Amherst residents betrayed by board
Recent political maneuvers in the Town of Amherst offer a lesson to all Western New York communities on the importance of citizen vigilance. In November 2010, more than 70 percent of Amherst voters adopted a measure to reduce the size of the Town Board from seven to five members. Two reasons for holding this downsizing referendum on Election Day were to ensure that the greatest number of voters would have a chance to decide this issue, and to spare taxpayers the added cost of a special election. Back then, all four Republican board candidates supported placing this proposition on the ballot as a major theme of their platform, and all four were elected.
Fast forward to today, and these elected officials now want to ignore the results of the 2010 vote and not follow the instructions of the people to have fewer elected officials and lower taxpayer cost. They seek to accomplish their goal by holding a special election, limiting the number of polling places, and restricting voting hours so morning commuters will face difficulties casting their ballot. As if these impediments to thwarting the will of voters isn’t enough, if this proposition passes imagine the possible consequences of a six-person elected Town Board incapable of breaking a tie vote.
These actions by our elected representatives make me feel deeply betrayed and civically abused. If we are not vigilant, we will all get the government we deserve.
Edward F. McKee