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Shannon Gascoyn Would Be An Excellent School Board Member

To the editor:      

      Serving as school board member is a time consuming job without many thanks.  It takes a knowledge of the needs and students.  It takes a willingness to study the issues, go to long meetings, listen to the stake holders and put the time in to be as informed as possible regarding the important issues at hand. In short you have to be engaged. Shannon Gascogne is clearly engaged with the needs of our schools and would make an excellent school board member. 

      Shannon has a firm grasp of the challenges facing the Amherst schools.  She has put in many hours working diligently on the facilities committee regarding the elementary and middle school building project.  As those of you that have had children go through these schools know, the condition of the school buildings is one the most important issues before the school board at this time.  She truly does all her homework when it comes down to the issues, and has a talent for encouraging others to get involved with the issues.  She is a tireless advocate for the students of Amherst. Whenever there is something we need to know more about regarding the Amherst schools, Shannon always seems to have the answers, and then some.

      It is extremely important that we pick the right person for the job. Shannon has a willingness to serve and a passion for education.  She is knowledgeable of the needs of the students and the community.  She has excellent time management, public speaking, and organizational skills.  She has the ability to discern and to prioritize the importance of the various issues that affect our school districts.

      We wholeheartedly support Shannon Gascoyne’s candidacy for Amherst School Board.   She possesses the most important qualities to do an outstanding job as a committed board member. 


Sarah Taylor-Black

Daniel Black

SAU39 Academic Proficiency: Is the Cart Before the Horse? 
Projected Traffic Nightmare

To the editor:            

      Many town folk say, “So what if an enormous distribution center goes into the industrial park in Amherst”... 

      This traffic and infrastructure impact will affect all of us!

      Have you experienced truck traffic on 101A?

      What happens if a distribution center of more than 200,000 square feet moves into Amherst?

Traffic impact is commensurate with the ultimate size of the structure being proposed.

  1. Our town infrastructure cannot accommodate the length and weight of over- the- road trucks that would be feeding this distribution center; from lengths up to 80 feet long with an average weight of 80,000 pounds or more. 

  2. If you've been led to believe that the town will gain tax revenue from this project, think again, the costs to repair secondary roads will fall on the town taxpayers, not all roads used will be state owned.

  3. Distribution centers have a 24 hour cycle.  Even if operational hours are cut back a bit, truckers will be coming into town and parking wherever they can until it is time for them to be off loaded, never mind mentioning all of the outbound trucks heading on the road each day.

  4. 3rd party logistics drivers have no skin in the game, there will be no “company” to go after when the rubber literally hits the road.

  5. Back road usage will increase as traffic will attempt to avert 101A and will flow into less traveled neighborhoods. This increase is already happening on Route 122; log trucks, dirt haulers, heavy equipment trucks. Over the past five years this “country road”, leading into the bucolic town of Amherst, has seen an astronomical increase in truck traffic.

  6. Truck traffic WILL affect property values.

      Our infrastructure needs to be protected! We need to be responsible when it comes to the magnitude of what the citizens will allow to be built in Amherst.

      Vote YES on article #51


Linda Sutherland


To the editor:      

      Over the last 10 years, there has been much experimentation with the teachers and children in the Amherst School District.  The SAU39 administration appears to be obsessed with experimental curriculums and grades, forcing teachers many great teachers to go along.  When calling for accountability, the Amherst School Board continues to make excuses, even arguing that testing is not important.  When asked what measures is SAU39 and ASB using to measure academic excellence, we are told of what they will do when there is a new superintendent.  How has this really served current and recent students? 

      This year, the ASB, consumed with building a new school building, has failed in its planning to consider all stakeholders, be transparent, and factor in costs fairly for taxpayers.  It is almost as if the lack of academic excellence is being hidden by the need to build and excessively large school building.  The reality is that the same failing curriculum will not lead to academic excellence with a brand-new shinny school building.  Any administrator that does not understand the importance of academic excellence and transparency, should be held accountable and terminated.  Any incumbent or candidate who does not understand this either, should be held accountable and not elected. 

      Where’s the ASD multi-year academic strategic plan?  Let’s step back, get a multi -year strategic plan in place, THEN we consider what we need for building space.  

Deb Keough 


What About the Clark School? 

To the editor:      

      The Amherst School Board has decided it is best to force kindergarten through 5th into one great structure.  The wisdom of that decision is debatable.  One of the unintended consequences, if this happens, is the mystery of what then happens with the Clark School Building?  This is another case of moving ahead without a plan.  None of the ASB members or supporters of the big school building have a plan, nor do they care.

      There is talk of giving the building to the Town of Amherst, but is this a good idea?  Does the town want an old used school building?  If so, what will it cost to “refurbish?”  Does everyone realize this is yet an additional cost to all taxpayers? Where is this in the strategic plan of the school board or the new Master Plan for Amherst? Either way, the Clark School Building will cost the Town of Amherst more money and it could be a LOT. No one knows and that is not a serious concern of the school board.  If you care, vote against the bond that will cost taxpayers $103 million (with interest) and vote for 2 new practical and sensible candidates for the Amherst School Board.  


Kelly Mullin 


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