Vince O'Connor, activist
So comrade Vince is at it again. After miserable failures on the floor of Amherst town meeting as late—the “dark sky” initiative (turn downtown Amherst into North Korea after dark) or the “abolish the Amherst Redevelopment Authority” (but then comes in second in a write-in race for the one open seat that year) you would think he’d come up with something that stood a chance of passing, especially when it only take ten signatures to get anything on the warrant for Spring Town Meeting.
Now he want s the town to take by eminent domain the downtown building recently purchased by Amherst College (thus eventually removing it from the tax rolls) and use it for “economic development” and eventfully resell it to anyone but a tax-exempt entity.
But Mr. O’Connor thinks we take it away from Amherst College (who paid $2.3 million) for only $1 million (the actual assessed value). Hmmm…I would think a court would disagree and force the town to pay fair market value, which has now been established to be $2.3 million.
Not exactly the loose change the town can find stored in a bottle somewhere.
Interesting that Mr. O’Connor spearheaded the taking of Cherry Hill Golf Course for $2.2 million twenty-two years ago by eminent domain (which may be the last time the town used that power--and did so under an "emergency" clause that made the Town Meeting vote referendum proof) in order to prevent development.
Fiber Arts Center building