Joint Capital Planning Committee: reports to Town Manager
Time was, not so long ago, a news junkie in Amherst looked forward to the Monday night Select Board meeting because that was the hotbed of potentially entertaining news worthy issues--usually of the embarrassing kind.
But with the, umm, retirement--or I should say relocation--of Anne Awad and the orchestrated coup d'état that ousted Gerry Weiss as Chair, driving him into retirement as well, Select Board meetings have become a coldbed of boring routine. Evidenced by a lack of competition for open seats in the annual town election these past few years.
Thus Joint Capital Planning Committee promises to be the most interesting meeting this week (Thursday 9:00 AM) as they will, finally, vote on $4 million worth of capital requests from all town departments including the schools, a vote that will whittling the bottom line down to only $3 million. And a JCPC thumbs up practically guarantees a rubber stamp by Amherst Town Meeting.
Will the Jones Library get 16 new wireless digital surveillance cameras? (probably) Will Information Technology Department get it's fancy $32,000 Ford hybrid Escape? (probably not) Will Town Hall get an $85,000 generator? (damn well better). Will Carol Gray get twitchy again about any cuts to the Jones Library requests? (safe bet).
On Friday The Jones Library Trustees will discuss a report from the Personnel Planning Policy subcommittee regarding the six-month evaluation of library director Sharon Sharry. Ms. Sharry took over the Good Ship Jones after Carol Gray attempted a mutiny/takeover of the micromanaging kind, driving out Director Bonnie Isman after 30 years of admirable service.
Jones Library Trustees Chris Hoffman, Carol Gray
Interestingly Ms. Gray is on the the current evaluation subcommittee, but from all the reports I'm getting, Sharry is doing an admirable job thusfar and, thankfully, no controversy like the previous kind is expected when the evaluation goes public on Friday.
Also, on the optimistic immediate horizon for the Jones Library is the election April 3rd, where Ms. Gray is expected to lose her Trustee seat, like her inquisition compatriot Pat Holland already did last year (for the same good reason).
Although, she will not have to turn in her library card.