UPDATE: 2:45 PM
So yeah, you sagacious types may have noticed the hilarious political cartoon of the Boss Hogg town manager suddenly disappeared for three and a half hours.
Creative artist Kevin Joy received a call on his cell phone with a threatening message suggesting liability because the town manager is “appointed” rather than “elected”.
My attorney just confirmed Shaffer is a “public official” PERIOD—and it doesn’t matter if he’s elected or appointed.
Of course now we’re trying to figure out how this mysterious person got Kevin’s cell phone number. He did call the Town Manager a lot these past few days. Hmmm…
Conservative Canadian Web page picks up the story
Gazette Front Page Article (above the fold no less)
One Town Official's Take
Town of Amherst To Organize And Conduct July 4’th Parade In 2009
A group of local volunteers created the Amherst July Fourth Parade Committee. Since 2002, the private group has done a remarkable job in organizing and conducting a parade to celebrate July 4’th in Amherst. However, there has been controversy over the Committee’s refusal to allow potential parade participants from displaying signs protesting various actions by government. With that in mind, I have repeatedly urged the Parade Committee not to exclude organizations and individuals who wish to use the July 4’th parade as a means to protest certain government action or to advocate for a particular position. I have met frequently with parade organizers to promote the concept that July 4’th is a time that all Americans should celebrate the birth of this nation and the principles of freedom inherent in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill or Rights. In particular, the First Amendment of the Bill or Fights, generally considered to be the most important Article in the Constitution, guarantees freedom of speech with remarkable clarity. How is it that on the nation’s birthday, in Amherst, any American can be denied their constitutional right to freedom of speech on town owned streets during a celebration ostensible devoted to that freedom so denied? I am sorry to report that I have not been able to successfully communicate that irony to the July Fourth Parade Committee.
The Town of Amherst cannot and should not obstruct or prevent a private parade from occurring in Amherst. Consequently, I will not attempt, in any fashion, to prevented the Parade Committee from conduction the July 4’th Parade in 2008. I will continue to encourage communications with the July 4’th Parade Committee in order to achiever the changes that I believer are correctly sought. However, moving forward, I believe the proposed change will correct the problem excluding certain forms of free speech during the July 4’th Parade.
As a result, the Town of Amherst shall sponsor a parade in celebration of Fourth of July, 2009. All groups will be invited to participate, and with the exception of obscenities and hate crimes, freedom of speech will be allowed. The LSSE Department, which is responsible for the fireworks and community events on July 4’th, will be asked to organize and manage the July 4’th Parade, also. A July 4’th Parade Committee shall be formed by the town to assist in managing the many details associated with such an event.