Satish B. Mohan took office as Amherst supervisor less than two months ago, promising to reform the region's largest town and wealthiest community, but already some critics are promoting an "impeach Satish" movement.
The movement, which is catching on with town employees who are disgruntled with Mohan's cost-cutting efforts, also has spawned a bumper sticker urging Mohan's removal from office.
At the same time, one town lawmaker and sometime critic of Mohan wants to add a recall provision to the Town Code, even though he says it's not directed at the new supervisor. The recall language would allow voters to unseat an elected public official.
It may surprise critics to hear that Mohan agrees with them in principle.
"I think recall is a very genuine and a needed thing . . . very democratic," he said. "If you elected a supervisor or board member who is found to be criminal, there should be a provision to recall that official."
Mohan was unaware of the efforts to unseat him, but he also did not seem worried.
"It is an attack on me, but I don't take it as an attack," he said.
A spokesman for the Amherst Police Club, the union representing most of the town's police officers, recalled seeing the "Impeach Satish" stickers on private cars "around town," and in a parking lot outside police headquarters where Amherst police officers leave their cars during duty hours.
"Yeah I think I've seen some [bumper stickers]," Amherst Detective Ed Guzdek said.
However, he stressed: "It is not . . . coming from the police club."
He added: "If employees are doing that, they're just exercising their First Amendment rights."
According to Council Member Daniel J. Ward's recall petition, "There has recently been considerable public dissatisfaction with government."
It goes on to say "impeachment is a constitutional remedy not available for local governments."
Ward said he intended to add his motion to other reforms suggested by Mohan, including term limits for elected officials and top department heads.