Town Meeting Day got off to its usual start in Newark.
"I get a wonderful feeling to see democracy at the grass-roots level and this is as grass roots as you can get in Newark," Nancy Rovero said.
Rovero has lived in the town since 1958 and hardly misses this annual event.
"I think I've missed 10 at the most in all those years," she said.
And in all those years there's something at Newark's town meeting that always wins approval-- the town's potluck lunch.
"This is the best part of the meeting," said Stanley Iwanski of Newark.
With casseroles and salads galore, lunch trays come out as close to noon as possible. It's a Town Meeting Day meal many folks anticipate all year long.
"I came hungry, make my donation, get my money's worth. I'll be good for the afternoon," Newark resident Brett Hoffman said.
"Certainly makes a welcome break in a dry or violent meeting, this is a peaceful oasis," Rovero said. "And it's just fun to bring together some prize recipes and share them with others."
To get all of these dishes here a group of parents called all of the registered voters about one week before to ask what they're going to bring to the table on town meeting.
"It's like the community, everyone contributes to it," Hoffman said.
Well, almost everyone.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Do you bring anything to the lunch?
Stanley Iwanski: No, because you have to have a wife to do the cooking.
Gina Bullard: Stanley, this is 2013!
Stanley Iwanski: I know, but I'm so old I never learned how to cook.
"We've got 51 miles of road and almost 500 people live around it, and this is just one of the few times a year we see each other. All the reason to have a good meal," Hoffman said.
Gina Bullard: How's the food really?
Nancy Rovero: We have a reputation; just as Newark is a great town; our cooks have a good reputation, too.
Divisive issues may have people taking sides in Newark on Town Meeting Day, but breaking bread once a year together keeps this community together.
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