April 18, 2023 By Nes Correnti
This Town runs on volunteers! I love that. I love that members of each board consists of friends and neighbors, all trusted to work hard to come up with the best options for Hingham residents. These volunteers are people you know and trust; people you hosted coffees for or held signs for; people you see at the grocery store or on the side of the fields/courts while our kids play together. The best part of that model is that you have REAL access to people who are making decisions or recommendations. I assure you, each volunteer is more than happy to sit down with anyone to talk through ideas or concerns.
A major part of the work of the town is coming up with a budget each year, to be presented at Town Meeting. Before the budget gets into the Warrant for Town Meeting, these volunteers have spent hundreds of hours scrubbing and vetting recommended budgets presented to us by department heads, the Town Administrator, and School Administration. We do not take that role lightly. Hours are spent deliberating, before ultimately voting on what gets presented in the Warrant.
The proposed override to be presented at this year’s Town Meeting reflects a DECADE of discussion among town boards, committees, and administration. The Advisory Committee (AdCom), which serves as the Town’s finance committee, does a detailed review of each Town department every year. They have acknowledged for years that our Town runs lean, which was confirmed with the work done by the Sustainable Budget Task Force.
At the 2021 Town Meeting, AdCom, the Select Board, and School Committee unanimously supported the FY22 budget, adding critical positions to the municipal and school departments, some of which, yes, relied on one-time federal funding, particularly on the school level. It allowed Hingham to hire individuals to assist with post-Covid issues, through full implementation of a multi-tiered system of social emotional and academic supports, and hire a needed Arts Director.
The FY22 budget also contained funding to implement the Hingham Senior Means-Tested Property Tax Exemption, which had been two years in the making. This provides tax relief to qualified seniors, allowing them to plan and manage their estates.
As is typical each year, AdCom and the Select Board present the proposed budgets at Town Meeting. Collectively, residents at that Town Meeting agreed and approved the FY22 budget.
Your neighbors and friends were part of that decision-making process, related to the FY22 budget. The decision to add those critical positions was not taken lightly. It was made, knowing we’d have to seek an override to continue funding the positions. Your neighbors who made those decisions were:
Mary M. Power, Chair
Joseph M. Fisher
William C. Ramsey
Robert Curley, Chair
Julie Strehle, Vice Chair
George Danis, Secretary
Kerry Ni, Chair
Carlos Da Silva, Vice Chair
Libby Lewiecki, Secretary
Two years after that momentous Town Meeting, we again have several volunteers working hundreds of hours to get to the right recommendation. Two years later we, again, have unanimous support for the proposed FY24 override budget.
These are your neighbors and friends who were part of that decision-making process, related to the FY24 override budget.
William C. Ramsey, Chair
Joseph M. Fisher
Elizabeth F. Klein
George Danis, Chair
Nancy MacDonald, Vice-Chair
Tina Sherwood, Secretary
Michelle Ayer, Chair
Nes Correnti, Vice Chair
Jen Benham, Secretary
I am proud of the work we have done over the past several years, but equally proud of the work so many volunteers before me did. It takes a village to make this village run smoothly.
Please join me in supporting the operational override so we can continue to thrive as a community. Please join me in voting YES for the override!
Town Meeting, April 24 at 7:00 pm at Hingham High School
On the town election ballot. Town Election is on April 29, however, you can VOTE BY MAIL. Links to the individual and household applications are included below.
“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.”
VOTE by Mail application: