Maybe Vince O'Connor should have led off his first of four presentations with a "thank you" to Town Meeting for even allowing his first -- and by far most controversial article -- to be moved to tonight, since it came up on Monday and he was not present to present it.
And attending a basketball game in Springfield is not exactly a great excuse not to be present.
After about an hour of discussion O'Connor's motion to authorize the Select Board to forcefully take by eminent domain a building recently purchased by Amherst College failed in a most telling way: Town Meeting, by a 81-72 Tally vote, supported a "Motion to Dismiss."
Even more telling, that definitive motion was made by one of the least liked members of the august body.
Next up O'Connor's resolution to support a House Bill that would allow Section 8 vouchers to count as affordable housing units to artificially keep Amherst above the 10% Subsidized Housing Inventory failed on a voice vote.
His last two articles -- tax credits for landlords with Section 8 low-income tenants and reconfiguring the Rental Bylaw Implementation Group -- would have failed outright if voted on as originally presented, but each article was saved by being "referred back to a committee."
A nice way to send them off to die quietly (with at least a little dignity).
Tonight's Town Meeting wrap up: Four citizen petition articles disposed of -- all of them from Vince O'Connor.