Judge Weighs Challenge to Amherst Election Calendar: UMass Students Claim Schedule Infringes On Their Rights to Campaign & Vote

Hampshire Superior Court Judge Richard J. Carey heard arguments yesterday (Aug. 3)  in a lawsuit brought by two students from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who claim their campaigning and voting rights have been infringed upon by the town's election calendar.  The students, Caitlin Cullen and Lily Tang, are seeking an emergency injunction, to … Continue reading Judge Weighs Challenge to Amherst Election Calendar: UMass Students Claim Schedule Infringes On Their Rights to Campaign & Vote

Concerns Over New Town Government Proposal Raised at Public Hearing in Amherst

A plan to replace Amherst Town Meeting, which has 240 elected members, and the five-person Select Board with one 13-member elected Town Council received mixed reviews at last night's public hearing. About 40 people attended the 7 p.m. hearing at Town Hall, and 17 testified. All were limited to three minutes each. Some praised the … Continue reading Concerns Over New Town Government Proposal Raised at Public Hearing in Amherst

Slim Majority on Amherst Charter Commission Approves Preliminary New Town Government Plan

The nine-member Charter Commission (https://www.amherstma.gov/2248/Charter-Commission) voted last night to approve a preliminary version of a new town charter, which will dramatically alter local government if passed by Amherst voters next winter. Although commission members are divided about Amherst's future, with a majority favoring a small, potentially more "efficient" government, and others defending the public participation … Continue reading Slim Majority on Amherst Charter Commission Approves Preliminary New Town Government Plan

Press Release: Amherst Charter Commission Votes to Drop Mayor from Local Government Plan

The Amherst Charter Commission posted  this update today (May 7): The Amherst Charter Commission (https://www.amherstma.gov/2248/Charter-Commission) voted 7-0 yesterday, (May 6) with one member abstaining and one absent, in favor of a government model including a town council and a town manager. Unlike previous proposals, this model would not include a mayor.  Proposed components include precinct … Continue reading Press Release: Amherst Charter Commission Votes to Drop Mayor from Local Government Plan

Copycat Facebook Site “Amherst4All” Posting Photos Of Town Meeting Members & Comments: But Not To Be Confused With “Amherst For All”

Some members of Amherst Town Meeting, including yours truly, were surprised last night to find themselves photographed and tagged by name in Facebook posts on a site called "Amherst4All."  Often, confusing remarks accompanied these images of people asking questions of local officials during Town Meeting, which can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amherst4all/ At one point, a … Continue reading Copycat Facebook Site “Amherst4All” Posting Photos Of Town Meeting Members & Comments: But Not To Be Confused With “Amherst For All”

Amherst Charter Commission, Still Divided, Reduces Proposed Town Council Size from 60 to 13 People: Adds Mayor & Town Manager (UPDATED)

The Amherst Charter Commission, which is working on proposal for a new form of town government, voted last night (Monday April 24) by a slim majority to drop a "middle ground" proposal for a 60-person town council. The plan came under fire at a recent Charter Commission listening session, and Chairman Andy Churchill and others … Continue reading Amherst Charter Commission, Still Divided, Reduces Proposed Town Council Size from 60 to 13 People: Adds Mayor & Town Manager (UPDATED)

Conflict Runs High at Amherst Charter Commission Meeting (UPDATED)

The growing discord on the Amherst Charter Commission was clear last night, where a few members expressed their unhappiness with the online communications they received from one another, and from the public. Commission member Julia Rueschemeyer said she is concerned that a "special interest group of developers" is trying to control the nine-person commission, and … Continue reading Conflict Runs High at Amherst Charter Commission Meeting (UPDATED)