By Carol Meyer
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions -- I guess it's because I don't want to set myself up for failure or have them hanging over my head.
But I do admire those who do make resolutions at the start of every year, and especially those who keep them!
That said, I have set a few simple "goals" -- a more encouraging word, in my mind, to start off 2020. These include being more patient with others and myself; taking more time to relax; getting back on the exercise bike that has been buried behind Christmas gifts and wrappings in my office-turned- "Santa's Workshop"; trying not to dread winter storms and to instead enjoy the beauty of fresh-fallen snow; and others I'm sure I will think of as the new year progresses.
I like what Author Edith Lovejoy Pierce says about the new year -- "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
In the meantime, Happy New Year! Wishing everyone progress, good health, happiness, and that you have everything you need in the coming year.
Do you make New Year's resolutions? Want to share any?
By Carol Meyer
Hingham Public Schools officials received the good news Dec. 11 when, following the submission of a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for the third time last April seeking partial state reimbursement for what they say is a much-needed major renovation -- or an entirely new building -- for Foster School, the Town of Hingham was invited into the MSBA's Eligibility Period.
That's a lot of words, but this essentially means that during this period, the MSBA will work with Hingham school and other town officials to determine the town's financial and community readiness to enter what is called the MSBA Capital Pipeline.
This is the first of a number of steps required before a final decision will be made by the MSBA as to whether to grant significant partial funding for a Foster School project.
Ultimately, the town would not be committed to filing for an application for funding with the MSBA unless through an affirmative Town Meeting vote.
Do you think a major renovation or a new school is needed?
By Carol Meyer
Whether you and your family celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or another holiday in December, let's wish happiness, peace, and a wonderful time for all.
We deserve it! It's been a tough year, with political strife, the rough patches some among us are experiencing, and the busy schedules we all juggle.
Let's set all that aside for awhile and smile at the next person we meet on the street -- whether we know them or not; stop when it is safe to do so to allow another car to pass by; give a friend or family member an extra-big hug; lend a listening ear to someone who is feeling troubled; or make a contribution to the local food pantry or gift drive or volunteer at a local shelter during the holidays.
I love this saying: "Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons," by Ruth Ann Schabacker.
What gifts can we untie each day leading up to our own celebrations that will add to someone else's holiday cheer?!
By Carol Meyer
While Hingham is considered to be an affluent town, that's not true for some of its residents.
During a recent financial snapshop leading into the new budget season, Selectman Chairman Karen Johnson emphasized the board’s goal of “preserving the financial diversity of Hingham’s population.”
That said, the $841,276 average assessed home value and accompanying $10,000-plus annual tax bill make meeting that objective more challenging than ever.
Fifty percent of Hingham households have an annual income of less than $100,000. By 2020, 47 percent of the households will have members age 65 and over -- with many of those on fixed incomes.
Selectman Mary Power noted that the board has heard from Hingham seniors (and some other residents) of limited means who are finding it more and more difficult to remain in town. Efforts have been successful in increasing the town's "affordable" housing stock, but there's not enough to meet the need.
Among the Selectmen's top priorities are providing some tax relief, exploring public/private partnerships for some of the costly capital projects on the radar screen, pursuing grant and other funding opportunities, and working toward more development in South Hingham that’s appropriate for the area to help decrease the tax burden on residential property owners, who shoulder most of the tax burden.
Can you think of other ways to help maintain diversity in Hingham, including residents of different backgrounds and financial means?