As the 2020 Town Election date nears, (June 27th or you can vote absentee now!), the Anchor would like to help you get to know each of the candidates seeking positions on two important board races -- selectman and school committee.
Allow us to introduce you to our first candidate for Hingham's Board of Selectmen, Bill Ramsey. Bill currently serves as the Chair of the Planning Board.
Hingham, meet Bill.
How would your prior or current town board/committee experience benefit you in your role as selectman?
My twelve years of experience on the Zoning Board and the Planning Board will enable me to help the town cultivate new development opportunities for commercial tax revenue while mitigating impacts on residents. Equally as important, due to my involvement in town government since 1998, I have had the tremendous good fortune to serve on the Recreation Commission, the July 4th Parade Committee, the Zoning Permit Study Committee, the Veterans Council, and several other committees. My diverse service background will allow me to address many of the challenging decisions the board faces each week.
What would be your top priorities or goals if you are elected
If elected, my immediate focus will be to ensure the safety of our community as we deal with the current pandemic and to revitalize our local economy. In the longer term, my focus will be on the town’s budget and working to limit the potential financial fallout on our town’s services and departments. As our economy improves, I intend to explore additional funding sources to help support our school system and keeping Hingham affordable for those on a fixed income.
How do you think COVID-19 might affect the board's priorities and actions moving forward?
COVID-19 has already had a major impact on our community from how we interact with each other on a daily basis to our children’s experiences in school and to our town’s economy. Moving forward, the board will face the difficult decisions of how to return to the way of life we were accustomed while vigilantly ensuing Hingham residents’ safety. The budget challenges we will face will be significant and will require making difficult decisions on how we deal with rising expenses with potentially less state aid and tax revenue.
What part of being a selectman would you enjoy the most?
I am running for the Board of Selectmen to help the town plan for the future and to give younger families a seat at the table in the town’s decision-making process. Having an opportunity to impact the town at the highest level of our town governance will be a privilege. The opportunity to work with residents I grew up with, worked with on town boards, and worked with coaching and in scouting will be an honor.
Has running for selectman long been one of your goals?
Serving on the Board of Selectmen has always been a dream of mine. My parents modeled serving our town with my father’s involvement in youth athletics and my mother’s community involvement. My brother Rob has been a member of the Police Department for over twenty years, and my wife Adrienne currently serves on the Recreation Commission and the Master Plan Committee. I believe running for the Board of Selectmen is the next step for me to best serve our community.
What qualities would you bring to the selectman position?
My colleagues who have served on a board or committee with me know that I am always respectful of everyone who has spoken at a meeting. Before making any decision, I listen to both sides of the issue and try my best to make a decision in the best interests of the community. My only agenda is to serve the town to the best of my ability.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the town?
As a town, we must find new and creative ways to generate revenue that support the increasing needs of our school system and town departments while also keeping Hingham affordable for those on a fixed income. I have several initiatives I intend to introduce to generate more revenue and will work hard to keep our community affordable.
What do you like best about living in Hingham?
I love the tremendous sense of civic involvement we have in Hingham. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated, smart, and involved volunteers. From our town boards to civic organizations and athletic organizations, I do not think there is a better town in the entire commonwealth with such a wealth of volunteers.
What is your favorite spot in Hingham?
Downtown Hingham is my favorite spot. It showcases our history with Old Ship Church and Hingham Cemetery. The restaurants are phenomenal, and small businesses preserve our traditional New England downtown. I love walking my dog through downtown with my children on their bikes and seeing friends. I would never change that for the world, and Downtown Hingham is especially spectacular on the 4th of July.
If you could give one piece of advice to the class of 2020, what would it be?
Always remember your ability is simply what you have been born with. Your drive to succeed, your work ethic, and integrity will determine what you do and how well you do it.