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Long-serving Amherst employees honored

More than 30 permanent town employees recently received recognition for celebrating milestone anniversaries of service.

While such honors are part of the annual holiday party, Town Manager John Musante this week gave a memo to the Select Board so these employees could earn more public accolades. “We have a talented group, a well regarded group, and it’s nice to let them know that as often as we can,” Musante said.

One of those recognized was Kenneth Isabelle, appreciated for his 35 years as an employee of the Department of Public Works. The honor came just as he announced his retirement, which is effective this month.

Musante praised Isabelle’s work ethic. “(He’s) one of the great workhorses for the town and the DPW,” Musante said.

“A lot of these people are in the trenches and below the radar doing day-to-day work,” Musante said. “The DPW is a great example of that.”

Besides Isabelle, the other employee marking 35 years is Police Chief Scott Livingstone. Those who completed 30 years are Vera West-Davis and David Miner of the fire department and Charles Drake of the DPW, while at 25 years are Sonia Aldrich of the accounting office, Linda Chalfant, director of Leisure Services and Supplemental Education, Tina Swift of the Jones Library, Charles Nelson and Ronald Youing of the police department, and Cynthia Cary of the treasurer and collector’s office.

Besides those long tenures, Musante also recognized those who retired during 2012, including DPW employee Paul Raskevitz and Human Resources Director Eunice Torres.

2014 budget

As required by the town government act, Musante will unveil his proposed fiscal year 2014 budget Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Town Room at Town Hall. The joint meeting of the Select Board and Finance Committee will hear from Musante and Finance Director Sanford “Sandy” Pooler.

Musante said the budget preserves core programs. “You can expect to see essentially a level-services budget,” Musante said.

Even with a more stable economy, though, town finances remain tight, he said. The presentation will be accompanied by a series of documents detailing the budget, as well as what he calls “unmet needs” that couldn’t be funded in the proposal.

Senior citizens who want to access free credit reports will be provided assistance at an event next week. The Amherst Seniors and Law Enforcement Together Council, collaborating with the Senior Center and police department, is holding the course Jan. 16 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Bangs Community Center.

During this, seniors will be assisted in using secure computers to access an online database and print out their current reports. The event is free. For more information, call officer David Rhoades at 259-3000 or send email to rhoadesd@amherstma.gov

Meetings

Monday: Regional School District Planning Board Subcommittee Governance Core Issues Committee, 5:45 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

Wednesday: Select Board and Finance Committee, 4 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

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