The chair of Hingham’s Board of Selectmen has decided not to run for reelection after two terms on the board.
Laura Burns, who has served as a selectman since 2007, announced that she would be leaving the seat in an email Monday, Jan. 7. She said it had been an honor to serve the town for the past six years.
As for why she would be leaving the role, “two terms is a good number for me,” Burns said. “That’s all there is to it. It’s a volunteer job.”
Burns has had a number of successes in the role since she was first elected, the main one focusing on her work maintaining the financial stability of the town despite hard economic times.
“My greatest accomplishment has been working with everyone else in town government to get Hingham through the recession with our AAA bond rating intact and build two schools while we’re at it,” Burns said. “That was kind of major. A hard thing to do, but taxpayers decided to go ahead with it.”
Burns said that come the election in the spring, she wouldn’t be leaving with any unfinished business.
“If I had anything big like that, I would run for another term,” Burns said. “I’m looking forward to the conclusions of the discussion of buying the water company. I’m waiting for the committee to say what their opinion is.”
Burns said she will spend her spare time focusing on screenplay writing, a hobby she has been perfecting for the past few years.
Selectman Bruce Rabuffo, who has worked with Burns for the last five years, said she will be much missed.
"I will miss her," he said. "When I came on the board a year after she did, I found her challenging, thoughtful, concise in her language and strong in her opinions. At first we didn’t see eye to eye but we cam to common ground over the four years so that I will truly miss her. She brought a voice different from mine, and I learned if you listen, you’ll get something done."
Prior to becoming a selectman, Burns served two terms on the town’s Advisory Committee.
Burns’ statement comes alongside an announcement that Paul K. Healey, who is currently serving his 19th year on the town’s Planning Board, will run for the seat.
In a release, Healey said that he has a lifetime investment in the town, as both he and his wife, Esther, were raised in Hingham and have raised their five children here as well.
“I see our town as a special place to preserve for generations to come,” Healey said.
Healey is an attorney, though previously he worked for 11 years as a policeman for the town.
The only declared candidate for the seat, Healey already has goals for the role, which include remaining proactive about business growth around Route 3, traffic improvement in the Derby Street corridor, and maintaining public safety.
“This is a great opportunity to decrease the burden on the residential taxpayer, especially for those on fixed incomes, by increasing the commercial tax base, and at the same time bring jobs to Hingham and improve our infrastructure,” he said in a release.
The town will vote for a new selectman in April.