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School Roofs, Other Projects Go Before Wenham Voters Saturday Morning

Wenham's fall Special Town Meeting starts at 10 a.m.on Saturday in the gymnasium at Buker Elementary School.

Voters at Wenham Special Town Meeting on Saturday will take up two of the same questions Hamilton voters did two weeks ago - whether to put a Proposition 2-1/2 debt exclusion override on the November ballot.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium at Buker Elementary School. A quorum of 54 registered voters are needed to conduct business.

A full copy of the Town Meeting warrant, with all six articles, is attached to this story as a PDF.

The most significant items are Article 4 and Article 5, which both ask voters to send two Proposition 2-1/2 debt exclusion overrides before voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Two weeks ago Hamilton Town Meeting voters nearly unanimously approved putting both measures on the ballot that would fund capital improvement projects for elementary schools in the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District.

One article, No. 4, includes funding for just one project, a new roof for Cutler Elementary School in Hamilton at a cost of $575,000. Since the project is expected to receive a 43 percent reimbursement from the state School Building Authority, it must be voted on separately.

The remainder of the School District’s capital improvements, totaling $1.5 million, is in Article 5. Some of the work included on the list that would improve energy efficiency is eligible for up to a 50 percent reimbursement from National Grid. If approved, it would also put the Proposition 2-1/2 debt exclusion override question before voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.

To pass, both measures require approval from two-thirds of voters at Town Meeting and then a majority of voters on the ballot.

Article 3 will be passed over, and was included in the event that the School District’s budget numbers had been approved by state officials and that $121,282 would be returned to the town to lower taxes.

Other articles ask for approval to pay $626 worth of bills from the past fiscal year and a request from the Community Preservation Committee to spend money to preserve gravestones in the Wenham Cemetery on Main Street.

Anne Sweeney October 27, 2012 at 05:48 PM
The other reason why people do not attend Town Meeting is not due to a lack of interest. Speaking of Bullying as in the other thread. When people speak their mind or disagree, they are often booed, criticized or ostracized. Usually, town officials, town or local public employees attend these meetings, because it is in their interest to do so in two ways. Their job security, their promotion advantage, and to network with other town elected officials and appointed officials. Town government is a relic of the past and should be replaced with an elected City government. The cost of having two towns with two separate town governments, services and officials is redundant and unnecessary. When you consider the resources available from our private sector, town government in plain terms is inefficient, ineffective and not representative of the majority. Thereby undemocratic at best. Just consider our water quality, the towns of Hamilton and Wenham were offered an opportunity to tap into Wenham lake for a nominal fee. They opted out and Salem has our water ? Really ? The way to go is an elected City government. Otherwise the average Hamilton/Wenham tax bill will soon be, $10,000.00. You will no longer have to worry about our schools as only the rich will live here. The rich send their children to private schools, as they should.

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