Warrant article will change name of town’s executive arm to “Selectboard” Changing from “Board of Selectmen” requires a legislative act
By Theresa Knapp
At this year’s annual town meeting, residents will be asked to approve an article to petition the state legislature to change the name of Hopedale’s executive arm of government from a “Board of Selectmen” to a “Selectboard.”
The name change better reflects modern times, and also reflects similar action taken recently in Grafton, Milford, Medway and many other towns around the Commonwealth. In 2020, the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association changed its name to the Massachusetts Select Board Association.
The name change “reflects diversity, equality and inclusion,” said Brian Keyes, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting, and reaffirms a unanimous vote taken by selectmen in 2019 to make the change.
The issue was brought forward again in January at the request of then-selectwoman Glenda Hazard who was elected to the position in December 2020. Hazard has since resigned from the board, citing a family emergency.
Keyes says there will be some costs associated with the change but “I think we can absorb those at this time.”
Petitioning the legislature is the next step in the process, explained Town Administrator Diana Schindler at a recent selectmen’s meeting.
If voters approve the measure, the town will petition lawmakers to file the necessary legislation to make the change; it could take several months to complete the process.