July 22, by Carol Britton Meyer
A number of citizens participated in last night's remote Selectmen's meeting -- offering assistance with what they considered to be two of the most important goals for the board to pursue -- forming a climate change task force and working to ensure racial equality.
The Selectmen are in the process of setting goals for the current fiscal year, with further conversations to come.
The creation of such a task force was suggested last March to put the Energy Action Committee in a better position to potentially present a warrant article at a future Town Meeting, seeking to create a climate action plan geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions within all of Hingham by 80 to 100 percent on or before 2050.
The EAC's earlier warrant article proposal for that purpose was intended for consideration at this year's Town Meeting, but while the Selectmen supported the concept in principle, they questioned the process at that time, and the article did not move forward.
The Selectmen felt that the article needed to be researched and its goals socialized more to build a consensus among townspeople before presenting the article at Town Meeting.
Fast forward to the present following COVID-19 related delays on many town matters, including formation of the task force. Town Administrator Tom Mayo said last night that he would be meeting with EAC Chair Brad Moyer on Wednesday to talk about the task force. Citizens interested in serving on it should contact Mayo. "This is a large endeavor," Moyer said.
High Street Resident Laurie Freeman offered her assistance, noting that many other citizens would like to get involved. "We don't have to reinvent the wheel. A lot of other communities have done this before," she noted.
With regard to the racial equality goal, a citizen asked what steps beyond working with the Hingham Police Department were anticipated.
Selectman Joseph Fisher, who served as chair for this meeting, named working with the schools "and making sure we address this as a priority," among others.
Regarding the issue of equity, another resident suggested changing the name "selectmen" to "select board," creating a policy that would allow the flying of the Hingham Pride flag at Town Hall each year during Pride Month (June), and asking voters to support a school override at the 2021 Town Meeting.
Fisher expressed appreciation that so many citizens are willing to help.