Amherst League of Women Voters Debates Removal of Policy Favoring Select Board, As Vote On Town Council Plan Looms

About 25 members of the Amherst League of Women Voters gathered at the Bangs Center on Thursday night, to discuss whether to remove or revise a printed position supporting a "selectmen-manager form of government." Another meeting, during which the League will try to arrive at a consensus, will be held next Thursday (Sept. 14.) Members … Continue reading Amherst League of Women Voters Debates Removal of Policy Favoring Select Board, As Vote On Town Council Plan Looms

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

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)

Guest Column: An Amherst Town Meeting Member’s Letter to the Charter Commission

By JOANNA MORSE. Dear Charter Commission, Thank you for your work on democracy in Amherst.   I write to you in my support of keeping Town Meeting as our legislative branch of our local government.  I have participated in many town meetings through my life, and have now served on Amherst Town Meeting for one … Continue reading Guest Column: An Amherst Town Meeting Member’s Letter to the Charter Commission

Sixty, Twenty-Three, or Thirteen People: Amherst Charter Commission Debates Councils to Replace Town Meeting & Select Board

Nearly all the chairs were filled last night at the start of an Amherst Charter Commission meeting, where two members, Meg Gage and Nick Grabbe, offered a "middle ground" proposal to replace the historic 254-member Amherst Town Meeting with a "legislative council" of sixty people. There was frequent reference to the failed elementary school building … Continue reading Sixty, Twenty-Three, or Thirteen People: Amherst Charter Commission Debates Councils to Replace Town Meeting & Select Board