Weekly News Update – 04/09/2024

Weekly News Update – 04/09/2024

EHop’s Know Your Vote on APRIL 29th • Updated Candidates List for the 2024 Town Election • Select Board completes HPD Chief Bennett’s midyear review, offers goals for improvement • Town releases community survey seeking input on skills desired in new town manager • OSPC accepts Elmwood Farms land donation; billboard remnants to live on as bridges


eHop will hold its 12th Annual Know Your Vote forum on Monday, April 29 at 7:00-8:30 pm.  This will be an in-person forum at HCAM TV Studios (77 Main St, Lower Level). It will be broadcast live on HCAM-TV and YouTube. This is a unique opportunity to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting.  This year, Town Meeting will vote on an FY2025 operating budget with a projected net tax impact of 2.35% as well as many other issues and projects including:

  • Zoning Change: MBTA Communities Zoning Bylaw & MBTA Communities Multi-Family Overlay District
  • Hopkins School Addition & Renovation
  • Adopt the Specialized Energy Code
  • Municipal Parking
  • Home Rule Petition – Senior Tax Exemptions, School Building Projects
  • Community Preservation: Restoration of the Historical Society Building
  • Zoning Change: 1 Colonial Ave., 81 Hayden Rowe, 83 Hayden Rowe (Citizens Petition)
  • General Bylaw Amendment – Membership Requirements for Certain Committees
  • General Bylaw Amendment – Non-Voter Participation at Town Meeting
  • Establish Government Study Committee (Citizens Petition)

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Last updated 03/29/24

Considering running for local office, but don’t know where to begin? To become a candidate a person must either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters by April 1, 2024 at 5PM or a person may qualify by being the top vote-getter in one of the town political party caucuses.* Nomination signature papers are available from the Town Clerk’s office (18 Main St) starting January 16, 2024. Please email or call the Town Clerk’s office with questions at townclerk@hopkintonma.gov 508-497-9710. Click on the name of any elected office listed below to read more about it.

Contested races are:

  • Select Board (3 years, vote for 2)
    • Peter Mimmo
    • Kyla McSweeney
    • Anna Dorcey Did Not Return Papers
    • Joseph Clark
    • Brian Herr
  • Planning Board (1 year unexpired term, vote for 1)
    • Karen Wills
    • Gary Trendel, Incumbent

View Article for full list of all candidates


Select Board completes HPD Chief Bennett’s midyear review, offers goals for improvement

Previously, Bennett’s performance was slammed by Select Board chair Muriel Kramer, who questioned why it has taken him until recently to post two critical leadership positions in the department for hire.

This meeting also was different in that Town Manager Norman Khumalo stepped in at the start to direct the conversation. He encouraged board members to stick to the chief’s three goals and eight other performance indicators in his contract. He also noted the town’s goal of “passionate government service” and asked how Bennett exemplified this in his work.

Recent strengths highlighted

New Human Resources Director Jessica Lewerenz, who sat with Bennett before the board, went through the summary points. She pointed to the creation of a social media team and increased officer engagement at community events as an area where the chief made significant progress.

Areas for improvement

While onboarding new officers was seen as a strength, members said the focus now should be on officer retention and improving morale.

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Town releases community survey seeking input on skills desired in new town manager

Town Manager Norman Khumalo announced at Tuesday’s Select Board meeting that Hopkinton has engaged Community Paradigm Associates to work with the Select Board in the search for a new town manager. As part of this process, the consulting firm developed a community survey seeking feedback on what residents desire in Khumalo’s successor.

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OSPC accepts Elmwood Farms land donation; billboard remnants to live on as bridges

The Open Space Preservation Commission voted 3-0 at its meeting Thursday night to accept an open space donation as part of the Elmwood Farms development off Blueberry Lane.

Billboard remnants to get new life

Two iconic billboards were removed on Monday despite efforts by Harrow and developer Craig Nation to advocate for their preservation. They both cited the billboards’ historic significance to the town as well as the potential for funds to be generated through advertising that would go to the OSPC.

Potential encroachment bylaw discussed

Harrow noted that the commission is working on language for a potential encroachment bylaw.

“We want to have a staged approach,” he explained, with the first offense calling for a letter from the commission explaining the encroachment. There will be a 30-day period for the situation to be rectified.

Trails Committee may fund open space maintenance

Harrow noted that Trails Committee chair Peter LaGoy “would be willing to fund maintenance of open space on property that includes trails.” Although “the conversation has not been formalized,” Harrow said the agreement would include the Whitehall and Turkey Ridge conservation areas.

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