Interest keen for 13 Amherst Town Council seats in Nov. 7 election

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 07-12-2023 10:08 AM

AMHERST — Only a week after nomination forms became available for the Nov. 7 town election, significant interest is already being shown by residents in the 13 Town Council and five School Committee positions that will be on the ballot.

As of Tuesday afternoon, seven of the current 13 councilors had already picked up papers to run again, as had seven other residents, including one former councilor.

For School Committee, five residents, including one incumbent, have gotten nomination forms, though only one person has done so for the six Jones Library trustee positions. And none have yet gotten forms to run for the three Amherst Housing Authority positions or the lone Elector under the Oliver Smith Will position.

For councilor at-large, incumbents Mandi Jo Hanneke, 26 Foxglove Lane, and Andrew J. Steinberg, 17 Hitching Post Road, who have both served since the inaugural council was seated in December 2018, have picked up papers, along with newcomers Matthew W. Holloway, 63 Maplewood Drive, Jamie Danielle Daniels, 18 Salem Place, and Liana C. Sweeney, 132 Belchertown Road.

Daniels, who works as a psychotherapist, and Holloway, who serves as a resident member of the Finance Committee and is a student services director, have already begun publicizing their campaigns through websites and social media channels.

In District 2, incumbents Lynn Griesemer, 83 Flat Hills Road, and Patricia D. De Angelis, 21 Ward St., have both gotten nomination forms, along with Amber Lee Cano-Martin, 318 Grantwood Drive, and Sweeney.

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In District 3, former School Committee member Heather Hala A. Lord, 700F Riverglade Drive, and former councilor George E. Ryan, 18 Dana St., have picked up papers. No incumbent councilors represent the district due to the redistricting that followed the 2020 census.

In District 4, incumbents Jennifer Lynn Taub, 259 Lincoln Ave., and Anika Lopes, 61 Chestnut St., have both pulled papers, along with Holloway. Taub currently represents District 3.

In District 5, incumbent Ana Devlin Gauthier, 883 Bay Road, and Thomas Avery Porter, 1581 South East St., have obtained nomination forms.

Only District 1 is lacking candidates so far. The incumbents are Cathy Schoen and Michele Miller. Miller said she will pull papers and collect signatures, though hasn’t yet decided if she will seek a second term.

District 3 Councilor Dorothy Pam is the only incumbent who has announced she will not seek reelection, noting that she will support Taub’s reelection bid.

“She is hardworking, intelligent, and dedicated to preserving what is great about Amherst and expanding these benefits to a more diverse population,” Pam said.

Other incumbents who could seek reelection are At Large Councilor Ellisha Walker, District 4 Councilor Pamela Rooney and District 5 Councilor Shalini Bahl-Milne.

For School Committee, the lone incumbent who has gotten papers is Irv E. Rhodes, 173 Pondview Drive. Four others have also pulled papers, including Laura Jane Hunter, 84 Blackberry Lane, Sarah A. Marshall, 64 Eames Ave., Patrick M. Drumm, 64 West Pomeroy Lane, and Martha Del Carmer Toro, 49 Glendale Road.

Austin D. Sarat, 76 Snell St., who is president of the library trustees, is the only other resident who has gotten papers,

For district seats, 25 signatures from residents in that district are needed to get on the ballot, while 50 signatures from residents are needed for townwide office. All signatures must be submitted by Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.

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