Registered voters in Whitman and Hanson will be asked to decide on the funding of technology upgrades to school computer systems as well as voting for town officers when they go to the polls Saturday, May 16.
Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Whitman, where all precincts vote in Town Hall auditorium, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Hanson, where all precincts vote at Maquan School.
Whitman voters must be sure to look for Question 1 at the bottom of the one-sided ballot. The question involves a one-year capital exclusion of $836,500 to fund technology improvements for Whitman schools and the town’s share of high school upgrades. The additional tax, based on the current tax rate and property values, is about 63 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. [see page 12]
“While technology has advanced dramatically since 2004 [when current equipment was purchased], we continue to work with the same equipment and are finding it more and more difficult to work with what we have,” stated Town Administrator Frank Lynam.
Hanson is asking voters on a two-sided ballot to approve a five-year bond exemption for its $633,500 share of tech upgrades. The School District will be borrowing the funds, which should cost, on a decreasing scale over the five years, $12.87 on a house valued at $100,000 [$38.61 for a $300,000 house] in fiscal 2017 — down to $11.63 for that $100,000 house in the final year (fiscal 2021), based on a 2-percent interest rate.
“The current smart phones that some [high school] seniors use today are more powerful than the computers in their classrooms,” Indian Head School Principal Elaine White has stated.
In Hanson, a question which would have authorized selectmen to petition the legislature for special legislation requiring two-thirds votes of town meetings to authorize school department borrowing for certain capital costs remains on the ballot — but the issue is moot as the question was rejected by the May 4 Town Meeting.
Hanson voters will also be voting for:
• Moderator [vote for one]: Sean J. Kealy.
• Selectmen [vote for two]: Annmarie Bouzan, Donald J. Howard; James McGahan; Joseph R. Weeks III.
• Assessor [vote for one]: Kathleen Keefe.
• Board of Health [vote for one]: Arlene Dias, Kimberley King.
• Cemetery Commissioner [vote for one]: No names appear on the ballot, but James Arena III is conducting a write-in campaign. The “III” is important to make sure the correct James Arena gets the vote, as both his father and grandfather both live in town, but are not running.
A college student majoring in business administration, Arena has been working summers as a caretaker at Pine Hill Cemetery in West Bridgewater as well as part-time teller/customer service representative for Harbor One Bank on a year-round basis. He decided to run when he learned there were no candidates and said he hopes “to make a difference to improve the conditions of the family residents in town.
• Planning Board [vote for one]: John F. Kemmett.
• Hanson Housing Authority [vote for one]: Marilyn J. Cardile.
• Constable [vote for two]: Charles W. Mann, August P. Silva.
• Trustee of Memorial Field [vote for one]: No candidates.
• Trustee of Public Library [vote for two]: Linda A. Wall, Corinne C. Cafardo.
• School Committee [vote for one]: Robert W. Hayes.
• Water Commissioner [three-year term, vote for two]: Andrew D. Sargent, Mary Lou Sutter.
• Water Commissioner [one-year term, vote for one]: Gilbert B. Amado.
Whitman voters will also be voting from among:
• Town Clerk [vote for one]: Dawn M. Varley, Catherine E. Gage.
• Selectmen [vote for one]: Daniel L. Salvucci.
• Assessor [vote for one]: Priscilla A. Waugh.
• School Committee [vote for two]: Kevin M. Lynam, Frederick M. Small.
• DPW Commissioner [vote for one]: Wayne T. Carroll Sr.
• Public Library Trustee [vote for two]: Michael J. Ganshirt, Elaine M. Melisi.
• Planning Board [five-year term, vote for one]: Donald M. Craven Jr.
• Planning Board [four-year term, vote for one]: Wayne A. Andrews.
Whitman resident Joshua Kimball is also conducting a write-in campaign for a seat on the Planning Board.
• Board of Health [vote for one]: Barbara J. White.
• Whitman Housing Authority [vote for one]: Patricia A. McKay.