It has been an interesting first week in Hooksett! Our hosts have brought us to various meetings (town planning, budget, transport, etc) and it was been an eye-opening experience observing the democratic process in America’s heartlands.
Hooksett is a town of ~14,000 people and has it’s own government in the form of a Town Administration. Various Boards and Committees, made up of Hooksett residents, have been set up to govern the Town. This approach is the opposite of the central governance system that most of us would be familiar with back in Southeast Asia and definitely Singapore. It has not been easy to understand the processes but I think I’m slowly getting a good grasp and starting to appreciate the context and nuances! For one, this approach to the democratic process gives residents more opportunities to be engaged and involved in all levels of decision making that would affect their lives. Hooksett (and New Hampshire) residents take this process seriously and volunteers who sit on the various Boards and Committees carry out their responsibilities diligently.
Also appreciative that the folks we have met have been surprisingly candid about this democratic model that they practice and its perceived shortfalls. This is definitely a boon to our learning process!
On a side note, we are entering peak foliage! Here’s to a fantastic Week 2! Hope other Professional Fellows are doing well 🙂