Politics in Hopkinton, MA

Town Manager Khumalo Resigns

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.

Chuck Wallace Urges the Select Board to address Employee Turnover

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.

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Special Election on Elmwood to be held Tuesday

Hopkinton Middle School is hosting a vote on funds to construct a replacement for Elmwood School. While 72% of voters have already confirmed the decision to raise money, a second vote to authorize using Proposition 2½ to procure the $91 million needed is due. Known for limiting property taxes, this proposal will circumvent Proposition 2½. If passed, the constructors expect a significant impact on local taxpayers and predict commencement in 2024. Failure will delay the project for several years.

The HopkinToon: Improving Town Meeting

Buff Spencer suggests an improvement for the Town Meeting electronic voting clicker.

Your Guide to Special Town Meeting

On November 13, Hopkinton will hold a Special Town Meeting. Here’s everything you need to know to prepare your vote. On the warrant is a decision on the Elmwood School project, a citizens petition to eliminate partisan elections, an energy code for new construction, and an authorization for the town to purchase parking.

Degan to Moderate Special Town Meeting

Due to the illness of Elected Moderator Ellen Rutter, Town Clerk Connor Degan will preside over the Special Town Meeting on November 13. As Deputy Moderator during the last Annual Town Meeting, Degan assumes the role based on Hopkinton's town charter, and will ensure the meeting progresses efficiently, adheres to the agenda, and manages time constraints.

Reader Poll: Elmwood Faces Uphill Battle

HopNews conducted a poll regarding a Special Town Meeting (STM), with questions focusing on school construction and non-partisan elections in Hopkinton. Most readers plan to attend the STM, but over 50% oppose the Elmwood School project, while the notion of non-partisan elections receives wide support.

What the Elmwood School Replacement Will Cost You

In six days, Hopkinton residents will vote on a proposal to build a $152 million schoolhouse, with $61 million contributed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The town has floated numbers that use the "Average Hopkinton Home" value, which is $753,300. While it may be helpful to some, it's not for anyone with a home value that is less or more than that number. Instead, voters have to do the 'mental math' to figure their personal tax impact. HopNews has developed an interactive tax calculator to show property owners what their personal tax impact will be over the next decade due to the Elmwood project. Simply plug in your assessed value and the calculator will do the rest.

Degan Hosts Drop-In for Electronic Voting

Hopkinton Town Clerk Connor Degan has introduced an electronic voting initiative in collaboration with Meridia Interactive Services, for the town's Special Meeting on November 13. This system, used by the US House of Representatives and other towns, ensures anonymity and tamper-proof voting. It aims to respect people's time and boost voter participation by eliminating the fear of public judgement.

Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes on Article 2

In response to a letter urging for a 'No' vote on Article 2 in Hopkinton's Special Town Meeting, John Cardillo presents an opposing viewpoint. He argues that eliminating local party caucuses can prevent 'shortcut' nominations and limit 'down-ballot' voting based on party affiliation. He believes towns should consider local interests over party dogma, and urges a 'Yes' vote on Article 2 to end partisan local elections.

HPTO Announces Child Care for Special Town Meeting

The HPTO will provide childcare during the Special Town Meeting, enabling parents to participate in discussions on key initiatives like the Elmwood School replacement. The service will be offered in the Middle School Library where volunteers will entertain children. Parents can follow proceedings via a broadcasted TV in the library.

Special Town Meeting Warrant Finalized – What You Need to Know

The Hopkinton Special Town Meeting scheduled for November 13 will feature electronic voting to expedite vote counts. Among the items for consideration are a proposition to replace Elmwood School involving estimated costs of $158 million, a citizens petition to eliminate partisan elections, adoption of a specialized Stretch Energy Code to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and exploring land purchase for municipal parking. The meeting is open to all registered voters.

The HopkinToon: The Elmwood Question

Buff Spencer with an insightful toon about the issues facing voters this Special Town Meeting.

Secret Ballot: It’s a Go for Electronic Voting at Elmwood Special Town Meeting

The Hopkinton Town Clerk, Connor Degan, has confirmed that the Special Town Meeting on November 13 will employ electronic voting. Fobs supplied by Meridia Interactive Solutions will be used, ensuring a quicker process and maintaining voter privacy. The initiative follows criticisms that prior methods were time-consuming and openly influenced the voting process.

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The HopkinToon: Inquire Within

Buff Spencer with a timely toon.

Town Pays Fake Invoice. Who’s Minding the Store?

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.

Hopkinton PD Throws Down the Gauntlet

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!

Town Manager Khumalo Resigns

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.