Thursday, June 19, 2008

A brewing storm over Monday's SB meeting


UPDATE: 9:00 AM. Somebody just sent me this link below about a young lady wanting to march in a 7/4 Parade topless. Yahooooooo! Notice they have a City Councilor as naive and clueless as our own Select Board Chair Gerry Weiss.
Maybe she will come to Amherst's Protest Parade next year!

Original upload. Thursday 6:30 AM:

In a message dated 6/18/08 11:14:06 AM, avbrewer@comcast.net writes:
Since you left the parade committee, I didn't include you on the cc, but obviously...
Alisa

From: Alisa Brewer (Amherst Select Board)
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:11:40 AM To: Select Board
Cc: Seaman, Katherine; Weston, Gail; Arcamo, Judith; Chalfant, Linda; Musante, John; Scherpa, Charles; Hoyle, Keith; David Clooney
Helen Thelen (CF); Rothery, Carol; Peter Vickery

Subject: Re: July 4 parade: 250th rules (was: Fairness)

Hi Larry-

I assume the documents I requested below (items 1, 2, 3) will be in our Agenda packets for our Select Board meeting June 23, 2008, rather than at our desks when we arrive

Also, some legal opinion as described in that email (although not numbered item 4):

I also assume Larry is seeking Town Counsel guidance around various parade concerns, particularly as regards how to effectively handle people who "slip in" to the parade rather than register and follow the rules (regardless of one's opinion of said rules); I believe that truly is the crux of the frustration some folks are feeling, because having rules allowing or disallowing various messages is one thing, but if someone simply doesn't present themselves to the parade "authority" for "approval" -- as happened in 2005, below -- and just "slips in," there arises another problem. If a "town" parade -- whether the 250th parade or a July 4 parade (or the LSSE Halloween parade, for that matter) -- is not going to "enforce" any or some of the parade "standards" or "rules" it publishes, that would need to be very clear very soon.

Please also include all additional parade-related letters/correspondence to and from the Town since the below email of April 29, such as the one described in the local newspaper as from the ACLU, and some correspondence with the AG office and Amherst Board of Registrars (see Larry Kelley's blog for photos of these, http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/)

Please also include a print of two pages (links follows) from the private parade committee's website, as it is the material the public is currently seeing (we all received copies of letters including this material in the past, but for completeness the current webpage is important):
http://amherstjuly4thparade.com/id1.html (mission)
http://amherstjuly4thparade.com/id3.html (rules)

Please also include a brief written summary of your Town-run-July-4-2009-parade conversations with LSSE so far, especially vis a vis projected costs for the Town running the parade on Saturday July 4, 2009, with acknowledgment that the the same fundraising sources are being tapped for the usual annual LSSE July 4 activities as well as for the new Amherst 250th Parade of Sunday September 27, 2009 and the new Hadley 350th celebration.

Please also include a brief written summary of your conversations with our public safety departments regarding their feelings/opinions about their history of participation in the current private July 4 parade as well as in the proposed Town-run-July-4-2009-parade. Please include your discussion of whether you, as Town Manager, intend to *allow* our firefighters and police officers to march in a private 2009 parade as well as in the Town-run-July-4-2009-parade, including the alternatives of separate days for two parades in 2009 and two parades being held the same day on July 4, 2009.

I realize this is a lot of work, but given the circumstances I don't see we have a choice.

Below I have also included an email I sent to Gerry and Larry in April. As it clearly states my opinions, it is important that this entire email itself also be printed and placed in our packet for June 23, 2008.

Thank you for your support.

Take care,
Alisa

Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:46:31 PM
To: Shaffer, Larry
Cc: Select Board; Weston, Gail
Subject: July 4 parade: 250th rules (was: Fairness)

Hi Larry-

Even though we may not have a Select Board Agenda item regarding the July 4 parade until a June Select Board meeting, per Gerry's comments last night, please provide the following documents to us as soon as possible, preferably in both electronic and hard copy form:

1. A copy of the Amherst 250th Anniversary Celebration Committee's Parade Subcommittee Parade Rules/Standards for September 27, 2009 (the document the excerpts in Larry Kelley's blog, and Kevin Joy's statement last night, and the excerpts from Gerry's email yesterday apparently came from)

2. A copy of the Hadley 350th Anniversary Celebration Parade Rules/Standards for June 14, 2009

3. A copy of the Northampton 350th Anniversary Parade Rules/Standards from their celebration June 6, 2004

And for those of you looking for the Supreme Court Hurley ruling mentioned during these conversations:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/94-749.ZO.html

I also assume Larry is seeking Town Counsel guidance around various parade concerns, particularly as regards how to effectively handle people who "slip in" to the parade rather than register and follow the rules (regardless of one's opinion of said rules); I believe that truly is the crux of the frustration some folks are feeling, because having rules allowing or disallowing various messages is one thing, but if someone simply doesn't present themselves to the parade "authority" for "approval" -- as happened in 2005, below -- and just "slips in," there arises another problem. If a "town" parade -- whether the 250th parade or a July 4 parade (or the LSSE Halloween parade, for that matter) -- is not going to "enforce" any or some of the parade "standards" or "rules" it publishes, that would need to be very clear very soon.

It seems as though an update in the Town Manager's report at each Select Board meeting could be worthwhile and effective.

In order to avoid any appearance of Open Meeting Law violation in spirit, I would appreciate it if this email thread appeared in our next Select Board Agenda packet/on the table Wednesday night.

Thank you for your support.

Take care,
Alisa

pg 42 General Bylaws

PARADES AND PUBLIC MEETINGS
(ATM - March 11, 1970 - Art. 25)

1. A public meeting, parade or other event may be held on any town common or town way on reservation therefor first being secured from the town manager who shall issue it unless the meeting, parade or other event would conflict with another already so reserved, or unless the parade would so interfere with the vehicular traffic as to present a safety hazard. In the latter event, the town manager shall design an alternative parade route which shall adequately achieve the purposes of the paraders. Nothing shall prevent a nominee for elective governmental office speaking to any group, or an informal, spontaneous gathering of less than 75 persons, on any town common, without such reservation, if such activity does not interfere with another event already in progress or previously so reserved. Failure to obtain a reservation for a parade shall be punishable by a fine of not over $50.00.
------------------------------------------------------
pg 11 Amherst Town Government Act

3.244 Regulation of public ways
The select board shall control and regulate the public ways.

pg 15 Amherst Town Government Act

4.63 Supervision of town properties
The town manager shall have jurisdiction over the rental, use, maintenance, and repair of all town property except school property and property under the control of the town library trustees. The town manager shall be responsible for the preparation of plans and the supervision of work on existing buildings or on the construction of new buildings other than school buildings and buildings under the control of the library trustees. The town manager shall maintain and repair school buildings if and to the extent that the school committee requests, and the town manager shall maintain and repair buildings under the control of the library trustees if and to the extent that they so request.

[ Originally published on: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 ]

To the editor:

I write in response to letters by Jean Fay and Paul Hollander about me.

Hollander's letter, claiming that I was part of an effort here in Amherst ''to suppress or curtail the celebration of July 4th,'' boggles the mind. It was really parade organizers that were curtailing the celebration by excluding certain groups, in particular SAGE, which prompted my suggestion to the Select Board that they not be allowed to use town vehicles.

The next night, Parade Committee member, Kevin Joy, telephoned Fay to let her know that I told the Select Board that I represented the Amherst Democratic Committee. Joy also told SAGE that I had posed as their representative!

Contrary to Fay's claim, I never assured her that I ''would not do anything that could be considered offensive by anyone involved in the parade.'' What she had actually asked me for was my assurance that ''no one who marched in the Democratic contingent would be disruptive.'' I told her that I could not control what others do.

Christina Rose and I chose not to join the other Democrats. With our antiwar signs saying, ''This war is illegal'' and ''GIs must refuse to go,'' we slipped in behind their group because a big gap at that point allowed us good visibility. A Democratic Committee member even informed Joy that we were not part of their group.

Why, then, did Fay single me out when a man with a protest sign marched with her for the entire parade route? Failing to grasp Kevin Joy's agenda, Fay let herself be intimidated into attacking me and offering her fatuous apology for protests against the war at a parade that turned out to be an ode to militarism.

Mary L. Wentworth, Amherst

From: Mary L Wentworth
Date: July 11, 2005 9:56:53 PM EST
To: Amherst Democratic Town Committee
Subject: [adtc] The Other Side of the Story


I hope that the following provides a context for and another view of the Fourth of July Parade:


On the Monday before July Fourth I went to the meeting of the Select Board to express concern about community groups being prevented from participating in this event. I was aware, as was the SB, that the Supreme Court had ruled that private parade organizations have the right of freedom of speech to shape the message that they wish to convey (in this case, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Org. in Boston excluded a gay group) and can exclude groups that are not in sync with their message. This celebration, however, is our Independence Day. I suggested that the Town could withhold permission for town property, e.g., fire engines, ambulances,etc. from being used in the parade if various groups were not allowed to participate.

Early that evening I received a telephone call from a very angry Kevin Joy of the Parade Committee. He spent about twenty minutes trying to intimidate me. Among other statements, he told me that he had worked for the FBI and the CIA for twelve year. He demanded a statement from me about the right to bear arms and threatened me with having to appear on the Bill O’Reilly Show. etc. Later on, I had another call. This time from Susan Theberge from SAGE, a group that was being told that they could not march this year because they had violated the no-anti-war-signs rule last year. If last year the PC had talked with members of a group carrying anti-war signs they would have discovered that they were out-of-town Quakers and had nothing to do with SAGE even though they were marching behind them.

Susan had a question that she said she would like to ask me. When I went to the SB had I told them that I was a member of SAGE and represented SAGE at the SB? She said that although she had never met me, she did not think that I would do that, but she had to ask because KJ had told her that I had. The next night, Jean called, and in a very different tone of voice, demanded to know whether I had told the SB that I represented the Amherst Democratic Town Committee. Again, it was KJ at work. I said I thought this guy was off his rocker, but Jean said,NO, she knew his family because she had had his two older boys in kindergarten. The talk turned to the parade. Jean expressed concern about exposing her daughter to disruption during the parade and that, after all, the parade is for the kids. She talked about her concern that parents who would be sending children to her kindergarten class would get the wrong impression of her if something happened. I answered that I thought people in Amherst realized that many of us wear different hats at different times. Jean said that she was going to pull the ADTC application unless I could assure her that no one would be disruptive in the Democratic contingent. I replied that I could not do that because I had no control over what people might do. I made no promises concerning my plans, one way or the other.

Christina Rose and I went to the Common on the Fourth, wearing our signs which read THIS WAR IS ILLEGAL and GIs MUST REFUSE TO GO. We slipped into the parade when we saw a good-sized gap between a convertible carrying some vets and the ADTC. We walked about fifteen feet behind the ADTC contingent and about fifteen feet in front of the convertible, giving our signs good visibility. We had decided beforehand that we would not be part of the ADTC contingent because 1) the contingent would not have gotten through the starting point and 2) the Committee’s desire to march in next year’s parade would have been put in jeopardy if this PC remains in charge. When we joined the parade we could easily have moved up right into the ADTC group at that time or at any other time, but chose not to for the reason already cited.

When the parade came to a momentary halt opposite the fire station, Larry Kelley asked us to leave and we refused. Both Christina and I felt that we wanted to inject a different note to the over-all militarism of this parade. I had prepared a very brief leaflet that pointed out that not only was the war illegitimate according to international treaties and our Constitution but that those documents make it incumbent on us citizens to do everything in our power to stop our government from pursuing such a war — a crime against humanity. We felt that our signs were a contribution to this effort.

Then KJ appeared and was quite persistent, making the mistake of grabbing my arm. We told him that we were not leaving. Harry Brooks walked back from the ADTC contingent to speak with KJ who wanted to know if he was with us. Harry said, “No, I’m with them” pointing to the ADTC and making the distinction. KJ left and the parade moved on, but not before I noticed that someone was carrying a sign in the ADTC group that said, HONOR THE BILL OF RIGHTS in small letters and END THE GULAG in big ones. Wow! This sign was allowed into the contingent when it drew attention to this disgusting aspect of the war on terrorism.

As Christina and I approached the intersection of Triangle and East Pleasant, we could see a police officer starting to move toward us and, feeling that we had passed the bulk of the spectators, we moved off to one side. I am told that Jean, rather than telling Kevin Joy in no uncertain terms that we were not part of her group, apologized to him which, of course, reaffirmed his position that we were, overriding what Harry had told him.

When The Republican came out with the PC’s version of events, I wrote a letter which was published on Friday, correcting the error, and ended by asking, “Isn’t it a little strange that freedom of speech can’t be tolerated on the Fourth of July?”

Mary Wentworth

*From: *Alisa Brewer >
*Date: *April 16, 2008 1:22:46 PM EDT
*To: *"Gerry Weiss (Select Board)" >
*Cc: *"Larry Shaffer (TOWN MGR)" >
*Subject: **July 4 Parade Select Board agenda item?*

Hi Gerry-

Remember how I insisted Monday night at our April 14, 2008 Select Board meeting that we needed to be clear what was supposed to be the *point* of the future July 4 Parade agenda item you said we need?

I know time is short, but I hope you've had some time to think about what the July 4 Parade Agenda item will be labeled, and what the plan for handling it will be, and how that plan will be communicated both prior to and at the Select Board meeting. And of course it will need to be more widely advertised than our usual Select Board agenda items.


All I see here with a July 4 Parade agenda item is a public relations debacle,* with perfectly reasonable folks having more fodder for accusing us of spending too much time on distractions rather than on our long term budget deficit and upcoming Town Meeting business.

We know Larry Kelley's blog is not particularly widely read, and his actions often more likely more harmful to the private July 4 parade committee's work than helpful, but we must be sure not to lump Larry Kelley, Helen, and Kevin together when dealing with all this, much less with all the other private July 4 parade committee members and supporters. Just as Larry Kelley is not *the* July 4 parade committee, the Amherst Town Democratic Committee is not *the* face of Amherst Democrats, and Harry Brooks is obviously not the face of the Amherst Town Democratic Committee, either. Nor is the LWV Amherst "position" of a year or two back of any particular representation of all LWV Amherst members. Although issues by a small number of people are important just like those raised by larger numbers are important, we'd be remiss in our Select Board duties to let all the furor stirred by a very small handful of folks who simply refuse to compromise distract us from our work.

I have no idea why three July 4 Parade committee members came forward during public comment at our April 14 meeting (and expect that in hindsight they are sorry they did), but I do understand their apparent desire to be able to move on from the concerns that have been brought up over and over during the past few years, just as I believe you seem to feel the free speech issues involved have not been adequately addressed.

I see that we have a couple of things to "settle" in the Select Board July 4 Parade agenda item:

1. The Select Board's role in signing off on activities associated with the public way: similar to the Cushman May Day festivities, the LSSE Halloween parade, etc. The necessary paperwork for that decision, showing Public Works & Public Safety approvals like the annual May Day festivities just did, should be prepared for and handled at the same Select Board meeting you schedule this July 4 Parade agenda item for, not inadvertently pushed out so that it can all be revisited for the umpteeith time closer to July 4. Clearly Public Works & Public Safety are already working under the assumption they need to "make way" for the July 4 Parade route. We need to get the underlying infrastructure established out of respect for the town personnel handling those arrangements, modifications, etc..

2. The Select Board's role in charging for the services needed by a parade: The Select Board does not, to my knowledge, establish how much "parade services" cost, as I don't recall seeing any reference to such associated with past parades such as this July 4 parade, the LSSE Halloween parades, past Earth Day parade, Memorial Day parades, upcoming 250th parade, etc.. It is my understanding that the Town Manager establishes this fee schedule. The private July 4 Parade committee has not, to my knowledge, complained in any fashion about the amounts they are going to be charged in fees. Simply stating the Select Board's role here may be useful to the public.

3. The Select Board's role regarding town personnel & equipment marching in a parade: the Select Board does not decide whether or not the firefighter & police personnel & equipment (and any other interested Town departments, such as LSSE, Senior Center, etc.) march in a parade. The Town Manager is the manager of those personnel and resources. Our Select Board role is limited to convincing him to do it our way, similar to the Human Services Funding funding mechanisms preferences established by the Select Board against the advice of the Town Manager.

4. The Select Board's role in communicating the ownership of the parade to our community: Yes, people from outside Amherst would not necessarily recognize that a July 4 Parade is not run by the Town itself, but it is also true that many communities across our country do not run their own parades, but instead have the parades run by private organizations. If anything, this privatization is becoming more widespread over time as municipalities find their resources stretched further and further. We know for a fact that our Town cannot afford, in money or person hours, to run a Town July 4 parade; it's simply too big an endeavor with our limited resources. Since we don't "own" the parade, and a private entity does "own" it, the rules of free speech and freedom of assembly are somewhat differently applied. The Select Board and the Town Manager can try to bring people together to come to a common understanding of the rules in order to maximize everyone's pleasure with the private July 4 parade, but we have relatively little "hold" over the parade itself, as described above. If you do not believe that the Town cannot force the private parade to accept any and all participants, you should ask Town Counsel to explain it during this Select Board agenda item. I would ask you to be cautious in any public assertions, in that it was previously misstated at a Select Board meeting something to the effect that being unhappy with the national Boy Scouts of America discrimination policies might be reason to discuss the Amherst Boy Scouts Christmas tree sales, when clearly most members of the Select Board were not aware that the national Boy Scouts of America (revolting) discrimination policies are legally protected as a private *and* patriotic organization.
Communicating the ownership of the private July 4 parade can also include publicly recognizing that in some communities, private parade organizations have *not* established any reasons to refuse anyone's participation in their private parade. It is also true that is some communities, private parade organizations have *not* faced that utter insistence that *any* slogan is appropriate and permissible, whether it has anything to do with *identifying* the entity marching or not. It is also true that in some communities, the private parade is a lot more like a block party with costumes, where everyone does their own thing, and that sort of parade does not clearly delineate between "parade" and "protest" and "rally." That does not happen to be the choice of the current private July 4 parade committee. That may be the choice of a future parade committee. No one is forcing the public to acknowledge or attend any private parade; people can "vote with their feet."

5. The Select Board's role in participating in the private July 4 parade: Given all of the above, and that the Select Board has been invited to participate in the private July 4 parade, it would be appropriate to discuss during this July 4 agenda item whether the Select Board will be marching in the private July 4 parade. If it become apparent during this July 4 parade agenda item that the Select Board is not yet ready to make that decision, then that separate issue of Select Board marching as a Select Board could be on a later agenda. Given all that has been discussed, it would make sense to at some point take a formal position on the Select Board's marching participation, both as a statement of the Select Board's support or lack thereof of the private July 4 parade, and as clear direction to any Select Board members who may be interested in marching in the private July 4 parade. It does not benefit anyone to have that be unclear.

I'm really sorry this is so long. I do very much appreciate your consideration.

Take care,
Alisa

*http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2008/04/declaration-of-independence.html

http://www.gazettenet.com/beta/2008/04/16/select-board-discuss-parades-level-inclusion
##################################################################

So I guess the only email I would add to this long exchange from Select Person Brewer to all the Powers That Be is this one (same time frame) gained through public documents law:
From: Chalfant, Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:45 PM
To: Del Castilho, Barry; Musante, John
Subject: The Parade

I just received two phone calls from Harry Brooks asking if LSSE would
handle the July 4th parade next year. Since he called twice - I told
him:

- my knowledge of parades is nil

- this is an extremely busy time for the department and we struggle to
handle all of the special events that we currently have in addition to
the summer programs

- it is unlikely that we could handle this additional assignment without
adding staff

Linda Chalfant, Director
Amherst Leisure Services and Supplemental Education

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! My head hurts! This must be democracy in action because nothing is getting done.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, no wonder the Town Manager struck such a lousy five-year Strategic Agreement with Umass and continues to allow our ambulance emergency service to benefit other towns (and Umass) to the the tune of hundreds of thousands of Amherst taxdollars.

anonymous said...

From Mary Wentworth July 20, 2005 email to the Amherst Democratic Town Committee we learn

- Ms. Wentworth was aware of the prevailing Parade Committee rules that required participants to not engage in protest.

- Ms. Wentworth was aware of the Constitutional 1st amendment law governing right of association and that it applied to the Parade Committee Amherst Independence Day Parade

- Ms. Wentworth indicated in advance that she would make no commitment to comply with the rules of the parade and the Constitutional right of association afforded Parade Committee members and those who chose to join them.

- Ms. Wentworth deliberately entered the parade stealthily with protest signs with the intent to protest in the Independence Day parade knowingly acting in violation of the Constitutional rights she knew to be in force.

From these four observations, I conclude that Ms.Wentworth should have been arrested for civil disobedience on two occasions, when she entered the parade furtively, and when she refused to leave the parade as a scofflaw.

It is troubling that people who appeal to town government for a remedy for their grievance (Wentworth requested the town withdraw its police and fire vehicles from the parade) do not respect the decisions of that government – the town authorized the parade, the Supreme Court decided the right of association, and Mary Wentworth knowingly and purposefully violated it.

Ms Wentworth is a cafeteria citizen who picks and chooses to comply with policy and laws that do not conflict with her personal view of justice and her sense of what is righteous.. In the process, she violates the laws and rights of others because she believes that nothing could be more important than her own view on the war and what other citizens “must do”, GIs in her case. The protest signs she and her accomplice carried read: '' This war is illegal'' and ''GIs must refuse to go''

Perhaps the Select Board and policy-challenged town manager with withdraw his threat to withdraw police and firemen from the parade and declare a policy that the Town of Amherst police will enforce the Parade Committee’s Constitutional right of free speech and right of association by putting any violators, like Mary Wentworth in the past, in protective custody if they violate those rights during the parade.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and Ms. Wentworth proved to be a "summer soldier" as Kevin Joy observed an Amherst Police Officer sternly demanded Ms. Wentworth "turn around!" and she asked "why?"

He dangled a pair of handcuffs and she scurried off like a scared rabbit.

Anonymous said...

this is all tremendous food for thought -- thanks for posting it all. i've just about had it with the town manager...

Anonymous said...

Steve Brewer for Selectboard!

For those who don't know, he is Alisa Brewer's husband. Probably would vote mostly the way she does.

LarryK4 said...

Just what we need: another Umass employee in a position to do the BIG BOSS a favor.

Damn, I just got rid of Professor Kusner.

Anonymous said...

Larry, be careful on that UMass ambulance statistic.

Remember that (unlike other services) the AFD gets an unprecedented 100% reimbersement from UM students.

So instead of only getting payment from 80% of those transported (the figure given for the town), you get 100% -- and instead of getting the payment allowed by the insurance company (say 80% of what you bill) you get 100% payment.

Now if you get 100% of your bill from 100% of your customers -- instead of only 80% from 80% of them -- well you are a businessman.

The cost-per-run for UM students is also less because you already have the UMass police responding (and thus don't need an APD unit), and you aren't burning the $20 of diesel that you would in a run to Shutesbury.

And then you need to calculate in the labor value of the unpaid UMass Engine 3 unit (the North Station) and then you have to remember that they WANT to work Christmas and such.

Cost: Balance it out sometime, and then write the check to UMass....

LarryK4 said...

Umass, indeed, has a police department--larger than Amherst PD.

They do not have a Fire Department--other than the volunteer engine you reference.

Stan Rosenberg did a study over ten year ago that concluded Umass cost Amherst over $1 million annually for basic overhead--mostly police and fire/ambulance.

I will not be writing a check to Umass in the near future.

But when we get a Mayor/Council and fill those slots with stand up folks, Umass will start writing the town bigger checks.

maryd said...

"And then you need to calculate in the labor value of the unpaid UMass Engine 3 unit (the North Station) and then you have to remember that they WANT to work Christmas and such."

Wow, the student force works Christmas? And for free? I know alot of families that will be happy to have Mom or Dad home next Christmas morning....
Uh, yeah, not quite.

Anonymous said...

As to the students wanting to work Christmas, that is a quote, a few years back, from the AFD chief that was in either the Gazette or Republican. He was mentioning how the older guys with families wanted holidays off while the students wanted to work them.

And as to ambulance, by law that should have gone out to bid. And when a private company came in cheaper (as they would have), UMass should have gone with them instead of AFD.

And as to UMass in general, all the state has to do is disincorporate Amherst (as it did to Greenwich, Prescott, Enfield & Dana) and let DCR run the town.

It WOULD solve a lot of problems....

maryd said...

That quote must have been in error. Unfortunately for the "older guys" families that is not how it works for the holidays or any other time, they are backup. The professionals work it out with each other while the students go home to be with their families.

David Clooney said...

Larry wrote:
The Town Manager...continues to allow our ambulance emergency service to benefit other towns (and Umass) to the the tune of hundreds of thousands of Amherst taxdollars.
---------------------

This statement isn't accurate. The Fire Department collects revenue for the Ambulance calls that it does in other communities. The idea that the Fire Department "subsidizes" ambulance service in other communities is, in my opinion, baseless.

anonymous said...

From news articles published in the Bulletin and the Gazette, when Shaffer was revisiting Amherst's ambulance agreements with adjacent towns, it was clear the agreements do not cover the full cost of running the Amherst ambulance in the those towns.

Call it baseless if you wish, but you'll have to do better than the Bulletin and Gazette if you want to convince me.

maryd said...

For better facts and figures, not the town managers fuzzy math, try
http://amherstfirefighters.org/

It is a great site and you will learn tons about the services they provide.

Anonymous said...

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