Saturday, April 28, 2007

Another Dark and Stormy Night for Overriders

So last night at a joint meeting of the Select board and School Committee to appoint a replacement for Alisa Brewer (who resigned her school committee position for the more glorious job of Select person) the two Select board members—Awad and Greeney-- who broke ranks and didn’t support the Override at the Select board meeting last Monday chastised Regional School Committee Queen Elaine Brighty for spreading rumors about a top candidate (eventual winner Chrystel Romero).

Whei-Ling Greeney then went one BIG step further and asked for Brighty’s resignation from the committee she chairs.

What does this have to do with the Override you may ask? Well in any municipality in Massachusetts taxpayers know Override is synonymous with Schools (as in 'Save Our') and Ms. Brighty (one of the top contributors to ‘The Amherst Plan Committee’) has lead the charge for the Override since late Fall.

Ironically Ms. Brighty obviously had a problem with the winner Chrystel Romero and pulled (the wrong) stings in favor of runner-up Yaniris Fernandez…. who is now still available to replace Brighty.

10 comments:

maryd said...

I'd just like to add that on the front page of the bulletin yesterday there was an error that needs to be cleared up. In Nick Grabbe's article on "the facts" there is a comment from Ms. Brighty stating our high school students will have 2 study halls per day. This is not true and is often repeated. They will have one study hall in 2 out of the 3 trimesters. A huge difference!

LarryK4 said...

Behold the power of the Blog!

Isn't it great when you can use a Blog to correct the mistakes of The Fourth Estate?

rick said...

So, that's not a big deal? Two out of 15 possible classes per year gone means students will get 3.5 years of school in 4 years. Do the math: 13/15 x 4 = 3.46

In 2006, kids got all 4 years of classes.

maryd said...

I do not see where Larry or I wrote "no big deal". I did say that it is a huge difference, between 2/15 and 6/15, and that mistake is what I was pointing out.
It also troubled me that it was in an article that was supposed to be clearing things up. Mr. Grabbe has yet to return my call....

rick said...

Yes you are right - my apologies.

Nick also made other mistakes. I don't think he should have just put out an average tax bill comparison as though that is an accurate measure of what town is "expensive" and what town is not. The average tax bill depends, of course, on what the average home price is. I would guess that the average home price in Amherst is higher than the MA average and higher than Northampton.

What would have been useful is to show what the tax bill comparison is for the same price house (e.g. take the $330,900 average Amherst home).

carol m said...

FYI
TAX RATE information from DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, DIVISION OF LOCAL SERVICES: 2006 REAL ESTATE TAXES for homes assessed at $330,900 in selected communities and MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME(MFI) for the same communities (2000 Census).

COMMUNITY__TAX RATE__RE TAX____MFI
Amherst_______15.09____$4993___$61,237
Northampton___11.73____3881_____56,844
Hadley_________9.28____3070_____61,897
S.Hadley______12.69____4199_____58,693

Weston_________9.95__$3292___$181,041
Sherborn_______13.96___4619____136,211
Lincoln_________9.30___3077_____87,642
Dover__________9.10___3011____157,168
Carlisle_______12.99____4298____142,350
Concord_______10.23___3385____115,839
Wellesley_______8.32___3272____134,769

NOTES:
Lincoln has a large military base (affects median family income).

Concord has state prison (substantial real estate off tax rolls).

LarryK4 said...

So there you go Rick. My God! How out of whack is Amherst compared to normal civilization in our splendiferous state?

Main stunner is that Amherst--if this Wish List Override passes--will overtake Longmeadow for property tax champion of Eastern Massachusetts (with almost nothing to show for that enormous investment).

Rick said...

When you say “with almost nothing to show for that enormous investment” does that mean you think that Amherst is no better than Hadley? Why do you live in Amherst then?

Clearly this points out the huge problem that lack of development in Amherst has created. With Hadley at 30% commercial property tax income, Northampton at 20% and Amherst at 8% its no wonder Hadley residential is least and Amherst most.

Are you for fixing that problem or just for decimating our schools?

LarryK4 said...

Well, I've run a small business in town for over 25 years (and pay more "personal property tax" on my business equipment than you do.

rick said...

Nice job not answering the question.