George Ryan for Councilor

(Amherst District 3)

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Vote George Ryan for District 3 Councilor on September 4th.

Our new Town Charter means we will elect a new 13 member Town Council. The decisions we will make as voters will be critical in shaping the future of our town. I am running to represent the voters of District 3 in shaping this future.

The Primary Election is September 4th.
The General Election is November 6th.
Find out what District you are in here.

 

My Priorities

  • Maintain a high level of town services
  • Improve infrastructure: Schools, Roads, Fire, Library, Senior Center
  • Diversify Amherst's tax base to reduce the burden on homeowners
  • Encourage smart growth downtown and in village centers
  • Promote sustainable environmental and energy practices
  • Plan for the needs of an aging population
  • Continue positive dialogue with University and colleges
  • Stronger positive relationship between students and the town
 

“I dwell in possibility.”

— EMILY DICKINSON

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My Vision

I want a town government that is accountable and transparent, but also one that is not afraid to put forward a vision and a concrete plan for how to move Amherst forward in the 21st century. 

The town faces a number of daunting fiscal challenges -- two elementary schools need replacing; the DPW needs a modern facility to better do its job of caring for Amherst's roads and infrastructure; there are plans for replacing our downtown fire station; and many would like to see the Jones Library brought into the 21st century; as well as an upgrade to our Senior Center to better care for our aging population. I believe we have an obligation to the next generation to see that these things happen -- but it must be done in a way that does not unduly burden the Amherst taxpayer.

We can expand the pie that can pay for these services and projects without unduly increasing taxes by pursuing smart growth in our downtown and village centers. Development in my lexicon is not a dirty word - but it must be responsible and sensitive to the needs of the community. I think in most cases thoughtful, well-planned and socially responsible development is very much in the common good. I want to revisit the issue of form-based zoning, a tool that could prove very useful in sustaining growth while preserving the overall character and look of our community, one that would have helped give a better look to the recent building in town. Change is always unsettling, but we must not fear it, we must manage it.

I also want Amherst to be a community that is supportive and friendly to local business. Amherst cannot be a vibrant and flourishing community without a vibrant and flourishing local business sector. We need to look for more ways to encourage and promote that vital part of our town.

I want the town to address the issue of affordable housing, but to look at the issue from a broader perspective.  Affordable housing is also an issue for those in the middle range of incomes. We must consider the housing needs not only of those at the bottom of the income ladder but also those in the middle, who work in town but cannot afford to live here. I also want us to continue to seek ways to assist those living on fixed incomes who must face the burden of increasing property taxes.

I want to continue the positive dialogue between the town and university and colleges. These entities do not pay property taxes on the majority of their property, causing a continual strain on our town's budgets. I would like to find innovative ways to partner with these institutions to help them contribute financially to our town. I would also like the town to engage the student population in a more positive manner.

I want a town government that stands for progressive values. Issues of racial equity and fairness need to be addressed in our schools and town. We need to be in the forefront of ecological and environmental responsibility. I would love to see universal pre-K in Amherst, which studies have shown improve equity. But to realize these goals requires good governance, fiscal responsibility, and a vision forward.

 

“I like to get things done.”

— george ryan

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About Me

My wife and I have lived in Amherst's District 3 for 31 years. We raised our two daughters here as they were educated in Amherst's public schools at Wildwood, ARMS, and ARHS. I have served our neighborhood for 12 years on Town Meeting. I have worked for affordable housing in our community, serving as President and Vice-President of the Board of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, helping to shepherd a number of Habitat projects in Amherst including Charles Lane, West Pomeroy Lane, and the Hawthorne Farm project off Stanley Street. These projects gave me experience dealing with town planners, bankers, contractors, lawyers, zoning boards of appeal, inspectors, university and college officials, and fundraising. As Board President I drove policy, budgets, and long-range planning.

These were exciting projects which speak to my key driver: I like to get things done. I listen, I work well with a wide range of people, I work hard, and I want results. I would bring this experience and attitude to Amherst's Town Council.

 
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Get Involved

If you share some or all of my vision for our town, I could use your help in my campaign!  It's easy, here are things you can do:

  • Email your neighbors a link to my website
  • Like my facebook page
  • Host a coffee at your house so I can meet your neighbors and answer questions.
  • Donate to my campaign (no donations over $50, please) to help pay for printing and signs. Send checks to "George Ryan for Councilor", 18 Dana Street, Amherst MA 01002

Questions? Ideas? You can contact me at: georgeryanforamherst@gmail.com

If you live in District 3, you will see me around the neighborhood, as I endeavor to knock on all our neighbor's doors.  I look forward to meeting you and discussing our town!