Last Chance to Apply for a Seat on Charter Review Committee


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Amherst residents wishing to serve on the 2024 Charter Review Committee need to submit their Community Activity Forms and Statements of Interest to Athena O’Keeffe, Clerk of the Council, and Lynn Griesemer, Council President before May 24. Individual interviews by members of the Governance, Organization, and Legislation Committee of the Town Council will be held over Zoom on June 4 and 5 between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The 2017 Amherst Home Rule Charter  (Section 9.6) specifies that the document be reviewed in every year ending in 4. The council will select a nine-member committee to conduct the review and recommend changes. The number of councilors and form of government cannot be changed by the review.  The committee charge states:

The Committee shall:

• Develop an understanding of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Law and the existing Home Rule Charter that define the present form of government for the City known as the Town of Amherst as defined by Amherst Home Rule Charter, September 25, 2017.

• Raise public awareness of Charter Review process through various community outreach efforts (i.e., Town websites, request community organizations to include information in their newsletters, etc.)

• Develop and deploy a variety of feedback mechanisms (i.e., surveys, invitations to testify, public meetings, focus groups, etc.) throughout the review process

• Analyze feedback from the community prior to initial, preliminary, and final reports

• Hold a Public Forum on preliminary report

• Review, propose, and report on process, deliberations, drafts, and recommendations in three stages: initial, preliminary, and final (see Reports Section for contents and timing).

The League of Women Voters of Amherst has held three discussion sessions about the Charter this spring. They will be formulating a consensus on recommended changes on June 2, preceding the annual membership meeting. Recordings of the three review sessions may be viewed on the LWVA website.

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