IMAGE GALLERY: Wenham Rebuffs School Budget 'Giveback,' Elects Wilson Selectman

Town Meeting voters supported the School Committee's 2012 budget on Saturday, rejecting a budget supported by Selectman and the Finance Committee that included a $500,000 "giveback." Patrick Wilson was elected to his first term as a selectman.

Wenham Town Meeting voters on Saturday backed the , rebuffing the .

Meanwhile, at the polls, Patrick Wilson was elected to the Board of Selectmen for the first time, ousting incumbent Harriet Davis. Wilson, chairman of the Conservation Commission, received 412 votes to Davis’ 327 votes. Davis was first elected to the Board of Selectmen three years ago and was seeking reelection.

The School Committee’s budget received the support of voters by a teller count of 127-86. The school budget now moves on to on May 14, where it will also require approval to become final. Without approval there, the budget process goes into a by school and town attorneys.

The approved school budget increased Wenham's share of school funding by $154,660, or 22 cents on the tax rate.

Voters also approved spending another $35,000 to . The vote tally was 79-49, one of two votes of the afternoon that required tellers to move around the room and count each voter card individually.

The car barn lot was also designated as the site for a after former Selectman Larry Swartz proposed what he said was a compromise that would allow the War Memorial Committee to move ahead with a design on the downtown lot, at the corner of Main and Arbor streets.

More than two thirds of Town Meeting voters also backed a $160,000 debt exclusion override to for the . That measure now goes to . The vote will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at .

The , Article 16, asked voters if they wanted to pull out of involvement in the planned regional dispatch center in Middleton and continue as part of the combined Hamilton-Wenham Emergency Center after 2012. That measure was defeated, with a few votes in support.

Article 5, asking voters to transfer $4,000 from the cemetery perpetual care fund to the town’s general fund, was defeated. The defeat came after Cemetery Commissioner Bryant Barnard said the cemetery fund had $2,981 in it. Plus, he said, the article was placed on the Town Meeting warrant without anyone talking to the Cemetery Commission.

Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren said the transfer was intended to cover for some of the costs of the Department of Public Works to maintain the cemeteries and has occurred for the past five years.

Two Community Preservation Act projects were also approved, spending $177,765 to pay the debt service for the renovation work to the Town Hall and $18,000 for the 1.1-mile portion of the .

For a more detailed recap of the four hour and 15 minute meeting, check out our .

Full Election Results


Paul Weaver, 609

Town Clerk

Trudy Reid, 634


Patrick Wilson, 412

Harriet Davis, 327


Lisa Craig, 561

Planning Board, five year term

Minot Frye, 555

Planning Board, to fill a vacancy

Stephen Kavanagh, 573

Tree Warden

Pierre Erhard, 564

Board of Health

Don Costin, 540

Cemetery Commissioner

Dorothy Maciejowski, 575

Water Commissioner

Richard Quatman, 540

Wenham Housing Authority (write in)

Jean Rouse

Hamilton-Wenham Library Trustee (write-in)

Margaret Whittaker

Michelle Bailey May 08, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Correction. The school budget is level funded, meaning it does not contribute to any increase in the tax rate. The budget proposed by the BOS and FinCom was using the $500,000 "give-back" to fund increased town expenses. Now the tax rate will increase by about 22 cents to fund those town expenses.


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