Thank you to my District 5 constituents for giving me the opportunity to serve you. Thank you to all my supporters for working hard for this win. I’m looking forward to getting to work with my colleagues on the Council. Meanwhile there’s much to learn and people to meet with. Please let me know your
Look beyond single issues and candidate slates by Jim Oldham, Amherst Bulletin, 10/25/18 As the first election of a Town Council in Amherst draws near, the contrast in attitudes regarding what are useful criteria for voters’ decisions is striking. On the one hand, there’s the position taken by Bennett Hazlip, one of the 10-member leadership
Amherst voters listen during the League of Women Voters forum for Amherst Town Council candidates, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at Amherst Regional Middle School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS By SCOTT MERZBACH Staff Writer Wednesday, October 24, 2018 AMHERST — Large mixed-use buildings developed in downtown in recent years, and their consistency with both Amherst’s master plan and
Amherst Bulletin, Thursday, October 25, 2018 We have been members of an environmental action group for many years, initially hoping to prevent climate change, and more recently trying to mitigate its effects. About five years ago, Darcy DuMont joined our group. I knew she had retired recently, and that she was now volunteering full-time, working against
I’ve been getting a lot of interest from constituents, mostly enthusiastic, about my proposal for a pause in new building approvals until zoning issues are addressed by the new Council. I’ve also heard criticism that I address in this letter to the Gazette. I am looking for solutions to the real concerns of constituents. If
I am so pleased and proud to receive the endorsement of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club. I was endorsed by the Club based on my record of climate activism and my positions on climate, environmental and energy issues. I am the only candidate in District 5 to receive their endorsement, and am one
From: David Rudolph Date: Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 11:15 PM Subject: Sierra Club endorsement Dear Ms. DuMont, I am pleased to inform you that the Sierra Club has endorsed your candidacy in appreciation of your demonstrated commitment to protecting the environment. The Sierra Club endorsement means a lot to our members in your district /area and to the general voting public. Our endorsement sends a message of your strong support
I am a retired teacher of art and 5th grade in elementary schools in Holyoke. My children attended Crocker Farm, ARMS, and ARHS. I’ve attended meetings of the Fort River School Building Committee and am looking forward to the plans that will come from the in-depth study that the committee is overseeing. When the School
I recently announced that if elected I will call for a temporary moratorium on new approvals for downtown development until the Council votes on new zoning. I’m not against development. But I want new buildings to be suited to the inviting, historic character of Amherst as well as to be more sustainable. The reason we now have 5-story buildings with
Municipal innovative energy policies are more important than ever. In this Letter to the Editor in the August 10th Daily Hampshire Gazette, I describe the disappointing statewide energy bill and why local is where the successes will be for the next few years. “The failure of our state legislators (not including our stellar local representatives)
Sierra Club Endorsement!
I am so pleased and proud to receive the endorsement of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club.
I was endorsed by the Club based on my record of climate activism and my positions on climate, environmental and energy issues. I am the only candidate in District 5 to receive their endorsement, and am one of just four among a field of 26 candidates townwide.
Over the last few years, I worked with the organizations “Mothers Out Front” and “Climate Action Now” on Amherst’s Zero Energy Town Buildings Bylaw. This is the first bylaw in Massachusetts to require new municipal buildings to include sufficient renewable energy systems to fulfill annual energy needs. On the Amherst Town Council, I hope to help usher in Amherst’s first municipal buildings designed to meet zero energy standards. Our new bylaw is already becoming a model for other municipalities in Massachusetts, and could have influence nationally.
I am excited that Amherst will be creating a Sustainability Committee under the new Town Council and want to contribute to setting a strong mission for it. I will strongly support a zero waste plan for Amherst, to include increased use of composting by residences, businesses and town offices.
I will also suggest that the Amherst Town Council explore ways to encourage and support residential use of electric vehicles, and consider purchasing them for municipal use when possible.
Regionally, I am working with an inter-municipal task force on an innovative plan for Amherst, Pelham and Northampton called Community Choice Energy Plus. The goal is to dramatically reduce regional greenhouse gases through bulk purchasing of electricity, expanded renewable sources, and targeted energy efficiency services. I will be able to inform and guide the Town Council through the planning process for this exciting project.
I will work to see more renewable energy generated in Amherst, on rooftops, in parking lots, and on brownfields, so we can simultaneously preserve and protect our beautiful and necessary agricultural and forested areas. It is my plan to call for setting benchmarks for reaching our 100% renewable energy goal.
The Massachusetts Sierra Club is one of the leading voices urging the state legislature to take bold action on climate change. Working closely with the Mass Power Forward Coalition, it has led the charge to shift away from dirty fossil fuels, toward a clean-energy economy.
I am deeply grateful to the Sierra Club for its support, and look forward to serving on the Town Council, where I will help to transition Amherst to a clean energy future.
Looking Forward to School Building Solutions
I am a retired teacher of art and 5th grade in elementary schools in Holyoke. My children attended Crocker Farm, ARMS, and ARHS. I’ve attended meetings of the Fort River School Building Committee and am looking forward to the plans that will come from the in-depth study that the committee is overseeing. When the School Committee is considering options, I will work hard to make sure that all District 5 voices are heard and responded to so that we have a strong base of support before the School Committee presents a final school building plan for a vote.
In this letter to the Amherst Bulletin, I look forward, not back, to the possibilities for our schools.
Darcy DuMont: ‘Hit the pause button on additional buildings’
I’d like to thank Johanna Neumann for highlighting a major new plank of my campaign platform for Amherst Town Council — a temporary moratorium on new downtown development — in her recent column (“Building resilient communities,” Sept. 20).
More than “some in our town” take issue with the downtown buildings. What many residents take issue with is the scale and the style of the development in relation to the existing architecture and streetscape. Throw in the lack of inviting sidewalks, lack of affordable units and/or lack of any provision for parking, and we have the vast majority of Amherst residents who are unhappy with the direction and pace of downtown development.
I strongly support the concept of developing energy-efficient buildings and creating vibrant walkable, bikeable community hubs while protecting the surrounding open spaces. (In fact, I have dedicated the last six years to advancing initiatives that reduce carbon emissions.) However, town records show that the occupants of the new apartment buildings own cars. As of Sept. 11, 2018, 83 parking permits have been sold to residents of Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant.
Designating “no car buildings” is a sustainable solution I heartily endorse. But if we are not going to deny parking permits to residents of the new buildings, it is time to look at the exemption the Municipal Parking District grants developers from providing parking for their tenants. With this exemption, the town is left to provide parking and to pick up the tab.
Regardless of how we amend the zoning bylaw, new buildings are coming — and they will bring in new annual revenue for the town. Whether that amount will make much of a dent in paying for proposed capital projects, as Ms. Neumann suggests, or whether that revenue will be offset by unintended costs such as for a new garage, new sewer and water, police protection, etc., is yet to be discovered.
Town Council Candidate, District 5
The Development Residents Want
I recently announced that if elected I will call for a temporary moratorium on new approvals for downtown development until the Council votes on new zoning. I’m not against development. But I want new buildings to be suited to the inviting, historic character of Amherst as well as to be more sustainable.
The reason we now have 5-story buildings with almost no set back and limited parking is because that’s what our zoning bylaw allows. I think we need to pause when we take office and reset our standards for downtown development. The Master plan posed density downtown and in village centers with the rationale that this would encourage walkable, bikeable living spaces, help preserve our open space and take pressure off single family homes turning into student rentals.
Before building more of the same, I want to take a step back and evaluate the success of this approach and the will of the people of Amherst.
Clean Energy Policy is Local
Municipal innovative energy policies are more important than ever. In this Letter to the Editor in the August 10th Daily Hampshire Gazette, I describe the disappointing statewide energy bill and why local is where the successes will be for the next few years.
“The failure of our state legislators (not including our stellar local representatives) to recognize the urgency of climate change is all the more reason for Amherst and other cities and towns to fast track local renewable energy development, energy efficiency and conservation measures that will reduce greenhouse gases and contribute to local resiliency.”
Around Amherst: District 5 candidates debate lawn signs
By SCOTT MERZBACH
Amherst Bulletin, Friday, July 27, 2018
AMHERST — As the campaign season begins, the six candidates who are seeking to represent District 5 on the new Town Council are talking about whether there should be limits on lawn signs in the lead up to the Sept. 4 preliminary election.
Darcy Dumont, of 142 Pondview Drive, said she has initiated the discussion about how to run elections more sustainably.
“I hope that dispensing with lawn signs will encourage people stop and talk to their neighbors,” Dumont said.
Two representatives from District 5 will be elected Nov. 6 after the six-person field is pared to four candidates. District 5 is made up of the former South Amherst precincts 7 and 8.
In addition to being less wasteful, not using lawn signs could level the economic playing field, Dumont said. “Running for Town Council should not be so expensive that low and moderate income people, can’t afford to run,” Dumont said.
Paul Bobrowski, of 55 Hulst Road, informed his competitors in a group discussion that signs have been a conventional way of campaigning in town. “I haven’t made a determination yet, and I certainly don’t want to preclude that option if I decide it helps my candidacy,” Bobrowski wrote.
Shalini Bahl-Milne, of 78 Linden Ridge Road, said she intends to campaign in other ways and appreciates Dumont’s invitation to be mindful of the environmental effects and unnecessary waste. “I also appreciate the collaborative spirit with which candidates are running alongside each other,” Bahl-Milne said.
Samuel MacLeod, of 1114 South East St., said he is undecided as to the approach he will use. “I am willing to consider it if others in the district have a similar stand,” MacLeod said.
Aaron Hayden, of 1491 South East St., said he likes the idea of fewer signs and, though he is unsure what his practice will be. Still, he welcomes the discussion, noting that the town’s sign bylaw didn’t anticipate having so many candidates up for election at one time. “Lawn signs are a traditional, effective and very basic means for connecting with constituents, and connecting is as important this season as it has ever been.,” Hayden said.
Jeffrey Lee, of, 815 South East St., said he will not use campaign signs.
“If we District 5 candidates can agree to forgo lawn signs, I’m hoping that the other districts might follow suit,” Lee said. “This would lighten the financial burden of running a campaign for all town council candidates.”