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.
Town Meeting 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.
We have received a number of comments from the public in response to the vote that Town Meeting on Article 2 on November 14, 2016 which failed to authorize the borrowing of money to pay for a new co-located elementary school on the Wildwood site. Click here to read those comments.
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.
All meetings at the Police Station Community Room, unless otherwise noted.
Monday, December 12, 2016, 7:00 pm
Tentative: Reports on Comparable Communities, Continuation of Legislative, Executive & Citizen Participation Deliberations
Monday, December 19, 2016, 7:00 pm
Tentative: Straw Vote on Legislative and Executive Structure; Begin Discussions on School Committee & Other Offices
Find the complete Charter Commission meeting schedule here.
The Charter Commission welcomes input from the residents of the Town about Amherst and its values about Town government. During the upcoming months, there will be several opportunities to submit your comments, through public forums, hearings and meetings. A Working Group, consisting of Charter Commission members and members of the public, is currently working on scheduling listening workshops throughout town to gather more input and thoughts from the public.
Look for new listening sessions to be scheduled for January 2017, where we'll seek your input on the potential organization of the legislative and executive branches.At that time, the Commission will have specific possible organizations of the legislative and executive branches to discuss.
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.
We are looking for many volunteers willing to attend our meetings and videotape them for ACTV. Please contact Irv Rhodes if you are willing to do so, as he is looking at arranging a schedule for the volunteers.