Hingham: Voters change Treasurer/Collector to appointed, not elected, post

Hingham concluded its Town Meeting Tuesday, after two nights of debate and action. Unlike the first night, when nearly 1,800 voters showed up to discuss high school athletic fields, Town Meeting struggled to achieve its quorum of 300.

Many local towns have considered switching from an elected treasurer/collector to an appointed position. In the past year, the state’s Department of Revenue has urged towns do so, but most have not. The decision came to Hingham Town Meeting Tuesday night for the second time.

As usual, proponents said a multi-million dollar budget should not be left to the chance of an election, while the opponents said the general electorate should decide. The majority voted in favor of the change.

In other action, Town Meeting agreed to spend $3.7 million to buy 18 acres in South Hingham. Housing developer Avalon owns the 18 acres and has a plan to build 177 units of affordable housing on it. Selectmen brought an alternative plan to Town Meeting to bolster commercial development. Town Meeting agreed to site a waste water treatment plant there.

Town Meeting also voted for a moratorium on decisions regarding medical marijuana, for a monument off Beal Street to remember the people buried at the former alms house and for reducing the quorum to 200 after the initial session.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.