Board of Selectmen Initiatives

The Board of Selectmen periodically launches important initiatives it believes will enhance the breadth, quality and/or efficiency of town services provided to Amherst Citizens. Listed below are initiatives we currently have underway along with links to web pages that describe those initiatives in greater detail.

As always, we welcome your ideas on these initiatives and any others you think we should consider. You can reach us by email.

Helping Amherst Town Government Build Engagement with Citizens: A Strategic Communications Initiative

Launched in May 2013, this multi-year initiative aims to increase the quality and timeliness of two-way communications among town government officials and Amherst citizens. It has three goals:

  • Keep citizens apprised of town activities, deliberations, and decision-making.
  • Implement more ways for citizens to share their views with selectmen more often.
  • Identify and launch more ways for citizens to conduct town business online.

Creating a Desired Future: An Integrated Approach to Strategic Thinking and Planning

Launched in June 2013, this multi-year initiative aims to:

  • Strengthen the quality of strategic thinking across town departments and administration;
  • Tie proposed departmental budgets to strategic and operational plans with clear explanations of what resources departments expect to expend and why;
  • Ensure that annual operating plans are responsive to town needs, communicated effectively, and well understood by Amherst citizens;
  • Distribute authority, responsibility, and accountability across all levels of town government, as appropriate; and
  • Ensure that regular performance evaluations of all town departments and employees link their activities directly to the attainment of town goals.

This initiative launches a strategic departmental planning and budgeting process for FY15 and beyond (even though a town-wide strategic plan does not yet exist). Department heads are collaborating with their personnel to develop a range of multi-year plans and budgets – showing alternative tradeoffs in outcomes and expenditures required to deliver them.

Concurrently, the Board of Selectmen, is identifying a number of strategic filters, e.g., infrastructure, public safety, quality of life, economic development, etc., for use in setting priorities.

Together, these efforts will enable town government to communicate a rationale along with related plans and budgets to the electorate for their consideration and vote. The selectmen will share this information well before the deliberative session to help ensure that the greatest number of voters will have a broad context and detailed information to support their decision-making. Learn more…