Saturday, May 23, 2009

And a very sad response

You know the drill: Click the photo to ENLARGE/read

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a joke Amherst is. They let an asshole like Shaftass come in here and totally turn the town up-side down, just for a few idiots who did not wish to abide by the Parade Committes rules. I do support Cheif Hoyle and I am dying to see the headlines in the news, when it is mentioned the lack of Amhersst equipment. lol Laughing stock of the Country.
First the Flags, now this!!!!!

Nice letter, Keith.

Until later.....................

LarryK4 said...

Indeed. Now you know (for the 99'th time) why I call this little diary of mine: "Only in Amherst!"

Anonymous said...

I agree that this would not be happening in 99 out of 100 communities in America.

But, once we're done bemoaning that, we need to move on to the next question: how badly do we want to work something out that would bring the equipment back?

We have a window of opportunity right now that may close shortly, especially given the lack of reasonable people who want to run for Select Board. We have three reasonable sane people on there right now, Brewer, O'Keeffe, and Hayden. We have two additional people less sympathetic to the Parade Committee, but who can be brought along to a negotiated settlement. Things are not going to get better than they are now. After next year's Select Board election, we may be looking at something far less attractive. We all have a fairly recent memory of Select Boards past. In this town with this system of government, there's no guarantee that such nonsense is not coming back.

I agree that this is essentially the Town attempting to pressure the Parade Committee into altering its original vision of what the parade should be. And I get whey this would piss off members of the Committee. But this is the conundrum that the private Parade Committee set for itself: it wants to honor people who are PUBLIC employees! So the public sector, the Town, is exploiting the Parade Committee's weakness: its desire for the full participation of the public employees it seeks to honor.

But I still think that something can be worked out. As soon as it is, a lot of the appeal for the folks who have told their elected officials that they absolutely, positively must march in THIS parade will begin to drain out of the entire exercise. And I believe that they will slowly drift away.

For them, it's all about the battle. Is it also that way for the Parade Committee? I hope not.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

After next election Gerry Weiss is gone--and his successor couldn’t possibly by any worse (well...unless Anne Awad moves back to Amherst from South Hadley.)

Alisa is safe, but of course she should not get cocky.

I'm no longer on the Parade Committee so I do not want to speak for them, but my read is that they have ALREADY compromised with the town (by allowing groups to carry a sign designating their name even if they are an anti-war group) and will go no further.

If the town does stick to the draconian measure of banning public vehicles in a July 4'th Parade celebration where TWO retiring Public Safety Chief's were to be honored as co-Marshals to thank them for their many years of service, I think you're right (for a change): 99 out of 100 communities would see it as another "Only in Amherst" incident.

And as the town's unpaid PR flak, I would advise against that.

Anonymous said...

God damn amhesrt...

LarryK4 said...

Yeah back in 2004 Bill O'Reilly called us (in front of 3 million viewers) "The Village of the Damned!"

Anonymous said...

Yep. Crafty little village this...

Anonymous said...

even the boy scouts were offered a extortion deal, pay taxes on tree sales or be gone from amherst public space.

the chiefs have been offered no such extortion deal but the parade committee has been.

do what Shaffer wants with parade rules or no use of amherst public vehicles.

shaffer treats everyone with whom he disagrees like an eight year old.

Anonymous said...

Things can't get worse on Select Board than Gerry Weiss? Wow, now there's a short memory for you.

And who says Alisa Brewer is running again? These SB jobs are becoming more labor intensive every year (at least one current SB member is getting grief for not putting in enough time) and very thankless. Whatever ego gratification there is lasts for Election Night and wears off fast after that. Very few people outside of the Aristocracy of Time are available to serve. Most people don't have the stomach for it.

I repeat: the window of opportunity for a reasonable compromise with a reasonable SB exists now, and could very well be gone next year. The old time expression goes: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

The Select Board has reached the conclusion that the parade is not inclusive enough. I offer no opinion on that. I accept Ms. Brewer's judgment that this is no longer about big bad Amherst beating up on the Parade Committee, and I take that to mean that the Committee no longer occupies the clear high ground. But Brewer and O'Keeffe in a room with the two most mellow members of the Parade Committee (i.e. no Larrys on either side) resolves the problem, and begins to put this behind us.

The Parade Committee is inches away from this scenario:
1) A compromise with the Select Board
2) The return of the Town's equipment, and we honor our retiring chiefs in proper fashion
3) The dissenting marchers march for 3-5 years
4) They are met with polite but stone-cold indifference from the celebrants on the side of the road
5) The thrill is gone and they find something else to rally around
6) The center of controversy in town moves on to some other topic, and issues about the parade are forgotten

Anybody other than LarryK remember much about the process that got us the Parking Garage? These controversies are like childbirth; the pain and anguish passes quickly. Yes, we CAN get this behind us.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, if you review the uploaded clip of my visit last week to our illustrious SB--and again not speaking for the Parade committee--I offered them (the three normal ones) the perfect compromise:

Overrule Shaffer because of the "extraordinary circumstances this year --two Chief's retiring,” and you can go back to your PC, nitwit ‘NO-town-equipment -unless –aging- hippies –can-protest ‘edict next year.

Remember the Kendrick Park Committee's first meeting? First thing the did was to overrule the Town Mangler by voting unanimously to allow the Boy Scouts use of the park this past year for free to sell their Christmas Trees. But then they were not politicians.

I can virtually assure you the Parade Committee is NOT GOING TO ALLOW PROTESTORS IN THE PARADE. And as a humble student of PR/Communication over the past 30 years, I can also assure you their ground has NEVER been higher.

Anonymous said...

How about an extortion deal for Chief Sherpa? If 50% of parade goers pay $1 each to the senior activities group then Sherpa can ride in an Amherst Ladder truck?

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight...

Schaffer does not approve of the 4th of July Parade, so he forbids the firetrucks???

What was HIS reason for doing so?

Amherst is a joke, sorry...