Carl Erikson: Charter reads like ‘Amherst for few’

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Charter reads like ‘Amherst for few’

I received a large postcard from Amherst For All tooting its horn for the proposed Amherst charter.

What hypocrisy. That charter is not “for all.” It cuts citizen participation in Amherst government from 245 (240 Town Meeting members and five Select Board members) to 13 Town Council members.

For most measures, a quorum of the Town Council is not required. It raises substantially the number of signatures to put a matter before town government. It provides no public notice or hearing when the performance of the chief administrative officer of the town is being reviewed. It removes the election of the board for the Amherst Redevelopment Authority from the voters and makes the members appointed by Town Council.

In short, this charter proposal doesn’t read like Amherst For All, but more like “Amherst for the few.”

Carl Erikson