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Meg Gage

from the Town Charter:http://www.amherstma. gov/DocumentCenter/Home/

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2.4 ReferendumA final vote of any representative town meeting passing or

rejecting a measure under any article in the warrant shall not be operative until
after the expiration of five (5) days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal
holidays, from the dissolution of the meeting. If, within said five (5) days, a
petition, signed by registered voters of the town totaling not fewer than five (5)
percent of the total number of registered voters of the town which number shall
not include the number of inactive voters, containing their names and addresses
substantially as they appear on the list of registered voters, is filed with the
select board, asking that the question or questions involved in such vote be
submitted to the registered voters of the town at large, then the operation of
such vote shall be further suspended pending the determination as hereinafter
provided. If such petition is not filed within said period of five (5) days, the vote
of the representative town meeting shall become eective and operative upon
the expiration of said period.

2.41 Excluded measuresThe following measures shall not be the subject of a

referendum called under the provisions of this section: votes to adjourn; votes
authorizing the expenditure of less than twenty thousand dollars; votes
appropriating money for the payment of notes or bonds of the town and interest
becoming due in the then current financial year; votes for the temporary
borrowing of money in anticipation of revenue; votes rejecting proposed zoning
bylaw amendments; votes declared by preamble by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
town meeting members present and voting thereon to be an emergency
measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the peace, health, safety
or convenience of the town.

2.42 Election procedureThe select board, upon the filing of a petition under this
section, shall submit said petition to the registrars of voters who shall within ten
(10) days certify the signatures thereon. Within ten (10) days of receipt of written
notice of certification of a sucient number of signatures, the select board shall
call a special town election, which shall be held as soon as practicable in
accordance with law after the issuing of the call, for the sole purpose of
presenting to the registered voters at large the question or questions so
involved. The polls shall open at 7:00 a.m. and shall close at 8:00 p.m. All votes
upon any question so submitted shall be taken by ballot, and the voter check list
shall be used in the several polling places in the same manner as in the election
of town ocers. No ballots shall be removed or counted before the closing of
the polls. The question or questions to be submitted to be voted on at said
special town election shall be stated on the ballot in substantially the same
language and form in which they were stated when finally presented to the
representative town meeting by the moderator, as appears from the records of
such town meeting.

2.43 Determination of resultA question put to the voters at large under the
provisions of this section shall be determined by a vote of the same proportion
of voters voting thereon as would have been required by law had the question
been finally determined at a representative town meeting. No action of the
representative town meeting shall be reversed unless a number of registered
voters equal to at least eighteen (18) percent of all the active registered voters
shall so vote. Otherwise the action shall take eect immediately upon the
certification by the town clerk of the vote upon the referendum.

2.44 CalculationsTo determine the total number of active voters of the town in
making calculations required by this section, the town clerk shall use the
number of active voters as of the dissolution of the town meeting at which the
question proposed to be submitted to voters of the town at large was voted
upon by town meeting members. The number of inactive voters at the
dissolution of said town meeting shall be excluded from the calculations.


On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 10:44 PM Michele Spirko wrote:

Hello friends,

Here is the latest strategic update - acting solely as a messenger.

Town leaders feel that a referendum is more likely to work than another TM
vote. A referendum puts the funding question before the town voters
instead of TM.

What is required?1104 signatures from registered voters by Monday at 5pm.

(1104 is 5% of registered voters, see below, a buer would be required to
account for invalid signatures) Town Hall opens at noon tomorrow and the
papers will be waiting if someone wants to pursue this. It would require that
dozens of people collect signatures over the next 4 days.

Why this approach?Its only been tried once before and it worked. Something
to do with Plumbrook fields? Also TM may resent another attempt, as many
have stated here.
Then what?The question that has come before TM twice is placed on a ballot,
likely at the March election. 18% of voters must show up to vote for a quorum to
be met, about 4000. Of those 2/3 must approve the question.

for comparisonIn the spring election of 2016, when the Charter Commission
question was on the ballot, 3,492 ballots were cast, representing 17.74% of the
19,676 voters registered. The total number of registered voters has increased
because of the presidential race.Also, the vote tallies for School Committee
candidates were 2:1 in favor of pro-building project candidates. Laura E. Kent
2183 Anastasia E. Ordonez 2127 Vincent J. OConnor 1012

Is anyone from this group interested in leading this? If not, do you know
anyone who would? It would have to be parent led, though I think help
getting signatures would be available from this group? I plan to share this
plan with other parents, but lets not broadcast too loudly until the eort
has been committed to. It would require a massive eort, but the
alternative is so bleak.

sorry if you received this twice.



On Feb 1, 2017, at 11:38 PM, Meg Gage wrote:

So we all go about gathering signatures between now and Monday. I could do

that. I'll commit to 50.

What am I missing here?



On Feb 1, 2017, at 11:45 PM, Michele Spirko wrote:

Awesome! We need 25 more people to commit to 50, or 50 more to commit to

25, etc. and someone to take out the papers. Im willing to join someone at
Town Hall at noon and help make copies/distribute/collect, but as Nicola said, I
think it would be better for a non-TM member (and frankly someone who is
impacted by the outcome) to lead. Any suggestions or volunteers?


On 2/2/2017 5:40 AM, wrote:

I am not a town meeting member and I am impacted by the outcome. I'll do
whatever is needed-- I'm in. I can be at town hall at 12 on Friday.

And Carole let's go collect some signatures. I'm not a big football fan.... it's a
much better way to spend my Sunday.

Chris Foley Pilsner


On Feb 2, 2017 7:37 AM, "Gerry Weiss" wrote:

One question before I offer my body. What are the deadlines for the grant?
Doesn't the grant become a pumpkin before the March election?



On 2/2/2017 7:45 AM, Anastasia Ordonez wrote:


The deadline for the MSBA award expires on March 31. However, trying one
more time under this proposal means that we cannot begin new applications for
MSBA funding this year. If this is what the community wants, you have to let SC
know not to withdraw our current agreement. Happy to talk more if you have any
questions: 510-xxx-8471



On Feb 2, 2017, at 8:06 AM, Gerry Weiss wrote:

Thanks Anastasia,
That is what I thought. So, everyone, here is how I read Anastasia's reply:

If we go ahead with the referendum, someone(s) must notify the SC not to

withdraw the current agreement. I wonder how many someone's that would take?
What is the deadline for the SC withdrawing the current agreement?

Politics: This will cause a sh*t storm in the NO community because they were all
counting on the SC submitting a new SOI this year. (So nice of them to assume
that the SC, only 1 of whom wants to submit such an SOI, and Mike will just jump
to it). That is why I believe the voters need to lead this petition.

Here is an idea: I received about 30 emails from precinct 8 residents asking me

to vote YES on Monday. I'm guessing that there were similar numbers in every
precinct. Is it feasible for us to contact all those people and tell them of the
referendum procedure and suggest that they organize the drive? I would be glad
to reach out to the 30 in precinct 8 and see what the response is.



On 2/2/2017 8:57 AM, Michele Spirko wrote:

Hi Gerry and others,

As someone who regularly recruits volunteer help I'm dubious that people who
emailed the town meeting members would be willing to take on such an
enormous lead eort on such short notice. That said, they are clearly in the
passionate supporter group so it would be very wise to let them know where
they can go grab petitions and or simply sign a petition, and to encourage them
to be involved. Chris Pilsner and a few others have agreed to go to Town Hall.
Chris is a not a TM member; she IS a registered voter and a parent who is
directly aected by this. Other parents have responded who are willing to collect

If the referendum petition fails (not enough signatures by Monday at 5) there is

still time to withdraw. By the way, the results of TM are not ocial until Monday
at 5 so there is no need to withdraw before then. This is in the Charter. Great

The FB group will be a useful place to advertise these eorts.



On Feb 2, 2017, at 9:32 AM, Gerry Weiss wrote:

PS. Would it be good to tell people to write to send emails to Mike and the SC as
Melissa has done? Seems like he and the SC need to get a flood of requests.


On Feb 2, 2017, at 9:34 AM, Michele Spirko wrote:

MSBA contracts are between the Commonwealth and the Town. Not the School
Committee. Three people sign the contracts. Melissa's example is excellent. See

SENT TO:,townmanage,appyk@arps.or


Please do not withdraw the school building project from the MSBA at this time. I
am among a group of townspeople, mostly parents, who are collecting
signatures to get the new schools question on the ballot for Amherst voters to
decide before the MSBA window closesMarch 31.Thank you for your service.


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:27 AM, Michele Spirko > wrote:

Hi again,

In thinking a bit more about this maybe these emails calling to delay withdrawal
of the project should go to a larger town audience. On the TM listserve NO folks
keep asking why the project hasn't been withdrawn yet. Town leaders could use
support on this.

Let's send the emails to the School Committee and the Select Board as well to
show support for delay.

This will tip Vira o to the eort but it is probably worth the risk to show support
to the other Board and Committee members, and to the Superintendent.

What do you all think?


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:48 AM, Heather Sheldon wrote:

The request would be to hold o withdrawal of the until after Monday--at that
point, we can prove public support, but not risk 2017 MSBA SOI, correct?


That last question went unanswered because indeed this would risk MSBO
Statement of Interest, delaying it until 2018.