Saturday, May 11, 2013
Did a move to hold the annual town meetings in April, and not May, starting this year help increase the number of voters that attended?
This Saturday has traditionally been the Annual Town Meeting in Hamilton. And last Saturday would have been Annual Town Meeting in Wenham. But not this year. In 2011, voters in both towns approved a move to hold the annual meeting a month earlier in April, largely in hopes of increasing attendance by putting it on a date where there are fewer other activities occurring in the two towns and the weather is not as nice. The move was also designed to put the Annual Town Meeting in both towns on the same day (Hamilton in the morning and Wenham in the afternoon) so shared committees and staff could spend one weekend day devoted to Town Meeting work. It also moved Hamilton Town Meeting from Mother's Day weekend. So did the move increase …
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The former finance director for the town of Wenham writes with questions about the new budget format in Wenham that was brought before the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday.
To the Editor: Historic precedent was set in Wenham [on Saturday]. Wenham residents previously voted the budget “as presented” with the Salary and Expense lines detailed in the department budgets. [On Saturday] the residents at town meeting authorized the budget by department total. Was this even legal? Were the Selectmen or Finance Committee supposed to take a vote to authorize this change? Did we, the residents of Wenham, lose a right to vote on Staffing, Salaries and Expenses of the town? There was no mention or discussion of this at the Warrant Hearing last Monday night or at the Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday night or at any recent Selectmen’s meeting. The Town Government Study Committee has been researching the Town …
Monday, April 8, 2013
Wenham resident Patrick Waddell writes with some of his questions and concerns after Saturday's Annual Town Meeting.
To the Editor: An open letter to the Wenham Board of Selectmen: After attending [Saturday's] Town Meeting, I am very concerned about our town's government and budget. I took more notes today than I have in the prior five years. I would like to describe my concerns in the order in which they arose at the meeting: 1. Town Administrator - it appears that there is a discrepancy in the number of hours in work weeks for our employees. Some employees are billing 52 hours and some are billing 52.2. The discussion led me to believe this is simply an accounting error and will be corrected. This would not be much of an issue if it was the only accounting problem. 2. Reserve Fund - there is currently only $5,500 in the Reserve Account. This seems to …
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Nearly two hours of debate - much of it critical - ended with voters approving Wenham's fiscal 2014 budget at Saturday's Annual Town Meeting.
Two hours of questioning, criticism and discussion of the proposed fiscal 2014 Wenham town budget ended with voters approving it by a four-to-one margin, Moderator Paul Weaver declared on Saturday afternoon. It was a long road to voters given their approval to the budget at Wenham's Annual Town Meeting, with everything from the budget's new format to the way salaries are calculated for a year that is slightly longer than 52 weeks underwent questioning. There were 176 voters in the Buker Elementary School gymnasium for the meeting, which lasted close to three hours. The budget in this year's Town Meeting warrant book was a "significant departure" from the way it has been arranged in past years, said Sarah Johnson, the town's former finance …
Friday, April 5, 2013
For the first time, Hamilton and Wenham will hold their Annual Town Meetings on the same day in April.
Saturday is Town Meeting Day in both Hamilton and Wenham. For the first time, both towns will hold its annual meeting on the same day - in April. Hamilton Annual Town Meeting starts at 9 a.m. at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. Wenham Annual Town Meeting starts at 1 p.m. at Buker Elementary School. Most important, each town will put its proposed fiscal 2014 budget - including its shares of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District costs - before voters. "This is the first year that we are going to Town Meeting with a fully supported school budget," Hamilton Selectman Jennifer Scuteri said at a hearing on the Town Meeting warrant this week. The school budget has traditionally been the most contentious and heavily debated part of …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Local citizens group Enough is Enough encourages voters to attend the annual Town Meetings and vote in the upcoming annual town elections.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Wenham Village Improvement Society and Henry's of North Beverly both plan to serve lunch to Wenham voters before the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday.
Monday, April 1, 2013
This year's public hearing on the Wenham Annual Town Meeting warrant has a different date and time than past years.
The public hearing on the Wenham Town Meeting warrant has a new time and location this year. The hearing has typically occurred at Buker Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. but will instead happen at Wenham Town Hal at 7 p.m., according to Traci Masterson, Administrative Assistant to Interim Town Administrator Mark Andrews. The Annual Town Meeting will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at Buker Elementary School. The Town Meeting warrant is atatched to this story as a PDF and was deleivered to each home in town. Extra copies are available at Town Hall and Hamilton-Wenham Library.
The League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham offer tips to become an educated voter in both towns during the Annual Town Meetings and town election.
Monday, March 25, 2013
An essential get-me-going daily morning column from Hamilton-Wenham Patch.
Today is Monday, March 25. Here are five things you need to know in Hamilton and Wenham: 1. Clouds: Monday will be a mostly cloudy day with a chance of rain in the afternoon. The wind will increase later in the day, up to 16 mile per hour gusts and temperatures getting into the mid-40s. 2. Passover: Monday marks the start of Passover, when Jews across the world come together to retell the Exodus story over four cups of wine (or grape juice for those who can't indulge), and a large, festive feast known as a Seder on the first two nights. It is a seven to eight day-long celebration of the ancient Israelites' exodus from Egypt and slavery. 3. MCAS: Remember that snowstorm that cancelled school last Tuesday? It’s almost a distant memory after …