Charter Commission

On July 13, 2017, the Charter Commission voted 5 in favor, 3 against, and 1 abstaining to support a Preliminary Charter that proposed a Council-Manager form of government. The Charter Commission then unanimously approved the Preliminary Report and the required submission to the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Amherst Bulletin for publication.

Read the Preliminary Report here.
Read the Preliminary Charter here.
Give us feedback on them here. (This is an initial feedback form on the Preliminary Report and Charter. It may change as the publication date of the Charter in the Amherst Bulletin nears.)
The Charter Commission, elected by the voters of Amherst, is guided by State Law, MGL  c.43B. By law, we are charged with preparing a written document which establishes and defines the structure of the government for Amherst. This document, called a Charter, may create local offices, distribute powers, duties and responsibilities among local offices, and may establish and define certain procedures to be followed. Our work must be completed within 18 months of our election, and when completed, the final recommended Charter is submitted to the voters. If approved by the voters, the Charter would serve as Amherst's constitution.

Upcoming Meetings

All meetings at the Police Station Community Room, unless otherwise noted
  • Wednesday, July 26 - 5:30 – 9:30 pm
  • Thursday, August 31 - 7-9 pm - Public Hearing - Town Room, Town Hall
    Find the complete Charter Commission meeting schedule here.

    Public Outreach

    The Charter Commission welcomes input from the residents of the Town about Amherst and its values about Town government. Thank you to all who attended the Feedback Sessions.

    You may submit input in other ways:
    • Send an email to the entire Charter Commission by emailing
    • Complete the Preliminary Report and Charter Feedback form here.

    Comments received from the public by the Charter Commission can be viewed here.


    Ward Combinations

    For those interested int he various ways our 10 precincts can be combined into five wards, here is a copy of all 9 potential options. At the June 7th meeting, we choose to propose this one.

    Town Meeting Presentations

    The Charter Commission presented an update to Town Meeting on April 27, 2017 as part of Article 1. Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentation.

    The Charter Commission presented an update to Town Meeting on November 14, 2016 as part of Article 1. Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentation.

    Stay Informed

    We have created an email list in order to keep residents updated on what we're doing. Subscribe to it here. Also, connect with us on Facebook to keep updated.

    Group Decision Making Process

    Here is the link to a website Irma Gonzalez sent the Commission that discusses group decision making: "Making Group Decisions - Six Options". A number of residents have asked that we post the link.
    Year  Elected
    Andy Churchill, Chair
    Tom Fricke
    Meg Gage
    Nick Grabbe, Clerk
    Mandi Jo Hanneke, Vice Chair
    Irv Rhodes
    Diana Stein
    Julia Rueschemeyer
    Gerry Weiss