Thursday, March 28, 2013

Town/Gown Peace Proposal

 Umass Amherst:  The Entity That Be

In addition to the $50,000+ in spending for extra AFD and UMPD personnel over the next six weeks to deal with off campus rowdy weekend behavior, UMass is also proposing a long-term major study costing between $50,000 and $60,000 to analyze public safety and housing issues created by the presence of our #1 employer, and how potential remedies fit into their "Master Plan".

Town Manager John Musante will be requesting  $25,000 to $30,000 from Amherst Town Meeting in matching funds for the joint town/gown study.  The money could come from the town's "overlay account," a stash of cash set aside in case property owners appeal their assessment and win an abatement.  Apparently the town has put aside more than needed.

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy will make an appearance before Amherst Town Meeting this spring to champion the proposal.  Since Swamy is intrepid enough to endure a night of Town Meeting perhaps -- to get a real introduction to the problems of off campus rowdyism -- he should do a ride along with APD any weekend over the next six weeks.

After all, Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe has done it as has Town Manager Musante and former UMass second in command Todd Diacon. 


Anonymous said...

Instead of a study, use the money for EMT's and police officers. Duh.

Walter Graff said...

Hey if they can waste money studying he salamanders that cross Henry Street and discover via that money that YES, they do get run over, they can study the ambulance calls and the riots and maybe they'll realize that UMESS has a serious problem and is robbing the town of resources it doesn't have. In fact maybe they can build a aluminum channel that funnels all drunk kids down to Cooley and we will not need an ambulance. But that would require another $100k study.

DKR said...

Once again let's form a committee and have another study at the tax payers expense. It's no wonder this town is the running joke of the Pioneer Valley. Amherst touts it's self as the intellectual capital of the universe, but for some crazy reason can't seem to run this town effectively to save it's life. When is the last time we weren't crying foul or had a working budget. Our business model is failing and will continue to due so, till we start truly entertaining the fact we need more businesses here. If this doesn't change Amherst will continue to see a decline in long term residents, only to be replaced by a transient population. How long can you hold your breath with your heads buried in the sand?

Walter Graff said...

The problem with Amherst is simple, no one runs the town. Committees are great for a bake sale but a town needs a chain of command and accountability.

Down with the Amherst government as it is and let's have a mayor. Let's have checks and balances and accountability.

This socialist way of working doesn't work. This town has a long list of doing absolutely the wrong thing and unfortunately it seems the town folk like it that way.

You can't do business in a town where no one welcomes a business model and where no one wants any more business because it ruins the Mayberry RFD fantasy that many have.

The Juggernaut said...

Robbing the town? Amherst would be a fraction of the size it is now if it wasn't for the school. Perhaps that is what you want, but Amherst hasn't fit that description in any of our life times; perhaps Belchertown or a neighboring community would suit better. UMass brings millions of dollars in revenue to western Mass, with Amherst being the primary receiver.

I am not defending the drunk kids, they belittle my degree, but "robbing" the town is far from the truth.

Walter Graff said...

Juggernaut, seems you twisted my words:

" UMass brings millions of dollars in revenue to western Mass, with Amherst being the primary receiver. Perhaps that is what you want..."

No that is not what I want. Let's see some more of that money to cover much needed additional firefighters/EMTs, personnel that spend the majority of weekends on overtime dealing with drunk and overdosing UMESS kids leaving the residents of teh town with no ambulance when needed and no one to drive the fire engine if God forbid there was a major structure fire.

I don't want to see the University disappear. I just want it to pay it's proper share for the disproportion of use of the personnel and equipment from the town.

It's made that motion recently, now let's see it waste time on a "study" only to say yes it needs to chip in more.