The May 5th Town Board meeting was the ugliest, most biased Board Meeting I have seen in 12 years. It was a group of frightened, small-minded people who lost their sense of governance. Councilman Dan Ward introduced a resolution to define our residency rule. The rule, as it stood, stated that if you work for the Town of Amherst, you must live in Amherst. The only exceptions are police officers who have served Amherst for 15 years. They may live wherever they choose.
Councilman Mike McGuire slashed out at Ward stating that this is harassing town employee Jim Johnson who lives in Elba, NY (which isn't even in Erie County- it's six miles north of Batavia) with his wife and three children. Councilman McGuire, in a loud voice, stated that Mr. Johnson has an Amherst address on his driver's license. McGuire then said the residency rule should be changed so people can have dual residency. Councilwoman Jane Woodward backed this up with a speech stating that people have summer homes, cottages, and different places they stay on various days. She agreed that Dan Ward is harassing Jim Johnson, the assistant Town Engineer. The vote on Dan Ward's resolution went down 5 to 2. Bill Kindel sided with Dan Ward. The major importance of the vote and dialogue is Town employees can now live anywhere they want. The residency "rule" is now similar to Swiss cheese - full of holes.
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