Hamilton, Wenham

Town elections change selectmen ranks

Annual town elections held April 11 in Hamilton and Wenham changed the makeup of the towns’ boards of selectmen. In Wenham, former Finance Committee chairman Jack Wilhelm defeated incumbent Board of Selectmen chairwoman Molly Martins, 578-267. In Hamilton, where four candidates were running for two seats on the board, Scott Maddern, with 568 votes, and incumbent Marc Johnson, 515, were the leading vote-getters, ahead of Jacob “Jack” Hauck, 237, and Bill Dery, 195. For the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee, which had four candidates for three positions, the leading vote-getters were Deborah Evans, 1,335 votes, Melissa Even Moore, 1,110, and Jeanise Bertrand, 743, with Richard Boroff, 707, finishing fourth. In all other races, there was just a single candidate — or none — on the ballot. In Wenham, where there was no candidate listed on the ballot for Housing Authority, Don Luxton received 48 of 87 write-in votes. Hamilton voters also approved a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to fund the building of a new high school for the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Vocational School District. The town’s portion of the debt will be based on its participation in the 17-community school district, and Hamilton finance director Deborah Nippes-Mena said that barring dramatic changes in those population numbers, the effect on taxpayers will be minimal. In Hamilton, 856 of the town’s 5,388 registered voters turned out, or 15 percent, while Wenham had 859 of its 2,869 voters turn out, or 29 percent.