Peter Vickery: Accountability a reason to support charter

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Accountability a reason to support charter

There are some eminently reasonable objections to Amherst switching to a Town Council and manager, but the suggestion that the switch will engender untrammeled development is not among them.

If the 13-member council tried to flout the will of the majority by caving in to developers, the electorate would have recourse to one of the most effective tools in the citizens’ toolkit — the ability to vote the rascals out.

In fact, this new level of accountability is one of my primary reasons for supporting the proposal. Were councilors to try to fundamentally transform our town against the wishes of the voters, they would have to account for themselves at the next election. That is a consequence that individual Town Meeting members never have to seriously consider.

Plus, which nearby community has big-box stores and a mall: Easthampton, with its City Council, or Hadley, with its Town Meeting?

Peter Vickery