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Voting stickers a town tradition

  • Voting stickers such as these handed out Tuesday have become a town tradition on voting day in Amherst. KEVIN GUTTING



Staff Writer
Friday, April 01, 2016

AMHERST — “I Voted Today” stickers have become something of a tradition for voters in Amherst after about a decade of poll workers handing them out on election days.

Select Board Chairwoman Alisa Brewer said she believes the stickers, which voters affix to their jackets or shirts after casting a ballot, originated in 2006, when she approached Town Clerk Sandra Burgess about purchasing enough stickers to have at all 10 polling sites.

“Basically it all came down to I saw it someplace else and remembered them from when I was younger and first registered to vote,” Brewer said.

Brewer’s re-election committee this month spent $68.03 to buy stickers from Bay Tech Label of St. Petersburg, Florida, to ensure the stickers would continue to be available at all polling locations. Brewer said the 10,000 stickers should get Amherst through the town election, the September state primary and a portion of the presidential election in November.

Since the first stickers were purchased, Brewer has often been the one to renew the supply.

“Every so often I’d ask Sandra if she needed a new batch,” Brewer said,

Brewer said she consciously orders stickers that are red, white and blue, but don’t have an American flag on them.

The last batch, which was paid for through the town clerk’s budget, did include an image of a flag, and Brewer said she understands this can cause discomfort for some voters.

Still, people mostly seem to love getting the stickers to show others that they have performed their civic duty.

“People have actually mentioned to me I didn’t get a sticker (and) I’m sad,” Brewer said.

Bridge safety

Reflectors were recently placed on the Jersey barriers that block vehicles from using the closed bridge on Mill Street below the Puffer’s Pond dam.

Interim Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner said a community effort to paint the barriers green, a project to spruce up the bridge, raised concern from state officials that this might make the barriers less visible to approaching vehicles.

The bridge is scheduled to be rebuilt in fall 2017, at a cost of $2.08 million, through the Transportation Improvement Program for the Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Another project in North Amherst, moving the intersection of Montague and Sunderland roads, won’t happen soon, but Hechenbleikner said a warrant article related to land taking needed for this project could be ready for fall Town Meeting.

Job hunting

Three job-hunting workshops at the Amherst Survival Center, held in advance of an April 20 job fair, begin next week.

The workshops will occur on three Mondays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. On Monday will be a workshop titled “Resumes and the Job Application Process,” followed by “Interview Skills” April 11 and “Following-Up After the Interview and Job Applications” April 18.

“This will be the fourth time the center has offered these workshops and hosted a job fair, and we are hoping that these upcoming sessions are as successful as the prior ones,” said Executive Director Mindy Domb.

Suicide prevention fundraiser

The second annual UMass-Amherst Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, a fundraising event for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 3 at the campus track and field complex.

The walk promotes awareness about suicide and mental illnesses. Donations received from the walk support research, education and advocacy for suicide prevention.

Meetings

MONDAY: Select Board, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

TUESDAY: Charter Commission, 6:30 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

WEDNESDAY: Zoning Subcommittee, 5 p.m., and Planning Board, 7 p.m., both at Town Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Council on Aging, 9 a.m., Bangs Community Center; Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall; Finance Committee, 7 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.