Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Other People's $ (Taxpayers)

Mill River pavilion: estimated revenues $21,900. Actual revenues $5,735

Groff Park pavilion: estimated revenues $14,160. Actual revenues $3,462

So if Socialized Amherst Recreation Empire Director Linda Chalfant was sooooo “confident the town will be able to rent the Mill River pavilion for 88 weekend and holiday days at a rate of $150 and for 116 weekdays for $75” for a grand total of $21,900 then why didn’t she guarantee it with her taxpayer funded $100-K annual salary, like any private sector entrepreneur?

Lucky thing for her she didn't, because this past year the formerly free pavilion only generated $5,735 in total revenue; Chalfant also predicted annual revenues of $14,160 for the Groff Park Pavilion and actual revenues were a paltry $3,462.50 Her total projected revenues (with “add ons”) for both pavilions came to $44,880 and the actual intake this past year was under $10,000…a tad off the mark.

She also s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d things when she told the illustrious Amherst Select Board that one of her $39,000 salaried employees is offset by $44,800 in new pavilion revenues when that $39,000 employee also has an additional $12,000 to $13,000 in health care and other associated employee benefit costs thus bringing the total revenue required to over $50,000 per year.

Either way $9,197 is not even close--unless you subscribe to the adage "close enough for government work."


Groff Park's $140,000 "comfort station" with an expensive "concession" component that has never been used.

The Bully reported (but never followed up)

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nowwww you're talking tough guy, nowww you're talking...


Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Linda Chalfant is making $100K/year? Does that include the health benefits or not?

Ouch.

Where are these salaries listed?

Anonymous said...

She is making a salary in the 70s before benefits.

Gavin Andresen said...

Is it bad management or the bad economy?

Anybody know how Look Park's revenue has been doing in the past year?

(... and is it just a coincidence that the best park in our area is privately owned and operated?)

Anonymous said...

could have paid sendelbach and had some to spare with the 9167

70k+!!! no wonder amherst is going broke.

fck lsse

Anonymous said...

We use the pavilions for free all the time for birthday parties and such. There is hardly ever a conflicting reservation, so why would we pay?

Anonymous said...

The pavilion at Mill has had bees living in the roof for years. I don't allow my kids anywhere near it.

Anonymous said...

We rented the Mill river pavillion. When we arrived the place was a mess.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Larry. This goes into the anti-override basket. It's unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

Dear Junior Cub Reporter,

Didn't the class you are taking teach you the difference between "did'nt" and the actual word "didn't?"

Apostrophes still hanging you up I guess.

LarryK4 said...

Actually I do that on purpose just to see if some Nitwit will actually cite it...thus showing they could not find anything else wrong with the post.

Back when I was writing a professional column for the Bulletin, I would usually put something in it that was totally over-the-top knowing my editor would nix it but then leave alone some of the more borderline, pushing-the-envelope digs.

Anonymous said...

The formerly free Groff Park pavilion generated $3,462.50. What's wrong with that? It's not like they built that pavilion this year, or the one at Mill River either. You should be happy they are generating revenue when they used to not generate a penny. You just like to complain.

The comfort station at Groff Park replaces the prior one which had to be torn down. The park needed restrooms. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:30am is right on the fact that the park used to generate no revenue, but now it generates 3k. After that their argument runs fallow. The town spent a lot of money to renovate the park and the director of the agency that oversees the parks justified the cost of the renovation, her salary, and staff wages could be offset by the revenues the park would generate. The question now is; was she totally uninformned when making this argument or did she purposely mislead the taxpayers of Amherst?

LarryK4 said...

A little of both.

But someone who runs a million dollar + recreation empire should be a tad better informed.

Anonymous said...

"...mislead the taxpayers of Amherst?"



Nah, that wouldn't happen would it?

I mean, based on everything I've read, Amherst is the promised land.

And BTW the schools are great!!!



Thieves. Liars.


Fck off...

Anonymous said...

"...the director of the agency that oversees the parks justified the cost of the renovation, her salary, and staff wages could be offset by the revenues the park would generate."


In the same way raises for school administrators were going to be paid for by the money teachers, school (non admin) and town employees were to "give" back (with a ~little~ bit of pressure) in wage (contract) concessions...


Whose idea was that? Straight from the ice cold mind of Kathy Mazur I wonder?

Nahhh, couldn't be...

Anonymous said...

I was in Groff park recently and the pavilion and every picnic table were occupied. There was football practice on the playing fields and the playground was full. The park gets heavy usage and needs and deserves maintenance to serve the needs of our residents.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and lucky for us taxpayers that maintenance in not nearly as expensive as a Golf Course.

Anonymous said...

They should have put a concession stand at Mill. They could make a mint off of us baseball families!

Anonymous said...

It may not be as expensive, but the park doesn't have an admission fee, the golf course does. So which has the lower net cost?

LarryK4 said...

The Golf Course.

Try to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

So, the net cost of Groff Park when you include trash removal, lawn mowing, wading pool maintenance, etc. is lower than the net cost of Cherry Hill? What are the net numbers for both?

LarryK4 said...

Ah, now we're throwing in the wading pool.

All I can tell you is the Golf Course lost $1 million in operations (not counting interest of course) before the town gave up and bankrupted the Enterprise Fund 3 or 4 years ago thus hiding a lot of the current overhead costs (employee benefits, insurance, borrowing DPW help, etc.)

And let's not forget we paid $2.2 million for it in 1982 dollars.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, now we're throwing in the wading pool."

I'm not throwing in anything. I'm just including all the expenses the park incurs. If I excluded the watering of the 9th hole at Cherry Hill you wouldn’t think that was legitimate, so we should count everything the park has to maintain. As for benefits, etc. the people who maintain the park all have salaries and benefits a portion of which should be included in the expenses in you want to include those costs for Cherry Hill.

The $2.2 million is irrelevant as it is the cost of the acquisition of Cherry Hill not an operating expense. It was the cost of acquiring another town recreational facility, in essence additional park land.

The question was about this year's operating expenses for the two facilities, not what happened in the past. You are not giving me the cost of constructing Groff Park’s football fields, baseball diamonds, or buying picnic tables and grills, etc. so the discussion should not be slanted by your bias against the acquisition of a facility that is now in the past. It’s over. The only thing that should be compared is what does it cost the town to maintain these two recreational facilities and what if any revenue offsets it.

You are ducking that question.

LarryK4 said...

Well, again it's hard to answer your question since town officials routinely lie, cheat and steal for the Golf Course.

As I said, Public Documents demonstrate the Golf Course lost $1 million in OPERATION COSTS over the past ten years.

If I had to guess, Groff Park over the past ten years cost less than half that.

And yeah I'm guessing--but I do have a degree from venerable Umass Amherst in Exercise Science/Sport Management (with a minor in Journalism).

What's your background?

Anonymous said...

Rosenberg, Story tell of doom and gloom at Amherst Chamber breakfast


AMHERST - Two state lawmakers painted a gloomy picture of budget cuts and the H1N1 virus at an Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday.

State revenues are running $243 million behind projections so far this fiscal year, and the annual shortfall could be as high as $1 billion, said state Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst.


Stephanie O'Keeffe, chairwoman of the Select Board, said Amherst has identified its core programs and services, but a tax override next spring will be necessary to protect them.

"This is a terrible time to ask people to raise their taxes," she said. "But if people want to maintain that core, we need more money. This is the reality."


How about fck off to the core? Hmm?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah...and it was kinda nice W-A-Y back in the day, when Princess Stephanie was just a lowly blogger and she wore her "core" on her sleeve.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's always easier to make the cuts when you are a blogger rather than an actual elected official that has the responsibility to protect the schools, police, fire, public works, etc. that all need a sufficent level of funding to do function.

Anonymous said...

"What's your background?"

Citizen blogger accountability inspector.

LarryK4 said...

Actually I am an elected public official. Amherst Town Meeting since 1991 and Amherst Redevelopment Authority since 1996.

What's your elected position?

Anonymous said...

I am confused as to what the point of this blog post is?

It's titled "Other People's $ (Taxpayers)" but it has nothing to do with taxes, as the pavilion rentals are fees not taxes.

The comfort station did cost $140,000 but that sound pretty reasonable for a nice restroom facility that will probaby be around for $50+ years.

LSSE does manage the pavilion rental and their revenue projections don't seem all that accurate but that doesn't have anything to do with the cost of the comfort station. It's not like they rent the comfort station.

So what is your point?

LarryK4 said...

Well the comfort station would have been a lot less if they did not add the kitchen/concession component that LSSE said would generate lots of money.

LSSE is heavily tax subsidized. And they told the Select Board in order to avoid an employee layoff that they could generate over $40,000 on the pavilion rentals.

They generated $10,000.

So are you going to believe ANY of their projections in the near future—especially with a tax Override a forgone conclusion?

Anonymous said...

"since town officials routinely lie, cheat and steal for the Golf Course."


Only?

Anonymous said...

The kitchen/concession component was not used this year but it is available for the future. It's not exactly worn out from over use.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and "the sun will come out tomorrow...tomorrow."

Anonymous said...

Larry, why do you say that the tax override is a foregone conclusion?

LarryK4 said...

Sorry, I should have said the "attempt" to Override.

Anonymous said...

"Well the comfort station would have been a lot less if they did not add the kitchen/concession component that LSSE said would generate lots of money"

Larry, if they had left that ut it would have been only marginally cheaper. They still would have need 4 walls. The difference is you would have been complaining that if they only had added a concession stand they could have generated revenue that they wouldn't have froma restroom only building.

You're a town official, why don't you generate ideas on how to get the concession stand rented for next summer. Let's put it out to bid.

LarryK4 said...

Guess that depends on how you define "only marginally cheaper".

Sure they should put it out to bid if they are not going to use it. Probably should have at least tried to do that with the War Memorial Pool last summer.

Could probably get somebody to rent it a few weekends here and there for a percentage of their take when there's a big game happening.

And non-profit civic groups could also use it for fundraisers.