Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(Over) Riders on the Storm

Hold on to your golf clubs; as President Reagan would say, There they go again!.

Now they want budget builders (Schools, Town, Library) to "coordinate and accelerate their individual budget calenders in preparation for an Override Question on the March 23rd Annual Town Elect Ballot" so as to push/promote hard pressed taxpayers for a Proposition 2.5 Override in the middle of the worst depression since the Great Depression.

Yeah, like we should trust the Budget Coordinating Group!

First shots fired

video

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not one thin dime.

LarryK4 said...

Or as Nancy Reagan would say, "Just say NO!"

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could "just say no" to continuing to complain about our underfunded fire department and unfilled pot holes as well then...all while sending your kid to a charter school that takes money from town taxpayers without having to meet any of the mandated responsibilities of public school.

ChipSeal said...

All you citizens who think you are under-taxed are welcome to pay more into the city coffers.

Anonymous said...

As a citizen landowner, you have no choice but to be part of a group decision about an override or not. There's no such thing as "you want it, you pay."

If it passes, real estate tax payers will pay more.

If you're plan to fight for no increase, I would also press for a limit on the increase such as, a real estate tax increase not greater than 25% of the increase in average real income. Right now, any increase in real income is being spent on the increased cost of health care (that's before the reform.)

I would also ask for the current year budget and next years budget to be posted on-line and for the budget override language to be ready by January to give two months of evaluation time.

Anonymous said...

The last two years of budget are posted on the Town Web page.

Anonymous said...

Let's All Remember ---

"Rob Detweiler presented the final 2009 budget results, which revealed that the Amherst schools returned $220,379 to the town in unspent funds at the end of the year."

LarryK4 said...

Anon 11:29 PM
Not just sending Kira to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, but was also an original 'Founder' and somewhat in charge of advertising/PR during the start up phase.

The only "mandated responsibility" they don't have to meet is oversight by a local School Committee (made up of part-time amateurs with kids in the system.) And that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

If they gave us a pick list of what we wanted the money to go towards, I would vote for an override to support police and fire. But that would be too easy and not fund the things that the powers-that-be want to fund. There is too much waste in town government!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and Princess Stephanie did invoke the study by the 'Facilitation of Community Choices Committee' that did indeed state "an override will probably be necessary at some point in the next 5 years to sustain even the most essential school and municipal services."

But she neglected to quote their final sentence:"We recommend that if an override is put forward, a menu override approach be used to allow voters a choice of where to direct the revenues."

Anonymous said...

Yes, a public safety line item overide that clealy spelled out: $500,000 for public safety and then detail what the $500,000 was going to be spent on A)$120,000 for Firefigher Overtime B)$180,000 for 3 police officers, C)$200,000 for 4 firefighters. I am not saying it would pass, but at least people would know exactly what they are being asked to pay for.

Anonymous said...

"Larry",
Why do you get so much enjoyment out of calling the Chair of the Selectboard "Princess" , the town manager, the town mangler etc.?
"Dave"

Anonymous said...

Dave-
Why do ask stupid questions? If you don't like how the names Larry uses for people on Larry's blog, do read it.
John

LarryK4 said...

Come on Dave, think about it: Princess is a (actually positive) reference to "Cinderella".

And her story, the rise from complete obscurity to Chair of the illustrious Amherst Select Board, mainly--if not entirely because of the blogosphere--IS a "Cinderella Story".

Town Mangler? Hmmm...Taxing Boy Scout Christmas tree sales, "taking over" a July 4'th Parade (in violation of the First Amendment), lying about a municipal Golf Course balance sheet.

I think the name fits.

Anonymous said...

BELOW is a a reader reply to the Gazette article yesterday announcing Shaffer's contract extension. I think it does a good job of summarizing why he is the TOWN MANGLER.

Too bad the elected Select Board of Amherst does not speak for the majority of Amherst residents when it comes to Larry Shaffer. If you polled the majority of Amherst residents it would show their high disapporval of the job Shaffer has done. Alienating neighboring towns, creating an adversarial relationship with the university, a protracted unsuccessful labor strife with the firefighters, the loss of many business in town, including the Lord Jeffrey Inn, no significant success in attracting new businesses to Amherst, the Boy Scouts fiasco, the July 4th parade debacle, the continued promise of state and federal grant funding, which does not come, due to his inept ability when it comes to writing grant funding requests, and the lack of respect he gives town employees, who overwhelming disapprove of his management style and of his job performance. I applaud Ms. O'Keefe for at least hinting at her disapproval for his job performance, compared to the others who seem to be nothing more than robot clones following the failed leadership path of Awad and Weiss. Remember those were the people who hired Shaffer, who has proven to be the most derisive figure in Amherst Govenment history and many could argue the least effective

LarryK4 said...

Thanks for reminding me: I actually forgot to mention the Lincoln Ave debacle "experiment" (mercifully ending tomorrow.)

Anonymous said...

If they need more money, I want these scumbags on their knees begging forgiveness before town employees and teachers etc etc for trying to steal the food spoons right out of their mouths (i.e. the contract "give-backs"). What a bunch of assholes.

F*ck Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Larry, Just let me know how I can support any effort to defeat the override. The waste in this town is too much to bear as it is, let alone paying more for it.

Anonymous said...

Does Amherst "need" 3 libraries? I know Larry likes the libraries, but we no longer have horse and buggies, we can easily get to the Jones. No matter how well they are run and how frugal they are, even if they cost the taxpayer $1.00, they really are a luxury.

Anonymous said...

Don't leave out the golf course. Speaking of luxuries. Amherst with a municipal golf course! A joke, but not funny.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully we are holding the line on contracts. The current manager has a back bone and says no to rich contracts for firefighters.

Anonymous said...

Rich contracts for firefighters? Boy are you out of touch! Exactly how much do you think it is worth to risk your life and wreck your body on a daily basis?

Anonymous said...

What a disgusting, cowardly comment from the 2:34 Anon. Probably Larry Shaffer himself. Did you see last weekend? 48 calls for emergency service in 38 hours. 14 in a 3 hour period. Everyone of them had a risk associated with it. Amherst Fire has the most calls per firefighter in the state. They are going into their 3rd year with no raise. Next time you write something so ignorant why don't you think about who will be there to answer your 911 call when you need an ambulance for yourself or a loved one. Are you going to answer the call? I doubt it, since you live in your mother's basement and she still cooks your supper and does your laundry. Let me know the next time you do something brave in your life. Getting off your butt, to walk to the bathroom does not count. You are a worthless blight on the human landscape.

Anonymous said...

Can we agree to exclude fire and police from our criticism of Amherst government/schools? I for one, would much rather see some form of fire protection in South Amherst rather than a library. That's just for starters.

Anonymous said...

"Not just sending Kira to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, but was also an original 'Founder' and somewhat in charge of advertising/PR during the start up phase.

The only "mandated responsibility" they don't have to meet is oversight by a local School Committee (made up of part-time amateurs with kids in the system.) And that's a good thing."



I'm curious: you tout being a founder of the school, your daughter goes to the school, your school is free of oversight by an elected-by-the taxpayer committee and you see this as being a BETTER system than the public schools? Better for whom?


thanks
Elaine

LarryK4 said...

Oh come on Elaine (spoken like a former School Committee Chair), you know full well the studies show Charter School kids outperform public school kids, and if you compare the average cost per child to educate statewide last year in Charters vs. the cost of Amherst Public Schools the town could save millions by simply simply closing up shop and sending all of them to Charters.

Anonymous said...

Well studies show what studies show..however comparing an apple to an orange is never going to work.

Charter schools are by essence private schools and the students are atypical compared to public schools and the founders' children and friends are all guaranteed a place.

parents must be involved in order to know about, apply for and get children placed in charter schools--thus demonstrating significant parent involvement.

There are limited amounts, if any, of special needs children and here in the Happy Valley our charter schools don't have much income variety as well.

So, you can say that charter schools outperform public schools but the comparison is not equal playing fields. Charter schools should compare themselves to other private schools. Which is why parents like charter schools....private education without all the problems of HAVING to include any child that lives in the district.

LarryK4 said...

"founders' children and friends are all guaranteed a place."

No, they are not. Do your freaken homework.

Anonymous said...

yes, so you are a founder and your children only go through lottery?

I don't think so.

LarryK4 said...

Kira got in by lottery. Jada is only two. As I said: "do you freaken homework" (like I make Kira do)