Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let the scare tactics begin


So just as he did three years ago to lay the groundwork for an ill-fated $2.5 million Proposition 2.5 Override, the Town Manager is already threatening to take a meat cleaver to public safety items. This time it's that most basic of safety measures a civilized government provides to The People: streetlights.

The Town Mangler plans to snuff out half of them to save $50,000. Of course one accident, rape or murder occurring in that new zone of darkness will result in a lawsuit costing 100 times that amount.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's complete baloney. It's just the usual scare tactic where they pick something that's a critical need and dangle it out a ten-story window until you vote for an override.

Anonymous said...

When you said "Let the scare tactics begin" I thought you meant the advocates of the override but quite clearly you meant yourself:

The Town Mangler plans to snuff out half of them to save $50,000. Of course one accident, rape or murder occurring in that new zone of darkness will result in a lawsuit costing 100 times that amount.

Half Dark = Rape.

Good one Larrey. You seem to have not one iota of self awareness.

Anonymous said...

Because its the towns fault if an accident, rape or murder occurs...

Is it the towns fault your business has been losing money for what, 5 years? NO wait, its the States fault. They built the DEATH STAR HEALTH CENTER at UMass. Because surely otherwise students at UMass would flock to a run down health club with 'vintage' equipment. The location is just top notch: above a used furniture store, a latin food mart and behind a bar...

But what we do need Larry, is some new police cruisers right? Its TRADITION to buy 3 new cruisers every X amount of years! THAT way the town wont be liable for all this crime that will be committed with the lights off!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of fcking idiots.

Ho-ly shit.


AMHERST - The police union Monday agreed to give up the 3.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment in its negotiated contract in exchange for a commitment from the town to meet pay incentives for education under the Quinn bill.

Town Manager Larry Shaffer announced at Monday's Select Board meeting that the police union ratified a proposal to forgo the wage increases, an important first step toward conversations Shaffer is having with other unions.

"We are hopeful, maybe even confident, that we'll be able to have a degree of success in that arena," Shaffer said.

Shaffer said his sense is that each subsequent agreement will be a little easier to achieve. He is having discussions with both the Service Employees International Union, which represents employees in several departments, and the union representing the Department of Public Works.

Anonymous said...

So you seriously believe that the Town Manager is engaged in selecting the cuts that will best build a case with the public for an override.

And the proof for this is what?

I don't view him, you, or anybody else in politics in town with this degree of malevolence.

Assertion is not argument. All you've done is make an assertion.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

"an important first step toward conversations Shaffer is having with other unions."


Oh when the threats, come marching innnn, oh when the threats come marching innnn...


Fuck Amherst.

Anonymous said...

If I were a member of a union and I worked for the town, and a pre-negotiated percentage raise was due at this time of financial crisis, which amounted to 3.5% or whatever, a small amount for one person but a lot in aggregate, I would support the delay or suspension of the raise in return for other benefits, such as minimizing police or fire layoffs or public school closing.

Larry doesn't have the brains to recognize that this budget problem is real apart from his annual tilt at a tax override.

That said, I oppose an override but it's incumbent on all parties to bargain away or delay raises (for the greater good) to keep our colleagues who do essential jobs on the payroll.

Anonymous said...

The gravy train is over folks. No override!

LarryK4 said...

Well Mr Morse, three years ago he threatened to cut five firefighters hired under a $500,000 Federal SAFER grant, after a few years in service.

The Federal contract clearly states:
“Grantees that do not fulfill their obligations under these grants will be considered in default and required to return the Federal funds disbursed under the grant award.”

So we would have "saved" $80,000 in matching funds that year but would have had to repay three or four times that in money already consumed.

Anonymous said...

What a fucking dump...


Dammit.

Anonymous said...

Tax dollars for terrorists?


Um, don't think so.

Max Hartshorne said...

Who needs a measley raise when the Quinn bill pours out 10 or 20K a year in salary bonuses because they took simple courses on line for their BA or MA degrees!

Anonymous said...

No kidding...

Anonymous said...

Larry,

From the Quinn Bill (otherwise known as PCIPP) web-site:

"What is the Police Career Incentive Pay Program (PCIPP)?
The purpose of the Police Career Incentive Pay Program (PCIPP), or Quinn Bill, enacted in 1970 by the Massachusetts legislature, is to encourage police officers in participating municipalities to earn degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice and to provide educational incentives through salary increases."


Is Amherst a participating municipality do you know?

LarryK4 said...

It is.

Anonymous said...

According to Kat Flanagan listed as "Associate Director" at the State's Quinn Bill web site:

http://www.osfa.mass.edu/quinnbill/default.asp

... under this program the towns are reimbursed just 50% of the of the officer's raise
(10% or 20%, depending) WHEN the state has cash.

Right now the state has only 10 million in that account for the program. So it WILL NOT be able to pay out anything near 50%, leaving the towns to pay more... MUCH more.


Can you say, lose-lose?

LarryK4 said...

Actually I believe the state is not going to fund it at all. Some cities and towns have in their labor contract with the Police that funding is tied to state reimbursement.

Amherst I believe does not have such wording. And even if they did, the Police gave up their COLA next year in order to guarantee Quinn Bill reimbursement from the town.

Anonymous said...

Right, so the town (Larry S.) is, in effect, promising raises of 10% or 20% to APD officers who take a few courses online KNOWING that the state will not be there (under the Quinn Bill) to help with the tab. Why?


Because old Larry Schaffer knows he covers these very substantial raises (with extra left over for town use)... by winning (or better yet STEALING) "give-backs" from other departments, using the SUPPOSED police give backs as "leverage" (to put it nicely)... but in the end this is just another game that'll cost the town even more and hurt both workers and tax payers.

Fcking brilliant.

LarryK4 said...

Not totally sure but I think this is in a sense "grandfathering" the CURRENT labor force.

Any newhires will not see the benefits of the Quinn Bill.

Anonymous said...

What a SICKENING place.

Anonymous said...

That's "Kate Flanagan" not "Kat" @ Dec 16 2:08...

LarryK4 said...

Journalism 101: Always spell the name correctly because maybe only THAT person will notice, but they will wonder what ELSE you screwed up.

And then they will tell 12 of their friends, who will tell 12 of their friends, who...

Anonymous said...

I agree, that's why I fixed it.

...because this is too important an issue for ANY distractions what-so-ever...

Anonymous said...

Extra extra read all about it:


http://www.bmrb.org/content/upload/SR03-3%20Quinn%20Bill%20(email).pdf

LarryK4 said...

Cops hired on to their job at whatever payscale knowing they could increase it via the Quinn Bill.

Maybe they would never have become cops if the Quinn Bill did not exist.

Maybe cities and towns should ALWAYS have paid 20% more than they once did with state help funding the Quinn Bill.

Anonymous said...

The stench of the rot of this reaches right up into the nasals.


Oh yes, it really does...

Anonymous said...

If Schaffer fails to win concessions from other departments (raising $$$), then YOU the tax-payers will foot the bill for these guaranteed raises of 10-25%!

Why? Because the state account for this program, which is supposed to provide towns matching funds, is broke.

Yup, broke.

(And the money has got to come from some-where!)


No to dishonest schemes and risky tactics at tax-payers expense.

No to twisted arm concessions and pitting the lowest paid town employees against one another for the benefit of the highest paid employees... and a narrow political agenda.

And no, NO NO NO to an over-ride!

Enough

is enough

is enough!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed said...

If they turn off the streetlights, they won't be able to identify the UMass students whom they want to ticket for various $100 town ordinance violations.

We won't see the streetlights turned off....

(Now as to voting against an override to get the streetlights turned off -- you could well see a few thousand UM students registering to vote if that were a possiblity. And the Town Mangler is not stupid....)