YES: 3,476 NO: 2,468
Amherst for All encourages town-wide engagement
in wake of charter passage
“I am proud of the vigorous, positive campaign that had the support of more than 200 current and former town meeting representatives, the entire Select Board, longtime former U.S. and state representatives, more than one hundred volunteers, and, ultimately, 3,476 Amherst voters who chose to update our local democracy”, said Johanna Neumann, chair of Amherst for All. “Moving forward, I encourage all residents of Amherst, including those who feel a loss with the end of Representative Town Meeting, to participate in the myriad civic engagement opportunities available to us under the new charter, including meaningful votes, meeting with councillors directly, district meetings, town-wide forums, serving on committees, or running for office.”
Andy Churchill, chair of the Charter Commission, thanked his fellow Commission members for their 18 months of work together. “We brought the various perspectives of Amherst to the table, and we worked together in a civil and productive way, which I think can be a model for the new Town Council,” he said. “Even when we disagreed, everyone kept participating to make each part of the new system the best it could be. I really admired that spirit of engagement, and I think it will serve us well as we move forward to put in place the plan we worked on together, with so much input and support from the broader community.”
“This vote puts in place democratic governance that is accountable, transparent, and can truly represent the diverse community that Amherst has become. I look forward to our Town Council making thoughtful, informed, timely decisions year-round, and also to being able to hold councilors accountable if they fall short of expectations,” said Neumann.
Reflecting on the campaign, Churchill said, “Elections can be contentious, but when they are competitive and based on real issues they also give us a definitive sense of where the people want their government to focus going forward. We have big issues on the horizon – taxes, housing, development, schools – and we will now have a structure in place to engage all of us in those critical conversations about Amherst’s future.”
Unofficial Election Results as of 8:27PM: YES 3,476 NO 2,468