Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Simply because we say so

July 1, 2008

222 North East Street. Unit 5
Amherst, MA 01002
June 29, 2008

Board of Registrars for the Town of Amherst
Town Clerk
Town Hall
Amherst, MA 01002

Dear Sirs and Madams:

We have received your mailing that advises us of a complaint against us which claims that we are not residents of the Town of Amherst and therefore we are not legally registered voters in Amherst

Mr. Lawrence Kelley has made his determination that we do not live on Amherst on several erroneous assumptions:

1. Voter residence and registration. Both Anne Awad and Robie Hubley are registered as legal residents and voters in Amherst, and nowhere else. We both affirm that that is the case. It is the burden of the complainant to prove that we are not residents and voters of Amherst for this procedure to move forward. If the complainant cannot prove those allegations the complaint must be dismissed.

2. Homestead Act. Mr. Kelley maintains that a Homestead Declaration equals residence. Actually, MGL Chapter 188 says “An estate of homestead…may be acquired…by an owner or owners of a home…who occupy or intend to occupy said home as a principal residence.” [emphasis added]

3. Mortgage documents language. . The mortgage document relating to the South Hadley home includes a phrase that we should take occupancy by June 10, 2008. Mr. Kelley maintains that the occupancy date is an inflexible and compulsory matter of law. Florence Savings Bank officers have assured us that this provision is a rule of the bank, not a matter of law

If summoned by you, we shall appear and respond to any questions you may have about our residency. You have here our declaration that we, Anne S. Awad and Robie Hubley, are and remain long-time residents and registered voters in the Town of Amherst. We live here, sleep here, eat here, and go about our lives here. It is true that we purchased a house in South Hadley and we plan to move to that house when it is appropriate. When that occurs, we shall register as residents and voters in South Hadley, and proper notice will be given to the Registrars/Town Clerk to remove us from the voter rolls for Amherst.

Anne S. Awad Robie Hubley


Anonymous said...


You were right that it was inappropriate of them to continue on in their positions.

However, as the letter shows, they were right as a matter of law.

LarryK4 said...

And two "rights" make a what?

Anonymous said...

An airplane.

Anonymous said...

Florence Savings Bank....

They don't care about their rules here. They gave a certain member of the Governor's Council who got another mortgage under questionable circumstances.

Not that Florence Savings Bank is political or anything....

anon said...

It is true that we purchased a house in South Hadley and we plan to move to that house when it is appropriate.


First of all Awad resigned effective August 31, right? So we must conclude that August 31 is "appropriate." Let's hope Awad tells Hubley August is appropriate.

Mark said...

You can dance around this all you want but, they are legal residents of Amherst. According to the testimony of the town clerk, residency is only matter of saying that you are a resident. That is it. You do not need to own property or even pay rent. You just have state that you live here. Give it a rest - wait until August 31.

anon said...

Awad has resigned effective 8/31.

Hubley has not indicated whether he will or will not inform the town when it is appropriate, nor exactly what he means by "appropriate."

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, he really needs to bring this to a merciful end by resigning immediatley (as in, hand in the resignation to the Town Clerk, but an effective date of 8/31 is fine)

I still have one more (federal)enforcement official I can contact.

Anonymous said...

"I still have one more (federal) enforcement official I can contact."

Why? August 31 is around the corner. You made a valid point that brought that result. Time to focus your energies on other matters and give it a rest.

LarryK4 said...

Because HE has not resigned his Town Meeting seat.

And I have been a member of that illustrious body for over 15 years.

Yes, I despise Town Meeting--but I also recognize it is the "only game in town" (at the moment) for government.

Sure, as long as HE resigns (effective 8/31) by this Friday close of business, I will indeed "give it rest"

Dick Howland said...

Occupancy, residence and domicile all have very different meaning. Although I am uncertain as anyone's domicile (since one does not need to be in or reside in his/her "domicile", but simply intend to do so. This was especially important to many families such as my own in which whalers out of New Bedford were often gone for years. If they did not return after seven years and absent evidence to the contrary, a magistrate might declare them deceased whereupon the estate of the decedent could be probated in New Bedford (in my family example historically).

Students in Amherst can "reside" in Amherst and vote in Amherst notwithstanding an intention to eventually return to places of origin. This salutary law clarifies that residence in Amherst has no impact on intent which by its very nature is a word suggesting future action and present intent neither of which prevents voting in the Town of Amherst (which is also the Amherst predicate for holding elective office). Domicile is one's significant venue for determination of legal issues.

The Campbell's Soup fortune testator appeared to permit evidence that he lived interchangeably in New Jersey and New York. A terrific probate war raged between the two states as great estate tax questions were in controlled by the decision of the court.

Needless to suggest that the devil is in the details and the meaning of words when used recklessly can work significant harm and even possibly call for appropriate response.

I believe that smart mule "force de frappe" (per DeGaulle) might benefit from reflection. While the words referred to here may be interpreted differently in and out of context. Only when they have legal ramifications does the meaning acquire. As this issue involves the relationship between the Town of Amherst, its citizens, voters, officer, and even the good faith to which we all could subscribe, I answer only in the context of Amherst law where applicable. Dick Howland

LarryK4 said...


You sound like the Attorney you once were…meaning I have no idea what the heck you are talking about.

But I can assure you that six months from now; "Occupancy, residence and domicile" will NOT have very different meaning for Ms. Awad and Mr. Hubley.

They will be ensconced in their South Hadley home. Gone forever from all things Amherst, without leaving much of a trace. Good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Larry -- if Awad is shown to be involved in a fraudulent claim for her Amherst retirement, her retirement can be denied -- not only for this but also for her State job.

Bolger's younger brother comes to mind. And wouldn't this make things fun....

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, irony can be such fun.