To the Editor:
Spring in Hamilton brings lots of changes. Rains, sun, flowers, and baseball. While easy to get distracted, it also brings local politics to a fever pitch, leading up to our annual Town Meeting and ballot vote. I urge Hamilton citizens to put down their rakes and come out for town meeting and vote!
Over the past three years, Enough is Enough, a local watchdog group, were joined by other advocates and an overwhelming majority of voters to make significant changes in our local governing structure. We have gone from three to five selectmen, and have a terrific new town manager.
On the school side of our town government, we have stopped the annual push for Proposition 2 ½ overrides for the regional school system that has sent our tax rate into the stratosphere. EiE forwarded a change to the regional school system agreement for an operational audit of the school system. The article was passed overwhelmingly at both the Hamilton and Wenham town meetings last year.
So, with all of this progress, why not rake the yard, and forget about the town meeting and vote? Because there are forces at play that want to go back to politics as usual…namely:
• Decisions made in questionable “executive sessions” keeping the public out of town decision making
• Downplaying and ignoring the recommendations of the operational audit
• A push for even more funding for a school system that our town FinCom has determined is clearly over funded and has excessive cash reserves.
What can we do about it? First, come to Town Meeting and support the budget approved by the Selectmen and FinCom withholding $500,000 from the proposed school budget. This vote will have no impact on school services. It will just reduce the very large cash surplus that the schools are holding.
Next, vote in the local election. Who to vote for, you ask? Simple, the time has come to bring fresh ideas into local government. Do not vote for ANY incumbents. We have several great new candidates. Give them a chance.
Hamilton Town Meeting is at 9 a.m. on Saturday May 14, and Election Day, Thursday May 26.
Thank you for your participation. Our town’s future is in our hands.
Robert F. Sica