New Way for Important Government Meetings in Amherst

The Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Planning Board meetings for the month of April will held remotely using videoconferencing software. While this is the right way to protect the board members, town employees and public from potential viral infection, it also makes it more difficult to have a public meeting that is truly public.

The ZBA announced it would use Zoom videoconferencing for its April 21, 2020 meeting with the meeting id and password on the Town of Amherst (TOA) website. The Planning Board later followed with its own Zoom videoconferencing meeting id and password for its April 23, 2020 meeting.

TOA website link:

The Town Board held its March 25th and April 6th meetings using remote videoconferencing software, but decided not to publish the meeting id’s or passwords. Will they do this for the next Town Board meeting?

8 Responses to “New Way for Important Government Meetings in Amherst”

  1. Michele says:

    Im surprised the town is proceeding with substantial agendas for the Planning board and ZBA at this time. construction except for ememrgncy activities is currently non essential. Given that the public cannot be accommodated, these meeting should be postponed. I think this is grossly inappropriate and monumentally tone deaf. Folks in charge should rethink.

  2. Aaron says:

    Thanks to the Amherst Times watch dogs, taking over for Jim, in illuminating the latest bunco stunt being perpetrated on the public.

    As a deadly pandemic grips the entire Nation, we, in Amherst, have the Kulpa Covid-19 Task Force busy at work, conducting business as usual, for developers. A half-baked, muddled form of public participation that weakens the publics’ voice, by any measure, is the only concession.

    These are the people we hired and are being well-compensated with our tax dollars. Is there not one engaged in this activity, at this particular time, that is not embarrassed? How about the town’s favorite nurse? We are all at a disadvantage. Many are losing businesses, livelihoods and loved ones.

    This is not the time to be ramming through non-essentials such as developers’ agendas. We are all waiting for better days. Developers are no exception. This isn’t Animal Farm. Or is it?

  3. Jim Lukas says:

    What I heard is that kulpa is pushing both the planning and zoning board meetings is because of the new project at park club lane which has public opposition to.

  4. Chris says:

    Of course there is opposition. 17 variances? That tells it all. It’s about squeezing a building into an area, a residential area, that does not belong.

    A brainless endeavor that only makes sense to a select few with a selfish agenda. There are many other empty properties that could and should be used. After this crisis, there will be more vacancies and available space, no doubt.

    Rushing the development during a devastating pandemic smacks of corruption. BTW. Does anyone know who the developer is?

  5. Phil says:

    How can it be legal to hold a public town meeting with no public.

    Looks like the real Kulpa is finally appearing – no scruples.

    Why is it that every crisis we have turns out to be nothing but a dinner bell for the 1%.

    Leave it up to the Developers and Amherst Town Board to take advantage of the Governor’s order to isolate.

  6. William says:

    This is beyond the pale. These people don’t have a clue. They all have jobs, thanks to the taxpayers, so they can freely play around with shafting us on our dime. How about that? Remember it in November.

    When Lavin returns from serving on the front lines in New York City, maybe he can instill in them all a moral compass with proper priorities. At a time of death and dying and severe financial distress for EVERYONE, no one should be getting favored treatment.

    Incidentally, the 17 variances on the Roswell project in a residential neighborhood is none other than Ciminelli. Should come as
    no surprise.

  7. Lou says:

    The New Way for Important Government Meetings in Amherst is disturbing. It looks deliberate and sleazy. It is a half-hearted effort to diminish the voice of the people. Deliberate or incompetent, pink slips need to be distributed. Taxpayers deserve better.

    We live in the projected Roswell neighborhood. There is no reason to create an unhealthy environment for the people in the entire area. I defy anyone to take a look at it and disagree. To use a swath of land, in a residential neighborhood, with no infrastructure, while there are numerous other large areas of buildings, parking lots and infrastructure, standing empty, throughout Amherst, makes no sense.

    Unless, of course, the owner of the land is Ciminelli of the Buffalo Billion syndicate and we have politicians in Amherst in the same syndicate. 17 variances to shoehorn a huge project in a neighborhood is against their own zoning codes. Why even have zoning codes, if this type of development is permitted? Remember at each election cycle we are promised protections of green space, protections of established neighborhoods, redevelopment and so on and so forth?
    Looks like we got snookered again.

    Remember all the special meetings that we were encouraged to attend to tell officials what we wanted in our neighborhoods? Remember how everyone wanted green space, trees, parks, trails, clean water, clean air, less traffic, less pollution, redevelopment? Looks like we got snookered again.

    If the public wanted a natural, green, robust, clean environment a year ago, they most certainly want that now. No one, any longer, wants the models developers in Amherst have shoved down the throats of homeowners, appropriate or not, for the past 20 years. Repurposing empty properties will give plenty of construction jobs to workers while preserving the land to give us and our children a future of a safe, healthy environment. It is about time politicians got their priorities straight. Let the Covid 19 pandemic be a turning point to benefit the people not an opportunity to swindle them.

  8. Harry says:

    Checked these meetings out for myself. It is shameful. These developer projects are, without a doubt, NONESSENTIAL. Who in their right mind is interested in more mindless development in any neighborhood, on any parkland, any wetland, any golf course, in short, ANY GREEN SPACE? Covid 19 has exposed a galloping case of corruption and greed in Amherst. With any luck, it will finally kill it off.

    Do these politicians even care that there are hundreds of small business owners in Amherst that are struggling to survive? You know the ones that actually keep the economy humming and DO NOT habitually rip-off the taxpayers with the notorious IDA tax-break scheme?