On Monday night, Hanson Town Meeting decided 56 articles in 210 minutes, approving a $19 million budget and sending two override questions to voters in the May 19th town election.
The budget passed with few questions, except for the line item regarding the Whitman-Hanson school budget. Everyone anticipated a fight over the question of an override to add $236,000 to the school budget. But the school committee asked Town Meeting to ignore the override and, instead, put the $236,000 in the operating budget. That amendment failed. The override passed, following a stirring speech by the high school’s athletic director, Bob Rogers.
“I look around this room and so many of you not only sent your kids here, but you went to Whitman-Hanson,” Rogers said. “This school district should be a source of pride to everyone in this room. It cannot endure cuts upon cuts upon cuts. I am in that building every day. I am telling you I see the class sizes. I’ve seen the courses that have been eliminated. The school is in big trouble.”
Town Meeting also approved an override to replace a 17-year-old fire truck.
Additionally, Hanson Town meeting combined the jobs of Town Planner and Conservation Agent. It approved a question to petition the state legislature to change the elected position of Highway Surveyor to that of a position appointed by selectmen.