REPORT: SPECIAL MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL (12/4/19)

Amherst Town Council Meeting, Town Room, Town Hall, Amherst. Photo: Maura Keene

Present: Councilors Lynn Griesemer (president) ,Shalini Bahl-Milne, Alisa Brewer, Pat DeAngelis, George Ryan, Mandi-Jo Hanneke, Sarah Swartz, and Andy Steinberg Absent: Councilors Cathy Schoen, Darcy DuMont, Dorothy Pam, and Steven Schreiber. Staff: Paul Bockelman Town Manager and Athena O’Keefe , Clerk of the Council

This brief meeting was called to order at 12:45 p.m. and lasted only 21 minutes.  It was scheduled due to the postponement of the December 2 Town Council meeting that was to precede the State of the Town address.

Griesemer announced upcoming meetings:

* Four Towns Meeting on Saturday, December 7 at 9 a.m. at the Middle School library;

* Two Listening sessions for the proposed Capital Investment projects on Monday, December 9 at both the Fort River and Wildwood elementary schools

* Public forum on appropriations outside the Annual Budget at 6:30 on Monday, December 16, to be followed by the regular Town Council meeting

* Swearing-in of newly elected town officials on January 6 at 6 p.m.  at the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting

Two proclamations were passed, with minimal wording changes from the Governance, Organization and Legislation Committee.  The first proclaims December 10 as Human Rights Day, as has been observed in the past. The second renews the support of the First Congregational Church as a temporary shelter for purposes of sanctuary.

As required by the Town Charter, the Council received annual reports from the School Committee, Board of Licensing Commissioners, Amherst Housing Authority, Jones Library Trustees, and Oliver Smith Electors. These are published in the packet for the meeting.  Brewer said that she wished the Council had had some input into the contents of reports and suggested that the Council discuss future expectations.

In another effort to comply with the Charter (section 10.12), the Council accepted Bockelman’s reports on the feasibility of creating a position for a coordinator for Disability Act compliance; allowing noncitizens to vote in town elections and to seek and hold town offices; and lowering the voting age for town elections to 16. These reports are not available in the packet, and no action was taken on these issues, other than to state that the charter requires that they be investigated before December 31, 2019.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

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