Office of the Secretary of The Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place
Boston, Ma 02108
Dear Secretary Galvin,
Please consider this a formal complaint under 950 CMR 56:00 regarding the (in) actions of the Amherst Board of Registrars taken—or I should say not taken—on July 3’rd, and a request for a formal investigation by your office.
I requested a local hearing in accordance with Chapter 51, 48 to decide whether there is “sufficient grounds for an investigation” concerning the legal residency of Amherst Town Meeting member Robie Hubley and his wife Anne Awad a member of the Amherst Select Board (resigning as of 8/31).
On April 10 Mr. Hubley signed a Homestead declaration for a new home at 4 Jewett Lane, South Hadley. He and his wife Anne Awad also both signed another legal record that day.
The FDIC backed mortgage from Florence Savings Bank, signed under pains and penalties of Federal Law, clearly states: “Borrower shall occupy, establish and use the Property as Borrower’s principal residence within 60 days after the execution of the Security Instrument and shall continue to occupy the Property as Borrower’s principal residence for at least a year after the date of occupancy”
And as I’m sure you know, a Homestead is a notarized one-page legal document that clearly states: “I own and am possessed and occupy said premises as a residence and homestead.”
In response to this legal information going public, the couple published a Letter in the Amherst Bulletin declaring: “The homestead declaration, cited frequently by this newspaper as proof that we are already living in South Hadley, was an error on our part. We were unaware that such protection can only apply to one’s primary residence. We removed the homestead declaration as soon as we realized the error. It now applies only to our Amherst home as it has for years."
But according to a check of the Registry of Deeds this afternoon the Homestead for the South Hadley residency was never “removed” and is still in legal effect.
At the July 3’rd “hearing” the Amherst Board of Registrars completely ignored the Homestead evidence and they declared the mortgage residency requirement a “private matter.” Both Anne Awad and Robie Hubley attended the hearing but were not asked any questions by the Board of Registrars.
The Board unanimously voted, after a half-hour discussion, that there were no grounds to move on to a formal investigation.
To allow this Keystone Cops “investigation” to go unchallenged will only undermine the confidence of Amherst voters in our system of government when a vital national election is only four months away.
Amherst Town Meeting
Amherst Redevelopment Authority
5Th Generation Amherst resident