The Town of Hopkinton is undergoing significant staff turnover, with key financial positions vacant.
With so much turnover, it prompted the question: What financial controls are in place, and who enforces them?
HopNews tested the town's accounting procedures with a fake invoice and received a real check from the town.
The town's financial practices, including a lack of vendor approval processes, poor expense categorization, and an unusually large number of vendors, raise questions about potential misuse of funds.
Furthermore, the absence of responses from town officials highlights a lack of accountability.
Epic pickleball mayhem is brewing, folks! Hopkinton Police are taking on both Westborough and Grafton PDs, spurred on by nothing but energy drinks and pure grit. Losers will hand over $500 to charity, the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in case of Hopkinton's 'inevitable' victory. Game date: TBD, stay tuned!
Hopkinton Town Manager Norman Khumalo is reportedly leaving his position for the private sector. Khumalo has served since June 2009, his appointment succeeding the abrupt resignation of former Town Manager Tony Troiano, convicted of manslaughter. Assistant Town Manager Elaine Lazarus will act as temporary town manager.
The refugee crisis in Massachusetts is growing due to a large influx of migrant families, leading to a strain on the state's "right-to-shelter" law that guarantees shelter and necessities to homeless parents with children, pregnant women, and refugees. Currently, over 7,500 families are in emergency shelters, pushing the system to the brink. The state, struggling to provide enough shelter and services, is spending more than $45 million per month to provide housing and assistance. This crisis has even extended to local towns like Hopkinton, where local health departments are coordinating efforts to meet the urgent needs of refugees.
Joan M. Phipps, 83, of Hopkinton, and wife to Russell H. Phipps for 53 years, passed away on November 29, 2023. A Licensed Practical Nurse by profession, Joan enjoyed gardening, raising animals, and spending time at the Hopkinton Senior Center. She is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Longtime Hopkinton resident, Chuck Wallace, expresses concern regarding the rapid turnover of staff at Town Hall, with many key positions currently unfilled. Wallace, a retired police lieutenant, urges the Select Board to investigate the cause of this exodus and take corrective measures. He fears the continuing loss of talented personnel may damage Hopkinton's reputation as an employer. The board will discuss Wallace's concerns at their December 5 meeting.
On December 13, Chuck Joseph will present the history of Hopkinton since the 1950s at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. The lecture follows the town's growth from a small farming community to a thriving suburb, and ends with a Q&A session. Sponsored by the Hopkinton Historical Society and Chamber of Commerce, the event is open to all.
The Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce is re-introducing its "Business of the Year" award in 2023, with Weston Nurseries named as the honoree. The family-run business is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the award ceremony will take place during the Chamber's Holiday Celebration. The event will feature foods with a 1920s theme, a cash bar, and a bonfire for marshmallow roasting.
Several deer strikes and many lost pets making the most of their newfound freedom. In human news, a suspicious guy in all camo (probably trying to blend in?), a couple of scams, and some vehicular mishaps. Finally, a sprinkle of good old identity and credit card theft just to keep the pot stirring. What a rollercoaster!
Frank Duckett, a 77-year-old veteran and long-time employee at Thermo Scientific, passed away on November 28, 2023. He left behind his beloved wife Sarah, their three children, and three grandchildren. Duckett served in the Air Force and after retirement, enjoyed traveling with his family and coaching hockey for his sons.
In response to Massachusetts' housing affordability crisis, the state legislature implemented a law requiring communities to create zones for multi-family housing. The rules apply predominantly to towns served by the MBTA and were broadly expanded to include adjacent towns.
Hopkinton must formulate a plan to zone areas summing to 50 acres and 750 multi-family units, or face potentially severe penalties including loss of state funding and potential lawsuits.
The Zoning Advisory Committee has created a draft map of the new MBTA zones, but what is unknown is the effect multi-family housing will have on an already stressed school system.