Friday, July 25, 2008

A little better...

UPDATE: 6:15 PM.
Amherst Bully: sort of on top of things (click to read)
So yeah, I feel like I’m sending up a flare on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Will the Bricks-and-Mortar media take note? Probably not. They could not find any interns to fill in for the month of July.

But anyway: Could we get a report on what happened during Thursday’s Hampshire County Retirement Board meeting (you know the folks who expend millions of tax dollars) where Ms. Awad wanted to feather her nest with taxpayer funds for her retirement in South Hadley?
Original Post: early Friday morning
Well let me just reaffirm how much I look forward to Mr. Shaffer blogging on the town website.

So he believes there’s no negative way to spin Cherry Hill’s annual “BIG fish that got away” tall tale, eh?

Well, how about the town document that clearly exposes last year—you know, Mr. Shaffer when you told the media that “no tax money” was involved in the business—Cherry Hill required $20,435 in tax money? Or that same document showing they only lost $10,000 the year before, when Dan Engstrom was still in charge rather than these LSSE superstars.

So why should we believe anything you now say about that money pit?
Maybe it’s time you moved to South Hadley with that other liar.

Mid May Bully puff piece Click here

Of course if he were “watching it close” you gotta wonder why LSSE did not send him the idiotic press release before sending it to the local media

Mid-May Town Meeting (UGH!)

God I had forgotten about Assistant Town Manager John Musante's twitchy performance at the Select Board meeting about a month earlier (Damn I'm so glad Blogger creates a, hopefully, permanent public record.

Amherst Bully (for them) article And you just know next year at this time these idiots are going to issue a press release about how well the Golf Course did by ignoring this $22,000 item, the $30,000 in employee benefits and insurance and of course the $30,000 we could have had free and clear simply to walk away from the Turkey.


Anonymous said...

On the golf course, I note the silence from the usual chorus of responders.

Rich Morse

maryd said...

Mr. Morse, I don't get your point. Silence from those who usually agree with Mr. Kelley or those who like to argue with him?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, good point Mr. Morse (Don't worry MaryD he meant the drones who like to argue with me)

The silence, as they say, is deafening.

And as you well know, I directly emailed a bevy of town officials and media (using your idea of email listserve linkage) and have not had a single response.

Of course, I always joke (maybe that is not the correct word) that if 9/11 occurred on a Friday we would not read about it in the Bricks- and-Mortar media until the following Tuesday.

maryd said...

Thanks Larry, I don't like to assume anything.

Anonymous said...

Listening to Larry "discuss" Cherry Hill is not unlike listening to UMass students discussing Amherst in general.

Of COURSE the town lies to the media, which is too stupid to verify anything other than the spelling of names, and sometimes not even that very well.

My personal favorite - Charlie Scherpa claiming that a UMass student had broken an APD officer's gun. A Glock.

Now anyone with any knowledge of firearms knows that the Glocks are made out of composite plastics and are super strong. Police officers *aren't* made out of composites, they are flesh & brittle bone. So assuming that an evil UM student somehow threw something with enough force (several TONS of force) to break the Glock, what exactly do you think would happen to the poor officer it was strapped to?

We are talking crippling car crash-type injuries here, shattered pelvis, destroyed back, assorted other bones shattered - like if he was hit by a truck.

Of course the town is lying Larry, they lie to us all the time....

Anonymous said...

John Musante is not a liar.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Cherry Hill is a bargain. Even if it costs a little money each year to maintain.

As a retired Amherst resident I'm glad to get a little something for my dollars. I gladly pony up a big chunk of my tax dollars for schools, soccer fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, bike trails, libraries, and a host of other things that I never use. For me (as a retiree that's not able to pay for a country club membership) Cherry Hill suits me just fine.

I would also note that for a municipal course the amount of money the town is providing is small. Their new management strategies seem to be working and this is hardly a money pit.

In another one of your posts you stated that the value of Cherry Hill is only 3 times annual revenues based on the selling price similar businesses. You therefore implied that Amherst grossly over paid for Cherry Hill. This is inaccurate as it does not account for the value of the land.

In any case, perhaps there is silence not because you are so "right" that everyone has been shut up, but because you are a broken record on the subject. Everyone knows your opinion and is tired of it.

Like it or not, (and I like it and so do many other retiree taxpayers I see out there) Cherry Hill is a part of Amherst town property, and due to the legal problems that would come from trying to sell it after having used state funds to acquire it, it is unlikely to be sold.

In my opinion, thank goodness for that. It's a darn nice place.

LarryK4 said...

Well as Bill Clinton might say it depends on how you define “little”. Two years ago Cherry Hill cost taxpayers $26,000 even though the Town Manager said it made $7,200. This most recent year it may have just broken even but we could have had $30,000 in guaranteed payment from Niblick Management, so as far as I’m concerned it cost taxpayers $30,000.

Yes you are correct that my formulae for a recreation business did not include the property. Hickory Ridge was purchased five years ago for $3 million and the legal transaction published in the local papers described it as $1 million for the entire property plus $2 million for the good will and name of the business.

Interestingly my sources tell me it is up for sale once again.

Golf has been on a downhill slide since 1999. It’s that old supply and demand thing. Only about 12% of the population plays golf and there are simply to many courses in the area.

As long as town officials continue to misrepresent the truth I will continue to make my opinion known. If you don’t like that then point your browser in a different direction.

(And no Mr. Morse, I do not think Musante lied…one reason he will someday be the next Town Manager—probably a lot sooner than you think.)

Anonymous said...

Unlike Hickory Ridge, Cherry Hill isn't underwater every spring! You could never develop Hickory Ridge for any other use unless it is scuba diving;-)

Neil said...

I have no opinion on whether golf and recreation is the best use of town-owned Cherry Hill.

I do think it's unreasonable, irresponsible and dishonest to misrepresent the cost of operations including expense, revenue and capital requirements to Amherst residents.

Why not do the accounting comprehensively so that taxpayers - who have and who will continue finance operations - know what it actually costs?

Present the facts, represent the facts faithfully, don't conceal costs and deprive voters full disclosure.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, the ironic thing is last year when the Town Manager was doing an update for the Select Board Ms. Awad told him to take care and "be sure" with his numbers.

They actually used to do more businesslike accounting when Cherry Hill was an Enterprise Fund (because the state required it).

But then two years ago they simply dissolved the Enterprise Fund so it would be far easier to lie, cheat and gorge at the public trough.

Anonymous said...

Hickory Ridge Part Deux?

Note today's Spfd Repub -- the Town Mangler wishes to have the town buy a parcel in North Amherst so as to control that business park.

Yes, Cherry Hill Part Deux.

And since the town already controls land use through zoning and permitting -- what is the need for more control? What do they not want to happen?

Well, BioTech includes homeland security and that is where the money is right now. Sensing and detecting - anthrax, radiation and such -- all legitimate stuff that we really do need but DOD/DHS and the rest funded.

So could Amherst wind up with another black hole in its efforts to keep DOD out of the Peoples' Republic?

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