The proposed Charter is NOT a referendum on Town Meeting, or the recent school building proposal, or the library renovation, or pot holes and public works.
The proposed Charter IS a specific blueprint for Amherst government that would diminish democracy by:
Vesting virtually all political power in a 13-member paid city council and eliminating the checks and balances that are essential to good government; and by
Reducing the frequency of elections to once every two years, limiting citizens’ ability to hold officials accountable; and by
Limiting citizen participation in government largely to advisory roles and voting in biannual elections, instead of the citizen-led democracy that, among other accomplishments over the years, made Amherst a leader in getting smoking out of public spaces, saved War Memorial Pool from closure, ensured paid sick leave for all town employees, made Amherst a Sanctuary Community, and prevented zoning changes that would have increased the spread of unsupervised student rentals in Amherst neighborhoods.