By Diane Lederman
October 15, 2009, 2:45PM
AMHERST – The 2010 Annual Town Election is more than five months away, but at least two incumbents will not be running again, one on the Select Board and one on the School Committee.
Papers are now available in the Town Clerk’s office for anyone who would like to seek a position.
The election is slated for March 23.
Select Board member Gerald S. Weiss, who has served two terms on the board, will not be running for re-election. He expressed his intentions earlier this year. Two-term School Committee incumbent Andrew M. Churchill will not be running again. Churchill is chairman of the Amherst School Committee and a member of the regional committee.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time,” Weiss said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t trade it in for any other experience, (but) the demands of the position are too great for somebody with a full-time job and family.”
Besides meeting almost weekly, board members also serve as liaisons to town boards and committees. He said when he cares about an issue he wants to research it to know about it, yet that takes a lot of time.
Board member Alisa V. Brewer, who has served one term on the board, said she will be seeking re-election. Brewer is a former School Committee member who in her first race for Select Board defeated incumbent Robie Hubley.
In an e-mail, Brewer wrote that she is running for another term “because I want to continue making progress on the issues I identified when I ran against the incumbents in 2007, including controlling spending, seeking new revenues, and preserving vital services.
“Select Board membership and activity have undergone a major overhaul starting with my election in 2007. We’re making great strides in communicating our community’s priorities to the Town Manager in a systematic way, rather than providing random individual inputs on our personal passions. And we’ve increased the transparency of town governance activities in multiple ways while realizing we can continue to do more.”
Churchill said he is ready for a break. “It’s been a good six years; I’ve learned a lot and hopefully helped some, but it takes a lot out of you, so I’m ready for a little break. And I’d like to see my kids a bit more before they head off to college (they’re in 10th and 8th grades now),” he wrote in an e-mail. He said it’s not easy to leave “but it was made a lot easier when I heard Rick Hood is planning to run.” Richard B. Hood has already taken out papers for the seat. “
The seat of Kathleen D. Anderson, who has served one term on the School Committee, is also up. She could not be reached for comment.
John W. Coull has taken out papers for re-election as elector, Oliver Smith Will.
The terms of Jones Library Board of Trustee members Louis S. Greenbaum and Kathleen Wang are also up for re-election.
Papers must be signed by at least 50 registered voters in the case of townwide office and by one for Town Meeting from the precinct in which the candidate lives. Papers must be filed with the Town Clerk’s office by Feb. 2 at 5 p.m.
Officials meanwhile, over the next few months, will be discussing whether to put a question on the ballot asking voters to support a Proposition 2½: property tax override.
My Goal in Blogging
I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.