Candidate’s literature viewed as misleading

To the editor:

About a month ago, I received a handout from a candidate for Amherst city council president. In this handout, there was some misinformation about how the council president would appoint the president pro-tem.

The literature stated, “I began serving as council president pro-tem after being appointed to that position by the current council president. His trust and confidence in choosing me to act on his behalf during his absences from council….” After reading this, I discovered that the president pro-tem is elected by council members and it was usually by the party with the majority on council and not by the council president. Republicans had the majority both times and voted to have this person be the president pro-tem. This past term, a Democrat was nominated and the majority party voted against his nomination. The current council president has no vote and accepts who council elects.

This is a very misleading handout making people believe that the pro-tem had the full backing from the current council president.

Ironically, I just received a second handout that now states, “I was honored to have been elected twice to that position by my fellow city council members,” and makes no mention of the council president at all. It makes one wonder why corrections had to be made when the person running has been on city council for 18 years and doesn’t even know how the pro-tem is elected and has voted in this same process numerous times.

This begs the question, is the candidate banking on the idea that Amherst citizens will take this misinformation on face value without doing our due diligence before an election?

David A. Shaffer

Amherst City 3rd Ward resident