6 thoughts on “Ross, Lopes, Rooney articulate their positions in D4 forum”

  1. The critical comments about Mr. Ross here reflect the problems with our existing journalism and voter information efforts around elections. We simply do not have the opportunity adequately to examine the performance of incumbents running for reelection as well as newcomer candidates, certainly not an opportunity commensurate with the power we are conferring on the ultimate winners. The criticisms here read like “inside baseball”, but that shouldn’t be. If this fall isn’t the season to be able to call out candidates, and not have it branded as “incivility”, then when? I continue to see our town as one deathly afraid of politics, and of disagreement about them. That’s why we don’t have a mayor. That’s why we have these blanket condemnations of Amherst Forward. That’s why we have these fairly stilted forums that play out like something out of student council days, and media clips of prepared statements on Amherst Media. It’s not good enough for what the voters are being asked to do in November. The comments made here about Mr. Ross indicate that there’s generally plenty of grist for the mill, matters to be addressed about who these candidates are and what they’ve done or failed to do, but no place for a free-flowing discussion (with maybe even some conflict and disagreement) in order to do the extensive examination required. We the voters are largely in the dark, in a similar way as we were on Town Meeting elections, thrown onto candidate identity as the sole way to make distinctions. Not good enough for Amherst.


  2. Based on my experience on the Council, Evan Ross is not an alliance forger. Yes, I asked Evan to join me back in 2018 to co-sponsor Energy and Climate Action Committee legislation, but that “alliance” lasted until January 2019, when I realized I had made a mistake – that Evan was in fact trying to weaken the proposed climate committee. And along those lines, I am appalled that he is hawking himself as a “climate champion” on social media. He has worked to resist and slow down climate action since day one.


  3. When a candidate states that she “rejects political gamesmanship”, given the generally polite nature of these forums, we’re left to wonder what that formulation has in mind. Who’s doing the “political gamesmanship” that needs to be rejected? I need my attention directed at just what behavior Ms. Lopes wants me to vote against. I’m not complaining about the remark, but I just don’t get it. I do appreciate the straight-up reporting from these summaries. But, at the risk of some degree of conflict, I wish the candidates could engage each other with a little more directness.


  4. I remain puzzled by Town Councilor Evan Ross’s statements on zoning. In his call for more duplexes, Ross appears not to understand our zoning bylaw. Our zoning bylaw has lots of ways to create multi-family housing on lots and almost on almost every lot with a single family house can add an extra apartment or even a separate 800 square foot house built. These added apartments are called accessory dwelling units in our bylaw (and supplement apartments or granny flats in other towns.) Amherst is very progressive and way out in front in Massachusetts. Residential units can be added in other ways. People can build affordable or non-owner occupied duplexes, convert a garage or barn to an apartment or subdivide their home into separate apartments. Check out Section 3.3 Residential Uses in our Zoning Bylaw. Almost every neighborhood and residential zoning district allows much more density and residential units than you see now. And many of the houses you look at do contain more than one apartment, you just don’t notice it unless you look at the side of the house at electric meters.


  5. Thanks, Nick. Very helpful, clear and fair. I wish we had a competitive District election in District One like you do in Four. What a shock that 3 of 5 District Councilor elections are not competitive. Not what we expected. That would be useful to reflect on.


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