Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How far the mighty have fallen

South Hadley seems to be collecting Amherst’s castoffs: Former School Superintendent Gus Sayer, Town Manager Barry Del Castilho and now Select person (former Czar) Anne Awad.

I find it hard to believe you would spend $310,000 on a new house and then rent it out.

As to whether she legally changes her address and steps down as an Amherst town official because of this relocation, Ms Awad tells the Gazette that she will “let them know.” In other words, none of your damn business!

Ms. Awad carried on a long-standing relationship with Robie Hubley then married him before telling voters--including the time leading up to his election on the Select board she chaired. Hubley paid for it last year when Alisa Brewer trounced him by a two-to-one margin.

So it’s a pretty safe bet she stall for a year, the time remaining in her Select board term, before publicly announcing this important decision.

The Amherst Select board is already struggling with image problems after allowing the Boss Hogg Town Manager to make policy: kicking the Boy Scouts Christmas tree sales off town land, or nationalizing the July 4’th Parade—something Awad tried to do a few years back when she was at the peak of her power.

The Select board, if they wish to remain relevant over the next year, need to call a Special Election and bring aboard a new member vested in the community.

The $12,000 cost of that Special Election is money well spent.


Marsh said...

We all get to choose our place of residence so I see no nefarious intent unless there is a documented requirement, such as a bylaw, that states Select Board members must remain Amherst residents after their election and Ms. Awad's intent is to subvert the bylaw.

As an elected Select Board member,
is it true that one must remain a resident of Amherst in order to remain an elected Select Board member?

Maybe Ms. Awad simply intends to relocate should the Independence Parade be turned into a protest parade.

LarryK4 said...

Actually state law mandates that you cannot vote or hold office in one town but live in another. The grey area is you sort of have a one or two-year (unofficial) grace period before anyone would notice; sooooo as long as Ms. Awad does not register to vote in South Hadley she is pretty free to ensconce herself there yet remain on the exalted Amherst Select board (a job that pays $300 annually.)

And of course in Amherst the Town Clerk is a tad diffident about playing sheriff. The previous Town Clerk was almost physically assaulted by a Selectman on Election Day during the Charter change vote because she enforced the ‘no political signs’ (they were anti-charter) within 100 feet of a polling place.

And Barry Del Castilho fired the previous, previous Town Clerk because she had a serious condition that required medical leave. Barry axed her, and the town ended up (secretly) paying $100,000 legal settlement. She later died of that medical condition.

honestman said...

The interesting thing is their condo is listed as "For Sale". Also Robie filed a Homestead application for the South Hadley property which I believe sets that as his primary residence. Anne does not have a homestead and Mass law states that if you are married and your spouse files a Homestead and you do not have one it applys to you as well. Mass. Law also states that you cannot have two residences listed as your legal residence.

Sounds to me like there is more than enough to get her to resign and have a special election.

LarryK4 said...

An early Christmas present for the entire town.

dominique said...

Chapter 41: Section 109 of the Mass. General laws provides, in pertinent part: "[I]f an elected or appointed town or district officer removes from the town or district in which he holds his office, he shall be deemed to have vacated his office."

My interpretation of this statute is that the official would be deemed to have vacated his/her office effective as soon as he/she "removes" from the town, e.g. immediately.

Since Robie declared the homestead for himself and his family, e.g. including Ms. Awad, it seems pretty likely that she has effectively "removed" from Amherst...what's she waiting for, an engraved invitation to resign?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I'm having one printed up right now.