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I was able to attend the Zoom meeting of the Freedom Board of Selectmen on Nov. 23. One of the sanitation employees was present and presented some numbers on trash pickup. I did not take careful notes, which I regret now, but the point was to illustrate that there are a large number of residents putting out 50 gallon-plus trash bags, and that he personally is concerned that there may be a time when the current budget and the cost of trash stickers will not be enough to pay for the service.

The good news is that Selectman Stephen Bennett made it clear that currently there are plenty of funds for trash pickup and disposal with no change in cost. The board agreed to postpone any decision on the matter until further discussion had taken place, which may be at their Nov. 30 meeting.

Some options that were mentioned included a graded pricing system based on bag size, eliminating 50-gallon or larger bags, or requiring a double sticker on larger bags. As a resident with a family of eight who puts out two bags in the disputed category most weeks, I am very interested in the outcome.

Also present was Phil Bloomstein, who is Freedom's regional solid waste representative. He presented some thoughts from the UARRC board meeting regarding next year's budget. He also presented a report that approval has been received by the center for crushing glass into sand. That is very exciting news, because it not only reduces volume of waste; it will also potentially provide another revenue stream.

SInce I did not submit a column last week, I would like to report here that on Nov. 16 Freedom resident Tammy MacTaggart called in to the Zoom meeting to share some personal history in the medical field as well as some concerns she has about the way that the town is handling its response to the pandemic crisis. She called for an official stance from the board regarding businesses in town, and made a plea for compliance with the Executive Order mandates that have been issued.

The board declined to make any official statement, but did identify with some of her concerns, expressing agreement with several of her observations. I appreciate the uniqueness of living in a time and place where all voices are heard and considered. Thank you, Tammy, for all of your work on behalf of the town over the years, and for being calm in your presentation of uncomfortable information.

"…The pandemic we are experiencing is temporary; it will pass into history as all the previous pandemics did. But the change it brings may be lasting. It can be change for the better, or change for the worse." — Ervin Laszlo

Peace.