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Amherst Charter Commission Draft Charter Proposal Feedback Form

Steps

  1. 1. Legislative & Executive
  2. 2. Neighborhood Meetings & Mayoral Updates
  3. 3. Participatory Budgeting & Elections
  4. 4. Other Thoughts
  • Legislative & Executive

    1. The Amherst Charter Commission wants to know what you think of the elements of the proposed charter we are drafting. We hope your answers to this feedback form will help us learn. Please note, though, that we are aware this is unscientific and therefore will not represent a statistically valid sample or data with which to draw conclusions. Comments are therefore especially helpful.

    2. The Charter Commission, by a 5-4 vote, is proposing a town council legislature, consisting of 13 members. Three of the members will be elected at-large by the entire town. Ten of the members will be elected by each of the 10 precincts in Amherst (1 elected per precinct). The at-large members will have 4 year terms; the precinct members will have 2 year terms. Reasons for having both at large and precinct councils are so that at-large councilors can focus on representing the views of the entire town, while precinct councilors can focus on representing the views of their precinct, making sure matters that might have a negative effect on 1 or 2 precincts are still represented on the council. Reasons for having different length terms include that it takes more effort to run for town-wide office, allows council to have a few members that can looks towards long-term vision/priorities (even if unpopular) without having to run for re-election soon after, and requiring precinct councilors to run every 2 years will keep them closer to their constituents.

    3. Do you like the idea of electing most of the council by precinct (not at large)?

    4. Do you like the idea of having a few members of the council elected at-large?

    5. Do you like the idea that the at-large members would be elected to a longer term (4 years) than the precinct members (2 years)?

    6. How do you feel about the current proposed size of the council?

    7. The Charter Commission, by a 6-3 vote, is proposing that a Mayor be elected by the Town as the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer. The Mayor's term would be 4 years.

    8. Do you like the idea of a Mayor heading the executive and administrative offices in Amherst?

    9. Do you prefer a 4 year term for the Mayor over a 2 year term?

    10. Do you like the idea of the Mayor being a voting member of the Amherst School Committee?

    11. Do you like the idea of the Mayor chairing the Amherst School Committee?

    12. Do you like the idea of the Mayor being a voting member of the Regional School Committee?

    13. We are currently discussing the possibility of requiring the Mayor to hire a Chief Adminsitrative Officer/Chief of Staff to aid the mayor in administering the Town's departments. Do you support placing such a position in the charter document?