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Opinion in Hopkinton, MA

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.

Letter to SB: Suspend Chief Bennett Now

At a Hopkinton Select Board meeting, a citizen, Timothy Boivin, criticized the handling of a case involving the release of personal information of a child rape survivor by the police chief, despite an earlier apology from the board. Boivin condemned the board for firing Sgt. Brennan, who supported the survivor, while keeping Chief Bennett, whose actions may lead to a lawsuit against the town. Boivin urged the board to suspend Bennett, halt promotions, and seek the National Guard's aid in managing the police department to restore trust and protect the survivor.

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To the Editor: On PFAS, Too Little, Too Late?

A Hopkinton resident, despite not being in a high-risk group, discovered intermediate health risk levels of PFAS in their blood, raising concerns about the town's water safety. Recent filtration tank installations address this issue, but the question remains if they offset the possible long-term health consequences for locals who've consumed PFAS-contaminated water over the years.

Insurance Expert to SB: “potential for very large exposure to Town residents”

A Hopkinton resident since 2004 and experienced in insurance, Dave Crowe expresses concern over the town's legal risks from actions by town officials and a police chief. Potential civil claims relate to the misconduct of a former officer, a breach of privacy, and a termination issue. Crowe warns of substantial financial implications exceeding the town's $8 million insurance cover, which could result in taxpayers bearing excess costs. He urges adherence to professional advice to mitigate risks.

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.

Letter to the SB: This is a New Low

Shocked by the Board of Selectmen's actions, Don Collins criticizes their treatment of a victim and Sgt. Brennan. He condemns the release of sensitive information, lack of a timely apology, and firing of the victim's advocate, Brennan. Collins accuses the board of deceit, non-transparency, and ignoring public sentiment, demanding accountability and reflection.

Brennan Termination, from a Teen’s Perspective

Maci Ober, a HHS Sophomore, reflects on the strength and unity displayed at the Tim Brennan rally, fears for her town's future without Brennan, and hopes she can find similar support in times of need.

To the Editor: I am a Sexual Assault Survivor. Brennan is a Hero.

In a heartfelt letter to the Select Board, the author courageously shares their story of childhood sexual assault and lifelong trauma, expressing support for Sgt. Tim Brennan. Brennan, having chosen humanity over procedural duty by maintaining a victim's confidentiality, faces career consequences. Urging reinstatement, the author highlights the importance of compassion and the pain of bureaucracy.

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?"

Letter to the Editor: Read the Room, Select Board!

Hopkinton resident Don Collins reminds the Select Board of the people they serve, and urges them to adhere to the will of voters and residents who have been vocal in their support of suspended Sgt. Tim Brennan.

Letter to the SB: Police, Politics, and Power

Karen Crum questions the Hopkinton Select Board decision on Sgt. Brennan, raising concerns of corruption and inadequate policies in town government. Evidence suggests Sgt. Brennan promptly reported a rape case, unlike the misleading claims against him. The board's potential unfair action against him may result in significant legal liabilities for the town. Despite the complexity, a citizen's thorough investigation brings to light facts that challenge the board and police chief's narrative, encouraging transparency and accountability.

Letter to SB: What Would Lincoln Do?

Ed Harrow recounts the difficult choices facing President Lincoln, and urges the Select Board to consider the same in the Brennan matter.

Letter to the Editor: No Time for Apathy in Hopkinton

Tracy Martellotta, a Republican in Hopkinton, urges residents to overcome apathy and participate actively in town affairs. Noting the low voter turnout and recent events that mobilized citizens—including the Brennan case, school committee controversies, and financial challenges—the call to action highlights the need for accountability, informed decisions, and diverse opinions in the face of town mismanagement signs, such as high employee turnover and ill-conceived projects. Tracy advocates for engagement through various means as critical town meetings and elections approach.

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Class of 2024 College Commitments

HopNews celebrates the Hopkinton High School Class of 2024's graduation and invites submissions detailing graduates' future endeavors. Send photos, names, schools, and majors to editor@hopnews.com for a frequently updated page. Check back regularly for new updates.

Class of ’24 Wants You to Win Chesney Tickets, Weekend at the Cape

Hopkinton High School's Class of 2024 is hosting an online auction from March 1-11 to fund senior activities, disrupted by their unique freshman year due to COVID-19. On offer are items like Kenny Chesney tickets and a cape house weekend.

Why does Sexual Assault of a Minor not Require Immediate Notification for HPD?

In 2018, Hopkinton Police Lieutenant John Porter established General Order 2018-0004, mandating immediate notification to the Chief or Deputy Chief in cases potentially implicating the department's liability or public interest. This included a list of critical incidents but notably omitted sexual assault of minors. The order required updating with leadership changes, leading to compliance challenges. A violation of this order was highlighted in the Kroll investigation report regarding Sergeant Tim Brennan's failure to report alleged sexual assaults of minors, although sexual assault was not specified in the order, raising concerns about the policy's adequacy.

A Year of Agreement for the Select Board

In 2023, the Hopkinton Select Board met 28 times, voting 227 times with a 97.3% unanimity rate. They had six split decisions on issues such as the high school graduation parade and joining the Regional Emergency Communications Center.
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