One of the goals of the Hingham Unity Council is to create a more inclusive and welcoming community. Can you please tell voters how you will use your public position to make Hingham more welcoming for all of its citizens?

Moderator: Michael Puzo

Serving as Hingham Town Moderator is not only a privilege and an honor, it is a significant responsibility.  Hingham’s continuing commitment to Open Town Meeting, where every voter is welcome to take part in Hingham’s legislative body with “voice and vote”, is an essential element of the Town’s character.  Town Meeting is not merely a gathering of citizens; it is the legislative body of our community.  It is the meeting, the assembly of citizens exercising their sacred right of self-governance, that decides issues of spending, zoning and land use, conservation, community preservation, to name just a few.  As moderator, it is my duty to conduct the meeting fairly and in a manner that gives confidence to those present that the discussion is full and fair, that all voices are heard and that decisions are made after thoughtful debate and in a courteous and civic-minded fashion. 

The moderator has another responsibility that is perhaps less obvious, but critical, that is, appointing citizens of the Town to various boards and committees.  That process is open and all are welcome to offer service to the community.  The Select Board and the moderator take care to ensure that our fellow citizens know about these opportunities, to fill out Talent Bank forms on-line or on paper and to offer to serve.  We are fortunate to have so many citizens, whether long-time residents or those new to Hingham, who step up and offer to serve.

These are just some of the ways that I endeavor to ensure that, as someone who was new to Hingham in 1981,  others find the same warm and welcoming community that I found those many years ago.

Michael Puzo, Hingham Town Moderator and Candidate for re-election

Select Board: Liz Klein

In my first year on the Select Board, working with HUC leadership, I spearheaded the creation of the Hingham Human Rights Commission (HHRC) to promote equity and understanding within our community. By continuing to align our objectives and collaborating, we can amplify our impact and make significant strides towards a more inclusive Hingham.

First and foremost, accessibility is key to ensuring that all voices are heard and valued in our town. To achieve this, I will work tirelessly to provide ample opportunities for residents to participate in local government and community affairs. This includes initiatives such as regular newsletters to keep everyone informed, hybrid public meetings to accommodate various schedules and preferences, as well as hosting office hours and coffees where individuals can engage directly with me and other town officials. I have also worked with the Commission on Disabilities and HHRC to make Town Meeting more equitable by adding large print warrants, closed captioning, as well as more accessible parking and seating.

In addition, it is essential that we continue to foster a strong partnership between our community and law enforcement agencies. While ensuring public safety, we must also uphold civil rights and promote fairness for all. To this end, I have advocated for the creation of an equity statement on HPD’s website and continue to support the appointment of a dedicated civil rights officer and crisis clinician within our police department, further solidifying our commitment to justice and equality.

As Select Board Chair, I have the opportunity to serve as a Trustee of the Library. It is vital to our community’s success to ensure our public library is free, open to all, and fulfills its mission to “provide service on equal terms to all individuals in the community and work toward the development of the individual as a citizen and by example the removal of ignorance, intolerance and indifference in the community”.

In conclusion, I am deeply committed to making Hingham a place where every resident, employee, and visitor feels valued and respected. By leveraging my position on the Select Board and working collaboratively with organizations like HUC, I am confident that together we can build a more welcoming and inclusive community for generations to come.

Thank you for your support, and I look forward to working with each of you to achieve these important goals.

Town Clerk: Carol Falvey

I am Carol Falvey and I am running for re-election to Town Clerk. It has been an honor to serve in that role for the past 3 years. I have learned so much during this time and most especially, the breadth of services we offer to the Community.

Obviously, being an Election Year, voting is first and foremost on everyone’s minds. As part of that process, we register voters and process early vote by mail applications. But in our everyday life, we:

  • issue and distribute birth and death certificate almost every day,
  • post hundreds and hundreds of Meeting Agendas in compliance with OML,
  • oversee the filing of marriage intentions,
  • field Public Record Requests,
  • issue business certificates and oh my, so many dog licenses,
  • swear in new police officers and residents that serve on boards and committees,
  • assist with Town Meeting and submit filings to the Attorney General’s Office.

As most of you know, when I ran for the position of Town Clerk 3 years ago, I brought municipal and charitable experience along with a legal background to the role. Previously, I had served on the Hingham School Committee for 6 years and was a Trustee of the Hingham Education Foundation. Because of these experiences, I understood the workings of town government and the various roles we all play in our community.

I grew up in Hingham, part of family which instilled in all of us the importance of public service. I graduated from HHS, the College of the Holy Cross, and Suffolk University Law School. My husband, Mark Van Dine, and I raised our family here and our two kids graduated from HHS and now have fulfilling careers of their own.

Access to information is an important way to make Hingham more welcoming to all citizens. We field phone calls, emails, and walk-ins on a daily basis – we truly are the 1st stop when folks need information! We do our outmost to answer questions or connect residents to those who have the information. But communication is a work in progress and in the term ahead, I hope to expand our efforts and work with other stakeholders in this effort. People receive information in so many ways and we need to learn and adapt to those communication channels.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the help and support I’ve received from Eileen McCracken, who in her retirement, has always been available to me, and helped to smooth my transition in the Office.

Board of Assessors: Joshua Ross

Thank you to the Hingham Unity Council for allowing me to have a few minutes to introduce myself.

My name is Joshua Ross and I am running for re-election to the Board of Assessors.  I have been on the board for almost three years, where I am currently the chair.  

My family and I have lived in Hingham for 17.5 years.  I am a small business owner in town and have been volunteering for various organizations and committees for over 10 years.

It’s been an honor serving on the Board of Assessors with my fellow members Chrissy Roberts and Randy Winters.  Along with the talented and dedicated staff of the Assessors office, we have accomplished many things over these past few years. 

The main roll of Board is to fairly and accurately assess both real and personal property in Hingham.  As most people have probably noticed when they received their tax bills over the last few years, property values have increased significantly.  This is partly due to our five year re-evaluation that took place last year.  It’s also due to the very strong real estate market Hingham has experienced for some time now.  New construction and recent sales are the driving factors when assessing a property, a neighborhood, and the over town.  

Another important goal of the Board is to offer tax exemptions to those citizens who need it the most – veterans, disabled residents, those in dire financial stress, and seniors.  There are a number of successful programs that do just that and I proud that at last year’s Town Meeting we not only voted to double the benefit qualified citizens would get to many of these programs, we also made permanent the Senior-Means Test exemption.

This exemption mirrors the State’s Circuit Breaker Income Tax exception.  Two years ago, we saw a 300% increase in applications and recipients.  This past year, we also saw an increase.  We will continue to reach out to all Hingham residents to help us get the word out about this program.  At the end of last year, Governor Healey signed the tax annual tax package that included a doubling of the State’s Circuit Breaker credit.  This in turn has allowed Hingham to double our Senior-Means Tested Exemption.  This means qualified residents can now get up to $5,000 in state and local tax credit starting this year. 

Personal property and real estate taxes are the main revenue source for Hingham. Assuring we are properly assessing these things are vital to the Town’s budget and operation.  We also know there are those who are feeling the impact of higher tax bills.  We will continue to look for ways to help our citizens who need it the most.  I am excited for the opportunity to be part of the Board of Assessors for another term.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Joshua Ross

Municipal Light Board: Laura Burns

I’ve been honored to serve on the Light Board, and I look forward serving again.

Hingham Light stands in need of a large infrastructure upgrade, and planning for that has been underway since before I joined the board. The unpleasant task of raising rates in order to fund this project has fallen to the current board.

We know there are members of this community who may struggle with the smallest increase in utility rates. Even after the two rates hikes of the past year, rates adjusted for inflation are lower than they were when I joined the board. But knowing that isn’t much help in paying the bills.

So, I’m proud to have been part of the creation of Hingham Light’s Income-Adjusted Rate, the first in HMLP’s 131-year existence. Participation in one of a long list of federal, state or local assistance programs qualifies a ratepayer for this lower rate. For details, visit 

Other programs at HMLP which can help pay the bills are our free energy audits. Completing an energy audit will qualify you for rebates and incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades which will cut your electric bill. Some upgrades may be covered for as much as 90% of the cost, bringing energy efficiency within reach for most.

To customers who are still struggling with bills: please contact the HMLP customer service department at 781-749-0134. They can help you by working out an achievable payment program. HMLP has more flexibility to help than a large, impersonal utility.

While rate increases are hard to stomach, it’s still true Hingham Light is far more affordable than Eversource or National Grid, who serve the majority of Massachusetts ratepayers. We are lucky to be in charge of our own fate, and I look forward to serving my next term on the board.

Recreation Commission: Stephen Melia

The mission of the Rec Commission and the Rec Department is to make the town’s fields and playgrounds accessible to all residents of the town of Hingham. It is why I have been attracted to the group! I am currently the president of Hingham Girls Softball and we try to provide the same thing – a place for any girls that wants to try softball (at any age from k-8th grades) a comfortable and safe space to give it a try.

School Committee (Joint Statement)

Tim Dempsey and Kerry Ni, candidates for reelection to Hingham School Committee 

This isn’t a typical election year, so rather than individual statements from each of us, we are standing together to ask for your support for our reelection to the Hingham School Committee. We stand together with our common goal of fostering a supportive environment for all students, families, and educators. We thank the Hingham Unity Council for everything you do to foster dialogue in Hingham, and to make our community more inclusive. 

First and foremost, we are excited for the opening of the new Foster Elementary School. This state-of-the-art facility will provide our students with modern learning environments that promote innovation, collaboration, and academic excellence. We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for students, staff, and families as we embark on this exciting new chapter in our district’s history.

Additionally, we are fully dedicated to the continuation and enhancement of our Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) program. MTSS has proven to be an invaluable framework for addressing the diverse needs of our students and ensuring that every child has access to the resources and support they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, we support the ongoing improvements in special education. It is imperative that we provide exceptional support to students with special needs and their families, and we are committed to implementing policies and funding measures that prioritize best practices, responsiveness, empathy, and collaboration.

In our efforts to maintain positive relationships with our educators, we are diligently working towards closing fair contracts with the Hingham Education Association (HEA). Teachers and educational staff play a vital role in shaping the future of our students and we are committed to ensuring that they receive competitive compensation  and are supported in their professional endeavors. This has been a very challenging negotiation cycle as we work within the Town’s financial means to reach contracts  that demonstrate our respect and support for all of Hingham’s educators. We are also fully dedicated to working to heal relationships that may have been damaged during this cycle.  

Finally, HPS is just beginning to explore the option of establishing a new elementary therapeutic program to better meet the needs of students who require specialized support services and we look forward to supporting this work. By investing in early intervention and targeted interventions, we aim to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students.

In conclusion, we are deeply committed to advancing the educational experiences and opportunities available to the students of Hingham. We look forward to collaborating with our community stakeholders to ensure that every child receives the support and resources they need to succeed. Together, we can continue to further Hingham’s vision of a school district that fosters excellence, equity, and innovation for every student.

Sewer Commissioner: Clark Frazier

Clark Frazier candidate for reelection to the Hingham Sewer Commission

I am an MIT graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Transportation.

The Town of Hingham has three sewer districts: The Hingham (North) Sewer District serving Hingham Square, Crow Point and Hewitt’s Cove, The Weir River District serving West Corner and Rockland Street, and an authorized district in South Hingham. The Town built the North Sewer system in the 1950s and the Weir River system in the 1990s to improve shoreline water quality.

The 2024 Town Meeting Warrant includes a once-in-a-generation 13-million-dollar bond issue) to replace the sewer main on Lincoln Street (Route 3A) from the Bare Cove Pump Station on Downer Avenue to the MWRA Pump Station at Stodder’s Neck. The force main has experienced twelve failures in the last 21 years. Last year the commission submitted a smaller bond issue to complete the design. The project should qualify for up to 2.5 million dollars from ARPA grant money. Rate payers will be responsible for paying off the bonds.

The Sewer Department needs a strategic plan and an asset management system to maintain predictable stable rates. Other system components, identified as life expired will also require attention. The most immediate issue is to improve the I/I program to reduce infiltration (leaks) and Inflow (illegal connections). Continued sea level rise will increase the vulnerability of pump stations, access points and sewer connections to inundation and storm damage. Reducing unnecessary flow will have a positive impact on rates.

The Sewer Department should improve public information and outreach and work with other Town departments on resiliency issues.

I am asking for your vote for reelection to the Hingham Sewer Commission.

Board of Health: Mark Lundin

No statement submitted.

Planning Board: Kevin Ellis

No statement submitted.