Around Amherst: Police chief leads town employees marking anniversaries

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 01-02-2023 11:20 AM

AMHERST — Several municipal employees were recently recognized for marking milestone anniversaries in 2022.

Leading the way in years of service was Police Chief Scott Livingstone, who celebrated his 45th anniversary on the town’s police force in March. Livingstone began as a community service officer in 1977 after graduating from Granby High School.

Those who have been employees in Amherst for 35 years include Sonia Aldrich, the town’s comptroller. Aldrich announced that she would be retiring sometime in 2023.

Also marking 35 years in Amherst are Police Capt. Ronald Young and Cynthia Cary, a customer assistant in the treasurer and collector’s office.

Working for Amherst for 30 years is Stephen Call, a Water Department division director for the Department of Public Works, and employed by the town for 25 years are Police Capt. Gabriel Ting, Police Lt. Brian Daly, and DPW employees Mark Woynar and Robert Zakaitis Jr.

A total of 42 employees marked milestones of five years or more during the calendar year.

Reparations in Amherst

The Massachusetts Municipal Association recently highlighted Amherst’s efforts to offer reparations to residents affected by both historical and ongoing structural racism.

An article written by Jennifer Kavanaugh, The Beacon’s associate editor, appeared in the December publication.

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The piece covered the town's African Heritage Reparation Assembly. Amherst became the second community in the United States to establish a fund that can be used to cover the costs associated with future proposals that the assembly will review and bring forward.

Zoning Board vacancies

The Community Resources Committee is unanimously recommending that Jordan Helzer, Vince O’Connor and David Sloviter serve as alternate members of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The recommendation of the three applicants comes after letters of interest were submitted and interviews with the committee earlier in December. Their appointments will be subject to approval from the full Town Council. 

Catholic Church changes

The Rev. Gary Dailey, who has overseen the Newman Center at the University of Massachusetts since 2010, will add duties of running St. Brigid’s Church in Amherst center beginning in 2023.

Dailey is taking over for the Rev. John Smegal. Smegal retired after being pastor at St. Brigid’s since 2001.

Dailey will be joined by the Rev. Valentine Nworah in saying masses at the two churches. Nworah previously has been parochial vicar at the Catholic churches in Greenfield.

Meanwhile, the Newman Center will be relocating from its 1960s-era building to a new building,  still under construction on the campus, in April.

Book on police dogs

Winston, the late comfort dog who was part of the Amherst police force, and his partner Officer Bill Laramee, are among the police K9 units featured in a new children’s book.

“What Does A Police Dog Do?” by Ellen F. Feld, an Amherst native, was photographed and written in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police K9 Division and portrays police dogs and the various jobs they perform.

Bomb dogs, arson dogs and search dogs are among those featured. Easthampton K9 Gino is on the cover of the book, and a South Hadley dog is also included.

Meetings

TUESDAY: Jones Library Building Outreach Subcommittee, 9 a.m., African Heritage Reparation Assembly, 2 p.m., Local Historic District Commission, 3 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: Governance, Organization and Legislation Committee, 9 a.m., Energy and Climate Action Committee, 4:30 p.m.,  Cultural Council, 6 p.m., and Planning Board, 6:30 p.m.

THURSDAY: Jones Library Building Committee, 4:30 p.m., and  Public Art Commission, 6 p.m. 

FRIDAY: Solar Bylaw Working Group, 11:30 a.m.

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