The School Committee will hold a forum on January 24 to discuss the next step in the School Budget Process. The Superintendent will explain the cost of maintaining level services, as well as the costs to fund items in the Strategic Plan. Although the SC will not yet be presenting the final HWRSD Budget, this meeting is an important part of the budget process and an opportunity for the community to play a role in that process.

Our town leaders need to receive strong community input if they are to support a large override. SOS urges everyone concerned about the funding of our schools to attend the Jan. 24 School Committee meeting. Thanks to high attendance at key meetings like this one, our town officials are beginning to understand that there is strong support for adequate funding for the schools.

For a reminder of the significant budget cuts that the district has already suffered, visit the Facts page at the SOS website

Please come prepared to make a statement and voice your opinion publicly. The number of people willing to come to the podium has made a big difference in the impact we have had with town officials.

In addition or alternatively, you can e-mail the School Committee and the Town Selectmen to express your support for a level service budget. Click here to send an email now. See below for the list of email addresses which you can copy and paste, or save for later.

An e-mail in your own words would be most effective. However, many people have asked for suggestions for the key issues to touch upon. We would suggest you include the following bullet points:

  1. Indicate a minimum expectation of level services budget, (which would retain the same services for next year that we received this year) and to have some elements of the strategic plan incorporated. You could include the element you feel to be of the highest priority. For some people that is class size, or foreign languages, or user fees.
  2. Voice your willingness to vote for a substantial override (crucial in getting support from the Selectmen).
  3. Outline your expectation of communication from the School Committee in terms of posting and describing important meeting dates through newspapers, e-mail bulletins, and the website.

Sample Email:

Dear School Committee Members and Town Selectmen,

I am writing to express my concern over the deep budget cuts to the schools over the past few years. I would like to clearly express my expectation that a school budget be adopted that reflects the funding needs of the schools, and maintains a minimum of level services and reinstates some elements of the strategic plan. The area that I would most like to see reinstated is/are (e.g. foreign languages).

I am fully aware of the high costs associated with these goals, and I am prepared to vote for an override that I understand will increase my tax bill. I expect to be kept fully informed of all the steps of the budget process through the newspapers, school committee e-bulletins, and HWRSD website.

Sincerely yours,

Your Name

Here are some links for more information on town and school budget:

The League of Women Voter’s of Hamilton-Wenham will host a presentation by Marc Johnson, current Chairman of the Hamilton Planning Board. The presentation is entitled “Hamilton’s Town and School Budgets – A Historical Context“. It is subtitled “We Used To Be Fiscally Conservative; Have We Gone Crazy on Town Government Spending?

Mr. Johnson’s presentation will take place on Friday, January 25 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. The League encourages residents of both towns to attend and take advantage of the session to learn more about this important topic as it relates to both past budget patterns and trends in funding town services. For further information please contact Carol Bullivant, President of the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham, at 978-468-7317.

Email Addresses

School Committee:

Richard Boroff – [email protected]
Laurie Wilson – [email protected]
Catherine Harrison – [email protected]
Donald Gallant – [email protected]
Jack O’Keefe – [email protected]
Denise Bisaillon – [email protected]
Lisa Gaquin – [email protected]
William Martin – [email protected]
Alexa McCloughan – [email protected]

Hamilton Selectmen

William Bowler – [email protected]
Richard Low [email protected]
David Carey [email protected]

Wenham Selectmen

John Clemenzi – [email protected]
Peter Hersee – [email protected]
Lawrence Swartz – [email protected]

All addresses combined and ready to paste into your mail program:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

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