Amherst Town Council to be sworn in

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2018 11:38:52 PM

AMHERST — All residents are being invited to the swearing-in ceremony for Amherst’s first Town Council Sunday afternoon.

The inauguration, which aims to be welcoming to everyone, begins at 1 p.m. at the auditorium at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School.

“We encourage everyone to attend,” Town Manager Paul Bockelman said.

Those who have been planning the event said they want it to be representative of Amherst’s values and are doing so by having all participants be Amherst residents. Invitations have also gone out to numerous community groups to be involved.

“This event will have a distinctly Amherst-centric feel,” Select Board Chairman Douglas Slaughter said.

Slaughter, who was on the planning committee, observes that “all participants live in Amherst and have strong ties to the town and to town government.”

One of those is Nancy Eddy, a former Select Board member who helped found the Massachusetts Municipal Association and was its first president. Involved in town affairs for more than 50 years and the recipient of a citizen of the year award from the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Eddy will be the emcee.

The keynote speaker will be Matthew Charity, who chairs the town’s Human Rights Commission and is a law professor at Western New England University.

A former Town Meeting member, Charity is expected to offer a distinctive insight into town government and the important role elected officials will play as they lead the community into the future.

Local poet Karen Skolfield will read an original poem she has written for the occasion, while high school senior Karrington Dowe will offer a student perspective on the new government.

There will be musical interludes, including a performance by the Crocker Farm Elementary School choir, and Torin Moore, student success advisor for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, will close the program with song.

The official swearing-in of the 13 councilors will be conducted by Judge James Collins, a state legislator from 1972 to 1986 who lives in Amherst.

Also during the event, historic town documents curated by the Jones Library Special Collections will be on display.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by going to So far, 200 have said they will come. Bockelman said the auditorium can seat about 600 people.

A reception in the high school cafeteria follows the event, where light refreshments will be served.

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