This is the first of a four part series remembering those who are no longer with us who have served our community in Town Meeting for many years. Each person discussed has brought their own unique perspective, knowledge, and style to our grassroots democratic process. With Town Meeting having 240 volunteers (24 from each of the town's 10 precincts), there have been so many who have served with distinction over the past 258 years, more than a quarter millennium. (Town Meeting was first called to order on March 19, 1759 by moderator Dea Ebezr Dickinson.) This series just scratches the surface in recognizing a few with apologies to the many who are not remembered by name. We celebrate the memory of those discussed here as a sampling of the service and commitment of so many others over the years. In Amherst where only the "H" is silent, the voices of these individuals were heard and remembered, their civic engagement recognized. Part I remembers Isaac Ben Ezra, Harry Brooks, Paulette Brooks, Larry Kelly, and Ken Mosokowski.
Conversations about Town Meeting draws its name from Isaac Ben Ezra’s long-running Conversations
program. Hosted by Carol Gray, Conversations about Town Meeting is a series of discussions about the
value and history of Town Meeting. While it is not a coincidence that this program was begun during
the lead up to the critical election on March 27 when Amherst voters will decide whether to retain or
eliminate its 258-year- old Town Meeting, neither the election nor the proposed charter is the focus of
this show. The show aims to increase communication among Town Meeting members and the
community at large and to begin to create an oral history archive about Town Meeting illustrating the
types of issues Town Meeting grapples with, perspectives and backgrounds of some who serve in Town
Meeting, and the process of Town Meeting and how it fits into our system of governance that includes
town boards the town Manager, and others.