Response to the Letter Sent to the Amherst Bee by Joe Heins

The Amherst Open Government Advisory Board is a non-partisan group of concerned citizens interested in making the operation of Town government more open and transparent. Members of the Advisory Board are appointed by Republican and Democratic Town Board members. I have been appointed once by Republican Supervisor Barry Weinstein and once by Democratic Board member Deborah Bucki. In both instances my appointments were unanimously approved by Republican and Democratic Town Board members. The Open Government Advisory Board has been equally critical of Democratic and Republican Board members, as there are many open government issues that need to be addressed in Amherst.

At one of our meetings, a citizen expressed concern that there were very few opportunities for residents to see all of the Town Board candidates together answering issue based questions. In response, the Open Government Advisory Board unanimously agreed to turn our regularly scheduled October meeting into a candidate forum to give the public the opportunity to directly ask candidate’s questions.

I continue to be amazed at how threatened some people are by the thought of open government. Joe Heins the Amherst Republican Campaign Manager has attacked the holding of our candidate forum as “a hijacking of Town government by political partisans to try to tip the scales in their favor in November’s elections.” While campaign managers like to create news stories that will benefit their candidates, Mr. Heins comments are simply not true.

It is disappointing that Mr. Heins is afraid to have the candidates he manages appear in a public forum to simply answer audience questions. The non-partisan forum will take place on October 12th, 5:30 pm at Amherst Town Hall, and all candidates for Town office will be invited to appear. All interested members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Paul Wolf
Amherst Open Government Advisory Board


2 Responses to “Response to the Letter Sent to the Amherst Bee by Joe Heins”

  1. Annette says:

    “…the public the opportunity to directly ask candidate’s questions.” *

    *i.e. That which the Republican candidates fear most.

  2. Diogenes says:

    Well stated Mr. Wolf.

    Mr. Hein’s antics and statements released to the Amherst Bee, a highly biased penysaver that has to be given away to insure its circulation that stands to lose thousands of dollars if the right people are not elected, ranks right up there with the Amherst Democratic Committee’s failed partisan ploy to prohibit and unseat the Conservative/Republican endorsement for the town supervisor. Both political committee’s actions in these two instances a disgrace and an insult to the Amherst residents intelligence to even think that these fabricated issues will sway anyone to vote for its candidates. I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to this particular potentiality substantive debate.