Sandy Pooler makes a firm point to Library Trustee Carol Gray. Comptroller Sonia Aldrich stuck in the middle
Carol Gray pulled out the classic Smothers Brothers "Mom always liked you best!" routine at an animated Joint Capital Planning Committee meeting this morning, complaining that "other departments" were given their top two or three requested items, but the Jones Library just had "six out of seven eliminated."
Finance Director Sandy Pooler had indeed decided not to recommend any of their big ticket funding requests: $150,000 for fire safety upgrades, because AFD Chief Tim Nelson believes it can wait a year or more (especially since you can hit the Jones Library with a rock from AFD Central Station), $125,000 for generators to turn the Jones or North Amherst library into an electricity oasis should the power ever go out again, and $30,000 for security cameras (down from the original $60,000 request).
The 16 security cameras are strongly requested because of previous incidents of (homeless) individuals "exposing themselves" and other purported general safety concerns of rank and file staff. Although original presentation materials from last month included the statement "It has been recommended by both Amherst Police and Trustees that a security system, including cameras be purchased and installed," the Amherst Police Department was never officially asked, nor did they give such an endorsement.
The JCPC only makes recommendations to Amherst Town Meeting, but such items are all but guaranteed approval; items not recommended are guaranteed to be a Sisyphean task to now revive.
As sports fans are fond of saying: "Wait until next year."