League of Women Voters restarts observer corps

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Sunday, December 16, 2018

AMHERST — With the Town Council beginning to meet this month as a new form of government gets underway, the League of Women Voters of Amherst is restoring an effort to keep closer tabs on municipal affairs.

The observer corps, which has been dormant since 2001, is being reinstituted, with at least one League member watching meetings of the Town Council, and likely other members going to School Committee and Jones Library Trustees sessions.

“Amherst League of Women Voters was very enthusiastic about getting this up and running,” said League member Adrienne Terrizzi.

The observer corps was a concept that began in the 1960s, and allows the League to spread itself among the town’s major committees and learn how the League’s vision and plans fit with those of town officials.

“The format we use is that we attend, but we don’t participate in the session,” Terrizzi said. “We’re really there in silent observation.”

This week, Barbara Ford, a long-time member of the League, was sitting in the Town Council audience, wearing a League button, and taking in the three-hour meeting.

Observers will then complete a record of what they see and learn that will be sent out to the other League members in its monthly bulletins and its e-bulletins.

Holiday window contest

Festive winter scenes in the windows of 18 downtown buildings, including business storefronts, apartment building lobbies and the Jones Library, are competing for top honors in the Amherst Business Improvement District’s annual holiday window decorating contest. 

Through Dec. 21, visitors can walk the downtown streets to view the decorations at sites that include the library, AJ Hastings, Amherst Books, Amherst Copy & DesignWorks, AmherstWork, Bart's Ice Cream, The Blue Marble, Greenfield Savings Bank, Hope and Feathers, Henion Bakery, J. Austin Antiques/Jewelers, Kendrick Place Apartments, Laughing Dog Bicycles, One East Pleasant Apartments, Sei Bella Salon, The Toy Box and Vici Hair Salon & Beauty Bar.

After seeing all the windows, photos of which can also be viewed online, people are encouraged to vote for their favorite, with an opportunity to win a gift certificate to a downtown merchant.

To vote, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DFYZYFD

Recruiting members

Town officials are seeking people to serve on the Board of License Commissioners, which has the authority to issue alcohol and common victuallers licenses, among other regulated activities

The five-member board will be appointed by Town Manager Paul Bockelman, with confirmation of appointees by the Town Council.

Those on the board can’t have a direct or indirect financial interest in the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, or any regulated substance that may come under the board’s purview.

The Inspection Services Department will provide a staff member to assist the board at its monthly meetings.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer should fill out a Community Activity Form at www.amherstma.gov/caf

Hadley resident honored by Knights council

A Hadley resident recently earned recognition for his long-time involvement with the Knights of Columbus Council 1619.

William Dion, who has been the council’s financial secretary and treasurer, was honored at what the council called its New Beginnings Harvest Banquet, held at Most Holy Redeemer Parish

The Knights, which had been based in Amherst since 1912, recently relocated to Hadley and its Catholic church’s parish hall.

Former State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg gave Dion a certificate of congratulations and a personal letter from U.S. Congressman James McGovern. A certificate of recognition also came from retiring State Rep. John Scibak, while members gave Dion a plaque.


MONDAY: Jones Library Budget Committee, 9:05 a.m., Goodwin Room, Jones Library; Town Council, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Local Historic District Commission, 4 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room,