Monday, May 18, 2009

The Town Mangler's final solution

Well, at least we know who wears the pants in that room
(Original post, a little after midnight)


So yeah ACTV screwed up yet again; nothing of the Select Board meeting went out live last night. I must be jinxed, because the last time I set up a strafing run and was going to have someone capture the 'Question Period' on a flash drive so I could instantly upload on the blog, ACTV sent out only audio for the entire live meeting.

Luckily I just purchased a 'Flip Camera' that does two hours of video.

I believe the Town Mangler even made an issue of ACTV's amateur-hour coverage last winter at the following Select Board meeting. Keep in mind this organization is essentially a town-owned, tax supported $250,000 per year business .


Bikeracer said...

Who is the Town Mangler and the Amherst Housing Authority accountable too? Or does one need legal counsel to deal with them?

LarryK4 said...

The town mangler is (although he seems to forget it often) ONLY accountable to a majority of the Select Board.

Notice he did say there would be no town equipment in the parade as long as he is still town manager...meaning the SB can fire him if they wish.

Although he would probably collect the balance of his $125-K five-year contract, and since he's getting up there in age...

The Amherst Housing Authority is a state agency so God only knows who they are accountable to.

Bikeracer said...

I am having a problem with someone operating a competing business to mine out of subsidized housing at Chestnut Ct. They do not pay Federal income tax, State income tax, property tax, and their subsidized rent includes heat. I have spoken to Donna Crabtree at the Housing Authority and to our Town Manager and have gotten no repsonse. They don't seen to care since it's no cost to their hide. I'm at the point of just getting the story out there. I must also point out that if someone gets hurt in this person's place of employment at Chestnut Ct is the town or state responsible? Larry,I'm sure you can feel the pain with competing with a business subsidized with your own tax dollars.

LarryK4 said...

Hell ya.

When ACTV gets around to airing the entire meeting, notice I try to jump in when LSSE is once again talking about a multi-million dollar Recreation Center (tax exempt of course) with swimming pool in town center.

And I did point out that UMass will be opening the Death Star $50 million Recreation Center (only a couple miles from Amherst Town Center) this fall.

Originally slated as a $100 million operation--but hey, with the state budget the way it is. First thing they cut was the swimming pool.

But not LSSE (they always want to close the outdoor Summer pools but have been salivating for their own indoor one for decades).

And of course if they can't run a lousy Golf Course how are they going to run a multi-million Rec Center?

Damn...don't get me started.

But the Town Mangler sucks at the public trough so he's not going to give a damn.

And none of the current SB members have any private small business experience so they are not going to give a damn.

You could try the Chamber of Commerce (they SHOULD give a damn)

Terry said...

So what your saying is that a contract was negotiated, such that if you don't like the way a guy is doing his job you can fire him, but you still got to pay him for five years?

Nobody could be idiotic enough to sign a contract like that.

Terry Franklin

LarryK4 said...

Gee, maybe they had help from the Regional School Committee; you know the folks who hired a geriatric couple for a one-year gig at full-pay of the previous Super with a two month severance guarantee.

Bikeracer said...

It's amazing to me what they have money for. I have seen tons of money wasted at the University in the name of higher education. But I need to figure out how to stop private enterprise out of subsidized housing. I need to protect my business or throw in the towel after 37 years. Too bad I can't get a state pension of 80% of my last three years hightest salary or take a sabbatical and sick days and then retire, or be totally incompetant and be removed from duties with full pay. I've seen enough in my last 37 years to make me puke.

LarryK4 said...

Private enterprise creates tax money and government enterprise consumes it.

First speech I ever gave on the floor of Amherst Town Meeting almost 30 years ago was over the unfair competition from Leisure Services to my karate school, a ballet center and gymnastic studio both owned by folks who owned homes in town and paid taxes towards their competition (at the time I was living in Riverglade Apartments).

Send a certified letter to the building inspector because it for sure is a Zoning violation; and since she's now cracking down on four unrelated housemates living in apartments...

(Hey Ed, do you have any ideas?)

Bikeracer said...

Hi again - so can anyone tell me who the Amherst Housing Authority is accountable too? There is a total lack of oversight and I believe they should be audited. Any information would be appreciated.

LarryK4 said...

Hmmm...To be perfectly honest I'm a L-O-N-G-T-I-M-E member of the Amherst Redevelopment Authority appointed by 3 different Governor's, with extensive background checks each time by Mass State Police.

We perfectly parallel the Amherst Housing Authority (including the tremendous power of eminent domain) and if you were asking me who had control over the ARA I would not be able to give you an exact answer.

But whenever I have trouble with ANYTHING to do with the state of Massachusetts my go-to guy is State Senator Stan Rosenberg.

He is pretty anal about communication, and the most responsive politician I know. Tell him I sent ya

Anonymous said...

Shaffer never explains his reason for making a condition on which the parade committee can use town fire equipment.

Shaffer simply says that is the way it is and the way it will always be as long as he is TM.

Shaffer is
1) clearly demonstrating his intransigence, which is not only unreasonable but also an intolerable trait for a TM and,
2) he doesn't realize that he must be able to articulate a compelling rationale for taking such an extreme stand or be willing to suffer a rebuke.

If the SB does not act, and if I were the Parade Committee, I would make a new rule. Town Managers who disallow the use of town fire equipment, especially when the grand marshal is the retiring Amherst Fire Chief, will not be allowed to march, with or without a protest sign.

PS the video cuts out at about 3 mins. What did I miss?

Anonymous said...

Remember the "deal" the Shaffer offered the Boy Scouts? It was no "deal" at all. It was a face-saving measure for Shaffer.

First, he kicked them out of Kendrick Park and told them they couldn't use it for their "forty year in the making" annual fund-raiser. When the whole town told Shaffer they thought he was wrong (and reminded him that we pay his salary) he relented but not without making-up a new and unjustifiable policy - a tax of $800 on the Boy Scouts' annual fundraising effort.

Seriously, when will that miscarriage of justice be rectified?

Now we sit by a second time and watch this moron of a bureaucrat stomp his feet and stand his ground on another ego-driven carrot-and-stick motivational gambit that did not work and that has past its useful life. Unless the town wants to take the issue to court, it should allow the use of the fire equipment in the parade. That, or fire the town manager.

Can we get his ego removed surgically and a brain installed while they're at it?

Anonymous said...

I KNOW you're reading this Shaffer. Give it up. Be a mensch.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, sorry about the extra minute or two of dead air. I tried to put a song behind the video using imovie and then changed my mind but must have left in the blank track.