the right to a townwide vote. Democracy requires that we follow these laws. Just as we must recognize the legitimacy of the Oct 21 vote.

In the final days of this election, both sides must commit to conduct their campaign truthfully and transparently. The Town of Plymouth and our democratic process must be the winner of this election.

Art Desloges

Desloges is a Town Meeting member and chair of the Yes on One Committee.

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