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Scare tactics 3: Women won’t run for or serve on the Council

For me, one of the most frustrating scare tactics being spread by the opposition to the new governance plan is that women will not run for or be elected to the Council. First, as a woman, I find it offensive. Second, the argument isn’t supported at all by Amherst’s history. Proponents of this argument look to the other 12 Manager-Council governments in Massachusetts.1 They claim that currently women make up 25% of the membership of the Councils.2 But, the opposition ignores that Amherst is unique in its female representation in government. For example, Amherst has been electing women to town-wide …

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Scare tactics 2: Big Money in Elections

    Meet Penny Ricketts. She got the most votes in the Nov. 7 Town Council election in Greenfield. She’s been a single mother and hospital worker, and she wants to establish fees for absentee landlords. She spent $1,027 on her campaign up to Oct. 31. Meet Ashli Stempel, who got the second-most votes. She advocates for 100 percent green energy and donation of bone marrow to help cancer patients. She spent only $447 on her campaign up to Oct. 31, getting more votes than an opponent who spent $3,925. Greenfield voted for Donald Trump at three times the rate …

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Scare tactics 1: Development

Town Meeting defenders don’t like talking about the real problems with our current system. And it’s understandable why not.   They have been unable to refute data showing that a majority of Town Meeting members are self-appointed and that most voters have not been participating in local elections. They’d rather not talk about sending back $34 million in state money for our schools. They ignore the fact that if you don’t like what Town Meeting members do, there’s not much you can do about it.   So some of them have turned to scare tactics. Rather than defending the increasingly …