Hingham: Selectman accused of ‘mean-sprited’ actions; candidates talk water

During Selectman candidate Irma Lauter’s closing remarks at Wednesday’s Candidates Night, she announced Hingham Selectman Laura Burns recently sent an e-mail to a select group of residents supporting current Selectmen Chair John Riley’s reelection efforts.

Lauter, who said she was given copies of the e-mail from her own supporters, feels the letter was in poor taste and Selectmen should welcome outsiders into their circle, “It’s a closed club and they don’t want any new blood. But if you’re going to have open town meeting, if you’re going to have democratic government, you want people to run. But it’s like we got three people who don’t want anybody to run.”

Chair Riley is seeking a third term as Hingham Selectman and Bernard Manning is also vying for the position.

And Hingham has been talking water for weeks since Selectmen proposed a half million dollar study to investigate possibly purchasing Aquarion Water Company.

The three candidates running for the one open slot on the Board of Selectmen squared off on the issue with Lauter explaining she’s in favor of a closer examination but not the price tag, “The $500,000 I really have a problem with–that’s an awful lot of money that buys any combination of school teachers, firemen, policemen, you could want to put together.”

Opponent Bernard Manning questioned how well-water users like himself will be factored into tax rate jumps if they receive zero benefit from the water company buyout, “Would I be required to pay a tax on services that I don’t receive?”

Selectmen Riley must recuse himself from all Aquarion conversations due to a conflict of interest.

Hingham’s election day is April 28th.

sitting left to right: Bernard Manning, John Riley, Irma Lauter

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.