Monday, May 11, 2009

A captain without a ship


So the July 4'th Parade Committee was put on notice last year that no town vehicles would be allowed in the procession unless the private committee acquiesced and allowed war protesters in the line of march.

Of course almost simultaneously the Town Manager announced town government would run (take over) the July 4'th Parade in 2009 and the private committee would just have to pick another day. Then that pesky ACLU changed his mind about shutting down the private committee's July 4'th Parade (always held--you know--on JULY 4'th)

AND--that was well before both the long-time Police and Fire Chief's announced their retirements from the Public Safety organizations they helped build, and are proud to serve.

The July 4'th Parade Committee (tried to) bestow the honor of Parade Co-Grand Marshal's on AFD Chief Keith Hoyle and APD Chief Charles Scherpa. When Chief Hoyle asked the Town Manager if he could have a fire vehicle for escort he was told "No!"

As a result, he will not march.

Sooooo...we can use the Ladder Truck--the biggest most expensive piece of equipment in the AFD arsenal to escort Santa Claus to the Merry Maple (not to be confused with a Christmas Tree) festivities in December, but will not allow any vehicle to escort the outgoing Fire Chief in a Parade celebrating the birth of our great nation?

Only in Amherst!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Crafty little village this...

LarryK4 said...

As that classic song goes:

"Well, this is just a little Peyton Place and you're all Harper Valley hypocrites"

Anonymous said...

Larry, every time I read your blog I get depressed. My liver can't take much more. But keep plugging.

Anonymous said...

There's one thing you can say about Larry Schaffer, long after anyone else would relent due to the shear weight of facts and common sense, he continues to stick to his untenable, absurd, unjustifiable, autocratic, purposeless position. To recap, he is more than twice as stubborn as stupid.

Rather than give these two long time public servants the honor of Grand Marshal as thank you for their long term public service to Amherst (they actually protect and serve us) Shaffer stubbornly and purposelessly tells them they can't use town fire equipment in the parade. What a moron. What is his purpose and does it have anything to do with managing the town of Amherst's resources in a responsible way or is it simply stubborn, self-righteous and spiteful? Well, you know what I think.

This reminds me of the time he exacted a sales tax from the Boy Scout Christmas Tree Fundraiser. It actually cost the Boy Scouts money directly out of profits from their annual fundraiser but at least Schaffer did not completely lose face on his extremely unpopular effort to deny them the use of Kendrick park for no apparent or imminent reason.

Anonymous said...

Larry ShaftAss must go. He is a worthless piece of Shit.


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

Anonymous said...

"worthless piece of Shit."

I don't agree but on the balance of merit and demerit, he fails to understand his job.

Almost every misstep is related to two factors, insisting the policy is his to make and making the wrong choice - a choice completely out of step with the majority... such as boy scout tree sales, parade, economic development, managing town personnel, assuming he has a wide degree of discretion in how to spend appropriated funds in ways in which are counter to the reason they were appropriated, building public bathrooms at bus stops. On the other hand the SB appreciates the job he has done with the budget, although even that was not without disagreement regarding his prerogative. They asked him to produce a budget with a specific net increase and he played with the numbers in a way that funded government in excess of their clear direction and unambiguous assignment.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit. Let him go out in a respectful and proud moment.
Unless you are a firefighter you will never truly know what something as simple as an escort on fire apparatus means in a situation and honor like what the two Chief's were going to get.
I for one would proudly donate money towards the gas it would cost for the 1/2 usage of the fire truck unbrelievable

Ed said...

Why don't people force Schafer's hand and request an AFD paid detail on the parade.

If you are doing something hazardous you can literally hire a fire truck to stand by (and often are required to do so). If you have a roofing tar kettle going, you have to hire a firefighter to watch it.

So you just hire a fire truck for the purposes of - I don't know - being a big object at the head of the parade clearing the route. And then you put the two chiefs on it to wave.

All these road jobs that Howie Carr makes such a fuss about -- the cop car comes with the detail officer. And if you can hire the cop car to sit by the side of the road, you can hire it to drive down the road...

Anonymous said...

Like Ed says, why ask for permission when you can hire the equipment and driver?

If Amherst won't do it, then hire Hadley's or Belchertown's or Sunderland's or...

I bet you they would even give The Parade Committee a discount if they knew it was to honor the retiring chief of firemen and chief of police. Count me in for $50.

Anonymous said...

"There's one thing you can say about Larry Schaffer, long after anyone else would relent due to the shear weight of facts and common sense, he continues to stick to his untenable, absurd, unjustifiable, autocratic, purposeless position. To recap, he is more than twice as stubborn as stupid."

This sounds like a perfect description of the other Larry (Kelley) to me!

LarryK4 said...

Anonymous nitwit:

Thanks for stopping by

Anonymous said...

What makes this even more embarrassing is that there WILL be fire trucks from all the other towns. He should be escorted by his own force. If I recall, one of the reasons this parade was started up again was to thank and honor our public servants.
Larry S. is showing them no thanks in this situation.

Anonymous said...

This brings a tear to my eye, but it's nice to have someone to blame.

What would Larry do if he couldn;t blame anyone?

Do check out North Korea when you go. Maybe you'll get losts there, with any luck.

Anonymous said...

This story makes me sick, and twice as happy I don't live in Amherst.

Larry, I must say I used to think some of the things you wrote about were a little ridiculous but as time has gone on I can say that you are really on the ball, so nice job.

Let the UMass kids drive the chief down the road. It'd give them another chance to drive a fire truck.

Bikeracer said...

I had written to Mr Schaffer concerning a problem I had with someone operating a competing bussiness out of subsidized housing at Chestnut Ct. I ending the note by saying I was looking forward to his response. He wrote back saying he had no intentions of responding. I have also contacted the town hall with complaints of known drug dealing in town, and transporters without livery license and hair salons without consmetic license and advertising billboards without permits. I get NO response. Who is minding the store here in Amherst? Does one need to pay for legal counsel to get things accomplised or looked into to?

LarryK4 said...

Well, you could always bitch on a blog--especially one read by Public Officials, and what is left of the Bricks-and-Mortar Media.