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Protect One of Our Most Precious Resources: Water!! 

To the Editor:

      Did you know that Amherst has wetlands deemed Highest Ranked Habitat in NH and Highest Ranked Habitat in the biological region1 that are located on Industrial Zones?
It is my objective to rem
ind Amherst residents of the lasting effects on our environment of constructing Mega Distribution Centers in Amherst as opposed to allowing reasonable progress to occur. Here’s a few of the major impacts to the environment: 

      Water quality. Our most valuable, unsustainable resource water is at risk. The wildlife and plants depend on clean water. Some Industrial/Commercial- zoned lands are right next to Highest Ranked1 wetlands and a cold brook. Water is not sustainable. Rain and snow are not dependable replenishment sources as climate change takes its toll. 

      Aquifers. Significantly reduced land area for water to penetrate into the ground to replenish one of the largest aquifers in NH, i.e., recharge this critical resource. 

      Take away: The larger the distribution center, the greater the impact on our environment. Life depends on clean, unpolluted water. It is a finite resource. When water is gone, it’s gone. 

      VOTE YES on article 51 on March 14th to limit the size of distribution Centers- no greater than 200,000 square feet. Respect our environment, your health and our most valuable, unsustainable resource: water. Develop land responsibly.



Deb Keough


Why Should I Care?

To the editor:      

      With respect to the encouragement of every Amherst Citizens to vote on March 14th, in addition to other ballot issues, there is an extremely critical set of Amendments that require serious consideration from ALL Amherst residents…that of Articles: 42, 43, 49, 50 and 51.  

      Whether we realize it or not, the preservation of our community’s rural character is under constant assault!  There are outside forces that through, bogus tax revenue claims, promised government funding or unreasonable and unethical land development will be relentless in their pursuit of growth at any cost.  

      We’ve all read or heard the news, this onslaught can come cloaked in the darkness of night with seemingly positive labels such as:  “affordable housing”, “workforce housing”, “community development” or “industrial growth”.  But make no mistake, the end-outcome of unchecked growth will always be disastrous.  Stories of irreversible community tragedies due to overzealous and uncaring developments abound on the internet.

      As a community, we should not be opposed to respectable and reasonable growth…but destructive action outside of that is a recipe for unwarranted turmoil.  When the ambitions of land owners and developers step-over-the-line with the strong potential to virtually destroy our rural and peaceful environment, then the Citizens of Amherst must be united as one and oppose it.  As always, the best way to do this is in the voting booth.

      Amherst is a wonderful place to live, but sadly, its Ordinances, Laws and Regulations are in critical need of timely updating.  They currently are not up-to-the-task of adequately protecting Amherst Citizens against unreasonable developers.  This is not to postulate a “Chicken Little” alert, but rather to draw attention to the need for calculated responses designed to negate and prevent such encroachments.  In a nutshell, this is the strategy behind the five petitions noted above.  Two are championed by the Planning Board and three are Citizens Petitions. Call that: “Concerned Citizens Petitions”.  

      So why were these petitions generated? Simply out of sincere love and appreciation for all that Amherst has to offer. Regardless of your political persuasion, voting on matters involving the sanctity and preservation of our beloved Town and Community should be of the highest priority.  With all of the positive energy witnessed so far behind voting “YES” on these issues, it is abundantly clear that many Amherst Citizens are inclined to agree.  So, I implore everyone…vote YES on these important petitions!  The sanctity of our beloved community heritage depends on it!

Dave Patterson


Gascoyne Seeks Election to Amherst School Board

To the editor:            

      Hello, my name is Shannon Gascoyne, and I am seeking a three year term on the Amherst School Board. I have entered this race because I am proud of our town and believe that maintaining a high quality public education system is central to a thriving community. 

      My husband, children and I have lived in Amherst since 2012. We are grateful to be part of this community. After a number of years working as the Director of Employee Engagement at Franklin University, I made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom to our family. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and have spent the last half dozen years active and serving our community in a variety of ways. 

Executive Board of the Amherst PTA - 2016-2020 - I am proud to have served two elected terms on the Executive Board of the Amherst PTA, where I worked to increase community influence through membership and the creation of the Civic Engagement Committee. 

SAU 39 Joint Facilities Advisory Committee - 2018-Present - Vice Chair from 2019-2021 and Chair from 2021-2022. I currently serve as the Chair of the Amherst Building and Grounds Committee, focusing on the Clark School, Wilkins School and Amherst Middle School. The work of this committee has been central in shining a light on the infrastructure needs of our district. 

SAU39 School Re-Opening Task Force - Summer 2020 - Appointed as Chair of the Parent/Community Sub-Group. The result of this work was a reopening plan that offered a high degree of choice and voice to our community, following the initial March pandemic closures.
Amherst Recreation Commission - 2020-Present - Appointed by the Amherst Board of Selectmen. I am pleased to serve on this commission; parks and recreation are an important part of maintaining the quality of life for all residents in our town. In addition to these formal appointments, I am a frequent volunteer in our schools and community.

    I have worked with numerous boards, committees, community members and leaders in our district, asking tough questions, pushing for results, listening, and building trust. I will apply a pragmatic, even-keeled and collaborative approach to representing the community's voice in public education. In addition to the regular responsibilities of a school board member, I will drive three key areas for our town; 

  • Building and Grounds: The Amherst School District has reached an inflection point with its public school buildings. I am committed to seeing continued improvement in our long range capital maintenance planning and solutions that are in the best interest of students and the town. 

  • Planning and Reporting: I am dedicated to providing residents with clear and consistent feedback on the financial, student and cultural health of the district. I support and will push for the development of an annual report card tied to a strategic plan; one that employs a variety of qualitative and quantitative factors. A plan that is developed with professional educators at the forefront, working in collaboration with the community. What we value as taxpayers is not a question that can be answered by a singular group or singular set of metrics. A holistic approach is required. 

  • Process, Policy, and Communication: Process and policy at every level of government impacts the use of local tax dollars. If elected, I will work to ensure that we operate in alignment within the statutes and administrative rules of New Hampshire, within all district policies, and update our processes when necessary. I will also drive the board and district to coordinate efforts with state and local officials, on behalf of the Amherst taxpayer. 

      Please vote in the upcoming March 14th election. If you would like more information regarding my candidacy please email: 

Shannon Gascoyne

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