Amherst in need of volunteers for several town boards

Hampshire County

The Amherst Town Manager is seeking volunteers to serve on several town boards. One of those is the “Ranked Choice Voting Commission.”

Amherst continues to ask its residents to help serve the community and there are several town boards with vacancies. Amherst Town Manager, Paul Bockelman needs people to serve on numerous town boards and committees. These include the Affordable Housing Trust, The Council on Aging, and the creation of a Ranked-Choice Voting Commission which involves getting the town ready for a ranked choice voting system.

“If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to get more involved in your community, this is the way to do it,” said Bockelman.

Ranked-choice voting is mandated in the new Amherst town charter. It’s a system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, essentially letting you rank candidates from your favorite to your least favorite.

Under the charter, the Town Council will appoint three residents, and the Town Manager will choose another three. So far, no one’s been named.

However, volunteers are needed after the Amherst Town Council was elected for the first time in November.

“During the charter process, before the council took office, we were not permitted to appoint people to committees so now the floodgates have opened and there is a lot of opportunities for people to volunteer,” said Bockelman.

Amherst town officials said ranked choice voting should be ready to use in the 2021 elections.

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