Alan Root: Seeks more civility at Amherst Town Meeting

Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Seeks more civility at Amherst Town Meeting

Sometimes an Amherst Town Meeting Member may only seem somewhat out of place. After the last warrant article of the recent fall Town Meeting was completed, two Town Meeting members raised their hands and were recognized by the moderator.

They proceeded to make promotional statements about subjects that might come up at our next annual Town Meeting in spring 2017.

As a Precinct 5 Town Meeting member, I then raised my hand to make a point of order, was recognized by the moderator, then indicated that the moderator himself was out of order to allow them to drone on.

Imagine what might happen if a dozen or so members were to attempt to follow that precedent to deliver promotional previews of some matter.

Moderators are not infallible. I happen to admire the present moderator when compared to many of his predecessors. However, he needs to be more cool when dealing with members who violate the rules of the body – no matter what.

Perhaps the moderator needs to view the videos of our meetings and take a critical look at himself, especially when he is pounding his gavel as if it were for bludgeoning.

And lest I forget – there are Town Meeting members who seem to be too provocative when addressing the moderator and the rest of us. Knock it off!

I am looking forward for more civility, mutual respect, cool heads and quieter behavior standards for all of us to follow.

Alan Root


The writer is an Amherst Town Meeting member from Precinct 5.