A long-held tradition in Hull, one that refers to the town’s Board of Selectmen in a very gender-specific way, could be ended this spring if a name change is approved at the May 3 annual town meeting.
The selectmen discussed the town meeting warrant at their meeting this week, including a board-sponsored article that would focus on replacing “selectmen” with a gender-neutral name. Options include “select board” and “town council.”
“Within the next couple of weeks, we will have some draft language, and the board can discuss different options for the new name,” Town Manager Philip Lemnios said.
In so doing, Hull is joining other communities that are engaged in similar name-change efforts across the state.
Selectman John Reilly suggested renaming the board members “commissioners” – similar to the title “recreation commissioner.”
“The term ‘selectman’ has been in use for 350 years, so we need to change the name to something that can stand the test of time,” he said.
Board Chairwoman Jennifer Constable reported that Hull League of Women Voters member Celia Nolan reached out to the selectmen in support of this effort and will be invited to an upcoming board meeting to participate in a continuation of Wednesday’s discussion.
Other warrant articles could relate to allocating more money to infrastructure and road repairs while interest rates remain so low and possibly asking for more funds to supplement the earlier-appropriated $5,000 for a railroad bed study, which has been expended. Additional funding would take the study to the next step. A status report will be included on an upcoming selectmen’s agenda.
Articles for the annual town meeting warrant, including any citizen petitions, will be accepted at the Selectmen’s Office, 253 Atlantic Ave., until Thursday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m., at which time the warrant will close.