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ACA VOTER GUIDE 2014

After much discussion and deliberation and after many conversations with concerned citizens, as well as elected officials, your Amherst Citizens Association is pleased to present the 2014 edition of our Voter Guide.

We hope you will find this a helpful resource as you consider how you will vote at Town Election on Tuesday March 11. You will also find the "yellow sheet" version of the guide in the March 6th issue of The Amherst Citizen newspaper. Take it with you to the polls, and perhaps print out a few copies for friends or neighbors.

As always we welcome your feedback on anything contained in the guide and your participation in the process of developing these positions, and examining spending priorities in town. Good government requires an engaged and informed electorate. Be sure to make your voice heard on Election Day:

Tuesday March 11th
Polls open from 6AM to 8PM
Souhegan High School

ACA STATEMENT ON CEMETERY FIELDS

As the debate rages on around town concerning the impending end to the use of Cemetery Fields for recreation, your Amherst Citizens Association has taken a look at the situation and we can now provide you with our findings. As always, we get the facts, and then ask the questions that need to be asked.

FACTS

No public taxpayer dollars were used to purchase Cemetery Fields by the Cemetery Trustees. This land was purchased with funds paid by individuals for the purchase of cemetery plots and money paid for perpetual care. In other words, none of this money was acquired through taxation.

The Cemetery Trustees are doing exactly what the Attorney General has been tellingthem they are legally obligated to do, supported by a order from the Superior Court in May of 1999 in settlement of a law suit. The order directs the Trustees to terminate the recreational use on the fields "no later than September 1, 2014." This stipulation was agreed to by all the parties involved at the time, including the town of Amherst. It further states that the AG's office maintains control of the Trustees and their actions.

QUESTIONS

The underlying question is: Does Amherst have adequate playing fields for the Amherst children?

  1. At a recent Selectmens Meeting our Amherst Recreation Director Nancy McMillan stated that we did.

  2. Over the Memorial Day weekend the Amherst Soccer Club hosted the 21st Annual Memorial Day Soccer Tournament that consisted of over250 soccer teamsfrom all over New England and portions of New York. The Amherst Soccer Club generated in the neighborhood of $115,000 from this one tournament and with an unknown amount of additional revenue coming from team sponsors. This figure is an estimate generated from the fee structure noted on their web site.

  3. If we have enough fields right now for over 250 teams from all over to play an entire tournament in 3 days dont we have enough fields for our own kids to play on?

  4. Should the taxpayers of Amherst be asked to continue to build and maintain fields so that private sports organizations can make money to support themselves by using them?

  5. Population is on the decline in the town of Amherst as is the number of students in our schools.

So, when does No mean No? The voters have turned down two recent requests made by the Town to Purchase recreational land. Where would the money come from to purchase the land if it were to become available. Wouldn't it need voter approval?

The reality of the contractual ending of the availability of Cemetery Fields is reflected in the recreation Master Plan on the town website and noted in the minutes of many meetings. How and why has this now become a "state of emergency" requiring legal opinions and much discussion when the agreement on specifics of what was to happen on September 1, 2014 was decided in the courts and agreed to by all parties in 1999.



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  • Dwight Brew, Chair

  • Brad Galinson, V. Chair

  • John D'Angelo

  • Thomas Grella

  • Mike Akillian




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