TSO Approves Appointments To Four Town Committees

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The Town Services and Outreach Committee (TSO) of the Town Council, approved at their meeting on September 17, by a vote of 4-0, the Town Manager’s appointments to the following four committees: Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (AMAHT), Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC), Disability Access Advisory Committee (DAAC), and Leisure Services and Supplemental Education Committee (LSSE). Chair Darcy DuMont (District 5) was absent.

The nominations were announced in a September 17 memo sent to the Town Clerk and the Town Council and are expected to come to a full Town Council vote on Monday, October 5. 

The Town Manager provided brief biographical profiles for each of the nominees, and these are posted below. Nominations for appointments to the Design Review Board will be taken up at TSO’s next meeting. 

Municipal Affordable Housing Trust
The Trust’s mission is to promote the Town’s affordable housing priorities as determined through the most recent town housing plan, particularly to create safe, decent, and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations.

Appointed for a three-year term expiring June 30, 2023: Francis Goyes, Lincoln Avenue 

Francis Goyes has dedicated her professional career to increasing housing choices, which she sees as a human right. She works professionally at MassHousing, the quasi-public State agency charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. She worked previously as a housing planner at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston and served on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Watertown. As an immigrant Latina renter, she will seek to ensure that renters’ voices are heard in the Town’s policy discussions. 

Community Preservation Act Committee
CPAC studies the needs, possibilities and resources of the Town regarding community preservation; makes recommendations to the Town Council annually for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space, for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources, for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of land for recreational use, for the creation, preservation, and support of community housing, and for rehabilitation or restoration of such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use, and community housing that is acquired or created as provided in the Community Preservation Act.

Appointed to at-large seats for one-year terms ending June 30, 2021 are:

Ana Devlin Gauthier, Conservation Commission, June 30, 2021 
Robin Fordham, Historical Commission, June 30, 2021 
Sarah Marshall, LSSE Commission, June 30, 2021 
Andrew MacDougall, Planning Board, June 30, 2021 

The other two at-large representatives are Diana Stein, whose second term expires in 2021, and Sam MacLeod, whose first term expires in 2022. David Williams will represent the Amherst Housing Authority until 2022. 

The Town Manager did not provided profiles for the at-large nominees. 

Appointed to three-year terms ending June 30, 2023:
Sarah Eisinger, Pine Street (reappointment) 
Katie Zobel, Bay Road

Sarah Eisinger has been a member of the Committee since 2018 and is entering her second term on the CPA. She currently heads JCamp 180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. JCamp 180 provides management consulting and grants to Jewish summer camps across North America. Her background is predominantly in organizational development and nonprofit real estate. She previously served in the real estate department of MassDevelopment and has written an award-winning book on nonprofit shared space. Sarah serves on the board of the Food Bank of Western Mass. 

Katie Zobel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. She brings deep experience in reviewing and prioritizing competing demands that may all deserve funding. She emphasizes the need for a good process with predetermined criteria that serve the goals of the Town.

Disability Access Advisory Committee
The Disability Access Advisory Committee serves the Town as an advisory committee on issues of physical, programmatic, and employment accessibility, and works to ensure equal access for people with disabilities. The Town is currently updating its ADA self-evaluation and transition plan.

Appointed for Three-Year Terms (expiring on June 30, 2023):
Christopher Blount, Lawrence Circle 
Zander Crowley, North Pleasant Street 

Christopher Blount is a local business owner with a passion for community health, medicine, and education. As a father of a child with disabilities, he brings a personal passion to the Advisory Committee as it aligns with his family’s values. He noted that barriers to access are often overlooked. He has direct experience with access issues in schools, churches, and recreational opportunities. 

Zander Crowley is a disabled resident who believes in trying to make accessibility for all a priority in Amherst. He noted that being surrounded by disability advocates has instilled an activist mentality to expand accessibility and that one of his priorities is housing for transgender individuals.

Leisure Services
The LSSE Commission, which is Amherst’s version of a recreation department, assists the LSSE Department by advising on recreational facilities as well as a variety of leisure and recreational programs, and supplemental education classes. The Commission develops policies, rules, and regulations governing the operation of the facilities and the delivery of LSSE programs. The Commission also advises on public playgrounds, parks, and athletic facilities.

Appointed for a three-year term expiring June 30, 2023:
Carolyn Mailler of Leverett Road. 

Carolyn Mailler is a 25-year subscriber to LSSE services, a longtime liaison between Amherst swimmers and LSSE, and a member of the Friends of Amherst Recreation. She served previously as the Wildwood PTO chair, Wildwood School Council member, and Amherst Regional High School Council member. 

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