WHITMAN — Selectmen Randy LaMattina defended to work being done by the Budget Override Evaluation Committee as a preliminary investigation and not, as social media has portrayed it, and effort by “Whitman attempting to pick the pockets of the town of Hanson.”
LaMattina also sought to dispel any aspersions that there has been any nefarious behavior or elicit actions as completely false. The assessment method was to be further discussed with members of the School Committee and state education officials in a public hearing during the School Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
“There’s been considerable talk about an assessment issue with the school district,” LaMattina said, noting the committee’s role in the issue is simple. “Myself, along with a couple other members, through various venues over a period of time, believe there may have been an issue with how the assessment was being handled. We thought that warranted a very solid look.”
The committee used that opportunity to “present some facts and make sure the issue was looked into properly,” he said.
“I don’t want anyone at this present time — it’s very premature — to assume anything you’re reading on social media,” LaMattina said. “We don’t know what, when or if this ultimately pans out. I would say preliminary opinions are in the favor of what the original belief was, but, again, [it’s] still very premature.”
As for a statement on social media that this is “Whitman attempting to pick the pockets of the town of Hanson,” LaMattina said the accusation is “entirely off base.”
“This was a red flag that members of our committee — which, I would hope, any person or taxpayer out there watching would expect out of their appointed and elected representatives — would look into properly, and that’s what we’re doing at this point,” he said.
Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski was absent from the meeting.
LaMattina said the Budget Override Evaluation Committee was scheduled to meet Monday, Sept. 16 to hear a preliminary report from consultant John Madden concerning the state of the town’s finances.
In other business, the board voted to maintain the trash fee at $285 while retaining the senior discount.