Michael Lawrence Levine: Town councilors, manager good at paying lip service

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

An answer to John Varner’s column on “The Slumification of Amherst.” (Sept. 17)

Dear John: I agree with everything you have to say — all of those of us who live on or adjacent to Grantwood Drive know firsthand about slums. These slums were indeed created exactly how you’ve described.

Your only misconception involves your proposed occupancy reduction from four to three unrelated people. The reason being that the current occupancy limit has never been enforced and I have been told many times by many people in town government that it is for all intents and purposes unenforceable, due to the 24-hour notice requirement.

Nevertheless, I admire your optimism, especially given that neither the town manager, Town Council, former Town Meeting nor Select Board has ever cared about this issue whatsoever. Our precinct’s Town Council member has been particularly excellent at paying lip service to our complaints and suggestions with the usual zero action and follow up.

In fact the only town entity that has been helpful has been the Amherst Police Department and, especially their student/community liaison Officer Bill Laramee. Naturally, their help has come in the form of behavior control, but that is their job.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone in town government did their job as well as the Amherst Police Department does theirs!

Michael Lawrence Levine