Select board welcomes new member, appoints next chair; Former Town Clerk praised for service to town

town of hingham ma town hall
Photo Courtesy of the Town of Hingham

May 26, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer

Newly-elected Select Board member Liz Klein attended her first meeting last night and received a warm welcome, while former Town Clerk Eileen McCracken -- who served in that position for 24 of her 34 years working for the town -- was issued a proclamation in recognition of her hard work upon her retirement.

"It's overwhelming to think about how much you have done for the town and the difference you have made in [citizens'] lives," newly-appointed Select Board Chair Joseph Fisher told her.

Before she was recognized, however, McCracken swore the newest board member into office during the remote meeting.

Klein thanked the entire Town Hall team "for the tour of Town Hall that I got today [Tuesday].  It's an honor to work with you [all], and I'm excited to serve the town."

Fisher went on to acknowledge the "sad and tragic anniversary" of George Floyd's death, quoting from remarks made by President Biden and also by Attorney General Maura Healey, who urged citizens to "keep on going and route out systemic racism wherever we find it."

Fisher further stated on behalf of the entire board that racism has no place in Hingham. "We are committed to justice and equity for all."

On a lighter note, Fisher noted that former Select Board member Mary Power "is no longer our chair, and we miss her already!"

Board member William Ramsey recalled that McCracken had sworn him into office as a recreation commissioner in 1998 and Fisher that she had sworn him into office on the Conservation Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and most recently as a Select Board member.

McCracken was commended for handling her duties as town clerk with grace and enthusiasm over more than two decades, during which she presided over two dozen years of elections -- including that number of town elections and six presidential elections.

"You have been the link to the past, present, and future of the Town of Hingham," the proclamation reads.

Fisher wished her happiness as she begins the next chapter of her life.

"Thank you," responded McCracken. "It's been my pleasure."

In other business at the meeting:

* The board signed a two-year contract with Shrewsbury Landscapes, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $408,875 for athletic field turf maintenance townwide, including a mid-season infields clean-up, fertilization, and an irrigation component.

* The board also signed a contract with East Coast Sealcoating, Inc. for Plymouth River School tennis court repairs/resurfacing, with the work targeted for the last two weeks of August, before school starts.

* A request from Hingham Girls Softball to install a storage shed at their expense on Carlson Field was approved. The shed would be owned by the Selectmen, but all maintenance is the organization's responsibility.

* Citizens are encouraged to fill out talent bank applications - found on page 86 of this year's Town Meeting warrant or on the town website. "This is how our town government runs," Fisher said. "Hingham volunteers step up and serve on various committees and boards. Now is the time to submit an application for consideration."

Last year so many applications were submitted that Town Moderator Michael Puzo and the Select Board interviewed candidates for many boards and committees during nine sessions.

Current openings include seats on the new Accessory Dwelling Unit study committee and the Climate Action Planning Committee.

"I'm overwhelmed and touched by the devotion that so many of our citizens have for this town and their willingness to give of their time and effort to help make Hingham what it is," Fisher said.

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