Wednesday, October 29, 2008
AC invokes Roseannadanna's "never mind"
So let me get this strait Tony: Amherst College still has about a Billion dollars in the endowment; and you are already half-way to the $425 Million fundraising goal only announced publicly this week (the first such effort since 2001) and yet you can’t come up with a lousy $20 million to follow thru on the much hyped, eagerly awaited renovations to the esteemed Lord Jeffery Inn, an anchor business (more like the Rock of Gibraltar) for generations in the heart of downtown Amherst?
Four months ago Amherst College “donated” $120,000 to the town (after public disclosure our ambulance/fire runs the previous year cost Amherst taxpayers about that amount). And the Lord Jeff paid the town $32,000 in property taxes and perhaps that same amount in revenues from the 4% local hotel/motel lodging tax.
So this coming year (and now it looks like the next couple years as well) Amherst College will probably still require the same amount (over $100-K) of emergency services provided by AFD--only now the Lord Jeff will pay zero hotel/motel tax and will probably ask for an abatement on property taxes since the business will be generating zero income.
Meanwhile they are abandoning the playing field to the Umass Campus Center Hotel –that just announced a $9.2 million overhaul (at taxpayer expense of course) and they pay neither property taxes nor the local hotel motel tax. And they are located FAR from downtown Amherst.
All-in-all, bad for the taxpayers of Amherst, bad for downtown business, and beyond bad for the image of the #1 Liberal Arts College in America.
Gee Tony, maybe you should have had that lunch with Dave Keenan a while back—he would have told you (in a most colorful way) that this is insanity.
And could you not have at least waited until after the November 4 election to drop this bomb? Now Mr. Hayden (I would hope a highly regarded Amherst College employee) is going to take a beating on this issue probably as early as tonight at the League of Women Voters’ candidate’s night.
Mr. Morales has already played the race card, likening Aaron to “John McCain.” Now with this awful announcement they will by tying him to the College and suggesting he helped pass out diseased blanket to the darn Indians.
Hey Tony, it's okay with me if you fly that majestic American flag on Chapel High at half-staff next week when the Jeff closes.