Getting To Know Your Town Meeting Candidates: Putting It Their Way, But Nicely

“Getting to Know You”

Is it tea or coffee?
“Gettin’ to know you,
Gettin’ to know all about you.
Gettin’ to like you,
Gettin’ to hope you like me.
Gettin’ to know you,
Putting it my way but nicely.
You are precisely,
My cup of tea …”
Really, the Amherst League of Women Voters does not get enough credit for all the good things it quietly does in this town, to help keep residents informed about voter registration, candidates, and local elections, like the one happening tomorrow – Tuesday, March 28. (FYI, sample ballots for each of Amherst’s 10 precincts can be found at this town government link:
As you may know, there will be hotly-contested (or at least warmly-contested) races this year for seats on the Select Board, School Committee, Jones Library Board of Trustees, and Amherst Town meeting.
Print of A Town Meeting by AB Frost, From 1904, P.F. Collier & Son –
The LWV’s excellent work has long included hosting forums and debates, providing the public with handy contact information for elected officials, and other efforts we take for granted. This year, because of the unusually large pool of candidates running for Town Meeting, the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee’s policy and procedures arm organized the TMCC’s first-ever public event for voters to meet their candidates, which was moderated by the LWV.
As in the past, the LWV also tried to collect a short statement from each candidate (including yours truly) so you can get a sense of what the folks running in your precinct have in mind. The LWV is indeed “Making Democracy Work,” as their slogan says.

The LWV document, which can be found at this link, includes statements only from candidates who provided them in time for the LWV’s Voter Election Guide.

A Voteswagen?

These statements are worth reading. They make clear many of the community’s concerns, including development and its pace; the environment;  and proposed municipal projects, including those involving the Jones Library, Fire Station, and Department of Public Works. The statements also show many people have strong feelings about the school building project to be voted on in tomorrow’s townwide referendum.

There is also a strong mix of incumbents and newcomers.

Example of a Town Meeting candidate statement:

Sovann‐Malis Loeung

Residency: 22 years

“I am a Cambodian refugee and Wildwood parent. I am running for Town

Meeting because I want to see, be, and have more diverse representation of

immigrants in town governance. As a working class renter and parent, I am

interested and particularly concerned about school issues and cost of living.”

Just Slightly Before My Time

So good luck to all of us, wherever we stand on the issues, and let’s toast to moving forward in fellowship, and with a sense of humor.

And if you need to hear Julie Andrews singing “Getting to Know You,” here it is.

2 thoughts on “Getting To Know Your Town Meeting Candidates: Putting It Their Way, But Nicely

  1. Marla, a correction for the record. First, thanks for the welcome kudos to the League of Women Voters for your acknowledgement of our work. The 1st ever forums for Town Meeting members this year, however, was organized by the TMCC and its subcommittee on policies and procedures and the League moderated. This member appreciates your acknowledgement of both groups to the civic and governance energy of our town. Adrienne Terrizzi


    1. Hi Adrienne –
      Thank you for reading, and for correcting my error. I have updated the draft to be more accurate. (One of the benefits of the digital age may be how easy it is to revise and update articles that are published online.) I do appreciate all the important work the TMCC and LWV do in this town, reliably, objectively, and without fanfare. Again, thanks! Marla J


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