Amherst Select Board: "Just say NO"
UPDATE 6:30 p.m.
Amherst Town Counsel has concluded that even if Town Meeting passes the article and the State Legislature approves it, the powers granted to the town would then NOT apply to the University of Massachusetts, our largest employer.
Furthermore our lawyer confirms that a "motion to dismiss" if passed (majority vote) is referendum proof. So that's what I'll do.
UMass Labor Grad Student Matthew Cunningham-Cook is fast becoming public enemy #1 in the little college town of Amherst, which he has called home for all of seven months now.
First he collects 200 signatures to call a Special Town Meeting when it would only have taken 10 signatures to put the exact same article on the normal Annual Town Meeting which starts April 28th.
Then he skips the public discussion period last night at the Amherst Select Board meeting where they -- like the Finance Committee last week -- voted unanimously NOT to support his article, branded by one SB member as "amateurish".
Although he did send them this email at 3:47 p.m. where he now pitches a small business exemption for mom-and-pops with 50 or fewer employees. Yes, as a long-time small business owner even at peak success I had less than half that number of employees, so it would exempt the vast majority of Amherst businesses.
But, if you whip up a big batch of poison, I'm not overly reassured that small businesses are exempt from partaking. If it's that bad for small business, how can it be good for BIG business?