Hingham: Aquarion debate heats up Selectmen’s race

Hingham Selectmen Chair John Riley is running for a 3rd term but he faces two challengers: Irma Lauter and Bernard Manning.

With a $500,000 study on the table to evaluate Hingham operating its own water system, Lauter pointed out during the Q&A of the candidates forum Thursday night that Chair Riley must recuse himself from all Aquarion conversations and decisions due to a conflict of interest, leaving the workload up to the remaining two Selectmen.

“I think all hands on deck for this one. This is big,” said Lauter

Riley, who runs a utility construction company, believes his absence in the water debate shouldn’t affect his reelection campaign or the decision whether or not to buyout Aquarion, “My family’s been doing work for Aquarion Water for close to 50 years, so I’m not going to apologize for the fact that I had to recuse myself on an issue as such.”

Also, the other candidate in the race, Bernard Manning, is not only running for Selectman, but Moderator and School Committee as well.

Manning explained this is the 3rd time he’s campaigned for multiple positions at once because his legal experience could help town affairs, “The town is in terrible shape, it’s mismanaged, and I think I could straighten it out.”

According to Manning, the town bylaw allows him to fill all three positions if elected, “The thing you can’t be on is more than two committees but Selectmen is a board, School Committee is a committee, and Moderator is a singularity.”

Hingham’s town election day is April 28th.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.