September 6, 2022 Submitted by Glenn Mangurian
Stew·ard·ship: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
Thirty-seven years ago my wife, my pre-school daughter and I moved to Hingham. We had wanted to move here four years earlier but could not afford to purchase a home. As interest rates lowered and our household income rose, we were able to buy a starter house in the “highly desirable” (as advertised), Plymouth River School District. We chose Hingham because of its beauty and school system. We didn’t create the Hingham that we were about to enjoy. As new residents, we inherited all the beauty and benefits created by many previous generations.
The Town Never Ages Out
A few years after becoming residents we followed the path of many former newcomers. We decided to trade-up to a larger home where we have resided for thirty-two years. It is common for some homeowners to stay in Hingham for forty or fifty years. Some long-time residents need support services to maintain their homes and live an enriched life. We live among generous citizens who give their time and monies to help those in need. Other long time homeowners chose to move away for a variety of reasons, making way for the next generation who are attracted by the positive reputation of the school system, the town’s heritage and its proximity to the harbor. This cycle has continued for generations. The town never ages out. The vibrancy of a town depends upon attracting new, young residents to choose Hingham to raise their families. This reality contributes to increase in property values, provides new perspectives on emerging town issues and works to sustain excellence in town services.
Honor the Past and Invest for the Future
While we think of paying property taxes in support of today’s services, those monies are also investments for the next generation. All of our property taxes stay in Hingham and are used primarily to support our schools and our municipal services. We live in a historic town with a rich past but we cannot live in the past. Infrastructure ages and society poses new challenges and opportunities for our citizens. We still have town buildings that were constructed in the middle of the 20th Century. Town services need to keep up with the evolving needs of our fellow residents – many of whom are living longer and staying longer. Today’s residents have important decisions to make that will help define Hingham well into the mid to late 21 st Century.
Pay It Forward
We are a generous citizenry. I have written before that “Hingham Runs on Volunteers”. Those who generously volunteer their time and experience serving others complement the dedication of the many volunteer leaders who govern our town. Regardless of your age or length of residency, the stewardship mantle is ours now. Choices we make, time we give and taxes we pay are a form of “Pay it Forward” to preserve and improve upon the town which has been entrusted into our care for those that follow our path. We owe it to them to be informed and engaged.
It takes a village to leave the village better than we found it. I am a Steward of Hingham and so are you.
What does stewardship mean to you?