The sun is setting on our current form of government
The race for Charter Commission illustrates perfectly the problem with Amherst Town Meeting: 20 candidates have thus far taken out nomination papers for the nine open seats, or 2.2 candidates per seat while Town Meeting has only 30 candidates for 80 open seats, or .375 candidates per seat.
So how's a voter to decide who to elect to this critically important body that will decide the fate of Amherst town government for the rest of the century?
Well first of all it should be easy to nix the ones who did not sign the charter petition that brought it to the March 29 ballot in the first place:
Out of the 20 potential Charter Commission candidates that would include Janet McGowan, Gerry Weiss, Meg Gage, Maurianne Adams, Jennifer McKenna, Robert Greeney, Diana Stein, Leslie Saulsberry, and Chris Riddle (Although an Amherst For All Steering Committee member confirms Mr. Riddle signed a sheet but may have been disqualified for being illegible or some other technical reason).
In other words, Town Meeting Loyalists need not apply. And the initial strategy to protect that inept antiquated form of government was to naively hope enough signatures would not be collected.
That of course did not pan out as Amherst For All collected the 3,215 signatures in a historically record breaking three months.
So the first two questions that should be asked of all the candidates who successfully hand in their nomination papers by February 9 with 50 signatures is did you sign the petition to bring about the Commission you are now running for, and do you support Amherst Town Meeting?
If they answer No & Yes you have your answer: Choose someone else.