Dorothy Pam, Town Councilor, old District 3 and new District 4
Sept 23, 2023 at 10:00 am—12:00 pm
At the Jones Library, 2nd floor in the Amherst Room.
Come to chat, come to complain, come to exchange ideas.
Tea and cookies are served.
Councilors Jennifer Taub and Dorothy Pam visit the new Fieldstone Residence on UMass campus in July (my cane was temporary, just after June knee replacement). Pictured with Tony Maroulis, Shane Conklin, and Nancy Buffone of UMass and Jaydon Diamond, Community Manager Student Living, employed by Greystar.
THOUGHTS ON THE TOWN COUNCIL AND THE TOWN OF AMHERST
It’s a busy time with the Town Council preparing the questions for interviewing a new Police Chief and new School Committee members in addition to finishing up business before a new Town Council is seated in January. As you know, given the high number of sitting councilors in our newly redrawn District 4 which contains half of old 3 and half of old 4, I am not running again for re-election and am working hard for the reelection of Jennifer Taub with whom I have worked so well these past two years.
Jennifer has shown again and again her dedication to preserving and improving our residential neighborhoods, to “Promote a healthy, sustainable balance between year-round and student residents to reverse the trend of a declining non-student population.” Jennifer’s work on revising and strengthening Amherst’s Residential Rental Property Bylaw will lead to safer housing for students and more livable neighborhoods for year-round residents.
One of her greatest strengths is her passionate constituent servicing, meeting with students, year-round residents, and the relevant people to find good solutions for all concerned. We have together participated in UMass’s monthly CCC, Campus & Community Coalition, which works to reduce high-risk drinking and behaviors to improve the wellbeing of students and community life.
Jennifer is a founding member of the Community for Better Planning that looks carefully at how existing and proposed zoning and other laws contribute to an equitable and quality life in our residential neighborhoods. In today’s world where speculation in residential real estate is pricing families and workers out of their neighborhoods, it is important that we have a town councilor who is knowledgeable, hardworking, and indefatigable to fight for us.
When we moved to Amherst in 2010 the schools were in a mess and the newspaper was full of incriminating letters and articles, so much so that I decreed that I would never get into politics in such a town (I’d had my fill of elective office in New York City in the 1970’s and 80’s) . However, as you may know, I changed my mind a few years later when Maurianne Adams “informed” me that I was going to run for the new Town Council. I first got elected to the last Town Meeting and made my “maiden” speech on the necessity of fixing our crumbling sidewalks and discovered to my surprise that it really resonated and people came up to me showing their bruises from recent falls. I got elected to the first Amherst Town Council serving the first 3-year term, then re-elected for the now standard 2 year term in 2021. And now Amherst schools are in the mix again. Today’s Gazette headline saying that no one will likely hear the results of the investigation of the Superintendent’s response to charges of casting a blind eye on in-school bullying, gender abuses, and unallowed religious behavior in the Middle School. Once again the tax payer will pay for all these personnel investigations but is shut out of finding out what really happened. It’s hard to learn and improve when you don’t know what happened. I find the practice of the public paying for investigations, then being kept in the dark about results, then being sued by angry personnel for what we rarely know, to be most vexing.
Amherst Police Department
In contrast, the town of Amherst’s search for a new Police Chief is being extended because our hired consultants (GovHR USA) say they need more listening sessions and Town Manager Bockelman agrees that there needs to be more public engagement, more outreach, and more transparency. I recently attended one Listening Session at the Bangs Center and found it a thoughtful exercise with an interesting group of residents. Debora Ferreira of the Community Safety & Social Justice Committee (CSSJC) wants to bring the process to broader group of people and has asked for virtual sessions to accommodate people’s working schedules.
Amherst Police Chief Search – Public Feedback Form
1. The town will be conducting a search for the next Police Chief. We want to hear from our community members and allow them to voice their values, hopes, and expectations for an incoming Police Chief. “Community feedback will serve as an invaluable tool as GovHR begins its work in assisting the Town recruit a new Police Chief,” said Town Manager Paul Bockelman. Learn more about the process and listening sessions at www.amherstma.gov/apdchief Please use the below form to share your thoughts with the search team.
Your feedback will remain anonymous unless you choose to supply or include self- identifying information. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
CLICK THE ABOVE LINK OR HERE TO GET THE FORM. THANK YOU
SAVE THE DATE
Office Hours Oct 7, 2023, Amherst Room, Jones Library, 10:00am—12:00pm
Community District Meeting October 22, 2023 at the Jones Library,
Woodbury Room 2:00—4:30pm.
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