YEAR-ROUND DEMOCRACY

Our town of Amherst, with 37,000 residents and an $88m budget, has outgrown occasional government – Town Meeting occurs just twice per year and only 75% of members attend. It’s time for year-round democracy that will empower the voters and give us thoughtful spending and planning, while keeping what works today.

On March 27th, Amherst voters will vote on a proposal that does exactly that, created by our elected Charter Commission after 18 months of study and 56 open meetings, 14 listening sessions, 700+ citizen comments.  See what your neighbors are saying about the proposal.

Vote YES on March 27th!

Thoughtful Spending

Year-Round Government.
A town council that meets year-round will make more timely, thoughtful, and informed spending and planning decisions than Town Meetings’ twice a year marathon sessions that are only attended 75% of the members.

Well-researched Decisions.
Meeting year-round, there will be more time for town councilors to research, deliberate, and collaborate with citizens, committees, and staff.

Thoughtful Spending.
More timely and informed spending decisions will save money and ensure millions of dollars in grants are not lost.

Thoughtful Long-range Planning.
Planning decisions based on a comprehensive master plan, so projects like schools, library, fire station, DPW facility don’t all come due at once, as they have under Town Meeting’s direction.

Empowering Voters

Accountable Representatives.
Vote for candidates whose positions you know and can keep track of.  Representatives that represent you, not themselves – and who can be voted out of office if they don’t.

Access to Your Representatives.
Know your representatives on the town council – they represent you.  Have a problem? You will know whom to call.

Transparency.
Your representatives will have Conflict-of-Interest and Open Meeting Laws, unlike Town Meeting. No more secret meetings by representatives and special interests.

Increased Voice for Marginalized Voters.
Residents who cannot join Town Meeting because of language, work, family, health, or other factors will now have a vote that actually matters. This will expand our town voters’ voice from 240 to 37,000. Truly an Amherst for all.

Keeping What Works

Professional Town Manager.
An expert municipal administrator, who manages day-to-day operations with supervision and policy leadership from a year-round town council.

Citizen Boards & Committees.
These existing 49 committees already provide many opportunities for over 350 residents to create policy. Now they will be heard by elected leaders year-round, rather than Town Meeting occasionally reviewing and in many cases ignoring their work.

New Ways to Be Heard.
District Meetings with your representative; Town Forums on budget, schools, and master plan; Town Election webpage for all candidates.

Keeping up with Changing Times.
As our town has grown, we updated our original 1759 government in 1938 and 1954. It is time for another update to our government that will support the complexity of our 37,000 residents and $88m budget.

How You Can Help!

  1. VOTE on March 27th.  Don’t forget to vote!
  2. Click here and Like the Year-round Democracy facebook page.
  3. Click here and let us know IF YOU ARE VOTING YES! This helps a lot so we don’t have to call you/visit you/mail to you.
  4. Send 3 friends an email and ask them to pledge their vote.
  5. Click here and DONATE to help print flyers and mailings.
  6. Volunteer your time – Come on out and have fun with your neighbors!