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One of the more interesting aspects of serving as a Town Councilman is discovering the kinds of matters residents really care about. While they tend to worry about big issue things—fixing the water system, for example, and keeping their water and sewage bills low—most of their day-to-day concerns are smaller: getting lawn waste picked up in a timely fashion; being able to pay their water bill conveniently; requesting information about upcoming events.
That’s to be expected: people have busy lives, and one reason we have representative government is because most folks want someone else to take care of the delivery of basic services. Just as we expect the electric company to keep the lights on and our ISP to keep the YouTube videos piping in over high-speed connections, residents want their water to flow when they turn on the spigot. I don’t lie awake at night wondering how to generate electricity because a lot of other capable people are involved in doing just that, and I’m happy to pay them to do it.
But one thing that I have noticed is that there are some matters that people really can figure out for themselves, but they still want some official guidance or direction. I’ve noticed this most with questions about the time-honored Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating.
The issue is straightforward: Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, which throws everything into chaos. Here in the South, our relationship with Halloween is sometimes tenuous at best, although most everyone I know loves it and celebrates it in some way, including trick-or-treating. But Sundays are for church, not for dressing up as witches and devils and ghosts. Also, more practically, there is work and school the next day, and no one wants to be out too late.
The big question, then, is, “when do we trick-or-treat?”—or, as I have been asked by residents, “when does the town observe trick-or-treating?”
The Town of Lamar has answered that question: Saturday, 30 October 2021, from 4-7 PM. But I am still getting questions about trick-or-treating—more than about any other piece of town business.