Concern for Local Economy

Our local business climate must improve in order to preserve the kind of community we say we want: a special place for a wide variety of people to live, with great public services, preserved open spaces, a lively downtown, charming village centers, and a variety of ways to access all those amenities.

Amherst is at a critical juncture. We are in yet another phase of a chronic budget shortfall. We face increasing taxes even as we continue to cut services. And perhaps worst of all, we seem unable to shape a strategy to break this cycle.

Becoming “business friendly” is essential to increasing the value of existing commercial properties. I continue to be deeply distressed by years of accounts of local businesses -- the very kind of businesses we have agreed we want -- having to pay months and months of rent before they’re allowed to do business in Amherst. I am committed to partnering with broad constituencies to work to attract more clean businesses to come to -- and grow in -- Amherst. I am a huge proponent of the idea of hiring an experienced economic development coordinator for our Town, as well as recent efforts toward simplifying and streamlining the permitting and approval processes for new construction and renovations.

I strongly support the need for workforce-affordable housing within our town lines. There’s nobody I’d appreciate as a neighbor more than the fire fighters, police officers, and teachers that make our community strong and smart. A wide range of both rental and ownership options need to be available in our community.

There are those who say appropriate economic development won't make a substantial difference in our tax base. I disagree, and I think you'll find this piece at In Amherst very interesting.

Please join me and others running for two seats on the Amherst Select Board at the March 21st Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce After 5 event at the Cowls new Kitchen Design Center, and find out how my economic goals for this town are exactly what’s needed on the Amherst Select Board.

**2005 Photo of Amherst Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.