We are your friends, neighbors and fellow citizens who have, over the years, voted in a variety of ways on key Amherst issues. We have now come together to defeat this Charter proposal.
Some of us have experience with Amherst government, having served on the Select Board, participated in Town Meeting or been active on the committees and boards that shape Town government. Others have never been involved in Amherst politics. Within the group, some wanted a mayor in the Charter proposal, others supported making improvements to our Select Board-Town Meeting form of government, while others still wanted no changes to our current form of government at all.
But everyone of us is appalled at the concentration of power, loss of checks and balances, lack of separation of powers and the drastic reduction of citizen participation in this proposed Charter. Rejection of this proposed Charter is what unites us all.
Amherst is a great Town and much of its success comes from its participatory, balanced form of government. We do not want to see Amherst put into the hands of a few councilors, running expensive election campaigns and introducing the influence of money into local government.
We formed Not This Charter with the goal of defeating the proposed Charter on March 27, 2018. The authors of the Charter Commission's Minority Report, Julia Rueschemeyer, Meg Gage and Gerry Weiss, are our tri-chairs, and Ira Addes is our Treasurer.
We'd love for you to join us. We are eager to work with all those who wish to defeat this poorly-thought-out Charter proposal, including other campaign committees organized for this shared purpose. We are glad to see there are so many working to protect Amherst's long tradition of robust participatory democracy.
The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose. ~ Barack Obama, 2009