So yeah, I’m a tad disappointed in the Override results (of course I would have blown my brains out if Yes won) because like President Johnson in the 1968 NH primary, we should have won BIGGER. The Town Manager previously stated (although I’m sure he’d like to take the arrogant comment back) that if the Override were not a blowout he would “give it a haircut” and return with a smaller one.
And I find it troubling that ‘The Amherst Taxpayers for Responsible Change’ did everything right and the Overriders did almost everything wrong, and they still came within a “moderate margin” of winning. Some of those last minute votes, however, were won via shady tactics.
For instance, a last minute oversized postcard direct mailer stole our yellow and black bumblebee design, so successfully used in our “No More Overrides” lawn signs.
Particularly troubling the postcard using all the clichéd Spin carried the following prominently placed statement: “Endorsed by Amherst Town Manager, Amherst Select board, Amherst Superintendent of Schools, Amherst School Committee, and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee”.
Now leaving aside for the moment that the Select board only voted 3-2 in support of the Override, that statement makes it look as though those important boards endorsed the Postcard itself. Like those political television commercials that now require the candidate to say “and I approved this smaltzy ad” at the end of the commercial.
‘The Amherst Plan Committee’ also raised and spent money before they were legally authorized to do so.
Fortunately we asked our contributors at the very beginning if we should spend all our money now or hold some in reserve for the NEXT Override (everybody except ‘The Amherst Plan Committee’ seemed to get why we specifically used the pleural “Overrides” on the lawn signs.)
The almost unanimous response was to use it all now and they would recontribute the same amount if the Override returns in the next year or two. So we’re ready, and since the second wave of lawn signs had an unusually low rate of theft, we probably don’t even have to reorder any for the next battle.
Although I’m sure ‘The Amherst Plan Committee’ will not make the same monumental blunder twice, and will order lawn signs. Let’s hope they don’t steal our angry bumblebee motif again.