Members Sought for New Town Hall Building Committee

IMG_2758The search is on for volunteers to serve on the new Town Hall Building Committee.

The seven volunteer members of the committee will help make decisions about potential renovations and structural updates to Town Hall, said Scott Maddern, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Selectmen. Committee members will be appointed by the Board of Selectmen and the committee will also include Town Manager Michael Lombardo and another town employee.

Maddern said Selectmen are hoping to get a lot of public input that will also help develop estimated costs and a timeline for work that could go before Town Meeting voters.

Anybody who is interested in becoming a member of the committee is asked to fill out an “application for board of committee membership” and submit it to the Selectmen’s office at Hamilton Town Hall. The committee will be formed within the next few weeks.

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Police Chief at the Helm During Town Manager’s Leave

russ-stevens
Hamilton Police Chief Russell M. Stevens

Police Chief Russell Stevens will serve as Interim Town Manager while Town Manager Michael Lombardo is out on leave.

Lombardo is out on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, said Scott Maddern, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Selectmen.

Lombardo could be out up to 6-8 weeks, but he could be back before then. When he returns, Maddern said he expects Lombardo “won’t miss a beat when he returns.” There will be no interruption in town services during Lombardo’s leave, Stevens said.

Previously, Stevens has served as interim town manager during Lombardo’s vacations. In the coming weeks, both the Board of Selectmen and the Finance and Advisory Committee will be preparing for the Annual Town Meeting on April 1. Both boards have full confidence in Stevens and have been impressed as he’s helped develop the fiscal year 2018 budget, Maddern said.

The Police Department is in the capable hands of Lt. Scott Janes, according to Maddern and Stevens. The department has been well trained and prepared under Stevens’ “steady hand,” including state accreditation and reaccreditation, Maddern said.

Jenkins, Maddern Top Close Selectmen’s Race

2277408667_0d8db8f776Allison Jenkins and Scott Maddern have topped the ticket for two open seats on the Hamilton Board of Selectmen in Thursday’s annual town election, according to the unofficial results from Hamilton Town Clerk Andrea Carlson.

Jenkins received 498 votes across the town’s three precincts and incumbent Maddern received 479 votes. Rosemary Kennedy, who didn’t win a seat on the board, received 435 votes.

Turnout was 14 percent, with 814 of the town’s 5,653 registered voters going to the polls at Winthrop Elementary School.

The race for the School Committee was the only other contested race on the ballot, but those vote totals are compiled along with the Wenham numbers.

Go here to see the complete Hamilton election results.

Affordable Housing Session Postponed, New Date to be Announced

image001 (6)The educational session about affordable housing permits issued under Chapter 40B that was scheduled to happen on Monday night at Hamilton-Wenham Public Library has been cancelled.

It will be rescheduled and a new date and time will be announced when it is available.

State Sen. Bruce Tarr, State Rep. Brad Hill and Hamilton Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Maddern were all hosting the event, which was scheduled to include a presentation by Laura F. Shufelt, the community assistance manager the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

More Than $150K Donated to Affordable Housing Trust as part of Patton Ridge Project

Alan Berry, Dave Carey, 156k check for Affordabel Housing Trust (1)
Alan Berry of C.P. Berry Homes, right, presents a $156,000 check to David Carey of the Hamilton Affordable Housing Trust as part of Berry’s purchase of the Patton Ridge property.

C.P. Berry Homes and Alan Berry have donated $156,000 to the Hamilton Housing Trust as part of the company’s development of Patton Ridge on the Patton Homestead property off Asbury Street.

“Thanks to his construction of the Patton Ridge property and his contribution, one or more additional families will be able to afford to live in our wonderful town,” said David Carey, chairman of the Hamilton Affordable Housing Trust.

Patton Ridge is Hamilton’s first ever development under the town’s senior bylaw and will help fund an endowment for the Patton Homestead as well as recreation fields that the town desperately needs, according to Scott Maddern, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Selectmen.

“I’m so proud to accept this check, a direct result of the generous gift of the Patton Homestead to the Town of Hamilton by Mrs. Joanne Patton and her family,” Maddern said.

In addition to the sale price of $1 million, the Hamilton town government will receive more than $150,000 per year from taxes on the homes.

“And with the Patton Board of Directors in place too, as the non-profit for the management and planning of the Homestead, the Town Meeting decisions are really being delivered on,” Maddern said.

Fall Special Town Meeting Gets a New Date

The fall Hamilton Special Town Meeting has been rescheduled and has been pushed back by about a month.

Town Meeting

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously 5-0 last week to change the date from Oct. 3 to Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. at Winthrop Elementary School. The decision came after a seven minute discussion by the Board of Selectmen.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Maddern said it will give more time for residents to get informed about a proposal to use Community Preservation Act money to purchase conservation land on Sagamore Hill (more to come about that on the Hamilton town blog), including taking a site walk. There will be a 5K run and family fun day at the site on Sept. 19, hosted by Essex County Greenbelt, noted Selectman Shawn Farrell.

Maddern said he also spoke with newly-elected Moderator Jennifer Scuteri about the date change.

The originally planned date is just a month away and pushing back the meeting date by about a month makes sense, said Selectman Jeff Hubbard.

The date for special town meeting in the fall was pushed forward after a decision in 2011 to move the Annual Town Meeting in the spring from May to April, according to Town Manager Michael Lombardo.

Selectman Marc Johnson, a former chairman of the Planning Board, said a later date gives the Planning Board more time to get in public hearings for zoning bylaw changes that may go before Town Meeting, including a proposal to allowed mixed uses on the same lot in the downtown. It also gives various groups a chance to do public presentations before the meeting so Town Meeting will not be the first time voters will hear about many of the issues on the warrant.

Outgoing Historical Society President Will Hit the Road in His Winnebago

After 22 years, Arthur “Butch” Crosbie has retired as president of the Hamilton Historical Society and will hit the road to tour the country.

Butch Crosbie and Scott Maddern

“It was with regrets that the Council on Aging said good-bye to a good friend last Thursday afternoon,” said COA Director Mary Beth Lawton.

Crosbie was presented with a citation from the Board of Selectmen. It was presented to him by board Chairman Scott Maddern.

Crosbie retired from the Historical Society after serving as its’ president for 22 years. Crosbie did many historical tours for the Council on Aging and seniors enjoyed the historical view of the community he provided, looking back at the community where they have lived for many years.

Crosbie and his wife will now set out on the road with their two Corgis in a Winnebago touring the United States.