So I hate to move on, but move on I must. The flag issue will never, never, never go away; and by this coming 9/11 highlights of the Town Meeting vote that turned Amherst into the Village of the Damned will be available on Youtube.
So what better subject than the beleaguered Cherry Hill Golf Course (to steal Mary Carey’s lead in this morning’s Gazette) for shifting gears?
Sounds to me like the rookie Town Manager is getting a tad testy about our municipal albatross: “It’s really a red herring, a straw man. It’s taken on a dimension and scale it doesn’t deserve. I’m sick of Cherry Hill being put on the Cherry Hill Cross.”
Of course Mr. Shaffer also insists giving up on Cherry Hill will have “zero effect” on this years budget. Really? First off, Shaffer must not have read the Special Town Meeting warrant article because it “strongly urges” him to accept $30,000 a year for the next three years to lease out the White Elephant.
Thus, rather than losing $59,000 like Cherry Hill did last year we could gain a guaranteed $30,000 or an $89,000 turnaround that could fund police, firefighters or teachers.
The Finance Committee told department heads to stick to a 1% budget increase. Cherry Hill’s FY08 operation budget increases $15,000 but that increase does not include another $15,000 in capital improvements hidden elsewhere in the General Fund budget. So while public safety and school budgets are limited to 1% increases, Cherry Hill bloats by 15%.
Cherry Hill is a symbol. It’s a symbol of waste, highlighting a ludicrous and irresponsible attitude about priorities.