Direct democracy is the principle of Ridgefield\u2019s Annual Town Meeting \u2014 as opposed the representative variety that leaves people so ambivalent about politics and politicians. Motions are made and voting is done by taxpayers who\u2019ll be pick up the tab. Any citizen can rise from the floor of the meeting to speak their mind.The Annual Town Meeting is next Monday, May 6, in the Ridgefield Playhouse, starting at 7:30 p.m. People will be asked to approve\u2014 or reject \u2014 almost $900,000 worth of equipment purchases and construction and repair projects that are part of the town\u2019s capital budget.They\u2019ll also be asked to affirm the selectmen\u2019s scheduling of the annual budget referendum \u2014 which is, technically a part of the town meeting \u2014 for Tuesday, May 14, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. with all voting at Yanity Gym. That referendum will give all town voters a chance to decide yes or no on the town and school operating budgets, as well numerous larger and more capital expenditures.The capital expenditures going to voters at Monday\u2019s town meeting tend to be less costly \u2014 none top $100,000. There are 28 of them, totaling $898,100. Any of them is open to discussion, motions, voting.Some are quite interesting and might prompt questions directed to First Selectman Rudy Marconi or other town officials such as department heads expected to be there.The police department\u2019s requests include nearly $14,000 \u201claster crash and crime scene mapping system.\u201d The Police say this is \u201ca device used for more accurate measurements at motor vehicle accidents and crime scenes.\u201d It is expected to \u201callow officers to document scenes in a much shorter period of time\u201d and help police to do \u201cscale diagrams as well as 3D and video presentations for court purposes.\u201dPolice also want a new phone recording system. The upgrade will give the department \u201cthe ability to capture E-911 text messages as well as all E-911 and routine calls.\u201dThe Fire Department, too, has worthy purchases coming before the meeting: a cardiac monitor and defribillators, a CPR device to continue Ridgefield\u2019s very high level of care for heart attack victims being taken to the hospital in department ambulances. There\u2019s also protective gear and air breathing tanks to help firefighters when they go into smoky buildings.Many other items scheduled to come before town meeting voters seem that sensible if fairly routine: underground tank removals at three buildings (Yanity gym, town hall and the police station); repairs to tennis and basketball courts and the high school and Venus building complex; some snow plows for the highway department, and guardrail replacements; a lawn mower for the golf course; desktop computers that are used by library patrons and staff; replacement trees for the tree warden; a $44,000 payment for the second half of the two revision of the town plan of development.The Annual Town Meeting has a fairly dedicated following among folks interested in town affairs. But it could draw more people. A charter revision on the ballot last November would have required a minimum of 2% of the town voters \u2014 about 360, based on the town\u2019s 18,000 voters \u2014 for the meeting to do any dickering with the budgets. It didn\u2019t pass, going down 5,073 (44%) \u2018yes\u2019 votes to 6,428 (56%) \u2018no\u2019 votes.Folks, go to the annual meeting Monday. Question town officials about both the proposed capital expenditures and the $148 million for 2019-20 town and school operating budgets that will come before the referendum eight days later.It\u2019s democracy, old New England style and few communities \u2014 even in the U.S., never mind around the world \u2014 get to enjoy so pure a form of it.