The League of Women Voters of Amherst will host a Charter Commission Ballot Question and Candidates’ Night on March 14, 2016, in the auditorium of the Amherst Regional Middle School. The evening will begin with a speaker covering the role and options of a town charter commission, providing information relevant to the question on the March 29 ballot about the formation of an Amherst Town Charter. It will then continue with an opportunity for the candidates for the proposed Commission to introduce themselves and answer questions. The candidates will appear on the same ballot.
Michael Ward is the director of municipal services at the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. He works on a variety of municipal government projects, and has spoken about Charter Commissions across Massachusetts. Ward studied innovative urban policy in Curitiba (Brazil) and Singapore as a Thomas J. Watson fellow. He looked at how these cities both managed to reshape themselves through creative public transportation, economic development, and service provision strategies.
See slides from Ward’s presentation at Harvard, MA for some information on charters, charter reform, the role of the executive, and governance structures in Massachusetts towns.