The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
Two years ago, the town of Hamilton rejected the School Committee’s proposed budget at Town Meeting, a budget that did not have the support of either town’s Finance Committee. In that same month, Hamilton-Wenham voters sent a signal that they wanted change, electing three new School Committee members.
Now, two years later, the School Committee’s budget has the unanimous support of both finance committees, as well as both boards of selectmen. This success is the result of hard work, close collaboration between the school district and the towns, and a commitment to building trust between the leaders of all three entities. The bottom line is that the cost to the towns has been reduced by more than $1 million from its peak in fiscal 2011, and the high quality of education has been maintained and is poised to improve.
While it may be tempting to assume that the committee’s progress will continue and that this year’s election is of less consequence, that is not the case. Of the candidates running this year, I believe that Deb Evans, Melissa Moore and Jeanise Bertrand have the fresh perspective and collaborative approach that will enable the entire committee to continue on the path of improvement, innovation and progress.
Although these three differ in background and experience, I believe they each bring unique skills and insights that will inform productive debate, leading ultimately to the best decisions for taxpayers, parents and students.
Chairman, Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee