Amherst voters considering change to the town’s government

Changes could include electing a mayor, or a 9 member town council

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday night, voters elected a 9-member Charter Committee. It will be their responsibility over the next 18 months to study the operations of the town government and propose recommended changes to its structure.

Any proposed changes would likely not be voted on until 2018. Those changes could include electing a mayor, or a 9 member town council.

Currently, Amherst has a town meeting system where 240 members make decisions, but some argue the meetings are too long and having so many voices makes it difficult to make decisions.

William Kenny of Amherst told 22News, “I think the structure of town meeting is pretty unique for the town and it’s been a good representation, but I think it’s also convoluted and not as representative of the town itself.”

Amherst already rejected a proposal to elect a mayor once before.

More than 2,000 voters chose to form the commission that will recommend charter changes.

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