So it was announced at a Wednesday staff meeting that Department Head Epi Bodhi, Director of the Amherst Health Department is retiring. Ms Bodhi will probably best be remembered for the caustic Smoking Ban in Bars battle, dubbed the "issue of the year" by the venerable Amherst Bulletin for 1999. The ban, barely, held making Amherst for a brief while the only town with such an ordinance that now is now a statewide law commonly accepted.
And as a sizably-paid town employee (unlike the actual Board of Health that's made up of volunteers) she had to traverse a minefield as her boss Town Manager Barry Del Castilho and the Select Board lead by Bryan Harvey and ever so vocal pro-smoking Czar Hill Boss (affectionately refereed to a "Boss Hill") sided with the ultra vocal bar owners.
Yeah, you would think Public Health would be above politics--but not in Amherst. In fact, town officials will probably now use her retirement as fodder for the upcoming Override by adding her position to the body count of employees cut due to budget constraints (although a few of those cut have simply shifted to grant funding.)