Hingham: Advisory Board chairman discusses controversial town meeting warrant articles

The Hingham League of Women Voters sponsored a review of annual town meeting articles recently, with  Advisory Board Chairman John Asher.

Asher said it’s his opinion that of the 63 articles, at least four or five should generate significant debate. He said one of those articles, up for debate for the third time at town meeting, calls for traffic lights at the intersection of Cushing, Main and South Pleasant Streets.

“Anybody who sits at the intersection is thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have a traffic light.’ Advisory has not heard this article, but the Board of Selectmen has and I think they generally believe that yes, consideration should be given to it, but within the context of other development in the Gardner Street and Derby Street area. I think they’re reaction to the article was that a study that accommodated a bigger geography was probably a more sensible approach”, Asher said.

Asher also discussed another article that could be controversial - an amendment to the Demolition Delay by-law.

“It amends the wording to provide more options for remedying. So I think by that device, folks that want to make changes to historic properties aren’t faced with a totally binary situation. It’s doesn’t say ‘yes you can or no you can’t.’ It sort of says, ok, if something happens, here’s a period for remedying it.”

Other articles that could prove controversial include a water company acquisition feasibility study and reducing town meeting quorum from 300 to 200.

Annual town meeting is scheduled for April 23.


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About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.