Monday, March 30, 2009
Vote early, vote often.
So once again activist Amherst will turn out a pathetic 15 to 20% of the vote to cast ballots in the annual town election. Last November it was closer to 80%. And it’s not like the President of the United States has a big impact on little old Amherst.
The Schools spend the vast majority of our $60+ million budget so the School Committee race will be telling. Rhodes is a shoe in, as he will most likely be almost everybody’s second vote (providing they don’t “bullet vote”.) So the only question is will reformer Rivkin or maintain the status quo Rosa get in.
The Amherst Redevelopment Authority race between tree hugger Rob Kusner and former Chamber of Commerce director John Coull should also be interesting. With the power of eminent domain the ARA can be a formidable tool for development not just in the downtown but also in the North and South Amherst Village Centers.
In the League of Women Voters insert in the Amherst Bulletin Mr. Kusner highlights his experience as committee chair for the Norwottuck Rail Trail, but fails to mention his recent three year stint on the Amherst Select Board (not that they were all that distinguished.)
And as usual, nobody cares about Town Meeting as no contests exist for 3-year-seats in eight out of ten precincts, meaning 64 do-gooders (over one-quarter of the body) are guaranteed election.
Let’s hope none of these folks get to serve out their full term. Charter change for accountable government. Coming soon.