UPDATE Wednesday April 20: The Gazette today reports a sanitized version of Mr. Shaffer's new job prospects. Interestingly enough it appears in the print edition but not online. Editors probably did not want to allow Comments that could bring up dirty laundry. UPDATE: 8:45 AM: So about an hour after I posted that first update it magically appeared online. Coincidence I guess.
ORIGINAL POST: Sunday evening (a tad ahead of the Gazette)
My two site meters act like canaries in a coal mine, early alerting me to something of note suddenly occurring. On Tuesday a tsunami of hits from Facebook landing on a "Party House of the Weekend" post from last December almost crashed my widget.
I was actually in the middle of drafting an email to APD wondering if something terrible had just happened at 23 Tracy Circle (thinking somebody blew their brains out after posting a suicide note on Facebook linking back to me) when I managed to trace it back to the juvenile "F_ck the Fines" Facebook group.
Then a couple days ago I noticed numerous hits coming from Michigan all Googling "Larry Shaffer, Amherst" with some of them adding the term "gay". Hmm...
Turns out that former Amherst Town Manager Larry Shaffer is tops on the list for city manager of Jackson, Michigan a city about the size of Amherst (which should be a city). The gay thing is probably from his public interview use of the term "partner" for his um, other woman, Jane Ashby.
The one he divorced his wife over, and then suddenly retired from bucolic Amherst (with a taxpayer funded $62-K going away present) to follow her out to her new professorship at Central Michigan University.
I asked a conservative buddy of mine who makes Michigan her home which scenario would play better in Jackson: A gay man applying for city manager or a straight one who had an affair with his secretary while still married (costing taxpayers $23,000 to hush up) then flew the coop to be with yet another woman. All hypothetical examples of course.
Considering Michigan is more conservative than Massachusetts, with a huge evangelical community in Grand Rapids and a large Muslim population outside Detroit, it sounds like neither of my hypothetical scenarios would play out well.
So forget Mr. Shaffer's folly of charging a tax on Christmas trees sold by Boy Scouts, or getting spanked by the ACLU for attempting a heavy handed takeover of the July 4th Parade to accommodate left wing zealots or even purposely fudging figures to protect a municipally owned black hole of a golf course; his final undoing is a character flaw as old as Adam and Eve--and in this cyber age, one that cannot be hidden behind a fig leaf.
My conservative Michigan buddy agrees