Monday, June 23, 2008
Select Board "discussion" July 4'th Parade
7:22 PM Nobody from the Amherst July 4’Th Parade Committee is here (under advice from an attorney). The usual cadre of malcontents are here—you know, the type that causes Rockwell to roll over in his grave.
Alisa clarifies what his Lordship misstated: that the 7/4 Parade Committee has, in addition to this evening, refused to meet with the Town Manager. She points out they met many times.
7: 30 PM Sounds like the Town Manager is backing down by saying the private committee could still have their parade next year.
Stephanie states she is “extremely disappointed” nobody from the (private) Committee is here.
Harry Brooks wants to invite the private Parade Committee to take part next year in the Protest Parade (yeah right Harry after you “take over”, eh?)
Ernie Uvater babbles about how he marched a few years back with a sign about a "Gulag" and nobody said anything to him. Of course I remember biking up to him and asking him to leave and he refused. And then got lost as I was looking for a police officer.
7:35 Town Manager confirms that this year the town will not pull vehicles but next year they will pull them if the private committee does not allow protest signs (Hmmm Boss Hogg , I thought there was not going to be a private parade next year?)
Ms Awad thinks it would be unfortunate if we have two parades next year. What the hell does she carem South Hadley probably only has one.
Jon Nelms does not want any parade next year.
Bob Romer, who has been a "member of the ACLU for 58 years", is not impressed with their recent letter saying it is only one attorney (little does he know how many attorneys vetted that letter)
Ed Cutting points out that the town could not selectively ban hate speech or obscenities if they decide to do their official protest parade.
Terry Franklin likes the idea of two parades. "Evicting" the private parade was not cool. Defends the committee for not showing up tonight. Plenty of time to fit in two parades that day.
7:50 PM. Emily Lewis (yeah, she was here on 9/10/01 trashing American flags in the downtown) doesn't like the committee using the word "Amherst". She never voted for that. "I don't want this parade representing me and my kind." Inaccurate, unfair and undemocratic to call the parade "Amherst parade."
Bob Ackerman: Boxing out the private parade by claiming the town needs all day to do its parade next year seems like a scene out of a 1950's Hollywood anti-communism propaganda movie.
8:00 (prosecutor) Rich Morse: How did this parade committee get fed into a "meat grinder." Yes, it's a "little constricted" but we should all be able to find something to love about America that day just for that hour. "Why can't we just have a celebration," One to "Celebrate what we love about America."
Nancy Foster (God, will somebody time this as she will go on and on and on...) Plugs her column in this week's Bulletin cheering the Town Manager's "take over" of the Parade.
His Lordship Weiss (mercifully) interrupts her and says not to get too deep into history. Yea! she's done.
Harry's wife Paulette doesn't want the parade privatized (where has she been for the past seven years?).
Chairman Weiss: Would advise The Town Mangler to shorten his time for the public parade next year and allow the private one as well.
Stephanie: The private committee is pretty clear what they want to do. The folks in the room tonight seem to be all over the map. Agrees a public parade would open the town up to unintended consequences as to who may show up.
Diana Stein: We can't speak for the private parade. But let's form a committee for the public parade but allow the private one.
Anne Awad (yeah, she's still here): "Form a committee, but be fair to the other (private) group."
Alisa Brewer: Folks who want to have an Amherst public protest parade might not like the idea of police and fire vehicles anyway. Opposed to spending town money on a town run parade. Don't want to see Leisure Services running a parade. Busy enough with other programs. I don't see any reason for a town parade.
Weiss summarises: So you would not have a public parade next year but would also not allow police and fire equipment in the private one? "Yes", she responds.
Ms Awad: A community parade doesn't have to cost anything (wonder if she ever heard the expression: "You get what you pay for?). Let anything and everything march at the last minute.
Carol Rothery: (League of Women Voters) Town should have a parade. But would love to have military police and fire (but you gotta wonder if they will want to attend?)
Weiss: "Do we want to give the Town Manager any direction? (pause) I don't think we're ready tonight."
(Sagacious) Stephanie: Sounds like the Board is coming around to allowing the private parade committee to have their parade again next year. Can we make that official?
I move the Amherst July 4 Parade Committee be granted a permit for 7/4/09 and they have their 3:00 pm start, but no town equipment.
Weiss: what we can agree to is the town will not take up the entire day next year and the private 7/4 parade committee will be granted a parade permit.
I don't want my comment to make it seem like I oppose what you did (speaking to Town Manager)
Shaffer: You can't tell me what to do concerning a Parade or about the use of town equipment. However, I'm deeply respectful (I just knew there was going to be a "however" in there pretty quick).
Alisa calls him on it: Community is not looking to Town Manager to solve this they are looking to elected officials (especially the ones who actually live in Amherst)
WEISS: I move the "sense of the board" is that the private group can have their parade next year but not with town equipment. After thought suggestion but not part of the official motion he "respectfully asks the committee to strike the word Amherst"
Vote passes unanimously.