Amherst Town Manager John Musante 1961-2015
Some days I wish I did not listen so closely to first responder radio traffic, or know the town and town officials so well.
With medical calls I try not to listen all that carefully mainly because they are, usually, private and only subject to public scrutiny if it involves a high ranking pubic official.
Well in our little town they don't come any higher ranking (or nicer) than Town Manager John Musante. And it's my very sad duty to report he passed away in his sleep, possibly from a heart attack.
Amherst Ambulance (A4) with four aboard (usual crew is two) responded to his home Sunday morning around 8:45 AM and had a major Amherst police escort to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Umass and Hadley police assisted with traffic control at intersections along the way.
As many of you may remember our Town Manager suffered a head injury four years ago after falling while out walking his dog. And in late July he fractured his foot in another accident while walking back to his dorm room where he was attending a professional development course at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge.
John Musante was kick off speaker at town's Solar presentation last week and seemed happy with the public response to a solar array on closed landfill
But he seemed happy and healthy of late. I would often see him walking along Main Street around the lunch hour for exercise, and he was out mingling with the general public at the Celebrate Amherst Block Party on Thursday night.
John Musante, a long time Amherst resident, replaced Larry Shaffer as Town Manager in 2010 but had served as Finance Director since 2004.
Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek, who is in Philadelphia at the moment, will become interim Town Manager.
Town Manager John Musante with Amherst Select Board. Chair Alisa Brewer (center)
The Amherst Select Board has a regularly scheduled Monday meeting tomorrow night. Open Meeting Law allows for, "Topics the Chair did not reasonable anticipate 48 hours before the meeting".
And this shocking event is something nobody could have anticipated.