Thursday, November 20, 2008

Six of one, A half dozen of the other

The Facilitation of Community Choices Committee meeting this morning attracted the same seven-of-ten members who attended Tuesday’s meeting. Thus nothing changed. The declarative statement essentially saying no way in Hell attempt an Override this coming year has been watered down like cheap wine.

The Committee, however, voted 6-1 to support “Level Funding” as opposed to “Level Services,” with Level Funding meaning what you see is what you get: state aid plus regular property tax revenues that stay within the limits of Proposition 2.5.

Level Services of course would require an Override.

So why they would not underscore the “Level Funding" recommendation by spelling out the obvious—No Override—is a mystery.

The Committee also agreed that sometime over the next five years an Override would be necessary, BUT they endorse the use of a “Menu Override” where each item or department is individually spelled out so a voter can support some but not all the expenditures.

Call it a private sector concept: when products compete they get better.


Alison said...

As the sole vote against the current wording of the point that relates to an override, I wanted to address this mystery. I will say that although it does not seem consistent with the recommendation of Level Funding, the pending subtext of that point as well as the minutes of our last few meetings should help explain the mystery. The resulting wording, I think, is a combination of the fact that some felt uncomfortable directly addressing whether or not to recommend an override in FY10--preferring instead to leave it to the elected officials to decide; the fact that three of us were strongly opposed recommending an override in FY10; and the fact that one of our members voted against the Level Funding recommendation and felt strongly that an override might be only immediate solution to the budget gap that would also allow the Level Services budget that most of our questionnaire respondents favored. It is a complicated issue. As anyone who has been paying attention to the financial and political climate in Amherst will attest to!

Alison Donta-Venman, member FCCC

Ed said...

Fat, drunk & stupid is no way to go through life.

Much as one might suggest that one not eat so much and consume fewer adult beverages, perhaps it is time for Amherst to start thinking about spending less money?