Amherst Town Center 9/11/11. Commemorative flags will not fly again until 2016, unless
So I'm trying to anticipate the excuse the Amherst Select Board will conjure up this evening during the 7:15 PM flag discussion to reject placing on the local 3/25/14 election ballot the never ending question of flying the commemorative flags every 9/11, thus allowing the voters decide this issue once and for all.
Sure they will mention the shameful 2007 Amherst Town Meeting vote by a whopping 96-41 not to fly the flags annually. And that advisory resolution had requested they fly at half staff, which completely negates the argument that the commemorative flags are "too festive."
Kind of hard for the average person to misread the intentions of twenty nine 3' by 5' American flags at half staff.
And I'm sure one of them will argue that governance by referendum can be a dangerous thing. Would slavery had ended 150 years ago if it were put up to a popular vote at the time? Or would women have been given the right to vote in 1920 if it had been decided at the ballot box?
Of course the counter to that is we are Amherst, the only town (according to Tracy Kidder) with a "foreign policy." So sure, historically speaking the townspeople would have done the right thing.
As they will do on March 25 if the Select Board has the courage to allow this festering issue to come to a vote.
After all, they seem to love the tagline: "Amherst, where only the h is silent." Then why not let the people speak?