Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There they go again...


Okay, so you would think when the illustrious Select Board agenda has this item under Town Manger Report: Recent Select Board Meeting Broadcast Issues (like when they sent out only audio for an entire recent meeting) that ACTV would go out of their way to make this production the most perfectly transparent, seemless broadcast ever.

Well...they start out by airing the view of an empty chair and table for the first five minutes (although the audio of Princess Stephanie came across perfectly.) Then Mr. Root does a surprise presentation from the peanut gallery and no one tells him to come to the microphone so folks could hear what the Hell he was talking about.

Finally they got the cameras pointed in the right direction—just in time to show Dave Keenan’s three card monte, shell game production.

While ACTV receives only $4,000 in direct funding from the town it does get 5% of Comcast’s revenues from the roughly 8,000 subscribers that adds up to over $250,000 annually. Money that would otherwise go to the town.

So it is in every sense of the word Amherst taxpayers’ money (only picked from a different pocket) video

Of course the hilarious thing is Mr. Root is babbling something about a new Internet Bank debuting (and he suggests maybe the town could invest taxpayer funds) and you can’t really hear a word he is saying because ACTV, once again, screwed up.

And notice the pernicious pregnant pause over the word “profits”. His Lordship Gerry Weiss clearly says, “we heard you!” (Socialist that he is); but in fact, NOBODY else did. Perfect metaphor for Amherst town government: living in a bullet proof bubble.

Sooooooo just what we need now (at a precarious time in history for the banking industry) a new, multi-level marketing Internet banking scheme. Yikes!

How scary is this! (at least in the United States of America?)


video video
UPDATE: 11:30 PM

Okay, since some of you asked nicely here's a clip of Dave Keenan's presentation.

Yes, he did shuffle the 3 cups around a few times at the very beginning and middle of his Dog+Pony Show, and No Princess Stephanie did not want to hazard a guess as to where the candy laid (or is it lied?) at the very end. (Although I think Bill got it right)

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

ACTV is like the Island of Misfit Toys. If you haven't bathed recently, please come in for an interview.

Anonymous said...

TV produced unwatchably for no one watching.

Ed said...

The town has an IT department. The town is under legal obligations to have minutes of many public meetings, but I don't know of any requirement that they be on paper.

How difficult would it be to instead produce a webfile of all major meetings and simply post them on the website? Cost of doing this versus having someone type and then photocopy and distribute the minutes?

I can't be the only person who would like to see some of the meetings but don't have time to go to them. And in some cases, there are only some parts I want to see.

LarryK4 said...

from pages 14-15 of Open Meeting Law Guidelines, updated April 2008:

-14-
Form: The Open Meeting Law contains no provisions regarding the form in which minutes
of meetings must be maintained. However, the longevity requirements for record preservation
under the Public Records Law, G.L. c. 66, §§ 3-9 require that a governmental body eventually put its minutes into a written form.13 Such a requirement is also consistent with the Open Meeting Law's
policy of providing ready access to legible minutes. For the same reason, typed minutes -- though
not required -- are preferable.
13See Supervisor of Public Records Bulletin No. 2-92, January 21, 1992.

Max Hartshorne said...

Hey Larry now this is a topic worth investing your time energy and blog power. Fight crackpipe sellers, I bet they're in Amherst's convenience stores too!

http://www.gonomad.com/readuponit/2009/02/wild-rose-small-means-crackpipe-in.html

LarryK4 said...

Damn, take away my crack pipe and then what the Hell am I going to do to keep up?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kelley is right: we are entitled to a watchable presentation of Select Board meetings on ACTV, given the reliable revenue stream going to that agency from various sources.

Everyone's entitled to "technical difficulties" but two meetings in a row indicates a problem.

And, believe it or not, some folks are trying to watch and follow the meetings at home. Whenever I call ACTV about a problem, they seem to be amazed by that.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

“Reliable revenue stream”—damn I like that! (Something the private sector cannot ever rely upon) And from Stan Gawle we have the equally perfect concept “municipal revenues” rather than “Sewer fund” or “General fund” or “Free Cash” or “Stabilization Fund”.

Something we private sector Nitwits learned on the first day of business: A dollar is a freaking dollar.

Money in vs. money out-- that freaking simple!

Anonymous said...

So, like, why exactly was he playing with the cups?

LarryK4 said...

Shell game. A metaphor for town government.

Dave once came to a Select Board meeting dressed in a Space Suit and called himself a Pigeon Buster.

It was around the time Ghostbuster was a top movie and Dave wanted to clean up the Town Hall attic with volunteer labor rather than spend $50-K.

Since Pigeon poop was considered hazardous the town called in the pros and spent the big bucks.

Ed said...

Rumor has it that listed on the town vehicle inventory is an armored assault vehicle of some sort -- why exactly does the APD have something like this?

If you only have 4-5 officers on duty at a time, you are going to have to be bringing in help for anything serious enough to need a toy like this. And the Staties would bring their own and insist on using their own.

So, like, why does Amherst need this (or need to pay the price of maintaining it -- gas, oil & tires alone is no small expense....).

Anonymous said...

Is Keenan still an Amherst resident?

LarryK4 said...

I saw smoke coming out of the chimney at his Chalet on Shays Street this morning.

Anonymous said...

Is he back to paying his taxes or will there be another decade of chasing after him. You gotta love Amherst. The town where someone who quit the Selectboard, costing the town $20 grand in special election costs, and who later becomes the town's biggest tax deadbeat, gets to lecture on the budget. Priceless.

LarryK4 said...

Now, now. Back then Special Elections only cost $8,000 to $10,000. These days around $12,000.

And he paid his back taxes (with I believe 12% interest, so the town made way more than if he had paid them on time and the town invested any surplus at the usual 3 or 4% it got over those years).

And he also paid the town's Legal fees to cover the chasing around.

Anonymous said...

Next you're going to tell me that he turned his eyesore of a home into the garden spot of Amherst. Maybe we could vote some CPA funds to preserve it in its current state. I'd hate for someone to accidentally beautify that spot.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't even own it anymore, does he?

Neil said...

And he paid his back taxes (with I believe 12% interest, so the town made way more than if he had paid them on time and the town invested any surplus at the usual 3 or 4% it got over those years).

It almost sounds like you're arguing that we would be better off with more "revenue generating" residents like Mr. Keenan but I know you're not. You're simply pointing out that his irresponsibility in meeting his civic obligations did not cost Amherst taxpayers extra money, just time and work.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah hilariously enough Dave (the PT Barnum of Amherst) actually tried to get the CPA folks interested in "preserving" his Chalet as "historic" because it was an original "Kit House" (meaning a lot of assembly required) from the Sears Corporation W-A-Y back when they ruled supreme.

I don't know if he owns it, or if he set up a trust, or the guy who loaned him the cash to pay the town mega-bucks owns it.

He's (sort of) a private person so I try to stay out of his private affairs.

LarryK4 said...

Yes, Neil that was my point.

Dave stood up for the flag on 9/10/01 (the 'Eve of Destruction') as did--dare I mention him--Ed from Umass.

As did Kevin Joy (and other members of the current PRIVATE July 4'th Parade Committee).

So they all hold a special place in my heart (and No, I"m not gay--and of course as Seinfeld would say: "not that there's anything wrong with that")

Anonymous said...

Dave "Clown Prince of Amherst" Keenan is just one of those colorful people that keeps us all from taking this place to seriously. I love how he uses the same worn-out signs to campaign each election and then shows up at the winner's victory party to have a good-hearted laugh. Gotta love him.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, in a weird sort of way, I do.
(as apparently do you)

Ed said...

For what it is worth, I lost a public sector job for my support of the US Flags on 9-10-01 -- it would have been quicker without the terrorism, but facts matter and facts tend to explain where I come from....

Anonymous said...

Whre's Ed's Brain when we need him?

Anonymous said...

Dave Keenan's the type of idiot blowhard that every small town has. They always start every kind of town board meeting with "You all know me" and at that point everyone starts looking at their Blackberry's to text the babysitter because what follows is the typical blowhard b.s. of a town know-it-all that is just pain in the neck.

Anonymous said...

Whatever -- he did find the tank...

Anonymous said...

Tank? Facts please...