Monday, October 4, 2010

Just say No


So my friends over at Localocracy have an interesting discussion/poll happening now at the request of my ultra-transparent blogger cohort Catherine Sanderson asking, "Should Amherst elementary schools continue to be part of Union 26?"

A century old alliance where Amherst now provides 90% of the students and 95% of the funding, but only gets an equal vote when it comes to hiring a Superintendent. And since the Region is considering hiring one soon (or keeping the current one) it is certainly an issue worth pursuing.

The yes votes are the usual suspects who were associated with the schools back in the glory blank-check days when the schools could spend money like the rains falling from leaden skies. Perhaps the 'high water' mark represented by the $215,000 purchase of portable classrooms three years ago for Marks Meadow Elementary School that were never used as classrooms, and now sit idle as the town wisely downsized this past fall by closing the facility.

Town Meeting was warned about buying the portable classrooms

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Elaine Brighty = corrupt parasite


"The authorization for borrowing $195,000 to pay for four new classrooms within modular buildings at Mark's Meadow was approved despite an effort by Town Meeting member Nancy Gordon to not only stop the spending, but close the school.

Unsuccessful argument

While the portable classrooms were recommended by the School Committee, Select Board and Joint Capital Planning Committee to supplement $80,000 appropriated two years ago, Gordon argued unsuccessfully for taking the 180 children there and putting them into the town's other three schools.

"There's no use in buying portable classrooms for a school you're going to close," Gordon said.

She argued that closing the school could alleviate the $1.9 million deficit projected in next year's operating budget by Finance Committee Chairman Brian Morton, saving $1.62 million immediately.

School Committee Chairwoman Elaine Brighty, though, said there is no room in the three other schools to have 180 more students. The expansion, she said, would allow the smallest of Amherst's elementary schools to improve by having fewer mixed grade level classes."

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the "fun" when the ARA wheels and deals behind our backs and lets UMASS break ground (for the town's good) start building the new "dorms", probably rebuild the old frats too (if they get the zone change)All for our good, yeah right. Here we go again.
Lastly, so glad the local unions are pouring millions of dollars into trying to defeat question 3 (lowering the state sales tax) talk about nitwit spending! Way to go "brain washers"!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, the ARA just loves to wheel and deal behind the backs of Cowardly Anon Nitwits. We pulled if off so effectively with the Parking Garage after all.

The ARA has a cadre of concerned citizens who show up to every meeting (in fact, a better attendance record over the past six months than some of our elected/appointed members).

And, they leave their names.

Anonymous said...

The new UMass Dorms will be built on UMass property off Eastman Lane.

The ARA project will provide housing for these students once they finish their 1st or 2nd year.

Anonymous said...

The old Marks Meadow building will likely be renovated as classroom or office space for UMass.
There's no reason that UMass wouldn't also purchase the prortables from the Town and continue to use them as office/classroom space as
well - it would be silly to move them again, since
plumbing, wiring and "foundations" at their present site had to be installed.

The ARA holds open public meetings. And zoning changes will first be vetted in open meetings of the Zoning Subcommittee of the Planning Board, then by the full Planning Board, and then by the Select Board, before coming to Town Meeting where a 2/3 majority is required for the changes to be adopted. Whether or not one agrees with the outcome, one can expect this process to be as transparent as any public process, and lost more transparent than if this were done by UMass alone or by any private parties.

And you, dear reader, can help make it even more transparent by attending these meetings and by participating in the process yourself.

- Your Friend

Anonymous said...

The old Marks Meadow building will likely be renovated as classroom or office space for UMass.
There's no reason that UMass wouldn't also purchase the prortables from the Town and continue to use them as office/classroom space as
well - it would be silly to move them again, since
plumbing, wiring and "foundations" at their present site had to be installed.

The ARA holds open public meetings. And zoning changes will first be vetted in open meetings of the Zoning Subcommittee of the Planning Board, then by the full Planning Board, and then by the Select Board, before coming to Town Meeting where a 2/3 majority is required for the changes to be adopted. Whether or not one agrees with the outcome, one can expect this process to be as transparent as any public process, and lost more transparent than if this were done by UMass alone or by any private parties.

And you, dear reader, can help make it even more transparent by attending these meetings and by participating in the process yourself.

- Your Friend

Ed said...

There's no reason that UMass wouldn't also purchase the prortables from the Town

Yes, there is: A "no more trailers" policy that is campuswide. Notice how they are DEMOLISHING the portables elsewhere on campus, like the ones that were on North Pleasant at Eastman Lane?

Anonymous said...

Why not Town of Amherst and UMASS agree to use the modulars for low income housing or housing for the homeless shelter, just leave them where they are.