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School District Moderator Steps Down

To the editor:            

      After more than 14 years residency in our town, and at least a decade of service in public town jobs and elected positions, as well as contributions as a private citizen in other organizations, I have decided to step down as Amherst School District Moderator -- the last of my public service commitments.  I have been honored by the trust given me by the people of Amherst in all these endeavors. 

      I want to thank all the people who volunteered over the years, often at my request, to keep the spirit of direct Yankee democracy alive in the tradition of town meeting.  In my fifty years, I have lived all over the world and all over the United States, and no other place I have ever lived, or I have ever observed, has such a deep sense of public volunteerism, direct democracy, public debate, transparency, and citizen rights. The New Hampshire way is the best and brightest system of government in the world.  As Moderator, I have greatly enjoyed and taken seriously my responsibility to encourage and facilitate broad debate to keep this tradition alive.  

      I also want to thank the many people who have served on the Ways and Means Committee for the Amherst School District over the years.  They have given freely of their time to provide an objective assessment of the work of the School Administration and the works of our elected officials to better inform the residents of Amherst about the issues on which they must vote.  I particularly want to thank Dwayne Purvis, Jeff Candito, Greg Fritz, Mike Akillian, Muzi Husainy, Rick Barnes, Marilyn Gibson, and Steve Frades, the present Ways and Means Committee, for rising to the challenge I set for them at the beginning of this cycle to conduct a much deeper analysis of the issues confronting the district.  After the strong votes against the warrant articles in the last election, I felt it was my duty as moderator to foster better discussion through this due diligence.  It was clear that better debate and understanding of the issues was needed.  The Ways and Means committee have done a terrific job with this in-depth analysis, and I applaud their expertise, professionalism, and sense of civic duty.  

      I look forward to seeing you all at the polls on March 14th.  

Nate Jensen

Amherst School District Moderator

Excessive Truck Traffic Concern with Mega Distribution Center Build

To the editor:            

      Many thanks to our Planning Board for providing guidance to area residents to potentially lessen the impact of a mega distribution center in Amherst.  I have lived in Amherst for 18 years and in the area since 1963.  I am not opposed to development in the industrial area but I am opposed to the building of a mega distribution center.  

      The distribution center that was proposed for the industrial area last Spring was first presented to residents as a 1.4 million square foot building, that included parking for 750 tractor trailers.  The developer downsized the proposal to 1.2 million square feet before pulling out of the project.  How big is 1.2 million square feet?  It is 1,220,140 square feet which when stretched out in a single foot line equals 231 miles.  It is the size of 21 football fields or it could hold 549 Olympic swimming pools. (data from NAI Hiffman Commercial Realty).  

      Mega distribution centers generate more truck traffic than a manufacturing plant or a warehouse.  Route 101A is already heavily traveled with truck traffic.  State Route 122 is a 2-lane road.  Commercial traffic on 122 has increased considerably in my 18 years with logging trucks, tractor trailers and 10-wheeel dump trucks as this route is often a short cut from the MA area.

      Please consider voting yes for Articles 42, 43, 49, 50, & 51.


Susan Hume


PLEASE vote YES to #49, #50, #51

To the editor:      

      Many people vote with their pocketbook and that is totally understandable. However, it is essential that one clearly understands the true impact of what they are voting for. I am referring specifically to the Amherst Citizens Petitions #49, #50, #51, which address the potential building of a mega distribution center in Amherst as there is currently no limitation on the size of a building that could be developed. The developers tell you there will be a dramatic increase in tax dollars, and certainly the GROSS number could be significant, but that’s not the real question, the real impact on the Town budget will be the NET income.

      There will be increases in Town costs, Police Dept, Emergency Services, Fire Department and Public Works. Just consider one of these areas.  Currently we have a dedicated volunteer Fire department. What if the exposure to one of these massive buildings results in the Fire Dept. needing to be staffed by full-time individuals? The cost would completely offset any income. The Law of Unintended Consequences will impact costs in our Town. Fighting fires in these massive buildings are highly dangerous and can take days to extinguish.

      Many Towns who have hosted one of these facilities will tell you the problems far outweigh the benefits.

      The proposed Ordinances do NOT exclude developers from building warehouses, just limit the size to 200,000 sq feet, which is approx. 3.5 football fields. Visit www. for more information.


Patricia Philp


Vincent is Running for Amherst School Moderator

To the editor:      

      My name is Mark Vincent, and I am running for Moderator of the Amherst School District. I am seeking this office because I know from experience how valuable an engaged and inquisitive Ways and Means committee is during the budgeting process and I want to ensure we continue to have such a committee in place for the next three years. I served on ASD Ways and Means for 8 years starting with the fiscal year 2009 budget year. I was Co-Chair of the committee in my first year and chaired the committee for the subsequent 7 years. It was an excellent experience that allowed me to learn a lot about the school budgeting process and work with great people in the SAU 39 administration, in Clark-Wilkins and AMS, and on the Amherst School Board. We had a very good collaborative working relationship with everyone involved in the process. Our committee, comprised of individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, asked many questions and made many recommendations to the Board. Overall, I believe our work improved the proposals that ended up on the ballot as we sought to balance the needs of the students with the impact on taxpayers. We looked at spending in past years as well as the impact of any proposals not just in the year following the vote but what it would mean for the years after that. A single fiscal year budget, looked at in isolation, does not yield nearly the level of insight as looking at how we got where we are and where a given budget, collective bargaining agreement, or bond article may take us in the years ahead. What is the impact to the taxpayer?          

      What is the value to the students? As Moderator, I would seek to continue the tradition of appointing a strong Ways and Means Committee that asks many questions, seeks answers, not just responses, and works collaboratively to provide voters with the information they need to cast an informed vote. I ask for your vote on March 14. Anyone who wishes to discuss my candidacy should feel free to contact me at 603-801-8851 or email me at Thank you and I’ll see you on Election Day!


Mark Vincent


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