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Local News

May 23, 2012

School Committee is only contested race in Hamilton

HAMILTON — Voters will decide a contested School Committee race tomorrow, but all other candidates on Hamilton's election ballot are running unopposed.

Polls are open at Winthrop Elementary School in Hamilton from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Five candidates are vying for three, three-year terms on the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee: Barbara Kent Lawrence, Sheila MacDonald, Brett McKechnie, Melissa Even Moore and William "Bill" Wilson.

Four of the nine positions on the School Committee are up for election after incumbents Dacia Rubel, Jack O'Keefe and Chairwoman Alexa McCloughan decided not to run.

Larry Swartz, who was appointed to the School Committee to fill a vacancy this fall, is the only person running for a one-year position on the board. Swartz, a lawyer and former Wenham selectman, will serve the remainder of Don Gallant's term, after the longtime member resigned last year.

Each of the candidates has skills or prior experience that could translate well to the work done by the School Committee. Moore has experience in labor contract negotiations, MacDonald and Lawrence have worked as teachers, and Wilson and McKechnie work in finance.

Hamilton Selectman David Carey decided not to run for re-election, leaving two candidates running to fill two, three-year terms: incumbent Jennifer Scuteri, an attorney, and David Neill, a longtime resident who previously served three terms on the Board of Selectmen in the 1990s.

Neill said he decided to get back into town politics after Hamilton transitioned to a town manager form of government with a five-member Board of Selectmen.

With a town manager, selectmen don't have to worry as much about the "nuts and bolts" matters of the town, he said. This frees the board up to focus on setting policy and long-range planning - things that selectmen "never seemed to have time to do" with the old model.

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