People here are cheap.
Not frugal. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.
I just attended my first Town Budget Meeting. It is a mix of British Parliament and MMA and Matlock. There are people who are so afraid of a minor tax increase that they will throw every school under the bus in order to protect their cheapness.
My school-aged child is in private school. So why should I care? I do. Because I believe a communities public school system speaks volumes of the community. It is why people will move to one location vs another. It helps bolster property values. I removed my child from public school because of an over crowded classroom and a disengaged teacher. Further damaging the system does nothing to fix the over crowded classroom or disengaged teacher. It makes it worse.
This community is notoriously cheap though. In our church, we are easily the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) highest pledge. We are the clergy family. That is embarrassing. It should shame people. And the highest pledges are from unexpected sources - hard working families with kids in school. Not the wealthiest people. Same goes for volunteers.
Getting people to volunteer in this community is like asking them to line up for a root canal. I have noticed that the same people volunteer over and over until they are completely burned out. Again, sad. It is reflected in our schools, our churches and our community services.
I was of the opinion that this town had no pulse. It was ensconced in being a little beach town. No need to make waves when the ocean does it for you.
But what I witnessed at the town meeting was not a pulse-less society. I witnessed a bunch of crazy people boiling over with curmudgeonly anger. Bullies. Fearmongers. Finger pointers. People who don't know the difference between socialism and communism and capitalism if it bit them in the arse, but love to throw around those words. Total nutbaggery. All of that laid back, low-pulse business is a cover for seething toxicity. In other words ... it was British Parliment! Minus the cool accents. Plus the filmy threat of a Springer-era shoe slinging.
One of my friends texted me that she did not like having to look at her neighbor with disgust. That would make her one of the sane ones, because apparently everyone else was enjoying it immensely.
In the end, nothing was accomplished. Nothing. We have to go back next Saturday because we ran out of time. The definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over but expecting different results, right?
I live in the cheap nutbag town.