Town to use gender-neutral terms

By this time next year, the town of Hull will no longer have a Board of Selectmen or chairmen or chairwomen of any local boards.

Instead the town is switching to gender-neutral language that renames the governing board the “Select Board” and requires all future town documents and communications to use the term “chair” for the head of a board or committee.

The change is the result of a recent special Town Meeting vote that amended town bylaws to institute the new nomenclature, effective March 1, 2019.


The bylaw change needs the state attorney general’s approval before it takes effect, according to Town Manager Philip Lemnios.

“I think most of our Board and Committee members will adapt quite easily,” he said in an e-mail. “I do not anticipate this change to be particularly significant. I am not aware of many memos that are written in a manner that are gender specific -- unless it refers to a particular individual -- however, reminding staff of the point is a good idea.”

Johanna Seltz can be reached at