Regional School Committee Chair Ben Herrington has resigned from his positions on the Amherst and Regional School Committees effective Monday August 21. In an email dated August 17 to fellow school committee member Allison MacDonald, Herrington said, “It is with regret that I tender my resignation from the Amherst School Committee as of Monday August 21. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve on the board of this fine organization for the past three and a half years and I offer my best wishes for its continued success.”
That email was forwarded to Town Manager Paul Bockelman who in turn forwarded it to all members of the Town Council.
In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, Herrington expressed his disappointment in and frustration with the town and its residents. He said that he had run for School Committee, especially to represent those who had no one to speak for them. He recounted the difficulty of living and serving in a town that believes its own hype about being “woke”. He said that the part of his service that he most valued was the engagement he had with Amherst’s youth. He said he “can’t count how many times our students have allowed me to be a bright light in their life and can’t begin to quantify how meaningful that has been for me.”
Last week Herrington also resigned as Chair of the Town’s Human Right’s Commission.
Under the Amherst Home Rule Charter, the president of the Town Council must, within 45 days of the vacancy, call a special meeting of the Town Council and the remaining members of the School Committee for the purpose of voting on replacements. The replacements will be selected from those who apply to fill the position. Notice of the vacancy must be published for a minimum of 21 days prior to the special meeting. Candidates to fill the vacancy must be registered voters in Amherst and “no person appointed under this section of the charter can be listed on the ballot for the next regularly scheduled town election as a ‘candidate for re-election’ ”. The next regularly scheduled town election will be on Tuesday, November 7. All elected offices in Amherst will be contested this year including all five seats on the School Committee.
Read more about Herrington’s resignation in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Allison McDonald is the second member of the School Committee to resign in one week.