Time running out to get name on Amherst Town Council ballots

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2018

AMHERST — With just over two weeks remaining for those interested in running for Town Council to get their names on the ballot, 26 residents have obtained nomination forms from the town clerk’s office.

For the three townwide seats that will be part of the 13-member council, expected to be seated Dec. 3, 12 have taken out papers, and six of these have also gotten papers for district seats, while another 14 residents have gotten forms just for the district positions. Each district will have two representatives.

But anyone who has nomination papers for both townwide and district positions will have to choose between them, based on an opinion from KP Law that one person’s name cannot appear in two places on the same ballot.

Nomination forms must be obtained and returned with either 50 signatures of registered voters for townwide office or 25 signatures for district office by the end of the day June 29.

Those who have taken out papers for townwide office include current Select Board members Alisa Brewer and Andrew Steinberg, Janaya Lynn Collins, 232 North East St., #15; J. Lynn Griesemer, 83 Flat Hills Road, who has also pulled papers for District 2; Mandi Jo Hanneke, 52 Orchard St., who has also pulled papers for District 4; Aaron Hayden, 1491 South East St., who has also pulled papers for District 5; Robert B. Kusner, 49 Van Meter Drive; Niels P. la Cour, 24 North Whitney St., who has also pulled papers for District 4; Victor Nunez-Ortiz, 5 Blackberry Lane; Juan Manuel Ruiz-Hall, 86 Pine Grove, who has also pulled papers for District 2; Cathy Schoen, 519 Montague Road, who has also pulled papers for District 1; and Bruce E. Smith, 11 Surrey Lane.

Others who have obtained papers include:

Sharon Povinelli, 493 Montague Road, and Nicola Usher, 37 Harris St., for District 1;

Peter Vickery, 71 Cherry Lane, for District 2;

Stephen R. Braun, 180 Lincoln Ave., Robert E. Greeney, 76 McClellan St., John R. Page, 96 North Prospect St. #15, Dorothy S. Pam, 229 Amity St., and George E. Ryan. 18 Dana St. for District 3;

David G. Reffsin, 117 North Whitney St., Evan Robert Ross, 90 Cottage St., #2, Stephen D. Schreiber, 100 High St., and James Roche, 22 Lessey St, for District 4;

Shalini Bahl-Milne, 78 Linden Ridge Road, Jeffrey C. Lee, 815 South East St. and Theodore Parker, 26 Woodlot Road, for District 5.

A preliminary election will be held Sept. 4, coinciding with the state primary, to narrow the field, if more than twice as many candidates as seats are available. The main election will take place Nov. 6, the same day as the state election.

Legislation that will allow Amherst’s first town council elections to coincide with the state election calendar has continued to move forward.

The bill, known as “an act authorizing the city known as the town of Amherst to hold a special election on Nov. 6, 2018,” has been referred to the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading.

A joint hearing last month at the Statehouse brought out both supporters and opponents of the election calendar. Supporters say the calendar is embedded in the town charter adopted by voters March 27 and has also been endorsed by Town Meeting. Opponents say the calendar may disenfranchise college students from participating in the election.

Scott Merzbach can be  reached at smerzbach@ gazettenet.com.

This story was updated June 14, 2018, at 11:40 a.m. to include Nicola Usher, District 1, and Evan Robert Ross, District 4, as having taken out papers.