Charter Commission

The Charter Commission, elected by the voters of Amherst, is guided by State Law, MGL  c.43B. By law, we are charged with preparing a written document which establishes and defines the structure of the government for Amherst. This document, called a Charter, may create local offices, distribute powers, duties and responsibilities among local offices, and may establish and define certain procedures to be followed. Our work must be completed within 18 months of our election, and when completed, the final recommended Charter is submitted to the voters. If approved by the voters, the Charter would serve as Amherst's constitution.


Town Meeting Presentation

The Charter Commission presented an update to Town Meeting on November 14, 2016 as part of Article 1. Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentation.

Public Comments

We have received a number of comments from the public in response to the vote that Town Meeting on Article 2 on November 14, 2016 which failed to authorize the borrowing of money to pay for a new co-located elementary school on the Wildwood site. Click here to read those comments.

Stay Informed

We have created an email list in order to keep residents updated on what we're doing. Subscribe to it here. Also, connect with us on Facebook to keep updated.

Upcoming Meetings

All meetings at the Police Station Community Room, unless otherwise noted.
  • Monday, December 5, 2016, 7:00 pm
    • TMCC Subcommittee on Policies and Procedures Presentation, Continuation of Legislative, Executive & Citizen Participation Deliberations
  • Monday, December 12, 2016, 7:00 pm
    • Tentative: Reports on Comparable Communities, Continuation of Legislative, Executive & Citizen Participation Deliberations
  • Monday, December 19, 2016, 7:00 pm
    • Tentative: Straw Vote on Legislative and Executive Structure; Begin Discussions on School Committee & Other Offices
  • Find the complete Charter Commission meeting schedule here.

Collin Center DRAFT Timeline: Gives an overview of what portions of the Charter we will be discussing during certain weeks

Public Outreach

The Charter Commission welcomes input from the residents of the Town about Amherst and its values about Town government. During the upcoming months, there will be several opportunities to submit your comments, through public forums, hearings and meetings. A Working Group, consisting of Charter Commission members and members of the public, is currently working on scheduling listening workshops throughout town to gather more input and thoughts from the public.

Look for new listening sessions to be scheduled for January 2017, where we'll seek your input on the potential organization of the legislative and executive branches.At that time, the Commission will have specific possible organizations of the legislative and executive branches to discuss.

You may also submit input in two other ways:

  • Send an email to the entire Charter Commission by emailing
  • Complete the Public Input Form, by clicking here.

Comments received from the public by the Charter Commission can be viewed here.

Group Decision Making Process

Here is the link to a website Irma Gonzalez sent the Commission that discusses group decision making: "Making Group Decisions - Six Options". A number of residents have asked that we post the link.

Videographers Wanted

We are looking for many volunteers willing to attend our meetings and videotape them for ACTV. Please contact Irv Rhodes if you are willing to do so, as he is looking at arranging a schedule for the volunteers.
Year  Elected
Andy Churchill, Chair
Tom Fricke
Meg Gage
Nick Grabbe, Clerk
Mandi Jo Hanneke, Vice Chair
Irv Rhodes
Diana Stein
Julia Rueschemeyer
Gerry Weiss