Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Voting for Dummies


Since it is such a tough task for harried voters to keep track of 24 candidates per precinct (especially with some precincts not having enough candidates to fill all those seats) our friends at Sustainable Amherst did all the work for us and came up with a handy cheat sheet, err, I mean "printable voter guide" you can bring into the ballot box and march in lock step with the supposed "Amherst Center."

If you remember, these folks lost their Op/Ed column at the Amherst Bulletin for journalistic improprieties concerning election endorsements two years ago, so take their election advice with a truck load of salt.  Although I do agree that this election will have a lousy, err, low turnout.  And I could not agree more with their Jones Library Trustees recommendation, which mirrors my Anyone But Carol endorsement.

Notice for School Committee they do not even mention Michael Aronson, the only candidate who dares to discuss the gilded school costs that give rise to the highest property tax rate in the area--almost twice that of neighboring Hadley where school achievement results are comparable to the venerable Amherst system.

Unfortunately Town Meeting is the only game in town.  But voting for someone you do not know is like a bomb disposal technician doing "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" to figure out which colored wire to cut.



34 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's hard to take election advice from three people who have worked to shut down the debate on our schools and their future.

Anonymous said...

Aronson was at the bottom of the list of SC candidates on my ballot, though alphabetically he should have been at the top. An Amherst Central dirty trick?

Anonymous said...

maybe some bumper stickers for local cars" Don't Question Authority"

Anonymous said...

"An Amherst Central dirty trick?"

Yes--the great "left wing conspiracy"

Candidates are listed in the order that their paperwork was received.

Town Meeting candidates were also listed in chronological order.

Anonymous said...

Sad news today about the death of long-time TM member Sy Friedman.

Anonymous said...

Or, don't question Larry Kelley. It's amazing how the people on this blog follow him blindly. Why anyone would care who Larry Kelley is voting for is beyond me. He's the non-anonymous nitwit.

LarryK said...

At least you omitted Cowardly.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you may be a nitwit but no one could ever call you cowardly and hence I did not call you cowardly.

Anonymous said...

Vote at The Hurt Locker today.

Watch the TM member you didn't know, but voted for anyway, blow up later this spring.

This isn't democracy. This is Amherst Roulette.

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for some of the TM members because I DO know them!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:54

I hope your assertion is inaccurate. As I was bringing in my completed paperwork one of my colleagues on the ballot was just pulling his papers to seek access to the ballot.
Michael Aronson

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Amilcar Shabazz and Lawrence O'Brien as well as Tamson Ely, Austin Sarat and Carl Erickson

Anonymous said...

Did anyone here the collective cheering from the school administration. No one left to question anything. Conform Conform Conform. I wonder how much spending they will want to do next year. Maybe O'brien can lead the next teachers union negotiation and really show us what giving away the farm looks like. Oh how far we have fallen and most of our neighbors don't realize it or worst just don't care.

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael Aronson, if you don't run any kind of campaign how do you expect to win?

Anonymous said...

anyone know the number of votes each SC candidate received today?

Anonymous said...

When Irv changed his mind on Maria Geryk, he began to seal his fate. He had already alienated Geryk supporters, and, as we've seen, they don't forgive. So then he tried to do something kinder and gentler, and proceeded to alienate those who wanted someone to challenge the existing status quo.

So we're left to wonder: who is the real Irv Rhodes?

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen of Amherst, I present to you an utterly domesticated School Committee.

This membership will chew its cud, switch its tail, and come and go from the barn whenever Ms. Geryk tells it to. (I use the singular pronouns because we are talking only about one mind.)

We will now resume addressing our schools' problems in the same way that our national leaders deal with global climate change.

Denial, denial, denial.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed Michael Aronson got 433 votes, with no campaign, no funds and no signs. That's a lot of people unhappy with the status quo and wanting answers about the bloated administrative budget. Thanks for stepping up Michael.

Anonymous said...

No one channels the conventional wisdom in town as it evolves better than Isaac Ben-Ezra.

So Isaac the Interviewer told us through his questions to SC candidates in the past week that teacher morale in Amherst is so fragile that we really can't have a public debate within School Committee about how effectively our schools are operating, without significantly damaging our teachers' outlook on life and their jobs.

The "educational bureaucracy complex" has now regained complete control of things in School Committee. That leaves the only remaining place in town politics for the loyal opposition to make its stand: override votes.

There the politics are a little different than they are in yearly elections. We have a significant regressive, anti-development vote ("let's keep Amherst a small town")
that thinks that yuppies in Amherst have gotten too big for their britches. They think that higher property taxes are a threat to our agricultural sector and to the overall socioeconomic diversity in town. They will find newfound bedfellows on the next override in unrepresented parents and other critics of how our schools operate, who see no alternative course to say a loud "no" to a bloated, underachieving, but politically savvy public school bureaucracy than to vote "no" to higher taxes.

So you can put the champagne glass down, Ms. Geryk. We're still out here.

Anonymous said...

i believe that aronson got only 9.5% of the vote because it is very easy to see and hear what a complete horse's ass he is. he is a chronic complainer who has a personal gripe against the schools and maria geryk. he probably got a few of the racist votes, a few "i'm just going to fill a couple of these in" votes, and then some votes from the usual handful of complainers who keep wishing and wishing they lived somewhere else, where the schools don't suck and all the people working there aren't evil conspirators trying to unravel all the good that exists.

LarryK said...

Actually Aronson got twice that percentage since you seem to be confused by folks being allowed two votes: 343 out of 2,429 cast. And there's no doubt his were "bullet votes."

For all you know half of Shabazz's supporters threw their second vote to O'Brien and vice versa meaning they individually had less than twice the support of Aronson (fun with figures, eh?)

Anonymous said...

For all you know Shabazz's votes and O'Brien's votes were bullet votes. I know alot of people who were bullet voting for either one or the other. Aronson is a nasty person with a personal vendetta and hatred of Maria Geryk. It's good and right that he lost and not at all surprising. Anyone who has seen him in action at the SC meetings knows what a mean-spirited person he is.

Anonymous said...

generations to come will see what a mean-spirited, nasty person aronson is, as well as see the crazy which is cs. lots and lots of tape on both of 'em being total jackasses.

Anonymous said...

aronson received approximately 9.5% of all votes that were cast. some people probably cast more votes than others. is that incorrect, larry?

LarryK said...

The turnout for this election was 15.2%. The Town Clerk arrived at that figure by dividing the number of voters who showed up to the polls (2,429) by the total number that could have showed up (15,991).

Aronson garnered 433 votes. Divided by the total number of voters who showed up that day (2,429) comes to 17.8% of the total.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Anonymous said...

Michael Aronson is a smart, kind man who is thougtful and articulate. When not many people are able to stand up to MG and the SC, and ask difficult questions about policies, programs, finances, and scores, he (and others) get labelled negatively.

I bullet-voted for Michael Aronson.

Anonymous said...

again... aronson received 9.5% of all the votes that were cast for a school committee member. what don't you get about that larry?

if some people decided to waste BOTH of their votes by bulleting aronson... that's their problem, now they will continue to live somewhere where they will continue to be angry and unhappy. but of course, these folks will always find something to cry and complain about, because that's their m.o.

Anonymous said...

such bullshit about aronson being one of the few who would ask the "tough questions". tough questions are asked everyday, difficult, tough decisions made everyday. mr. shabazz and mr. o'brien don't strike me as the types who will cow-tow to the administration, let's hear it if you disagree. if you were all correct about the cronyism and so forth, maria geryk wouldn't have just fired someone she hired herself. mg asked tough questions, when she didn't get answers that satisfied her, she had to fire the person who was responsible. that's tough. sitting in a room looking down your nose at everyone and reading in a complain-y, condescending tone something catherine sanderson wrote for you to say at a school committee meeting is easy.

Anonymous said...

wow, one of the people who voted for the guy who lost big time is here to anonymously say "i bullet-voted for aronson." super.

Anonymous said...

this truly needs to be investigated: aronson is charging that he should not have been listed last on the ballot. mr. aronson, plese tell us what happened in more detail.

Anonymous said...

and if you don't whine loudly, and ask the same questions over and over that are already being addressed, some will label you an apologist for the administration.

Anonymous said...

Our friends at Sustainable Amherst have posted "very unofficial" results for the Town Meeting members in each precinct, including the people who didn't get enough votes to get a seat. Their posting does not include all the write-in votes.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad that catherine sanderson has decided to get into the mix here, even though her involvement has been, is, and will be hard for her husband and children. (she said that, in the amherst bulletin, not me.)

Anonymous said...

michael: what do you mean by "one of my 'colleagues'"? do you have "colleagues"? i thought you did some kind of a shoe thing for central americans or something like that, like that amherst high school kid did a few years ago (when you're not being a "critic of the schools", that is, i mean.)