Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In Tennis a “do over” is no BIG deal; in major construction however…
Accessible crosswalks in Amherst center were the first that had to be redone because of the initial use of inappropriate materials problematic to wheelchairs; and most recently the sidewalks on College Street were also done twice in one year because the angle of the slope was a tad too steep.
Yeah, the College Street boo boo may have only cost $5,000 to rectify, but a few months ago the Town Manager was willing to let ubiquitous potholes go unfilled for a prime-time month to save $10,000.
Practically the first thing the Select Board “new majority” --lead by then Czar Anne Awad, her hubby Robie Hubley and neophyte Gerry Weiss-- did in 2004 was sabotage the $1.2 million bond issue for sidewalk accessibility improvement that would have sent the entire project out to bid so private professionals could do the project all at once.
Instead they came up with a nickel-and-dime approach that essentially turned our DPW into a construction company, spending $250,000 here and $250,000 there applying a multi-year approach to the project--kind of like Eldin, Murphy Brown’s painter.
The Finance Committee voted unanimously against the penny-wise approach saying it would “result in higher materials costs, less effective management of staff and uncertainty as to when/if this phase of sidewalk improvements would be completed.”
But Town Meeting voted 108 to 42 to support the Select board micromanagement scheme and Charter Mayor/Council remnants (now known as the “sensible center”) suddenly realized just how out of touch Town Meeting had become.