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Hanover salutes Griffin at final Town Meeting as manager

  • Hanover Selectboard members, from left, Vice Chairman Athos Rassias, board Chairman Peter Christie, Bill Geraghty and Nancy Carter join a standing ovation for Town Manager Julia Griffin as she is honored during her last Town Meeting on May 10, 2022, in Hanover, N.H. Griffin is retiring at the end of June after nearly 26 years as Hanover's town manager. (Valley News - Darren Marcy) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Darren Marcy

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/10/2022 10:41:07 PM
Modified: 5/11/2022 4:53:05 PM

HANOVER — The large crowd gathered in the Hanover High School gym Tuesday night worked through its business of passing budgets and approving contracts with a sense of urgency like it had something else on its mind.

Finally, with all other business completed, Hanover Selectboard Chairman Peter Christie stood to honor longtime Town Manager Julia Griffin.

“I think I know why many of you came out tonight,” Christie said. “This may not be Julia's last town meeting, but it will be her last as town manager. What a ride.”

As he asked the crowd to join him in honoring Griffin, the audience rose in a standing ovation that only ended when Griffin waved them back into their seats. She thanked the crowd and then recounted her first Town Meeting, saying she had her 4-month-old son with her and was praying he wouldn’t get fussy and need to be nursed.

“He’s now 26 years old,” Griffin said.

Griffin’s last day will be at the end of June, one month before her 26th anniversary in the town’s top job.

Griffin thanked her husband, department heads and the 16 different Selectboard members she’s worked for and left to another standing ovation.

In other business, the town voters quickly passed all articles put before them. Fifteen items were handled from the floor, and voters approved them all.

Among them were the proposed general fund budget of nearly $28.3 million which was approved without a single “Nay.” The budget will require a 3.5% increase in town-side taxes.

Voters also approved nearly $2.2 million for payments into various capital reserve funds, while also agreeing to spend $1.54 million out of various capital reserve funds to pay for police vehicles, firefighting equipment, highway department needs and more.

Voters OK’d three property tax exemptions for older residents, as well as disabled and blind residents.

Three union contracts for police, fire and public works were also ratified.

In all-day balloting, there were no contested races.

Selectboard member Athos Rassias was reelected, and Roberta Hitchcock, who has been the assistant town clerk, was elected as town clerk.

All of the town-supported zoning amendments on the ballot were approved, but three of the four petitioned amendments on the ballot were voted down.

The only petitioned amendment that passed was Article 11, which creates the Main Wheelock District, which allows for higher-density residential development with some accessory commercial use along West Wheelock Street.”

The article — which had mixed support from the town Planning Board — passed, 775-565.

Darren Marcy can be reached at dmarcy@vnews.com or 802-291-4992.


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