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Bring Back Some Sanity to Amherst’s Planning and Zoning Challenges 

To the editor:      

      We recently met with Jason Sorens.  

      His educational background is exemplary, and most of his professional career has dealt with planning and housing issues. His views on Amherst’s current planning issues are well thought out and in line with many of the issues our PB has faced for years. 

      We are very concerned with the direction the Board has taken as evidenced by the 2 court cases that were decided against the town. There is a need for compromise and collaboration.   We believe that Jason will bring sanity back. 

      We were not among the first people to recognize that Jason Sorens would be a great asset to the Planning Board.   But at the urging of members of CIVIC -- an organization of folks who are hoping to restore a sense of community, transparency, and respectful civic engagement -- we thought a meeting would be productive.

      After sitting down with Jason, we believe our concerns were unfounded.  We support his candidacy.

Marilyn Peterman

Rick Katzenberg


Endorsement of  Shannon Gascoyne

To the editor:            

      I am writing today in my support and endorsement of Shannon Gascoyne for the Amherst School Board.  I have known Shannon for over 8 years, when I was serving as the Co-President of the Amherst PTA.  Her oldest was just starting school at Wilkins and she reached out to see how she could help.  Since then, her commitment to civic duty in this town has been extraordinary, including Amherst PTA Secretary and Co-Chair for 2 terms, several positions on the Joint Facilities Advisory Committee, Re-opening Task Force Parent/Community Chair, Amherst Recreation Board Member, and the Amherst School District Building and Grounds Committee Chair, just to name a few.   Having gotten to know Shannon on both a professional, and personal level, I can attest to her exceptional character and her commitment to education and the Amherst Community. 

      Shannon comes to the table with a depth of experience in all things involving Amherst, and has served graciously with an open mind and a kind heart in all of her roles. She continues to represent what’s best for education and this town. She has given her time and talents generously and would be an incredible asset to the School Board.

      Shannon is articulate, well spoken, intelligent, and willing to listen to all sides of an issue or concern.  She’s also been a valuable volunteer within the Community, and with four children in the district, is very invested in our schools.  

      The dedication to serve the needs of our public education community takes a special individual.  I believe Shannon deserves your vote and Amherst is lucky to have her.


Shannon L Daniel


Elect Shannon Gascoyne

To the editor:      

      We are writing to share our fervent support for Shannon Gascoyne for Amherst School Board.  We are very fortunate to have a candidate of her competence and dedication.  Shannon currently has children at Clark-Wilkins Elementary School, Amherst Middle School and next year will have a student at Souhegan High School.  Her commitment to the Amherst School District goes far beyond her interest of her own children; she cares deeply about the quality of education for all students.  Shannon has advocated reasonably and passionately for students, families, teachers and administrators; whether it be while serving  2 elected terms on the Amherst PTA, as an active member of the Joint Facilities Advisory Committee as vice chair and chair, as a member of the SAU39 reopening task force, as the chair of Amherst Building and Grounds Committee or as a frequent volunteer in the schools and the community.  

      We have been fortuitous to have known Shannon for the past 7 years and have recognized and appreciated her ability to be an exceptional listener and leader who fully considers options before making important decisions. We are pleased that Shannon has chosen to serve our community and we fully support her. 

      We encourage all residents of Amherst to elect Shannon Gascoyne on March 14.


Stacey and David Marshall


 What, Not Again? 

To the editor:            

      Last year, the Amherst School Board (ASB) asked the voters to approve the demolition and rebuild parts of the elementary school building and make modifications to the middle school.  This warrant article required 60% of the vote to pass, but the voters said NO with 62% of the vote.  Sadly, this Amherst School Board is back again with another warrant article to only demolish and rebuild parts of the elementary school building.  The ASB has not honestly considered other options, as revealed by the Amherst School District Ways & Means.  The ASB is suggesting a bond that will cost the Town of Amherst about $103 million including interest.  As a gimmick, the ASB chose a level payment option which will cost $11 million more over the life of the bond. 

      With a determined militancy, the ASB, along with JFAC, and their surrogates, have attacked anyone who questions this project.  They highlight broken tiles rather than fix them.  They highlight the broken skirts on the portables and rather than fix.  They have talked about the broken ventilators and leaky roof at the middle school for 5 years, rather than fix.         The voters of Amherst are generous, but we are not stupid!  Too bad the ASB makes excuses for mediocre academic outcomes and has no problem with excessive spending.  The voters are tired of the ASB and it’s surrogates using the children to get their way.  It is time to change the leadership of any board that continues to ignore the voters.  Any incumbent or candidate who ignores the will of the voters should also be ignored at the ballot.  Hopefully, this warrant article fails again and the voters will elect 2 new ASB members (Husainey and Fritz) who will be serious about school building solutions that are appropriate for all of Amherst. 

Marie Panciocco 


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