Almost exclusively due to a lack of competition. For the second election in a row, no contest for Select Board--the highest elected position in town government. And since the schools are the only thing that matters to a whopping percentage of the electorate, the lack of a contest for Catherine Sanderson's School Committee seat (at least hers until 8:00 PM this evening) dampened markedly any election buzz.
No lawn signs, post cards, radio ads, bumper stickers, nasty emails, Facebook pages or stand outs in town center. Nada.
Ironically Aaron Hayden is the candidate hurt the most--fortunately not fatally--as virtually all the 'Amherst Center' types who would have flocked to the polls to vote against Catherine Sanderson would have supported Mr. Hayden's reelection to the Amherst Redevelopment Authority for his sane, smart growth approach to enhancing our commercial tax base (thus creating more tax revenues for the schools); the exact opposite of Vince O'Connor's touchy-feely, no-growth-is good-growth attitude.
But I'm still going to write in Catherine Sanderson for School Committee anyway. She deserves the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart for three long years of banging her perky head against a brick wall. Like the innocent kid who cried out the emperor has no clothes, only in this modern version a royal goon squad then beats the tar out of her.
Chris Hoffman also took some heat last summer for calling attention to the hatchet job underway at the Jones Library, where cutthroat-Carol Gray was setting up long time director Bonnie Isman for a death by a 1,000 cuts with an "evaluation" longer than 'War and Peace'.
Since three candidates are vying for two Library Trustee positions a voter can choose two candidates. I'm going to "bullet vote" for Hoffman, but if you feel it's your patriotic duty to use that other vote then cast it for ANYONE BUT Pat Holland (also part of the hit squad with cutthroat Carol.)
Traditionally Amherst voter turnout for municipal elections held in the Spring is usually an embarrassing 15 to 20% (30% for an Override or Charter change in government ballot question) but the Presidential elections every four years in November always brings out around 75%.
That's Amherst for you: always thinking nationally (or internationally). Today's turnout will be the most pathetic in years, possibly under 10%.
Catherine Sanderson: out of the hot seat