Monday, July 27, 2009
Who's bluffing whom?
So tonight in two hours Amherst Town Meeting disposed of seven articles,raising taxes on local restaurants and hotel/motels, while giving Atkins Farm Stand (a thriving business) a tax break to expand, purchased two solar panels that are advertised to generate $2 of electricity for every dollar of investment; but denied by a vote of 96 to 78 the Jones Library an additional $34,704 to bring their budget up to minimum state standards--and risking the $70,000 to $80,000 of funding that comes with it.
Apparently less than 10% of Massachusetts' cities and towns have been granted a waiver of the state minimum threshold for funding by town tax dollars. Select Board Chair Princess Stephanie in prepared remarks (not prepared enough apparently as she went over the time limit by 22 seconds) boasted if the state rejected the certification waiver request. the Select Board would quickly call a Special Town Meeting in the fall and suggested town money would then be forthcoming.
Let's hope the state official who decides waivers doesn't read that remark and call her on it.
I voted in favor of the higher number...mainly out of pride. Amherst. where education is the number one industry, with a town seal denoting a book and plough, begging the state to drop minimum library standards.