HAMILTON — Town Manager Joseph J. Domelowicz Jr. and the Hamilton Board of Selectmen would like to provide residents with important details about the upcoming Annual Town Meeting and the new procedures that will be implemented to help protect the health of those who attend.
The Annual Town Meeting will take place on Saturday, June 20 at 9 a.m. at the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School football stadium, 775 Bay Road.
The meeting will be held in an open-sided tent with a hard plastic floor, and chairs will be properly spaced six feet apart from each other to comply with social distancing guidelines. Attendees will be asked to bring their own face mask or cloth face covering to wear at the meeting.
This year’s warrant has been condensed to the necessary business articles required by state and local law, and residents will vote on 22 articles total.
At Town Meeting, residents will be asked to consider two budget requests related to the town’s contribution to the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District budget.
At the beginning of the budget process, the school district initially asked for an 8.25% increase to the town’s share of the school budget. The money is used to help fund the HWRSD and the Essex North Shore Agricultural Technical School, and provide debt service for both.
However, the Board of Selectmen voted to present this operating budget in two parts to give Town Meeting Members an opportunity to express their preference about the school budget.
Warrant Article 2-2, if approved, would appropriate $20,142,186 to the school district, which would represent a 5% increase from last year’s appropriation. This amount was chosen as a compromise to the higher proposed increase and is closer to the historical average increase.
Voting against Warrant Article 2-2 defeats both the school and town budget.
Warrant Article 2-3, if approved, would raise the additional $603,075 requested by the school district. The school and town budget will not be defeated if residents vote against this warrant article, but pass the other two budget articles.
Warrant Article 2-4 is a separate request that, if approved, would allow the school district to borrow just under $1 million for capital improvements to its buildings.
More information about the budgets and the options being presented can be found here.
If a municipal or education budget request is defeated, the respective government agencies must revisit the rejected budget request, and a subsequent town meeting review and vote will be held.
To view all of the warrant articles that will be discussed at Town Meeting, click here.