27 Kendrick Place
I guess the only way to ensure a contract is carried out after you die is to never die, or quickly return as a vengeful ghost.
Eva Schiffer, former Select Board, Finance Committee member and long-time German language professor at UMass, left very specific instructions when she bequeathed her cute little house on Kendrick Place (the street, not the five-story mixed use building currently under construction in the north end of town center) to the Amherst Housing Authority.
After she dies, sell the house for 40% off to a blue collar town employee -- police, fire or DPW -- who would otherwise find it hard to afford the high property values in town combined with the highest property tax rate in the area.
In fact she was so specific she even banned anyone associated with those other branches of Amherst public services, the schools and library.
Thus the buyer, a town employee, would have benefited somewhat greatly via a hefty discount; but not so much the Housing Authority for brokering the deal.
Instead we have a town employee, Sandy Pooler, with a bleached white collar and member of the $100K club benefiting by a reduced price, $225K vs $269,700 assessed value ($307,000 appraised).
And the Housing Authority also greatly benefits by about $200,000 vs zero if the original contract had been followed.
Finance Director Sandy Pooler presenting to Amherst Town Meeting (showing them the money)
A dozen people did make inquiries about the property and they had equal opportunity to place a bid, so no special favors were shown to Mr. Pooler, the sole bidder. Plus, those that know him would agree he's about as strait laced, goody two-shoes as they come -- so no aspersions on his involvement.
After all, who doesn't like a great deal on a house within walking distance to your office.
But there's also no doubt that the auction could have been better publicized, or the project turned over to a professional real estate agent (of which Amherst has many) who would have been motivated to work tirelessly for the greatest return.