Steinberg, Kruger and Appy it is
No big surprises as the 255th annual Amherst town election is now history ... but hardly historic.
Select Board winners -- the insiders -- Andy Steinberg (1,843) and Connie Kruger (1,700) far outdistanced outsider candidate John Boothroyd (259) and particularly far out candidate Helen Berg (379).
The School Committee contest was the only race that seemed to generate any enthusiasm where incumbent Katherine Appy was given a scare by the populist nature of newcomer Vira Douangmany's campaign but still won a resounding victory 1,532 to the challenger's 1,012.
As consolation prize Vira was the top vote getter for Town Meeting in Precinct 7 for a three year seat with 239. Her vote total in that Precinct for School Committee was only 158.
With the Amherst schools embroiled in yet another racism/bullying scandal the racial difference between the two candidates could have played a major role, but Douangmany did not overplay the race card.
The same can be said for the other low-key contest for a seat on the Amherst Housing Authority, where insider incumbent Peter Jessup easily bested newcomer Tracylee Boutilier 1,371 to 905. Although Ms. Boutilier did win a three year seat in Town Meeting representing Precinct 6.
Although the Amherst Redevelopment Authority has not met in over a year the open seat vacated by former chair John Coull had to be filled. Pam Rooney won the tightest race of the evening against Paige Wilder 999 to 905 respectively.
But Wilder was #1 vote getter in her home Precinct 10 for a three year Town Meeting seat with 95 votes. She also trounced Rooney in that particular Precinct 89-26.
Voter turnout was a lousy 13.4% (which I called almost exactly), sad to say, about usual for a local election -- although not nearly as bad as last year's pathetic 6.6%.
Two years ago the Presidential election had a 69% turnout. Historic all time high for Amherst was in 1992 when 89% of the voters turned out -- mostly for Bill Clinton.