Peter Thomas

The 2024 Election will be Unlike any Other

Hopkinton is experiencing a shift towards nonpartisan local governance, embracing community service and competence over political affiliations, as seen with the passage of Article 2. Despite past toxic political discourse and social media misuse, residents are collectively rejecting negativity. There's a call to action for new leadership as the town prepares to undertake significant projects that will shape Hopkinton's future. The emphasis is on unity and positive transformation, inviting dedicated candidates to step forward for the upcoming elections.

On BVT, Bennett Silenced Himself

John "Jay" Porter, former Deputy Police Chief, coached girls' soccer at BVT until May 2, 2023, despite being on leave since August 25, 2022, due to a felony child rape investigation. Controversy arose over his continued coaching during this period. But Police Chief Bennett could have removed Porter earlier.

Analysis: Timing of Police Promotions Leaves Brennan without a Seat

In a move prior to Sgt. Brennan's decisive closed-door meeting, the Select Board promoted Detectives Greg DeBoer and Matthew Santoro to Sergeants. We ask "Why now?"

From the Editor: Sorry Not Sorry We Outed the Victim, says the Town

The Town of Hopkinton formally apologized to Porter's alleged victim, after mistakenly revealing her identity in a document release on Friday evening. Actually, that's what they should have done. Instead, they focused on themselves again, and politely (and absurdly) asked every media organization that has the original documents to return them.

Milton Citizens send a Wake-up Call to Hopkinton

A citizens petition in Milton seeks to overturn a plan to comply with the state's MBTA Communities law, allowing multifamily zoning. Hopkinton also faces similar zoning requirements. Failure to comply risks missing out on state funds and facing legal action. Engagement in local government is urged to ensure informed decision-making. Ultimately, the issue reflects the need for public participation in local governance.

On Being a Trans Female Teenager in Hopkinton

Saffron, a 17-year-old transgender female, has endured a complicated, challenging journey even at her young age. Born a biological male named, Saffron suffered from mild autism and battled isolation and confusion, especially as she grappled with issues of gender identity. Despite the difficult phone call to her parents announcing her non-binary status and subsequent struggles against societal norms and prejudices, Saffron has remained strong and aims to work with youth struggling with similar issues one day. Despite everything, she is clear that one's gender identity doesn't determine their worth.

Want to Attract and Retain Town Employees? Let them Enroll their Kids in Hopkinton Schools.

To address staff turnover at Town Hall, HopNews Editor-in-Chief Peter Thomas suggests a novel approach: allow full-time employees to enroll their kids in Hopkinton's public schools. The proposal, anticipated to add just 36 students, could greatly enhance recruitment and retention. The idea could also be implemented using an inter-district school choice program, potentially leaving the town with no financial burden.

The Mystery of the Jenner Property

In 2023, Hopkinton approved the purchase of a 42-acre lot, the Jenner property, for preservation and trail expansion. But a site survey revealed a discrepancy in the parcel's demarcation on different maps, triggering extensive deed history research by OSPC Chair Ed Harrow. Did a zealous cartographer in the 1980's ignore previous maps and merge one family's property with another, effectively taking it? With no transfer records, and ambiguous parcel descriptions, the town may not be able to complete the purchase of the property, and we are left with several questions about how big the lot truly is and who legally owns it. With the help of friends and local historians, HopNews dives into the complicated story of ownership for the land in question.

Hopkinton Should Offer Childcare at Special Town Meeting

An editorial on how lengthy Town Meetings potentially exclude younger parents from participating due to competing priorities and lack of childcare. He suggests residents could be better served by offering childcare services during meetings, similarly to towns like North Andover, Tewksbury, and Great Barrington. This inclusivity could foster a wider spectrum of voices, strengthening community engagement, and ensuring diverse representation in decisions impacting the town.

On Police, Kramer offers a Solution in search of a Problem

Hopkinton Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer is driving hard toward police reform. But with so many pressing issues before the board, why is now the time?

WATCH: Sustainability and Success – Julia Chun’s Vision for Hopkinton’s Growth

We took a walk with Julia Chun to learn more about her background, hear some of her ideas for bringing businesses to Hopkinton, and to understand how she plans to transform Hopkinton into a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive community.

Essay: Town Meeting No Longer Serves Hopkinton

Town Meeting is a vestige from a time long gone, and it is unsustainable for fast growing communities like Hopkinton. In this essay, HopNews discusses the history of town meeting, the problems the format creates, and alternative forms of government.