File this one under "Hell hath no fury..."
Town Meeting's voice ignored
Town Meeting voted decisively to appropriate funds to open War Memorial Pool this summer. This of course surprised the Town Manager and 4/5 of the Select Board, who hadn't realized what a priority this community resource is for our town. Selectwoman O'Keefe promised that she "heard" us and Mr. Musante agreed. But alas, no can do. The paint hasn't been ordered. The bathhouse can't be fixed until July. They're sure they can't find lifeguards at this late date. Is this really so impossible? Really?
I think the message is clear. For our unelected official, Mr. Musante, the pool is not a priority. He's Linda Chalfant's boss and has made it clear to her that the pool won't open this summer. He wants to put the money towards the huge undertaking of total rehab of the pool and community fields, which was also never his priority. The LSSE Commission of course echoed Mr. Musante. After all, LSSE Commission is appointed by the Town Manager.
Where is the voice of the people of Amherst? It was supposed to be Town Meeting, but no one in Town Hall is listening or cares....even when there was a clear vote to open the pool. TM is just supposed to come in for hours, read all the material, participate eagerly and then rubber stamp the priorities of our unelected officials. When we do vote to do things differently, we are ignored.
There were no children represented at any of Mr. Musante's meetings. TM bravely voted for the kids and all the other people who so appreciate the pool and the community it brings. I'm disappointed in the process. It doesn't work. For those of you lucky enough, look forward to your vacations in Maine, Cape Cod and Nantucket. Try not to think about the kids you're leaving behind.
Julia Rueschemeyer, Precinct 9
Deja Vu all over again