Districting Advisory Board

Purpose

Section 7.4 of the Amherst Home Rule Charter states: “Every 10 years, upon receipt of the final results of the decennial federal census, the Town Council shall appoint a Districting Advisory Board ... to review such districts and propose changes if necessary to such districts to ensure their uniformity in number of inhabitants and conformity with state and federal law.” The new districts will be implemented for elections in 2022.

Districting Advisory Board (DAB) Membership

Member Name District Start Date End Date
Irene Dujovne 1 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Mahek Ghelani 1 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Marilyn Blaustein 2 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Tammy Parks 2 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Joseph Gordon 3 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Craig Meadows 4 8/23/2021 6/30/2022
Tracy Zafian 3 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Peggy Shannon 5 7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Vacant   7/1/2021 6/30/2022
Vacant   7/1/2021 6/30/2022

Composition:

Section 7.4 of the Amherst Home Rule Charter states: “…the Town Council shall appoint a Districting Advisory Board composed of 9 members from diverse geographical areas of the Town, plus the Town Clerk or the Town Clerk's designee as a nonvoting member ex officio, ...”

Nine (9) Voting Members:

  • Nine (9) Residents, at least one (1) from each of the existing 5 Districts and no more than two (2) from any existing District

Three (3) Non-Voting Members:

  • Town Clerk
  • One (1) Member of the IT staff with GIS experience
  • One (1) Member of the Board of Registrars

Charge:

The Districting Advisory Board (DAB) shall propose a districting map for the Town of Amherst that meets the following MGL Ch. 54 Sec. 1, 2, and 4 statutory and Charter Section 7.4 requirements:

  • Each of the 5 Districts must be compact and contiguous, meaning no unusual protruding pieces of territory in any District.
  • District boundaries must always coincide with federal census block boundaries, following center lines of streets or ways, or other well-defined (visible) limits, such as streams, rivers, or railroad tracks, that constitute block boundaries.
  • If a District contains more than 4,000 inhabitants, said District shall be further divided into two or more Voting Precincts. When dividing a District into Voting Precincts, no Voting Precinct shall be so formed that it will be partly in one congressional district and partly in another congressional district.
  • Every District’s population must be within 5 percent of the average District population for the town.
  • Each District shall, to the extent possible, cluster together centers of common interest or neighborhoods, considering, but not limited to, places where people live, congregate, recreate, worship, shop, and learn.

Reports:

Provide a report to the Town Council in accordance with State Law that includes the following:

  • A description of the process utilized.
  • Key points in the deliberation.
  • Recommendation regarding Districts.