Hi, friends. Whether the snow has left us or not, the 2015 budget and election season is underway! Here’s what you need to know to support your schools in the coming weeks:

Proposed school budget for 2015/2016

The budget (click to view) includes, among other highlights, a decrease of $185,000 in health insurance premiums, and a request for an increase in funding to restore learning teams to the Middle School.

Remember: The school budget is approved directly by voters at town meeting, and there is no absentee voting. Please make plans to attend your town meeting on Saturday, April 11 (details below) to vote on the budget for the 2015/2016 school year.

Candidate’s night: Wednesday, April 1, 7 p.m.

Buker Elementary School Auditorium

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Hamilton-Wenham.

This year there are two people running for the two open seats on the school committee — Hannah Fraley and Dennis Hurley. Thank you Hannah and Dennis for stepping up. And in Wenham, John Clemenzi is running for the open seat on the select board. All candidates for uncontested races are invited to give a brief statement at Candidates’ night.

Contested races in Hamilton include those for town moderator and for selectman:

Hamilton select board (two open seats for 3-year terms) [Click links for Patch profiles]:

Shawn Farrell
Bill Wilson (current school committee chair)
Rosemary Kennedy
Rob McKean

Hamilton town moderator (one open seat for a 1-year term):

Jennifer Scuteri (current select board member)
Douglas Kiernan

Our schools run best and reach their highest potential when they’re supported by effective, intelligent governance in both towns. Please take a moment to click through to the candidates’ websites, and attend Candidates’ night Wednesday evening to hear their answers to questions submitted by voters like you.

Annual town meetings, both Hamilton and Wenham

Saturday, April 11

Hamilton: 9 a.m. High School auditorium

On the warrant in Hamilton, in addition to the school budget: Community pool, a propose ban on plastic bags, the future of the Patton property, a water pipe replacement, turf field fund, and easing of restrictions on cell tower locations.

Wenham: 1 p.m. Buker elementary auditorium

On the warrant in Wenham, in addition to the school budget: Community pool, purchase of new fire engine, payment of bill for cemetery preservation.

Ballot elections, both towns

Thursday, April 16, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wenham votes at Town Hall
Hamilton votes at Winthrop Elementary School

If you are unable to vote on April 16, you may fill out an absentee ballot anytime between now and noon on Wednesday, April 15, at your town hall. Details are available from your town clerk.

Hamilton: www.hamiltonma.gov/Pages/HamiltonMA_Clerk/index

Wenham: http://wenhamma.gov/departments/town_clerk.php

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