Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And the winner is....

Harry Brooks Registrar of Voters, Sandra Burgess Town Clerk (center)

UPDATED: Town Meeting Results:
9:35 AM Wednesday morning

If "Blank" was an actual candidate he/she would have come in first place in all 10 precincts by wide margin. In all, 7,172 individual votes were cast among all ten precincts in town meeting 3 year category and a total of 4,623 left blank.

Precinct 1 (8 total for 3 year terms):
Louis Greenbaum
Diane Westfall
Kenton Tharp
Vincent O'Connor
Eric Nazar
Patricia Holland (runner up prize for not making Library Trustee)
Melissa Perot
Hilda Greenbaum (only beat 9th place finisher by 4 votes)

Precinct 2
Barbara Levine
Andrienne Levine
John Coull (also Chair of ARA)
James Pistrang
Barbara Ford
Daniel Clapp
Issac BenEzra
Two Year term: 0
One Year term: Edward Mientka

Precinct 3

Peter Gray-Mullin
Nancy Gregg
Nancy Buffone
Karen Marie Harrington
Jacqueline Churchill
Patrick MacWilliams
Lawrence Orloff

Precinct 4
John Stuart Nelson
Kay Moran
Baer Tierkel
George Ryan
Alan Powell
Two Year Term
Doris Holden
One Year Term
Mark Parent
Naomi Ossar

Precinct 5
Barry Federman
Pat Church
Jane Price
Nancy Pagano
Kevin Eddings
Kevin Noonan
James Oldham
Andrew Bohne
Two Year Term
Mary Wentworth
One Year Term
Katharine McGovern
Robert Saul

Precinct 6
Maralyn Blaustein
Elizabeth Welsh
Diana Spurgin
Jeff Blaustein
Richard Spurgin
Harry Brooks
Gordon Freed
Faythe Turner
One Year Term
Paul DiBenedetto
Amy Brodigan

Precinct 7
Ernest Dalkas
David Keenan
James Brassord
Kenneth Hoffman
Alice Swift
Harvey Allen
Andrienne Terrizzi
Two Year Term
Marylou Theilman
George Jeffrey Bohne

Precinct 8
(Mother) Mary Streeter
Kathleen Traphagen
Jenifer McKenna
Lise Halpern
Ruth Hooke
John Kick
Glen Bertrand
Elaine Fronhofer
One Year Term
Barry Roberts

Precinct 9
Dade Singapuri
Felicity Callahan
Otto Stein
Denise Barberet
Jessica Wilkinson
Emily Lewis
Jonathan O'Keeffe
Pamela Rooney
One Year Term
Stephen Schreiber

Precinct 10
Lewis Mainzer
Stephen Braun
Brett Butler
Jan Eidelson
Richard Bentley
Elissa Rubinstein
Hwei-Ling Greeney
Nancy Gordon

UNOFFICIAL TOTALS (for the contested races):
Amherst Redevelopment Authority: Winner Aaron Hayden 880 to Vince O'Connor 504

Jones Library: (Major upset!) First Place: Chris Hoffman 832, Second place: Michael Wolff 665, Odd person out: Current Board of Trustees President Pat Holland with 660 (kind of like that overthrow in Egypt thing).

Voter turnout: A pathetic 8.5% (Think globally, ignore locally)

8:39 PM

So far in the "heated" race for ARA, incumbent Aaron Hayden, with numbers from three out of 10 precincts (7,8 and 9) is winning by a 2-1 margin. Turnout is barely breaking double digits.

9:05 PM
Hayden wins precincts 2, 3 and 4 and combined it's probably by 2-1 total. Vince actually wins Precinct 1 (his home precinct) 48-42.

I am now projecting Aaron Hayden the winner. Go Gateway!

9:17 PM
For Library it's looking like the odd person out is not going to be out by much. Close 3-way race for the two seats (with 7 or 10 precincts reporting.)

9:21 PM
Looks like Chris Hoffman is in for one of the Jones Library seats but number two is close. Vince actually won another precinct: 2


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this update. What is the best website to view the results tonight?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and when is it official? Thanks.

LarryK4 said...

Will not be official for a couple days. Baer Tierkel was texting results to folks partying at Rafters and he said his website http://sustainableamherst.org/
would probably have the unofficial results tomorrow.

The Town Clerk said it will certainly not be on the town website tonight and maybe not even tomorrow as they have to hand count the write ins.

Anonymous said...

Pat can thank Carol Gray for getting the Library Trustees so much attention in the past year or so.

How many write-ins for Catherine Sanderson? I bet Baer was not texting that information to his cadre of the self-appointed at Rafters.

LarryK4 said...

Will take a day or two to get that. There were a bunch of write ins (that showed up on the computer print out but only a raw number and no names).

But I have a feeling the mast majority of folks who took the time to write in a name did so for Ms Sanderson.

Anonymous said...

Do you have Town Meeting results? Thanks for your excellent coverage. I don't know why the newspapers aren't doing this, too. You beat them every time!

LarryK4 said...

Well I'm a one-man operation so I'm a tad more nimble than my bricks and mortar friends.

I will stop in Town Hall around 9:00 AM and grab those.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic? That's a really good turn out considering most races were unopposed. It's called 8% of the people have no lives. Before castigating people for not voting, why not encourage more people to run. I'll save my vote until there's more than one candidate for Town Moderator, etc.

LarryK4 said...

Nice excuse. You could have taken the time and used the "write in" option.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trekking to Town Hall for the Town Meeting results. Much appreciated!

LarryK4 said...

You're welcome. I live to scoop the Gazette.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:52AM: It's always easy to complain, but so much harder to step up and do something about it. Are you thinking of running for election next year or organizing to find more candidates? Get in the game or grumble from the sidelines.

LarryK4 said...

Yep. Strangely enough even I will run next year.

Anonymous said...

"Nice excuse. You could have taken the time and used the "write in" option."

Um, write-ins only mean something when the person wants to serve but is not on the ballot. They are not magically compelled to serve just because you write them in. Catherine Sanderson announced that she did not want to run. There was no reason to write her in. She didn't want the job.

Anonymous said...

people who wrote her in dont expect her to take the job. it was to show thanks and support for what she had done the last 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Voting is a very small, but essential, effort asked of those of us who live in a democracy. I view voting as my responsibility, no matter how "boring" the election may be. And I take my daughters to the polls.

Anonymous said...

I see many members of the dueling aristocracies in town among the TM electees, including spouses of existing political bosses. Ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

Big turn-out is meaningless. Informed electorate is more important.

Anonymous said...

A creaky anachronism of a system of government lumbers on.... onward into oblivion.......while residents continue dozing off.....and several small cliques of townspeople call all the shots......and listen to the sweet lullaby music of themselves talking......and nothing gets done.....but meetings and talking continue.....and we kick the can down the road.....zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anonymous said...

The membership of Town Meeting is beginning to look like an in-bred town. Just what does the Open Meeting Law say about pillow talk?

LarryK4 said...

Unfortunately Open Meeting and Conflict of Interest laws do not apply to Town Meeting (one reason why the Powers That Be like to keep it chugging along.)

Anonymous said...

did anyone else notice how smoothly the s.c. meeting went last night, and how much they actually got done, after sanderson and her small pack of cronies took part in a "walk out" on the meeting, and with rivkin away?

Anonymous said...

Catherine walked out of the SC meeting in the middle of the meeting??? If so, was there any reason why?

Anonymous said...

Time to play Mary Wentworth's favorite game: Count the Town Meeting Spouses.

Or perhaps Town Meeting has become Amherst Center's version of The Newlywed Game?

Should we have elected Bob Ewbanks to be Town Moderator?

"So, Mrs. Pro-Development Town Meeting Member, now that you've been recruited by Baer Tierkel, who would you say is your husband's least favorite member of the Finance Committee? You have five seconds."

I guess several "better halfs" got sick of sitting at home stirring up the good strong drink in preparation for the 10 p.m. calm-down hour.

Or perhaps someone expects a forty-day flood starting in May and hasn't told the rest of us? With all the hot air in that auditorium, I'm sure that the room turns into an excellent flotation device.

Anonymous said...

sanderson left the s.c. meeting at about 7pm, and as she got up to leave, her support group (about 6 people, jacques, rauschmeyer, et al) stood up simultaneously and walked out. can't imagine why they did it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 6:37 pm,

Could it be that her SC term ended when the polls closed, and, therefore, she would no longer be entitled to sit there? I know that would burst your balloon of overarching cynicism about her and the people who have braved the disapproval of their neighbors to support her, but perhaps her golden coach turned into a pumpkin during the meeting.

By the way, what will you do with all the spare time and energy you've used hating her over the last three years? Whom will you pick on next?

Anonymous said...

didn't know sanderson's term ended when the polls closed at 7pm, hadn't heard that's how it's done... sorry. (didn't they close at 8pm? i don't know... but you must be right.)

but re her entourage.. do you think they were they trying to make a statement by standing up and walking out as she walked out? one last negative, insulting gesture?

re all my extra time now... hadn't thought about it! model airplane building maybe. any suggestions?

don't know who i'll pick on next, either. who will you aggrandize?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:29PM

I know some of the couples, though we've never talked about the exact reasons. But here is a better guess for why there are many spouses--in Town Meeting, numbers are power, so you want as many allies as possible. A spouse is likely to see the issues in similar ways and is also most likely to be swayed by your viewpoint. So a spouse is close to the perfect ally to encourage to run for elected office (volunteer offices too).

So sorry if this reason is too logical and boring, and not as enjoyably patronizing as your little vignette. Reality is so disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:05

I'm so sorry that you found me patronizing, but could it be that so many married couples in Town Meeting means that Town Meeting is less representative of the Town than it could be? Is that gentle and respectful enough for you? I know that all of Amherst politics has been reduced to criticisms of tone and word choice; we are, oh, so delicate these days.

Hey, Larry, where are all those chippy anonymous teachers going to go once Catherine shuts down her blog? They've been chattering away to their heart's content for years now and soon that forum is going to be gone.

So remember: any criticism of any aspect of Amherst public school education is an attack on all Amherst teachers.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:29PM and 7:46PM,

Maybe you don't know much about town meeting, but most of the races are not competitive--8 or less candidates for 8 seats. I don't think the number of candidates are going to rise substantially, so at least we are filling the seats with people who care and will balance the hard-core progressives that make town meeting so long and windy and often pointless.

About your word choice, really, the Newlywed Game? And no one is supposed to point how antiquated that is? Maybe you don't know what "patronizing" is because you swim in it all day long.

Anonymous said...

I think they just came to the meeting to see Sanderson get her commendation and the speech by Thielman. When it was over, they left. That's it. That group has no problem getting their points across using words so relax.

Julia Rueschemeyer said...

Anon 6:37 and 4:06:
My name is spelled "Rueschemeyer." What's your name?

We came to the meeting to acknowledge the tremendous amount of time, thought and action that Catherine Sanderson has donated to this community. We are very appreciative of her commitment, and we wanted to applaud her time on the SC.

I had to leave to attend an Amherst Ballet Board meeting which started at 7 PM. Next time, introduce yourself to me and I'd be happy to answer any questions and dispel your anonymous suspicions! And then you can call me a crony to my face.

I can't wait to hear what got accomplished at the meeting!

Anonymous said...

OK, Ms. Rueschemeyer, i get it, sorry for questioning your intentions. you, ms. sanderson, and the other five of you stood up and left simultaneously because you all had simultaneous other appointments which did not allow for you to stay and observe the meeting. You really don't need to explain any further... we got it.

Anonymous said...

It's clear: we're back to Dictatorship by the Bureaucrats.

The administration has beaten back the challenge to its authority. There will be peace and love from here on.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:20 pm

"At least we are filling the seats"?

Just who is "we"?

How about telling us who is recruiting these candidates? By twos? Just who are the political bosses in town? And don't tell us there aren't any?

Talk about transparency.

Anonymous said...

Really, go ahead: count the spouses in Town Meeting. I'm sure Mr. Kelley is good at this.

Then, ask yourself: what's going on here?

Then, take a look at all of the unopposed candidacies.

Baer and His Friends are successfully running off all the opposing points of view from the field. Sanderson's gone, Rivkin's next, Rhodes and Spence are gone if they don't get with the program. So what's left increasingly in town government are people who sleep together, party and socialize together, plan campaigns together.

Perhaps Mary Wentworth isn't so crazy after all.

The name of the political game is: Get Rid of the Outliers.

Anonymous said...

Why did they do the walk-out during the School Committee meeting?

Anonymous said...

By walking out in the middle of the meeting Catherine Sanderson once again shows it was never about the children of Amherst, it was and always has been all about her.

I have never seen a SC member who was finishing up their term walk out in the middle of their last meeting. They have all served without fanfare until their term was done, until their final meeting was over. I'm glad I wasn't there to see that spectacle.

And, Ms. Rueschemeyer, you may not like being called a crony but you are indeed a crony of Ms. Sanderson. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines crony as "A close friend especially of long standing." Perhaps you are not friends of long standing and that might be what you hang your hat on in denying you are a crony. But you are a close friend.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first.

You know, Larry, I just don't like Dr. Appy's TONE.

(Add proper amount of associated clucking sounds.)

What a lot of horseshit.

LarryK4 said...

I so vividly recall almost 20 years ago when I was still somewhat new to Town Meeting and in the middle of the budget discussion (with 3 or 4 meetings still left to get thru it all) after Moderator Francesca Maltese pounded her gavel to confirm a school budget vote passed, suddenly in unison about 20 members all stood up and walked out.

Confused I turned to a long-time veteran sitting next to me and asked what the heck was going on?

"Oh they are just staff, teachers, and spouses, all they care about is the school budget."

Anonymous said...

They just can't stop.

The Sanderson haters, including the husband of one of Dr. Appy's campaign managers, are yakking away in the Bulletin this morning.

These are people who view themselves as somehow of superior character.

Anonymous said...

Good luck in 2013 on that override, if the electorate believes that our town boards and committees are packed by one political clique in town.

The question remains: are the schools primarily for our kids and our taxpayers or are they for the schools and the administrators?

Test #1: How long before the SC takes down the brand-new elementary language program?

Anonymous said...


Are you a "close friend" or perhaps the poster means "fellow traveler"? (channeling his/her inner Joe McCarthy)

LarryK4 said...

When Rome finally triumphed over Carthage after a long and bitter struggle, they burned the city to the ground and sowed salt into the soil so Carthage could never again rise to challenge the Empire.

Anonymous said...

Would all the Doctor Appy supporters in her campaign ad who are NOT sending their children to Amherst public schools please stand up?

Ultimately, this was never about Catherine Sanderson's tone but rather about the resale value of the hacienda.

Anonymous said...

You people are all self-centered babies. Politics happens. Ms. Sanderson participated in it and lost. Period. Get over it, or get involved yourself.

Anonymous said...

What's interesting is how many people were enlisted politically to help a bureaucracy in town ward off an "outside" or, as Dr. Appy puts it, a "top down" threat to its turf.

Amherst schools: love 'em or leave 'em, because reform is a threat.

Anonymous said...

Pssst, Scott Auerbach, brother, she's gone...you can let it go now.

We know you've been carrying it around for awhile now....referencing a Bulletin article from years ago....I know she hurt you deeply......but she's gone......let it go.

Anonymous said...

I read Mr. Auerbach's letter to the Bulletin and he does not chastise Ms. Sanderson at all in the letter - his letter chastises the newspaper only.

I know, just a technality. Facts don't really matter much on this blog.

Anonymous said...

"Voting is a very small, but essential, effort asked of those of us who live in a democracy. I view voting as my responsibility, no matter how "boring" the election may be. And I take my daughters to the polls.

March 30, 2011 11:51 AM"

we live in a republic, not a democracy. there is a difference.

Michael Jacques said...

YEESSS, this is great! I have become part of an entourage. An an entourage of intelligent, hard working, dedicated people. I've come so far from my humble roots. Only in America can a person find such opportunities. I was hoping to make crony status but hey its about the baby steps to success right.

I can't speak for the others but I went there to support Catherine. Once she left, so did I. Don't worry I will still go back from time to time to support Spence, Rhodes, and Rivkin as they work to improve our schools.

Anonymous said...


You are now stained with your association with Catherine, a stain that you cannot easily wipe off. Congratulations on your crony/fellow traveler status.

This is what we've been reduced to. These were the folks who told us how nice they are

Anonymous said...

Yes, just a technicality, because it does not reduce the pettiness of the entire letter.

Anonymous said...

So Mr. Jacques, have you pre-judged Dr. Appy before she even takes a seat at the table? You don't think she will work for school improvment? And you clearly don't think Mr. Hood works for school improvment. What do you base that opinion on? I have seen him come to meetings more prepared to work and contribute than Rob Spence ever has. So, what is your criteria for determining whether School Committee members are working toward improving our schools?

Anonymous said...

I only popped into the meeting because I found out at the last minute that Mary Lou Thielman was going to say something about Catherine Sanderson's work and I wanted to do a bit of handclapping. Others were there for the same reason. Catherine had another meeting to go to (board volunteer, helping children, etc.). When we all left at the same time, it did feel a bit odd and may have looked like a statement. My statement was--I support Catherine Sanderson's hard work and now I really need to get home to make sure my kids are doing their homework and the pets are fed.

If people saw it differently and judge it unkindly, so be it. I hope they are deriving some satisfaction from their petty mis-judgements, since they obviously need some way to feel happy. Please feel free to call me and ask me directly if you have questions about any part of my life, how you feel I am raising my kids, my tone, haircut, etc.

Janet McGowan

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good laugh, Janet. :)

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Janet - thanks for clarifying this very important issue for the whole community. And I've been meaning to talk to you about your haircut, so thanks for the opening - I'll give you a call soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Larry, what do you think is on Boss Tierkel's "To Do" list after "shout down, then take down SC incumbent"?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jaques
"I will still go back from time to time to support Spence, Rhodes, and Rivkin as they work to improve our schools."
and what about rick hood and catherine appy???
what is wrong with supporting them?

Anonymous said...

Mike Jaques,

Why can't you be perfectly fair and wonderful in the way that we are? So excluding Rick Hood and Catherine Appy from your comment about improving the schools hurt their feelings.

Didn't your mother teach you, if you can't say something wonderful about everyone, then don't say anything at all?

Our petty mis-judgements about you and that hated Amherst College professor are the measure of all that is decent and good and fair.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone's feelings were hurt...I, though, am curious about what has shown Michael that Rick Hood and Katherine Appy are not working for school improvement. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion that is different from some. I just wonder why he thinks the way he does. What he criteria he bases his opinion on.

Anonymous said...

What does Katherine Appy want to do to improve the schools? I think there is no reason to go support her because she stated in the Gazette that there is nothing she can think of that needs improving.

As for Rick Hood, he had an opportunity to improve the schools by choosing a superintendent who could improve the schools. He also had an opportunity to improve the schools with his involvement in the math action plan. For whatever reason, he wasn't able to rise up to the task.

Do you really want more?

Anonymous said...

And who should we have picked Superintendent for optimum school improvement?

Anonymous said...

@Anon author(s):

"How about telling us who is recruiting these candidates? By twos? Just who are the political bosses in town? And don't tell us there aren't any?"

"Then, take a look at all of the unopposed candidacies.

"Baer and His Friends are successfully running off all the opposing points of view from the field. Sanderson's gone, Rivkin's next, Rhodes and Spence are gone if they don't get with the program. ...

"The name of the political game is: Get Rid of the Outliers."

You can use loaded terms like "political bosses" but I believe recent history has shown that most candidates need to have an organizational base, whether a school, ACE, the town progressive groups (I don't know which organizations, but they are definitely organized), or Sustainable Amherst. If you want a good chance of being elected, you better have or create a group of organized supporters.

As for getting rid of outliers, anyone can take out papers. If more diverse people choose not to, you blame the people who do run? That is crap. You want more choices, that's good! So GO OUT AND ORGANIZE AND RUN, and stop complaining about those who actually did it.

Maybe people will use this blog as a launching platform. I like the idea, but it's not my blog, so not my call.

By the way, Sustainable Amherst started as a counterweight to the progressives in TM and the select board. Their raison d'etre was nothing to do with the school committee.

Anonymous said...

And what is Sustainable Amherst today?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4:56pm

"And what is Sustainable Amherst today?"

The target for your ineffectual rage? Yes, blame them, not the voters. Damn this democracy.

Anonymous said...

Always a bad idea to write a letter to the Bulletin after you've had a couple of pops.

Anonymous said...

Right on 3:46. It was ACE's organizing that got five of the last, ummmm, 5? School Committee members elected (prior to Appy). But that kind of alliance is OK for some reason?

I had zero choice in who to elect to town meeting from my precinct because there was less than a full ballot. But we criticize those that did throw their hat in the ring? I really don't get that. I applaud Ms. Sanderson for her service, for speaking her mind and being true to her beliefs. And I applaud her supporters, who shared those beliefs, for aligning themselves with her in an effort to effect the kind of change they believed in. The fact simply is, that a majority of townspeople didn't share those beliefs, or she would still be in office. And that folks, is the game of politics. If you don't like the playing field as it is, then your choice is either to shout about it from the sidelines or get in the game yourself. What I hear here is whole lotta shouting and little else.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, anon. 6:44 is Baer himself? Why the anon?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:44:

An anon... asking another anon... why go anon? Funny, can't you answer that question yourself? Maybe just generalize from why you yourself want to be anonymous.

--yet another cowardly anon

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:44 Sanderson wasn't on the ballet so she didn't lose an election. Voters didn't pick Appy over her.

Try again instead ofgoing to: "The fact simply is, that a majority of townspeople didn't share those beliefs, or she would still be in office."

Anonymous said...

Sanderson did not run because she knew she was going to lose...and lose big!

Anonymous said...

anon 10:24:

Catherine Sanderson is anything but stupid. She saw the writing on the wall during the superintendent hiring that she was out of step with the vast majority of townspeople (that's right, it was not just those annoying hillfolk who disagreed with her approach to school governance). I'm sure the negativity being directed at her from so many corners and the impact that had on her family played a role in her decision. How could it not? But it really can't be argued that she had any chance in hell of being reelected. And she knew it.

LarryK4 said...

All the "experts" thought Harry S. Truman stood no "chance in hell" of being elected in 1948:

New York Times declared, “Thomas E. Dewey’s Election as President is a Foregone Conclusion.”

Chicago Daily Tribune: “Dewey Defeats Truman."

Anonymous said...

C'mon Larry, you've been around long enough to be able to read the tea leaves. Agree or disagree with the reasons for it, but public opinion was NOT on her side.

LarryK4 said...

Public opinion?

A tsunami of cyber-Anons (like you) and a hardy few who had the integrity to put their name on a Letter to the Editor of the venerable Amherst Bulletin, knowing of course that the Bully has a policy of not publishing anonymous letters.

Yeah I'm pretty good with tea leaves, as evidenced by my prediction of an under 10% turnout.

The turnout in 2008, however, when Catherine won her SC seat was far better than what we just saw. And I can assure you that if she had run the turnout would have more than doubled.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Larry. If Catherine had indeed run for re-election the turn-out would have more than doubled. The masses would have come out to vote Sanderson out of office.

LarryK4 said...

You like potato and I like potahto.

And with that kind of lousy turnout, perhaps the town should have called "the whole thing off."