After over two hours of tedious discussion, where our five member Select Board (called Selectmen in every other municipality in Massachusetts) tried to keep the analysis of the two candidates positive, they voted 3-2 in favor of the best fit for Amherst ... who just happens to be a woman.
Maria Capriola, at age 36, is neither a "millennial" (although pretty close) and certainly not a "baby boomer" but she has the vital experience of living and legislating in a University Town where UConn casts a shadow as enormous as the one UMass does over Amherst.
UMass Amherst is our #1 industry, err, employer
At the proposed salary of $155,000 she will be, like her predecessor John Musante, the second highest paid employee behind School Superintendent Maria Geryk.
And will probably interact most often with the Select Board Chair, Alisa Brewer. Maybe have lunch with the President of Amherst College, Biddy Martin; or Business Improvement District Director Sarah la Cour; or the Donald Trump of North Amherst developers, Cinda Jones.
Amherst has a strong team of upper management already in place and the Select Board made it clear from the get go the new Town Manager is not expected to "clean house."
We need someone with enough experience to carry out a vision with vigor.
And I think we found her.