The Wrentham Board of Selectmen discussed recently how they could produce more interest in the town’s government.
Their answer? Early involvement and investment in the town’s children.
“Finding people who are interested in joining committees is always a challenge,” selectman Michael Carroll said. “There are a few things that we might try that would not have immediate dividends, but would pay off eventually. There are groups in town that might have an interest.”
Carroll said involving kids and youths in town government early would help them to understand the importance of getting involved in the town.
“When I was a kid in Boy Scouts, the troops would get together in town hall,” he said. “The troops elected Boy Scouts as selectmen, school committee etc. and those scouts shadowed those committee members. I remember that clearly, and that may have figured into why I became interested in town government and why I ran.”
Carroll said scouts and schools could be involved, and selectmen chair Joseph Botaish said he talked to King Philip superintendent Liz Zielinski about hosting a mock town meeting.
“We’re trying to see what could get started,” he said. “It’s kind of a balancing act. Do we get the three towns involved? We need to slowly figure out what could work. We need to touch base and have a presence with the schools.”
Selectmen agreed they would discuss the issue with Plainville and Norfolk.
Bostaish also brought a program he was involved with in which a child came in and was a selectmen for a night during a meeting.
“I think he just loved banging the gavel,” he said.
Selectman Charles Kennedy added they could institute a sort of treasure hunt, in which students would be invited to the town hall and find out where to go for and get things like dog permits andfishing permits licenses.
“I think there are some adults who could benefit from that as well,” he said.