Town Manager Nominates Twenty For Appointments To Town Committees

Amherst Town Hall. Photo: Art Keene.

In memos to the town clerk dated between August 31 and September 15, Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced his nominations of 20 people to be appointed to the following committees and Commissions. Community Preservation Act Committee, Conservation Commission, Council on Aging, Local Historic District Commission, Public Art Commission, Public Shade Tree Commission, Recreation Commission and the Residents Advisory Council

The nominations were endorsed unanimously by the Town Services and Outreach Committee at their meeting on September 16, and will now be forwarded to the full Town Council for approval with a likely vote at the council’s next meeting on September 19. The individuals nominated were as follows.

Community Preservation Act Committee
Appointed for one-year terms expiring June 30, 2023:

Matt Cain (representing the Recreation Commission)

David Williams (representing the Housing Authority)  

Michelle Labbe (representing the Conservation Commission)

Andrew MacDougall (representing the Planning Board)

The charge of the Community Preservation Act Committee and the town’s preservation plan can be found here.

Conservation Commission
Nominated for three-year terms expiring June 30, 2025:

Alexander Hoar, of Cottage Street

Cameron Macuch, of Main Street

The Town Manager provided the following profiles of the nominees:

Alexander Hoar worked at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly four decades. He brings training and experience as a fish and wildlife biologist knowledgeable about rivers and wetlands. He also has practice working in a regulatory and regulated environment.

Cameron Macuch worked as a conservation intern for the town and was inspired by her internship to become more involved in Town government. She has participated in numerous ecological research projects such as community water systems, sea level rise, and groundwater governance. She became very familiar with the Town’s conservation assets in her work documenting the condition of conservation areas in the Town.

The charge of the Conservation Commission can be found here.

Council on Aging
Nominated for a three-year term expiring June 30, 2025:

Jeanne Horrigan, of Applewood Lane

Nominated for a one-year term expiring June 30, 2023:

Anne Burton, of Dana Street

The Town Manager provided the following profiles for the nominees:

Jeanne Horrigan brings a wide breadth of experience to the Council that includes working with diverse populations through her professional and volunteer work. She has served on the Newman Center Advisory Board, the ABC House Board, the UMass Alumni Board, and various school groups mostly in connection with the Fort River Elementary School. Her experience as an advocate for her father has given her personal knowledge of the challenges of aging and caring for our elders.

Anne Burton has served the Town having chaired the both Public Art Commission and the Cultural Council in past years. She is eager to bring her leadership and knowledge of Town governance to the Council on Aging. Ms. Burton has a background in health care management, community planning, transportation advocacy, and also served on the New York City Council on the Handicapped many years ago. She says she hopes to bring her experience and common sense to serve the Town.

The Charge of the Council on Aging is here.

Local Historic District Commission
Appointed for a two-year term expiring June 30, 2024Nancy Ratner, of Lincoln Avenue

Nominated for a one-year term expiring June 30, 2023:

Steven Bloom, of Lincoln Avenue

Judith Strayer, Bruce Coldham, Greta Wilcox, Nicole Miller, and Karin Winter will continue as members.

The Town Manager provided the following profiles of the nominees:

Nancy Ratner lives in the North Prospect-Lincoln-Sunset Local Historic District. She has served the Town as a member of the Amherst School Committee and Amherst Regional School Committee. She brings an appreciation for history, the neighborhood, and extensive skills developed over the years working at Amherst College.

Steven Bloom chaired the Study Committee that developed the boundaries and plan for the North Prospect-Lincoln-Sunset Local Historic District. He also lives in the District. He served on the Historical Commission for three years previously.

Public Art Commission
Nominated for three-year terms expiring June 30, 2025:

Terry Holt of Middle Street

Lori Friedman of Blue Hills Road

Michelle Cutting of Heatherstone Road

Nominated to two-year terms expiring June 30, 2024

Lisa Cain of  South East Street

Robert Braininf of Mill Lane

Nominated for a one-year term expiring June 30, 2023:

Shoshona King, of Rolling Green Drive (reappointment)

There has been significant turnover on the Public Art Commission for various reasons. Ms. King is willing to serve another year to provide continuity as will Ms. Dara Wier, who will continue as a member with a term expiring in 2024.

The Town Manager provided the following profiles of the nominees:

Terry Holt brings extensive experience to the commission, having relocated to Amherst after living in the Town of Arlington where she is the marketing coordinator for the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture, creating newsletters and administering the Commission’s website. She is a photographer and is eager to work with others to create and promote publicly accessible art that showcases local and regional artists.

Lori Friedman has a strong background in arts administration and curating. She has been a consultant working directly with artists, non-profit galleries, and museums. Most recently she has been deeply involved in helping local artists manage their work. She serves as an Emeritus member of the UMass Fine Arts Center Board.

Michelle Cutting is very involved in preservation work as a board member of the Amherst History Museum and Pelham Historical Society. She is an artist and manages the art of her sister. Cutting is a member of the Leverett Center for the Arts and has worked in Town in many capacities.

Lisa Cain is a professional writer and paints watercolors. In addition, she is actively engaged in performance arts as a member of a community chorus and her daughter’s participation in the Hampshire Youth Chorus. She has been volunteering with the Friends of the Performing Arts at Amherst Regional High School.

Robert Brainin is very interested in the intersection of the arts and community development and would like to see more public art (visual, performing, etc.) to bring people together in a variety of spaces. He considers himself a “finance guy” who has worked at many performing arts, education, and community development organizations. In particular, he has been Chief Financial Officer of Wayfinders and Director of Finance at Jacob’s Pillow. He has also served as the Treasure of the Amherst Survival Center.

Shoshona King has been a member of the Public Art Commission since September 12, 2018 and currently serves as chair. She is a life-long independent artist & activist, having spent the last decade focusing on costume design & visuals in local festivals. She has worked with jewelry, leatherwork, commercial arts, fabrication & all manner of fiber arts. She received her education from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco. Locally, she can be seen as the front of house manager at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company or dancing on stage in the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker.

The charge of the Public Art Commission can be found here.

Public Shade Tree Committee
Nominated for a three year-term expiring June 30, 2025:Britt Crow-Miller of Woodside Avenue

The Town Manager provided the following profile for the nominee:

Britt Crow-Miller brings significant experience and expertise on environmental issues and on the human-environment connection and interaction. She is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Conservation at the University and also directs the graduate program in Sustainability Science. She and her family are avid users of the town’s public lands and she directs an environmental education non-profit. She is passionate about community engagement with the goal of moving toward greater environmental justice and equity.

The charge of the Public Shade Tree Committee can be found here.

Recreation Commission
Nominated for a three-year term expiring June 30, 2025:
Andrew MacDougall of Memorial Drive  

The Town Manager provided the following profile of the nominee:

Andrew MacDougall states that he has a passion for making recreation opportunities available to as wide an audience as possible. He has dedicated significant time to growing the sport of Lacrosse and serves as the President of the Amherst Youth Lacrosse, Inc. He has coached and values the participation of all young people in organized sports. Mr. MacDougall also serves on the Planning Board.

The charge of the Recreation Commission can be found here.

Residents’ Advisory Committee
NominateD for a two-year term expiring June 30, 2024:

Anastasia Ordonez of Dwight Circle

Nominated for a one-year term expiring June 30, 2023:

Meg Gage of Montague Road

The Town Manager provided the following profiles of the nominees:

Anastasia Ordonez is a former elected member of the Amherst School Committee. She values this committee’s mission to ensure that open positions in town governance are filled by diverse, responsible, and committed individuals who will meet the needs of the town. In her professional life, Ms. Ordonez has served for 20 years evaluating candidates for open positions and hiring diverse, qualified candidates. She brings experience from the nonprofit world working with numerous community groups in Amherst and around the country.

Meg Gage was an elected member of the Amherst Charter Commission and was very supportive of the inclusion of this committee in the Town Charter. She is interested in bringing support and strategies for engaging a wider range of residents in our town committees, especially town BIPOC residents. Gage has extensive experience in town government and brings 35 years of experience leading national philanthropic organizations.

The charge of the Residents’ Advisory Committee can be found here.

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