Pam Rooney


Vision and Council Priorities


  • A Council that encourages, not restricts, public input and listens! Encourage public input and listen to everyone with ideas and concerns. A clear process for public input and for Council decision-making. A way to make it easier for everyone to follow subjects, engage, and participate.
  • Priority policies developed initially with stakeholders, before being brought through a Council-Subcommittee-Staff-Boards & Committees development and review process with extensive staff and Council time commitments.
  • Implementation of an upgraded residential rental registration program and regulations that protect neighbors, as well as ensure the health and safety of tenants. An improved Nuisance Property bylaw that improves oversight of poorly managed rental properties.
  • Meeting Master Plan goals of increasing density in Town and Village centers, while protecting the vitality of the streets, public spaces and historic properties that draw people to Amherst. Plan what we want the Town Center(s) and residential areas to look like, then adjust zoning to create that. Don’t zone first and hope something good comes out of it – it won’t.  Plan active and attractive Town Centers with exciting public spaces and street life that draw people in. Adopt zoning changes with a plan in mind and clear design standards in place – not random spot changes.
  • Reinvigorating productive Town-Gown discussions with public input – Higher Ed needs a healthy, robust Amherst and Amherst needs Higher Ed! Town-Gown discussions should be more frequent and more public.
  • Housing affordable to working people – pushing back on high numbers of homes converting to student rentals. Support housing construction and renovation for families and moderate-income residents – ahead of students and investors; support tools and agencies that keep existing homes owner-occupied, not investor managed. Keep homes available for year-round residents.
  • I advocated to our legislators that they pressure UMass to engage in creative solutions for housing their 13,000+ off-campus students, not just expect neighbors to absorb this population without flinching. In the recent Strategic Agreement with UMass, I advocated for and succeeded in getting funding for inspection staff to help implement mandatory inspection of rentals, many of which are occupied by those students.
  • Effective and efficient Town services within the budget, maintaining tight control over amounts we borrow, with a budget that addresses critical capital needs such as public works facilities for the DPW and a new station for the Fire Department.
  • Completing the new Elementary School with playing fields that support all-community use and are chemically safe to play on.
  • Completing the Jones expansion within the current Town budget guideline. New facilities should be modest, green, and built to minimize long-term operating and maintenance costs.
  • Smart streetlighting that reduces energy and excess glare while increasing pedestrian and cyclist use and safety.
  • Support Community Safety Working Group recommendations for a safe, supportive environment for all our residents. Create the Resident Oversight Board to allow for the conversation with Amherst Police to happen in public.
  • A community solid waste and recycling program that saves money for residents and increases our recycling levels and includes compost pick-up.
  • Go Green – support for Energy & Climate Action Committee recommendations – let Amherst lead as a model of sustainability and climate resiliency.


It is always the people who make a community! We can improve access to information and make it easier for you to participate!

I want to contribute to the physical health and well-being of Amherst by bringing current experience on the council, and experience in planning, zoning, and infrastructure to decisions at all levels.  

I listen to people and facilitate solutions.  All Amherst residents should feel supported and safe in this community. Amherst is a place for all, from school kids to seniors, so let’s really celebrate that. I look forward to bringing all my life lessons and professional experience to serving Amherst again!