Dushan Resignation Stirs Control Fight: The resignation of Neil Dushan from the School Committee has triggered a battle for control of the committee that is certain to be reflected in campaigns for the March 1972 election and may have basic effects on committee actions in the interim. During his 20 years on the committee, Dushan has served three times as its chairman and in recent years was often part of a three-member majority on many major votes and was always a strong advocate for building programs, curricula expansion, and increased teacher personnel. John Wholey, since his election several years ago, has consistently opposed many policies that were voted by the majority of the members, usually by 3-2 margins. Since his election last March, member Neal Brown has joined Wholey as a minority faction.
Old Tower Coming Down: An 88-year-old water reserve tank on Strawberry Hill is being removed by the Hingham Water Co. for reasons of safety and maintenance costs. Water company manager Cypher said that the 500,000-gallon tank was built in 1883 “to increase water pressure to Allerton Hill, which was low due to increased lowland demands.” Water company records show that in 1881 Hull had 63 families consuming water. They had eight bathtubs, 15 water closets, 20 stables, a bottling works, 15 hose connections, five boarding houses, and nine hotels. In 1903, a 15-foot addition was built on the tower. In 1933, an auxiliary tank was erected beside the old tower, part of a system connected with a 2 million-gallon pressure booster tank on Turkey Hill, Hingham. This marked the beginning of the end for the need of the old tower on Strawberry Hill.
Town Renewal Loan Delayed: Borrowing $300,000 as the town’s share of Project 1 of Hull’s renewal plan was again delayed last night when Selectman David Berman refused to assent to the action at present. When asked by Hull Redevelopment Authority member David Miller why he still objected to the issuance of federally backed notes ordered in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development renewal contract with the town, Mr. Berman said he didn’t feel the HRA is “ready to spend the money yet, and I want to avoid unnecessary interest charges on the town. I also want to determine whether it is ethical for the town to borrow at low interest on federal notes and reinvest at high interest on federal securities.”
Town to Press County Tax Suit: After a long argument over the status of Hull litigation in the courts, Selectmen Chairman Wallace Richardson and Selectman David Berman voted to instruct Town Counsel Haskell Lampke to press for action in a suit by the town against the state and county for a revised county tax formula. The original action, begun by former Selectman Martin Fallon, bogged down early this year when the Legislature rejected a bill that would have transferred county assessments to state jurisdiction. Part of the bill provided for revising and updating the antiquated tax formula, which was based on 1945 real estate valuations for assessing county taxes on cities and towns.
Dead Letter of Sorts: In other action, political overtones again resounded at the selectmen’s meeting as Chairman Richardson started to read a letter from selectman candidate Richard Ryan, asking the board to sponsor a debate among the four candidates seeking to replace the resigned Mr. Fallon. Mr. Berman objected vigorously to admission of the letter after requesting to read it himself. “This letter has nothing to do with the business of this board, and if the press uses it, I wish they would omit any reference to selectmen in connection with it.” Mr. Richardson did not read the letter.
More Funds for Vets Sought: Veterans’ services director William Nicholson has asked the selectmen for an article in the Nov. 29 special town meeting, calling for an appropriation of $15,000 to supplement veterans’ benefits for the rest of 1971. A similar action at a Sept. 27 town meeting was nullified. In summarizing the vets’ needs, Mr. Nicholson listed $5,813.75 to pay vendors who supplied applicants during November, $6,500 in December grants, and an estimated $1,500 for vendors supplied in December.
Boy Scout Holiday Fundraiser: Hull Boy Scout Troop 20 is selling holiday gifts in visits to local homes for the Troop Fund, John J. McCauley of the Executive Committee said this week.