Contested races emerge in Amherst election for Select Board, School Committee
AMHERST — Open seats on the School Committee and Select Board and three-year Town Meeting seats in nearly all 10 precincts, will be contested when town elections are held March 25.
Helen Berg of 902 North Pleasant St., John Boothroyd of 22 Longmeadow Drive, Connie Kruger of 15 Hop Brook Road and Andy Steinberg of 17 Hitching Post Road will be on the ballot for the two available three-year Select Board terms after filing nomination forms with signatures from 50 residents by Tuesday’s deadline. Incumbents Stephanie O’Keeffe and Diana Stein chose not to seek re-election to the posts they each have held for six years.
School Committee incumbent Katherine Appy of 100 Red Gate Lane will face off against Viraphanh Douangmany of 12 Longmeadow Drive for the lone three-year seat available on that board.
Voters will also decide two additional townwide contests. Pamela S. Rooney of 42 Cottage St. and L. Paige Wilder of 73 Fearing St. will seek a five-year seat on the Amherst Redevelopment Authority being vacated by John Coull, while incumbent Amherst Housing Authority member Peter Jessop 120 Pulpit Hill Road is being challenged by Tracylee Boutilier of 30 Gatehouse Road for a five-year position.
Unopposed townwide candidates include incumbent Town Moderator James Pistrang of 41 High Point Drive, who is seeking another one-year term, and incumbents Chris Hoffmann of 170 East Hadley Road and Michael Wolff of 339 Spencer Drive, who are pursuing three-year posts as Jones Library trustees.
Though leaving the Redevelopment Authority, which has been dormant for the past year, Coull, of 20 Sheerman Lane, is again running for the one-year term as elector under the Oliver Smith will. He has no opponents.
Town Meeting proved to be more popular than is customarily the case, with 133 residents putting their names on the ballot for 93 open Town Meeting slots. For the standard eight, three-year terms available in each precinct, only precincts 3 and 5 will not have contests. The most competitive races for Town Meeting will be in precinct 1, where 16 residents are running for eight seats, and in precincts 9 and 10, where 14 are running in each for eight seats.
The Town Meeting ballot, like last year, will include the names of numerous college students, with at least 14 University of Massachusetts students trying to become representatives in the town’s legislative body.