WHITMAN – Sometimes a singe individual can create an issue where there hadn’t been one before – for example, poet Amanda Gorman’s Biden inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” was pulled from Miami-Dade, Florida schools following a single challenge to its “appropriateness,” the latest ban of literature and history books in that state’s schools.
Whitman town officials have, in the past year, received a complaint about small pride flags, bought with an employee’s own money, to decorate flower boxes at the Council on Aging as a signal for LGBTQ elders who may have no support elsewhere, that they are welcome.
Now a request from Whitman Pride to has moved Town Counsel to advise that the town form a policy on flag displays and painted sidewalks to remove any problems from the approval process for either.
“We’re not saying no, we’re saying we need a process,” Select Board Chair Dr. Carl Kowalski said.
The Select Board voted on Tuesday, May 23, to refer the matter to the By-Law Committee, after members have a chance to ask questions of Town Counsel prior to its next meeting – on June 20. While that may be too late to hinge a sidewalk painting project planned at Whitman Public Library on the annual June Pride Month activities for the LGTBQ+ community, it is a project proponents wish to advance.
Town Administrator Mary Beth Carter said Kathleen Evans had reached out to the library about painting portions of the sidewalk in rainbow colors for Pride Month – at the side entrance to the building and a small area at the front.
“It’s something that has not been requested before and I just think that maybe it should go for a by-law[ revision],” she said.
Because of a recent Supreme Court decision involving the City of Boston and its flag displays at City Hall, after a private Christian group demanded it’s flag be placed there in response to a Pride flag. Boston receives more than 280 requests for flag displays a year, but that application was the only one rejected.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for six members of the court, said the central question in the case, Shurtleff v. City of Boston, No. 20-1800, was whether the city had created a public forum by allowing private groups to use its flagpole or was conveying its own speech by choosing and endorsing the flags it approved.
“All told, while the historical practice of flag flying at government buildings favors Boston, the city’s lack of meaningful involvement in the selection of flags or the crafting of their messages leads us to classify the flag raisings as private, not government, speech — though nothing prevents Boston from changing its policies going forward,” Breyer wrote last year.
That is why Whitman’s legal counsel advised that the town institute a policy for flag or painted sidewalk displays before taking any action on the current application.
Select Board Chair Dr. Carl Kowalski said he has spoken to Town Counsel about the matter.
“It appears to me that displaying the flag – no matter what flag it is – and to paint a crosswalk, no matter what kind of designation the cause is – this has nothing to do with what is planned to be painted [at the library],” he said. “It would mean that, in the future, we would have to approve everything. Anything. It could be KKK or the [Proud] Boys, and so I thought we should be cautious on it.”
Counsel Michelle McNulty opined that, since the town does not have a policy governing crosswalk painting or flag display approval process, the town needs to have one in place before the board takes any action on any request, to protect both the town and applicants.
Kowalski suggested the matter be passed to the By-Law Committee without discussion, but as Kathleen Evans’ wish to explain her project was granted – that meant Select Board member Justin Evans, who is her husband, had to leave the room.
Select Board member Shawn Kain expressed concern over passing it to the By-Law Committee without being able to ask questions of town counsel first.
“It would be helpful to have some guidance from counsel here, because the massage I [got] as a lay person reading these documents, I thought it said if you don’t explicitly have a by-law, which states how we fly flags and that kind of stuff, then you can’t really restrict because if you restrict one, you should be restricting others,” Kain said. “There was some ambiguity about it.”
He stressed it was not the cause that caused his concern.
‘I think it’s a cool imitative, I think it’s cool for Pride Month,” he said. “I’d like to support it, but obviously I don’t want to go against what’s recommended by counsel.”
He asked if there was a way to expedite the request.
Kathleen Evans said ideally the project was intended to be done in time for Pride Month in June, but it could be done in a different month. She said that, if it paves the way for other Pride displays in town, it would be worthwhile to have the By-Law Committee create a policy.
“I’m not comfortable with Justin having to leave,” Kain said.
“She said he has to remove himself from the room, because he could affect it just by being here – and he’s an imposing figure,” Kowalski quipped. “Just by being here he could affect what goes on in the room.”
Kathleen Evans said she and a group got together last year to do the sidewalk project as an inclusive project, and that other South Shore communities, such as Hingham have done similar projects in the past year alone.
“It seemed like it would be really feasible and the library expressed interest in doing it,” she said. “I think inclusivity is important and this would be a really cool way to get people involved in a project that would last.”
Kowalski said he totally agreed with the project and the reason behind it, but the town had to “make sure we don’t open the path for people who aren’t as interested in sensitivity to other people.”
Rosemary Connolly, of Franklin Street, asked if some of the groups like the Proud Boys that Kowalski had mentioned, would be covered under hate speech regulations.
“I really think we need something in writing,” he said. “I was just using those [groups] as an example.”
Tennis teams close out season on some high notes
The Whitman-Hanson boys’ tennis team were victorious over the Silver Lake Lakers, 3-2, on Senior Night May 23, and their final home match of the season. Seniors Drew Fountain and James Goyette won in dominant fashion at second doubles (6-0, 6-0). Senior captain Zachary Lindsay and junior Tristan Baker also looked strong in their win at first doubles (6-1, 6-1).
Junior Mateo Santalucia was able to secure the Panthers win at second singles (6-2, 6-2). Senior Matt Bergin played one of his best matches of the season at third singles but came up short of the win. The Panthers improve to 6-11 and wrap up regular season on Thursday at Plymouth North. Match time 4 p.m.
The W-H team lost to Hingham Friday, May 19 in back-to-back matches, 0-5, 0-5, falling to 4-11 on the season. The team had some great games and played well, but were just overpowered by the high-powered play of Hingham.
Sophomore Mateo Santalucia had the best overall chance at a win, losing 5-8 in the first match and 4-8 in the second.
The Panthers had team defeated the Quincy Presidents May 18, 4–1, in the completion of a rain delayed match. The team played well on all five courts. Sophomore Brady Wright played three strong sets at first singles (6-3, 4-6, 6-2). Junior Mateo Santalucia won in two sets at second singles (7-5, 6-3). Senior Captain Zach Lindsay and junior Tristan Baker won in two sets at first doubles (6-0, 6-1), while senior Drew Fountain and junior George Dykens took care of their opponents in two sets on the second doubles court, (6-3, 6-3).
The Lady Panthers tennis team defeated Brockton May 22, 5-0. In first singles Alyson Tobias won 6-2,6-0 and at secondnd singles Sam Jacobsen won 6-2, 6-3.
In third singles freshman Mari Santalucia defeated her opponent 6-1,6-2. In first doubles Delaney Hughes and Sophie Ennis won 6-2,4-6,6-0 and at second doubles Mary Lynam and Sarah Regan won 6-3, 6-2.
Boards choose next leaders
Some new faces will be wielding the gavel at meetings of the regional school committee in the coming fiscal year as town boards held reorganization sessions on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23.
The School Committee kicked things off Monday by electing Beth Stafford as the new chair by a 8-2 vote on a first ballot. Fred Small had also been nominated.
The committee reorganization was the only agenda item. Hanson member Glen DiGravio attended remotely by phone.
Presiding until a chair had been voted, Superintendent of Schools Jeff Szymaniak also welcomed new Hanson member Steve Cloutman, who was elected to fill out the final two years of former Chair Christopher Howard’s term after he resigned earlier this spring. Szymaniak also congratulated Whitman members Steve Bois and David Forth on their re-elections as well as Hanson member Hillary Kniffen, who was also re-elected on Saturday,, May 20.
The Vice Chair selection took two ballots after nominees Fred Small and David Forth were deadlocked with five votes each, Steve Bois had also been nominated for the first vote, but withdrew is name by voting against himself. On a second ballot, Chris Scriven threw his hat into consideration, winning the vote by a vote of 6-4.
Steve Bois was elected treasurer by unanimous vote with Dawn Byers elected assistant treasurer by 9-1 vote. David Forth received 9 votes to 1 be selected secretary-clerk.
Subcommittees and new membership for the Regional Agreement Committee were delayed until the committee’s next meeting in order to give new members time to familiarize themselves with the available subcommittee assignments.
The select boards held reorganization sessions Tuesday, where Hanson kept its officers from last year – chaired by Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett, with Joe Weeks again serving as vice chair and Ann Rein elected as clerk once more.
It was back to the future in Whitman, with Dr. Carl Kowalski voted as chair, Dan Salvucci as vice chair and Justin Evans as clerk. Evans was also selected as the board’s liaison to the Regional Agreement Committee, while Hanson tabled their committee and subcommittee assignments until their board members can review their present commitments, although new member David George volunteered to serve as liaison to the Veterans Serives Officer and the Police Department. He is a veteran who worked in law enforcement before retiring.
Local elections see low voter turnout
On an election day notable for a light turnout and a rainy afternoon, voters in Whitman and Hanson sent something of a divided message at the ballot box – returning some incumbents in contested Select Board races, and opting for a change in one Whitman post. The town also approved a debt exclusion for a new DPW building, but opted to keep the Treasurer-Collector position an elected, rather than an appointed one.
Incumbent Select Board Chair Randy LaMattina, who had been the subject of other town office holders’ damaging comments during board public comment periods over the past few months, as well as a campaign of “slander” on a private Facebook account, lost out in a four-way race for two seats on Whitman’s Select Board.
Fellow incumbent Dr. Carl Kowalski was the top vote-getter with 605 votes. Animal Control Officer Laura Howe, was next with 502, to take the other seat up for votes. LaMattina Garnered 441 and Finance Committee member Rosemary Connolly received 437 votes.
In Hanson, Select Board Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett won re-election in an extremely light turnout of 463 voters, receiving 291 votes in a three-way contest for two seats. Newcomer David George received 234 votes to also gain a seat on the board, and fellow freshman candidate Thomas Chambers received 176 votes
“I think it’s going to be a competitive race, “LaMattina said while doing some sign-holding Saturday morning. “You run on what you’ve done or want to do, you don’t run on slandering people.”
He pointed to concern over where their tax dollars are going was the main issue voters he spoke to mentioned.
“That’s going to be a challenge, obviously, with big projects on the horizon,” he said.
LaMattina said Monday that, while the loss was bittersweet, he accepted it without reservation.
“It stings to lose because the town means a lot to me,” he said. “But it’s politics. … The town voted, I accept it and our family will still try to contribute as much as we can to the town.
“Four people took some votes from me,” he said. “[Residents] obviously bullet-voted, because there were a lot of blanks. … I don’t mind losing, but I do mind losing to lies, slander and innuendo.”
A Facebook campaign on a private page had been spreading misinformation about his wife and daughter – including where his daughter attends school – and charging that the Select Board was corrupt, he said.
“It was all on Facebook,” he said. “It’s fine for people to disagree with you … it was just attacks on me.”
LaMattina said he knew his pushback against the school district on the budget issue would cost him votes, but he said he felt it was the right thing to do.
I am very happy that Carl got in,” he said.
Kowalski said that, while optimistic, he never knows how the voters will cast their ballots.
“There are people who would like change,” he said. “Change isn’t always as good as a rest.”
Kowalski expressed gratitude to Whitman residents for his re-election.
“I will work hard to have thus earned their trust over what may be a difficult period of time,” he stated. “Of course, I will miss having Randy LaMattina with me, for he was an extremely hard-working and talented Board member and chair, but I am sure that Laura Howe will work equally hard to fill his shoes.”
He said he was thrilled that the DPW question was passed and eager to work for the passing of the Whitman Middle School project when it comes up next fall.
Connolly, for her part, said she was running to inform the public more than in hopes of winning an election. She wanted to “get out there and talk honestly about [town] finances, something that’s not happening at the selectmen level,” she also said there is so little engagement between the public and the Finance Committee.
Howe said she plans to work on a website for herself as a member of the Select Board, as well as an animal control page on Facebook, putting the link on Whitman Pride and unfriending that group.
“I am honored and moved to represent the community that I hold so dear,” she said. “I am optimistic that together we will bring forth new ideas in a ever changing world and cement a strong foundation for the future of our community.”
“I feel things that have happened there should not be accepted or appreciated as a kind caring honest wife mother grandmother Animal Control Officer and, gratefully, now selectman,” she said.
In Hanson, the big story was a small number – that of the handful or voters who cast ballots Saturday.
“I’m really hoping that we get some good turnout,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said Saturday morning. “Things, so far, seem to be very slow. We don’t have any ballot questions [and] there’s not any hotly contested races. … I’m just hoping that people show up, because your vote counts in a town this size, and this is the type of election where people could be decided by a handful of votes.”
She said Monday that she was grateful for the voters’ support and indicated that town finances are the first
“I think I’m going to do OK,” George said. He said most of his conversations with voters have been about money and town finances.
In Hanson, there was some spirit of bipartisanship going on outside the Hanson Middle School polling place as Select Board challenger Tom Chambers helped Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett and her husband raise a pop-up tent against rain predicted later in the day.
“I look forward to working with the Select Board and keeping Hanson a great town to live in,” George said of his win Monday.
Candidates in both towns were out holding signs in the morning expressed nervous hope about the day’s result.
“I’ll wait until the end of the day,” Chambers said. “I’m not going to make a prediction.”
He said he’s been researching the state’s 40B regulations in preparation for his hope of winning a seat, as voters had been talking to him about it.
“Once I sink my teeth into something, once I find an issue, I’ll research it up and down, 110 percent and make my decision based on what’s most beneficial to the town.”
DPW Commission Chair Kevin Cleary was grateful for the support from the Select Board and other town boards as well as the members of the police and fire departments, but added it is always hard to predict what voters will do.
“They all support us,” he said of the town officials and public safety rank and file, noting that social media was a bigger tool this time out than it was the last time a DPW building went on the ballot in 2013. “We did a better job of getting out there with the website, getting information [ to voters]. Just grassroots.”
He credited the website as being a valuable tool.
“I am proud of the residents of the Town for understanding the important duties that the DPW performs and the need to provide the employees with a new facility that will have the basic features that will allow them to continue to serve our community, DPW Commissioner Kevin Cleary said. “I would like to thank the DPW Commissioners, the DPW building committee, and the DPW employees for their hard work in getting the project approved. Thank you to everyone that stood out in the rain on election day to support the project. I would also like to thank the other town departments and our town leaders for supporting the project. We look forward to opening a new facility in the Fall of 2024.”
School Committee hopeful Kevin Mayer, who was waging a campaign for a “common sense” approach to education, garnered 447 to come in third after incumbent winners Steven Bois – with 594 votes—and David Forth – with 475 votes – to represent Whitman on the W-H School Committee. A fourth candidate, Kaitlin Barton, received 353 votes.
“I want to keep it basic – more common sense,” Mayer said of his campaign themes. “I’d like to see the schools start to get more involved in some career-driven stuff, too. You don’t always have to push college.”
He said the days of encouraging very high school student to go to college are over.
“You can make more money in the trades than you can make, a lot of times, getting out of school,” he said.
Mayer said he sees the fallout from that in his fence company, where finding employees is hard as students, pushed to obtain degrees they’re not using might be hesitant to take a job outside of their major subject.
“I like giving back to the town,” he said. “I own a business here, I grew up in Hanson. To get involved is always nice.”
Whitman Town Clerk Dawn Varley said early and absentee votes had been light, as well.
“I think it’ll be an average turnout,” Varley said during the first hour of voting Saturday. There had been under 100 absentee and only four early votes cast ahead of Election Day itself. She estimated that about 1,300 votes would be cast. By the end of the day 1,113 votes had been cast, about 10 percent of the 11,213 registered votes in town.
“They were lined up early this morning,” she said. “Usually, there’s only a couple, but there were quite a few people here. The weather might play a big part – there’s a lot of factors. … What I do think is unusual is that, politically, it’s been quiet. There’s not a lot of signs. … It’s quiet for two heavily contested races.”
Hanson Town Clerk Elizabeth Sloan said there were only 86 ballots cast in three days of early voting last week.
“It is very disappointing,” she said. “We’ll be surprised if we get even 1,00 today, total, with early voting.”
Select Board fetes Hickey
HANSON – The Select Board on Tuesday, May 9 said goodbye to departing member Jim Hickey, who declined to seek re-election to a third term this year.
The Town Election is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 20 at Hanson Middle School, with early voting having been underway between Monday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 17.
Hickey said he will still be around and is looking forward to what the future brings.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Hickey said. “There’s actually an open seat on the Council on Aging. I’m going to take that seat and I’m going to be around. It’s just that there’s been opportunities placed before me and I want to pursue those opportunities and still be a vital member of the community and help the seniors.”
Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett, who was elected to the board the same year as Hickey in 2017, gave him a hug after presenting him with a proclamation from the board citing his work as Senior Center Liaison and member of the W-H Regional Agreement Committee. Hickey had also served on the Recreation Commission for two years and had been a member of the town’s 200th Anniversary Committee in 2020.
“We’ve learned a lot together over the last six years and grown a lot and it is with great pleasure that I present this to you,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “There’s no way to put in a proclamation or a citation all of the things that you’ve done, so we’ve just hit a couple of high spots.”
She then read from the proclamation, prefacing it with a prediction about Hickey’s legacy.
“Your swan song, the thing that you will be known by this board for will be your contribution to that Regional Agreement Committee, and also all of the things you did for the Senior Center,” she said. “Don’t think that they went unnoticed, because they didn’t, that legacy will live on.”
The board also presented Hickey with a photo taken by Town Clerk Beth Sloan and framed by Administrative Assistant Lynn McDowell of Hickey sitting on the throne in the Robin Hood stage set before Town Meeting on May 1.
Select Board members shared other memories of serving with Hickey. Ed Heal said he learned a lot in his first year of office from Jim.
“For me, it’s going to be unbelievable not to have you rattling off all these numbers off the top of your head, percentages that you wouldn’t even think you could do,” Joe Weeks said. “Thank you for your leadership, everything that you’ve done for the Senior Center, the seniors in general – the representation there – everything you’ve done for the Regional School Agreement. Fantastic. You’re a great leader [and] a great citizen.”
Member Ann Rein said, “I’m going to miss you because I was hoping to learn more from you, and I’ve learned a lot already.”
State Sen. Mike Brady, D-Brockton, also presented Hickey with a citation from the General Court.
“I’m honored to be here and represent the town of Hanson and several other communities in Plymouth and Norfolk counties as a state senator,” Brady said. “Thank you for your service to the community.”
The Select Board also conducted something of an after-action review of the Town Meeting and the status of the fiscal 2023 budget with Town Accountant Eric Kinsherf as a way to determine how things went and how they could have been done better.
“We could always do things better and this definitely not taking pot-shots at anybody, “ FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “This is more sort of with the mind set of, ‘Let’s just improve the process and experience for the next time around.”
FitzGerald-Kemmett said she has already discussed the need for stricter enforcement of article filing deadlines with Town Administrator Lisa Green.
“When we don’t enforce the deadline, it all floats downhill to Lynn and Lisa and legal counsel … and everyone is running around like maniacs,” she said. “You all make it look so flawless to the people sitting in the audience, but I know that there’s pandemonium behind the scenes and it’s unnecessary.”
For planning this October’s special Town Meeting warrant, it is vital to reinforce deadlines, she said, with “absolutely no exceptions” being granted.
“I liked the fact that this board didn’t have any questions,” she said. “By the time we got to Town Meeting we had discussed every single article.”
There was a “disconnect” on some submitted articles that had been changed, but the change hadn’t been captured before the warrant was printed.
“This is a group effort,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “It doesn’t have to fall on us or Mr. Kinsher for on anybody.” Once a draft warrant is created, she suggested it be recirculated through departments and others submitting warrants to allow for confirmation on wording.
“I really would like to see multiple QC [quality control] processes, because I think what happens a lot of times, particularly with legal documents that are this size, you start to see what you want to see because you’ve been looking at it so long,” she said. “I think we need fresh eyes.”
She also gave high praise to McDowell, who did not come to the job as administrative assistant from a municipal background, for the speed in which she familiarized herself with the warrant process.
Heal expressed concern about the order of articles in the warrant, after some comments had been made from Town Meeting floor about an article being listed out of the right order and they had to be switched around.
FitzGerald-Kemmett said legal counsel had explained that past practice in listing articles a certain way did not mean that practice had to be adhered to forever and the board has the prerogative for ordering articles.
“I think some compelling arguments were made to suggest that perhaps the way that it used to be done was preferred, but again, there was noting legally impermissible about what was done,” she said.
“I thought it was a good Town Meeting, especially for the number of articles that we had, ” Weeks said. “It was actually a relatively short night, considering what it could have been.”
He did mention typos in the warrant and the number of handouts were a little unwieldy.
“They were all needed, so I don’t know how you’d fix something like that,” said.
“I think we overwhelmed people with that information,” Rein said. “I wonder if there isn’t a way to get that out before [Town Meeting].”
Heal suggested a common format that identified what articles they explain. FitzGerald-Kemmett also suggested a deadline for handouts should also be considered.
“You’ve got to put yourself in peoples’ shoes,” she said.
Weeks said more time simply needs to be devoted to educating people.
“I just feel you [should] give as much information as possible,” he said.
“The website is going to be key,” Rein said.
FitzGerald-Kemmett also said Frank Milisi’s suggestion that the meeing start earlier appeared to boost attendance.
Kinsherf suggested that plain-language summaries be required for articles, with the warrant providing a link to the summaries once it is posted on the website.
The beauty of invention
HANSON – An actress frequently promoted – an often dismissed – as “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” – Hedy Lamarr was so much more than just a pretty face.
In fact, we’ve evidently been pronouncing her name wrong, too.
While it takes away the running gag in Mel Brooks’ spoof of western movies, “Blazing Saddles,” (Harvey Korman’s character Hedley Lamarr was often called “Hedy,” to which he would have to respond: “That’s Hedley!”) … the stage name of Hedwig Eva Keisler was really pronounced “Hey-dee as in lady.”
It was, as dramatized in a performance for the Hanson Historical Society on May 4 by Judith Kalaora, artistic director of History at Play, just one of the things Lamarr had to correct people on over the course of her life and career.
She also spent a lifetime trying to explain how an unscrupulous Czech director duped her into the nude scene in the 1933 film “Ecstasy” and dealing with dismissal of her rightful claim to a role in developing “frequency hopping” technology for radar evasion during World War II, shopping it to the U.S. Navy.
“I have learned, no matter where I have lived, that the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘stupid’ always go together,” she said, knowing full well that life is more complicated than a Hollywood movie, and far less boring, according to Lamarr, who detested boring people and activities.
Kalaora’s one-woman play opened with a hint of her scientific contributions as her side of a telephone conversation with friend and inventing collaborator George Antheil as the two were nervously awaiting a patent for their frequency-hopping invention. They got it U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 – awarded in August of 1942 – but the U.S. Inventors’ Council, a branch of the Navy, and urged her to sell war bonds instead.
Without this technology, today’s cell phones, Bluetooth technology and GPS might not exist. Impressive stuff, but for Lamarr, it was a hobby she put to work in the cause of freedom.
“It is too heavy?,” Hedy as portrayed by Kalaora asked Antheil, whose voice the audience does not hear. “George, how could they? You said the technology could be made so small that it could fit into a pocket watch. How can they say it is too heavy? Well, we will make it lighter.
“Yes, I am sure. This technology will help us to beat the Nazis – and I think the Navy knows it, too.”
Kalaora then took her audience back in time to trace her way to Hollywood where, when she wasn’t working on a film, Lamarr could be found at her drafting table, inventing. She also studied and copied the people around her.
“I always wanted to transform myself,” she said, of her mother who resented having to give up her career as a professional pianist and who resented her daughter for it. Her father doted on her, and was Lamarr’s hero.
As an only child, Lamarr spent a lot of time with her father who discussed the inner workings of machines with her and encouraged Lamarr in her hobby of taking things apart and reassembling them.
“No man I ever met was my papa’s equal,” she said.
She did not take the Navy’s lack of cooperation, well – and was especially angry at the suggestion she stick to selling war bonds like every other starlet in Hollywood. It was an insult to the woman who had escaped her controlling first husband, Austrian munitions dealer Fritz Mandl to whom her mother married Hedy off at age 19. A Jewish man who supplied weapons to the Nazis and Italian fascists, Mandl ended up keeping her as a prisoner in her own home.
When she escaped to London and then America after her father’s death, she was determined to fight the Nazis, having seen first-hand who they were and what they were doing in Europe.
“I was always listening … I learned that the Nazis favor wire-guided torpedoes,” she said of dinner table talk between Mandl and guests to their home. Propulsion bombs were leaving trails of bubbles in the water to enable tracking. She had learned that the Nazis used 18 pre-launch electable frequencies for their aerial-deployed glide bombs divided between 18 planes. If one pilot was shot down or jammed, the others could complete the mission.
“I knew what I was learning,” she said. “I knew it was important. It could help us to beat the Nazis.”
Keeping that in mind, she was able to use that information later in California as she worked with Antheil, a writer and composer I Hollywood, who had been a munitions inspector during WWI and whose brother had been shot down by Nazis at the beginning of WWII, on the frequency-hopping technology. A partnership had been formed.
“I wanted to invent a torpedo that hit its target every time,” she said through Kalaora. “So often the torpedoes were thrown off course so they would detonate before they hit their target. I wanted every torpedo to hit its target, and wanted all those targets to be German U-boats, and I knew George was the only person who could help me.”
“The system involved the use of “frequency hopping” amongst radio waves, with both transmitter and receiver hopping to new frequencies together,” according to the National Women’s History Museum. “Doing so prevented the interception of the radio waves, thereby allowing the torpedo to find its intended target.”
It was also a way for Hedy to keep from being bored. They came up with the idea while playing a piano game akin to Name That Tune.
“I could see it in my mind,” she said. “I could see all of those Navy men, seated around a table at the Inventors’ Council, trying to figure out how to strap a piano to a torpedo!”
Put off and told to sell war bonds despite using her real name – Hedwig Keisler-Markey – for the patent application, she channeled her anger into outselling most other celebrities in Hollywood.
“I sold $25 million in war bonds,” she said. “I did not care how I helped, as long as I helped – as long as we won.”
She also raised $7 million in one afternoon selling kisses for $50,000 each.
Three years after the patent expired, in 1962, it was used during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which every ship in the U.S. blockade of Cuba was equipped with the frequency-hopping system.
“I always knew our invention would be used for military purposes,” she said.
Zooming in on Regional pact revisions
The School Committee, meeting on Wednesday, May 10 discussed members’ concerns over a proposed wording change in the Regional Agreement revision that could surrender its authority in determining what costs go before Town Meeting.
Committee Vice Chair Christopher Scriven presided at the meeting, as Chair Christopher Howard had resigned effective following the May 1 town meetings. Committee member Fred Small was also absent as he was traveling.
“I’m outraged,” said Dawn Byers, who chairs the Capital Operations and Technology Subcommittee. “Everyone on the School Committee should be outraged that the Board of Selectmen in Hanson made a decision that they don’t have the legal authority to do. We need to understand this, and it’s so important.”
She said that, while the Select Board has the authority to place things on the warrant, it is not their place to reject an article voted by the School Committee, according to MGL Ch. 71 ss16 (h). She urged the committee to have School District legal counsel to send a letter to the towns, reminding them of Mass. General Law language on the issue.
While Superintendent of Schools Jeff Szymaniak thanked the town meetings and residents who turned out and supported the school budget without question on May 1 as well as support for capital technology items on the warrant in Whitman, he noted that Hanson had not placed the capital items on the warrant.
Town officials, he explained, plan to place them on the October special Town Meeting, but the move to reject it from placement on the Hanson warrant caused outrage and concern among School Committee members.
The installation of the new switches and interactive boards will move forward in Whitman schools. For the high school, with Whitman’s funding approved, once Hanson approves it, the work can begin with placing the boards in January.
Szymaniak said he did speak with district council as well as that of the Mass. Association of School Committees and the Mass. Association of Regional Schools (MARS). The only thing select boards are obligated to place on the warrant is the assessment, he was told.
The operating and transportation assessments and capital get asssment for immediate needs must be placed, he said.
“An operational capital item, a want, a truck [for example], they can choose not to put that on a warrant,” he said.
Those “wants,” select boards are entitled to decide whether they want to do, noting that Hanson Capital Committee Chair Frank Milisi told him the town was putting zero capital articles on the warrant this year, so the district was aware it would not be there.
“You don’t ever hear them rejecting something from South Shore Vo Tech, which is another regional school district,” she said. “The reason it was on the Whitman warrant is because they knew they couldn’t reject it.”
Byers noted that Assistant Superintendent George Ferro called the move the “will of the Hanson voters,” but she said that characterization was incorrect.
“The Board of Selectmen pulled that ability away from the Hanson voters,” Byers said. “I’m certain the voters want this in Hanson, but they didn’t have the ability because the Board of Selectmen did not give the voters that choice.”
Szymaniak said if the Hanson Select Board does not place it on the October warrant, town meeting rules permit the article to be placed by citizen’s petition.
Byers said if the Hanson officials were going to look at the School Committee’s capital articles as requests, they should send their entire capital matrix along to the Capital and Finance committees. Charged with prioritizing needs, Byers said her committee did so by forwarding the technology needs.
“Maintenance is going to have to take a back seat for the year,” she said. “All of those conversations happened.”
School Committee member Beth Stafford said towns traditionally place the articles, but pass over them at Town Meeting if they feel it is necessary.
Scriven thanked Whitman Town Administrator Mary Beth Carter for her comments at Town Meeting about the need to start budget discussions earlier and engaging more with Hanson officials in that process.
The Regional Agreement Committee (RAC), meanwhile, is in a pause with Howard’s departure from the School Committee, Szymaniak said. To reorganize the RAC panel a revote of a representative from Whitman and one from Hanson will be necessary. Hanson will have to name a new Select Board representative, as well. That reorganization meeting will follow the Town Elections, which will be held on May 20.
Questions asked of counsel stemming from the discussion on consensus votes for the revised agreement were discussed last week, however.
Byers questioned the addition of the word “consider” following a phrase outlining how Select Boards “shall” forward warrant articles to Town Meeting.
“It completely changes the dynamic of what our 10-member committee has the authority to do – which is vote for things, and it shall go to Town Meeting,” Byers said, noting that changing one word only says select boards “shall consider” doing so. “Basically, this committee gives up our authority to the towns for them to make the decision.”
Byers said that was her reason for asking that the agreement come back to the School Committee before going forward for review by MARS or legal.
“There is no doubt it was going to come back to this committee,” Scriven said. “That’s the final process. We’re sending it out to MARS and our legal to help us clean up our language that we come up with in our meetings.”
Final drafts with changes clearly marked will be brought back for RAC to review again.
Szymaniak said when it comes back to the RAC it will also be forwarded to the full School Committee and both Select Boards before it must go before both Town Meetings and then to the Department or Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
“This is still a long process,” he said.
Member Glen DiGravio asked what recourse the committee would have if the wording change is deemed illegal.
“What do we do about it, file a lawsuit?” he asked.
Szymaniak replied the committee has talked about such a move in the past, but that it’s like suing the state.
“I think that’s a conversation with the town,” he summed up. “But our modus operandi has to change on how we assess things.”
In other business, Business Manager John Stanbrook reviewed the state aid outlook for fiscal 2024 saying that while the House Ways and Means budget breakdown for Chapter 70 is out and the Senate version has just been released, the latter has not yet been broken down to the town and district levels.
“This will be updated very soon by the state Department of Revenue,” he said.
The House version had transportation reimbursement at 100 percent.
Stanbrook said the overall net in Cherry Sheet funds over last year is $503,949 or 2.01 percent.
“But you have to look closely at the numbers there,” he said, noting that regional transportation is listed as $449,379 of the $503,949 related to the change from a per pupil to per mile formula, without which, the increase would be $54,000 or .22 percent.
“There’s still a long way to go,” he said of the state budget.
Where the current fiscal 2023 budget is seeing concern is in Charter schools – already $18,000 over budget with two months to go, leaving him to anticipate a shortfall of about $70,000 more by the end of the fiscal year, but transportation is about to be over by about the same two amounts, because costs have been lower than was budgeted. Homeless transportation costs are still incomplete.
“That’s kind of the amount that will make or break whether we hit our revenue budget,” he said.
School panel to focus on decorum
The School Committee on May 10 addressed what Vice Chair Christopher Scriven described as issues, including a morale problem, which had ultimately led to Chair Christopher Howard’s resignation.
Scriven asked that a discussion of committee protocol be placed on the agenda.
“I appreciated all that Chris did for us and the direction he moved us in, but going forward, I think we need to have a discussion and ask some questions of ourselves about what we want to be going forward,” Scriven said.
His preference is to concentrate on the district’s mission statement supporting providing students with a high-quality education that promotes student success and responsible citizenship.
“I would like to ask the committee what do we want for individuals and what do we want, collectively for our group?” he said. “To say that we have some morale issues is an understatement.”
He wants to see a continuing discussion of reasonable protocols and procedures to which the committee should adhere. Rather than being a question of getting along with other members, Scriven explained it as a search for the goal of the committee and how members fit in to accomplish things together.
“By no means is this an effort to keep someone quiet or keep them from getting information that they want to [put out there],” Scriven said. “It’s about how do we function most effectively as a committee?”
The frequency in which members reach out to administration – for whatever reason – which has been disproportionate from some members of the committee, which keeps those officials from accomplishing other things.
Member Dawn Byers said, rhetorically, what the best avenue would be toward finding information she might need. She also said there should be a way to discover if a member has a problem with something another member said, how best should those interpersonal issues be addressed and worked out.
Approaching the end of his first year on the committee, Glen DiGravio said he has had no problems with other members.
“You guys have all treated me great,” he said. “Thanks for bearing with me and … if this needs to be improved, then to me, it’s only going to get better because I expected it to be much more negative than it’s been.”
Scriven had expressed his incredulity at, arriving to the joint meeting with the two select boards over the budget, only to find out a member had reached out to one board and come up with a deal.
“Is that how we want to operate?” he asked. “I don’t have the answers, but I have questions.”
Hillary Kniffen suggested that, in a couple of weeks there might be another committee. Michelle Bourgelas aggreed.
“I’m not disagreeing with things that you’re saying, but I think it might be a good idea to table this until we have our full committee that we will have after the tow election,” Kniffen said, suggesting that members be asked to propose a few norms they want to see and discuss at a June meeting.
Scriven said he was in complete agreement with that suggestion. Beth Stafford agreed it would be an important thing to do.
“Let’s try to remember the positive reasons we want to be here,” Bourgelas said. “A lot of good things happen at this school … there’s a lot of good people here. … There’s just been too much negative things at these meetings.”
Member David Forth said serving on the committee has been one of the greatest honors and privileges of his life, of which he is very proud as he has learned a lot from it.
Building a rapport with other members over coffee has been very helpful, he said.
“I might not always agree with your position or your vote, but I respect you and your character and your position, and I respect your vote,” he said of his fellow committee members. “We have a great group of people and I try to remember that and try to … ask what’s my role to help improve upon that.”
‘Everybody got a haircut’
HANSON – Voters at Hanson’s Monday, May 1 Town Meeting approved a tighter than tight municipal budget and a host of other articles ranging from the financial future of the transfer station to the design of the state flag, and quite a bit in-between.
A quorum was easily reached as more than 225 people crowded into Hanson Middle School’s auditorium for the annual session, with some still checking in when moderato Sean Kealy lowered the opening gavel.
The Town meeting began with $859,461 available in free cash and $1,637,674.21 in the stabilization fund, Moderator Sean Kealy said.
“This budget scares me,” said Steve McKinnon, of Steven Street, a former Finance Committee member, noting that voters had approved a Proposition 2 ½ override for about $1.9 million two years ago. “We’re still upside down. We never want to fund operating expenses with free cash.”
He was the only person to place holds on budget line items during the initial run-through of the budget article, pointing out the town was using $400,000 of free cash to fund the operating budget.
“We live in a town where maybe 80 percent [of the budget], maybe higher, is associated with salaries,” he said. “In times like these, I don’t think it’s the prudent thing to do to take the money out of free cash unless you squeeze everything you can out of your operating budget.”
He reminded the Town Meeting that the state’s policy is to us free cash for one-time expenditures in seeking an explanation about Town Hall salary lines.
Finance Committee member Michael Dugan explained a part-time assistant position was added – split between working for the Select Board and the Planning Department in one line item. Under Conservation, the increase in salary was the conservation agent, upgraded from part-time to a full-time post at the October Town Meeting.
“Maybe I spent too much time in the private sector, but you don’t increase staff when you don’t have the money,” McKinnon said. “You don’t have the money.”
The budget was passed with a wide margin of support.
An article ceasing the operation of the transfer station enterprise fund, effective fiscal year 2024. The article addressed the financial impact of China’s 2017 decision to halt its acceptance of recyclables from outside its borders and the cost of disposable recyclables has been added to the transfer station’s fuel and operating costs and inflation and hauling costs have increased the expense above wage, utility and indirect cost increases.
The enterprise fund had been established under MGL Ch. 44 Section 53F1/2 in 2014.
“The transfer station is no longer self-sustaining as an enterprise fund,” Kealy read from the article’s explanation. “The cost to operate the transfer station has consistently and increasingly exceeded the revenue from stickers, bags and trip tickets year over year.”
Absent “substantial increases” to user fees, the enterprise fund model is unsustainable and transfer enterprise revenue would be directed to the town’s general fund under the article’s provisions.
Resident Bruce Young, who opposed the article, noted he had spoken against a similar article, which Town Meeting had defeated in 2020. He noted that the law permits free cash to help the enterprise fund make up shortfalls.
“It has never been entirely self-sustaining as an enterprise account,” he said, noting that every year since 2015 the town has used taxation or free cash to help fund it, with the exception of 2023.
“Why pick on the transfer station?,” he asked. “It’s an efficiently run department with only two employees.”
Dugan responded that the article is intended to create transparency and a simpler way of doing things.
“Expenses continue to rise,” he said, noting that recycling went from costing the town nothing to $120 per ton as of February to move it and solid waste now costs $144 per ton plus additional fees.
The idea is to create a town department fully funded with an availability of cash and allows the use of a line-item transfer to help alleviate any short-term cash flow needs.
Health Board Chair Melissa Pinnetti underscored Dugan’s points and said the board has spent a great deal of time reviewing the growing revenue and expense gap in the transfer station budget.
“The budget is pretty tight and, quite simply, the overwhelming cost of operation coming from hauling and disposal, we spent a lot of time thinking about ways to decrease the overall cost by decreasing the tonnage hauled,” she said. “This article is in no way intended to change the structure or function or operation of the transfer station, it it simply a matter of accounting.”
Dugan reminded the Town Meeting that every department “got a haircut” in the budget presented. He added that a task force has been created and is reviewing all opportunities, whether to maintain the transfer station as is, combining with other towns, or going to a curbside model.
No decisions have yet been made.
“Nothing is going to change for the current fiscal year and the next fiscal year,” Dugan said. “Quite frankly, anything that would be put in place, would take 18 to 24 months before it could even be implemented, given the need for potential equipment and upgrades of that nature if we did something else, Transfer station is here to stay for the next few years.”
He said the town had to trim $700,000 from all departments to balance the budget. The article would work the same way as the ambulance account, which helps the general fund as well as financing new fire equipment.
Resident Frank Milisi said there has been a contraction of available private trash haulers, as well.
“Getting someone to give you a reasonable price on nearly anything now is a really hard predicament to be in,” he said. “This is the right direction to go. I think it’s smart and it makes it easier to fund the transfer station, not harder.”
An article seeking $65,000 to build a new playground at Cranberry Cove was challenged by former Select Board member Matt Dyer, who also serves on the Final Plymouth County Reuse Committee. He asked why the funds could not be built on the portion of the former Plymouth County Hospital site located on High Street.
The Town Meeting voted to table the article after a resident asked if the playground could be relocated away from the beach area.
Maintaining more than one playground does not make financial sense, Dyer said, noting a playground is being planned for the High Street site.
“The CPC process is pretty rigorous,” said Milisi, who chairs the Kiwanee Commission. “The playground we’re going to do at the pond is going to do a lot or recreation for some of the younger kids, who may not know how to swim, but their older siblings will. We should have a park within one square mile of every kid in this town, to be honest with you.”
Milisi pledged to work with the committee planning a high street park, should the Cranberry Cove article pass.
Conservation Agent Phil Clemons said a question that did not come up with the CPC was whether the Cranberry Cove playground was envisioned to be useable 12 months out of the year.
“If it’s not in use the rest of the year, I’m not so sure about it,” he said.
Milisi said the playground would only be available during the summer months when the cove is open because of safety concerns so near the beach and park security. He also noted that the five-member CPC voted unanimously to support the playground, including Clemons.
Dyers asked for an opinion from town counsel on whether a playground, behind a fence, at Cranberry Cove would present an “attractive nuisance” to would be trespassers, and whether it makes the town liable for injuries or worse.
“I’ve never been to the Cove and I don’t know [what is encompassed by behind the fence],” Town Counsel Kate Feodoroff said.
Dyer said the end of the fence is in the water and there are already “patrons,” or trespassers going down into the water and around the fence to get down to the Cove.
Milisi said there have been many instances of that in the offseason and multiple security cameras have been installed in the beach area for that reason. He added the Camp is in the process of attaining insurance for the playground, as it does for other insurance at Camp Kiwanee.
“It doesn’t come out of the town budget,” he said, noting that the playground, estimated to cost about $75,000 will only be available for use by people paying admission to the beach at Cranberry Cove.
“There’s a risk of liability, of course, with any sort of opportunity for kids to hurt themselves,” Feodoroff said. “When you build a playground, what the attractive nuisance means is that it is something even more enticing than what is normally attractive to a child.”
She added that insurance affords protection.
The Town Meeting also approved, by a vote of 71-48, a citizen’s petition in support of revisions to the design of the state flag, official seal and motto. Sixty-two other towns and cities have also approved the redesign.
“I supported this article because it is time to take action,” said Marianne DiMascio, of Indian Head Street. “For four decades people on the state level have been trying to have the flag and seal and the motto changed.”
She noted a bipartisan commission of historians, legislators, tourism officials, Native American leaders and designers had been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2021to begin that work, but an extension has been deemed necessary. That issue is due to go back before the legislature this fall.
The article only voices support for the ongoing work of the commission and takes no stand as to what a new design should look like, she said.
“I’ve had conversations with local tribal leaders and have come to learn how objectionable the current seal and flag is to Native American tribes throughout the state,” she said.
DiMascio noted that the arm and sword on the flag and seal is inspired by the sword of Miles Standish, who is known for killing native peoples and displayed the head of Metacomet’s head on a spike not very far from Hanson, in Plymouth.
“We’re in the area where so much indigenous history happened,” she said. “Our children learn about the seal and motto in third grade … how do you explain why there is an arm holding a sword over a Native American’s head? It’s a very bad, violent image.”
She said it is time for a seal and flag design that represents the very best of Massachusetts.
One resident, expressing initial ambivalence about the redesign, said he was probably more opposed to it because it is based on an idea that we should go back and rewrite our own history and “kind of villainize ourselves.”
He said the motto is not directed at Native Americans, but at British Gen. Gage, the royal governor of the Boston area in a letter written at the beginning of the Revolution. The downward arrow is also a symbol of peace, he said.
Metacomet’s head on display was an historic tradition of a war trophy that all cultures have practiced over the millennia, he said.
“I’m not saying it’s good or bad or right or wrong, it really frustrates me when there’s one perspective put out there and trying to villainize one side of the other,” he said. “We have to look at history for what it is and not villainize ourselves now for stuff that happened, 200, 300 or 400 years ago.”
Select Board member Ann Rein recalled visits to historic sites in the South.
“You can’t judge history through our eyes,” she said. “You have to be there and be living in that time. It is what it is.”
Nick Donahue of Indian Head Street said he believes deeply in honoring the past, but also in changing for the better, even if it’s uncomfortable.
“Our history in the Commonwealth and nation is woven with the history of the native people since they welcomed the Pilgrims 400 years ago,” he said. “It’s been a mixed history and I agree completely you can’t see it clearly from today’s perspective, but I think that’s being generous.”
While he agreed with some of the questions raised, he said we can do better today.
“The Native communities in Massachusetts are asking for this change for good reasons, and I think their ideas should be considered,” Donahue said, noting that Massachusetts has been a leader the ideas of civil rights, women’s right to vote and workers’ rights at times when such ideas were not popular.
He said, if it is changed, the current flag should not be discarded, but curated and cared for in a museum.
Early voting begins
Contested Select Board and School Committee races in both Whitman and Hanson will be highlighted on Town Election ballots in both communities, as Whitman voters will also be asked to weigh in on a proposed debt exclusion question for a $17.8 million DPW building and whether the town’s treasurer-collector should become an appointed position.
Since a new DPW building plan was rejected by the voters in 2013, the Department of Public Works has been working on plans for a new building that are pared down but meet current needs as well as considering the future.
“What we’re trying to build is a new facility that just has basic needs – that our crews need, that our mechanics need, that our staff needs,” Kevin Cleary, chairman of the DPW Commission, to residents attending an informational meeting on Wednesday, April 26.
The feasibility process for the new building was started in 2008, Cleary noted. The approximately $1 million approved at Town Meeting last year paid for an owner’s project manager (OPM), as required by state law, and an architect.
Beyond flaking paint, the video showed crumbing of the front operations (or green) building’s crumbling cinder block façade. Constructed before the sinking of the Titanic, the garage building is more than 110 years old and houses not only garage and maintenance space as well as storage and breakroom space for employees. It also holds the one working – if not exactly sanitary – bathroom for DPW crews.1960s fire.
The building also lacks proper heat and ventilation and is not compliant with OSHA regulations. Crews have to work in these conditions for two or three shifts straight during snowstorms.
“It doesn’t have any proper facilities,” Cleary said. “It’s well-passed its life span.”
The metal-framed back building, constructed in the 1970s, is used as “cold storage” for equipment that, at best keeps the items sheltered from weather and provides space for two mechanics to work. While the bays do have heat, there is no ventilation, meaning the doors have to be left open while they are working in all weather – including winter.
On a median home valued at $402,000, the 20-year debt exclusion would mean $285 on tax bills for the first year, down to $163 in the final year – or an average of $224 per year.
The Treasurer/Collector question will appear on the May 20, 2023 Town election ballot to be ratified, after last winter’s special Town Meeting approved it.
Interim Town Administrator Frank Lynam argued in his report, initially placed on the warrant as Article 12 from the board, that both moves were in recognition of recent changes that mean people serving in those positions these days require more advanced certifications. The report was taken out of order and made the first item of business for the evening.
“As an elected position, the sole requirement for the [Treasurer/Collector] role is to receive more than one more of 50 percent of the votes,” Lynam said. “There is no requirement that the candidate have any experience in managing and handling cash or in collecting municipal bills.”
He and former Treasurer/Collector Mary Beth Carter listed some of he requirements of the job today, as the financial market is more sophisticates and a town’s financial security leans mainly on the person in that post.
“If the position is not changed to an appointed position, the town runs the risk of possibly having a person who is unqualified or is inexperienced as a treasurer/collector,” she said. “This position is too important to … have a person who may be popular, however is not qualified for this job.”
In response to a question about who is responsible for paying for the educational credentials needed, Lynam said the town has always encouraged employees to further their education, but the initiative to learn the job requirements rests solely with the individual. But an elected officer cannot be directed or managed by anyone other than a town election, he said.
“It is very much in the town’s interest to thoroughly scrutinize the qualifications and skills of someone who will have access to and authority to invest, at various times, up to $45 million of taxpayer and ratepayer money on behalf of the town,” Lynam said.
Hanson voters, meanwhile will see a three-way race for two seats on the Select Board in a relatively quiet election season.
Early voting hours in Hanson will be conducted at Hanson Town Hall, 532 Liberty St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, May 15; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 16 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 17.
The Election Day voting will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hanson Middle School. Saturday, May 20.
Whitman is offering absentee/Early voting ballots for the May 20 annual Town Election are now available in the Town Clerk’s office. Voters that want to vote by absentee/early ballot for this Election are asked to fill out an application as soon as possible. Anyone voting by absentee/early ballot by mail must fill out an application or send a letter to the Town Clerk with their signature by Monday May 15, 2023.
Absentee voting may be done in person at the Town Clerk’s office. Early voting must be done by mail. Voters may vote absentee only if you are absent from the town during the hours the polls are open; physical disability; or religious belief.
Polls on election day, Saturday, May 20, in Whitman are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Appearing on Whitman’s ballot are:
Town Moderator Michael Seele, of 253 School St., running unopposed for re-election for a three-year term.
Kenneth Lytle, 137 Warren Ave., (vote for one) is running unopposed for treasurer-collector.
Select Board (vote for two) Incumbents Dr. Carl Kowalski, 45 Simmons Ave., and Randy LaMattina, 6 River Birch Circle, are seeking re-election, challenged by Rosemary Connolly, 407 Franklin St., and Laura Howe, 185 School St. Connolly is currently a member of the Finance Committee and Howe is animal control officer right now.
Seeking re-election to the School Committee for three-year terms Steve Bois, 37 Beal Ave., and David Forth Jr., 123 Pleasant St., are being challenged by Kaitlin Barton, of 7 Marble St. #214E and Kevin P. Mayer, 804 Washington St., #2.
John J. Noksa, 84 Country Way, is running unopposed for re-election as an assessor (vote for one) for a three-year term.
Running for re-election to the two seats up for election on the Department of Public Works Commissioners for a three-year term.
Running for two three-year posts on the Public Library Trustees, are incumbent Patricia J. Eunice, 347 Commercial St., and challenger Sylvia D.S. Bubbins, 16 English Place.
Thomas J. Evans, 68 Temple St., is running unopposed for a three-year term on the Board of Health.
Town Moderator Sean Kealy, 121 Holmes St., running unopposed for re-election for a three-year term.
Select Board (vote for two) Incumbent Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett, 83 Bay State Circle, is seeking re-election. Also vying for the two seats up for voting are Thomas E. Chambers, 282 King St., and David George, 564 State St. Incumbent James Hickey decided not to seek re-election.
Seeking re-election to the School Committee for three-year term, is Hillary M. Kniffen, 453 Gorwin Drive. Stephen M. Cloutman, 229 Cross St., is running for the two years remaining on former School Committee Chair Christopher Howard’s term. Howard decided earlier this spring to step down after Town Meeting.
There is no declared candidate for the open three-year term on the Board of Assessors.
Health Board member Kevin R. Perkins, 493 Spring St., is running un-opposed for re-election to a three-year term.
Kevin E. Keane, 653 Indian Head St., is running unopposed for a tree-year term on the Hanson Housing Authority.
Running for re-election to two three-year seats on the Public Library trustees are John F. Papp, 521 Spring St., and Teresa M. Santalucia, 617 West Washington St.
Michael J. Chernicki, 680 Liberty St., is running unopposed for re-election to the Board of Water Commissioners.
— Tracy F. Seelye
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