Monday, May 7, 2007

Thanks For The Advice

This morning’s Daily Hampshire Gazette, you know the paper that refused to defend Max Karson’s First Amendment right to say stupid things, is giving advice to Amherst town officials now that the Override (which they didn’t take a stand on but advised voters to vote since it was important) failed and Town Meeting starts tonight.

Of course in Saturday’s Gazette we read where Selectman Rob Kusner called Amherst School Committee chair Andy Churchill and threatened him (leaving a voice mail message; almost as dumb as dropping your cell phone at the scene of a crime) because he didn’t like Mr. Churchill’s frustrated comment immediately after the Override about the town having “no leadership.”

And we recently had Select person Hwei-Ling Greeney ask for Regional School Committee Chair Elaine Brighty to resign after she had spread malicious gossip about a School committee candidate she obviously didn’t want to get appointed (Chrystel Romero was appointed anyway).

Amherst town officials remind me of crabs in a bucket all trying to escape and when one almost makes it to the top the others grab and pull it back down.

Here’s the response I emailed this morning to the Gazette’s editorial writer:

In a message dated 5/7/07 5:59:17 AM, Amherst AC writes:

Yes, Amherst reserves are now at "3 Million" but a few one-time revenues are coming in or already have (Crocker Farm School State reimbursement and employee health contributions) that will elevate reserves to $4.3 million on June 30. So if on July 1 (first day of new Fiscal Year) we spend $1.3 million to help balance the budget then reserves drop back to $3 million. And if Moody's has not penalized us this year so far for only having $3 million in reserves (and I believe Northampton, a "community the size of Amherst" only has $2 million) why would they do it in FY08 for maintaining that very level?

The Amherst Taxpayers for Responsible Change is only suggesting a modest tapping of reserves (probably under $500,000) along with cuts of nonessential services.

Larry K


chris said...

Ah yes, those nonessential spending - what exactly would that be? Teachers? Golf course employees?

LarryK4 said...

Cut LSSE by about $300,000 (although leave in the $100,000 in fee subsidies and special needs vouchers), cut empty outreach buses to save $100,000 and privatize Cherry Hill (to save the $50,000 to $75,000 it taxes it will cost next year and replace that with a guaranteed $35,000) thus a $100,000 turnaround in FY08; privatize some functions of the DPW (why do we have them building sidewalks in the downtown and a very large “comfort station” at Groff Park and the darn potholes go unfilled?)

Protect at all costs 9 teachers, 5 firefighters and 2 police officers (the above cuts should cover that but if not, dip into the $4.3 million in reserves for the remaining pocket change.)