Update: 2:45 PM
Ultra-informed source tells me that the Select board voted 3-2 on February 25 to place the 3% CPA surcharge on the Town Meeting warrant (with, of course, Anne Awad voting in the majority).
On April 7 the newly constituted Select Board (Greeney out, O’Keeffe and Stein in) signed the Warrant for the annual Town Meeting and nothing could be added after that.
On April 23 the Select Board voted 3-2 (Brewer and O’Keeffe opposed, Awad, Stein, His Lordship Gerry Weiss in favor) to recommend/approve Article 24, the CPA tax increase to 3%.
My point, of course, still applies (like a Harpoon from Hell).
Original post 11:45 AM:
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
June 6, 2008
Dear Attorney General Coakley,
On May 20 I requested you undertake a ‘quo warranto procedure’ to remove from office Amherst Town Meeting member Robie Hubley because he had signed on April 10 a ‘Homestead’ declaration for a residency in South Hadley.
Both Mr. Hubley and his wife Anne Awad, currently an Amherst Select Board member, also signed a mortgage that day with an FDIC insured bank that clearly states: “Occupancy: Borrower shall occupy, establish, and use the Property as Borrower’s principal residence with 60 days after the execution of this Security Instrument and shall continue to occupy the Property as Borrower’s principal residence for at least one year after the date of occupancy.”
Since the Homestead declaration also covers Ms. Awad, it is quite possibly an investigation will conclude that she was no longer entitled to serve on the Amherst Select Board as of April 10.
On April 23 the Amherst Select board voted 3-2 (with Ms. Awad making the motion and then voting in the majority) to place on the Annual Town Meeting warrant an article to increase the Community Preservation surcharge Tax from 1.5% to 3%. Town meeting approved the measure and it will be placed on the November Ballot.
But, if Ms. Awad were not legally entitled to vote as a Board member on April 23, the outcome would have been a 2-2 tie and the measure would not have been placed on the Town Meeting Warrant and would not appear on the ballot this November.
Certainly as of June 10, because of the mortgage, Ms Awad is no longer a resident of Amherst. And from that day forward any 3-2 vote of the Amherst Select Board that she participates in will be subject to legal challenge.
In fairness to the voters of Amherst, could your office please expedite an investigation into this matter?
Amherst Town Meeting
Amherst Redevelopment Authority