Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Question 5? Hell NO!

Need I say more?

For my numerous friend outside the little bubble of Amherst don't be confused by this post. You will not see a Question 5 on your state ballot today as this is an "Only in Amherst kind of thing" brought to us by aging full-time activist Vince O'Connor (need I say more).

The amount it will cost taxpayers is "only $72" they say, which is like a Marine drill instructor having you do push ups until you're about to puke and he then puts a gun to your head and demands 72 more.

The money raised by the "surcharge" (since it's voluntary they don't call it a "tax") cannot be spent on the most pressing needs this town currently has: increased staffing in our overworked public safety departments.

In fact, most of it will go towards taking properties off the tax rolls in a town where over half the property already is off the tax rolls. So just say NO.

And while your at it, in the name a fiscal responsibility, vote for Charlie Baker and return Massachusetts to the good old days of sound spending brought to you be a, gasp, Republican.


Anonymous said...

Can't stand either Coakley or Baker. Decided to write in Berwick.
Definitely no to the surcharge.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for him because he's the most secular of candidates running

Anonymous said...

Falchak for me, it's a vote to encourage him for the next election. Baker lost my vote with his fake crying and tsall tale of two "scholarship" football players from New Bedford. Someone obviously didn't tell Charlie that New Bedford has had maybe one scholarship football player in the last twenty years.

Nate Budington said...

Here's a counterargument from a similarly frustrated taxpayer: CPA funds are a relatively good deal for Amherst because they pay--directly--for (generally) good things that enhance our quality of life. No money for high salaries, pension liabilities, expanded bureaucracy or healthcare expenses. And much of the cost is spread out amongst all Commonwealth taxpayers. Sure, there's a few clunker projects out there that get funded, but much of what CPAC funds is a net positive. Until we find ways to expand student housing, CPAC makes it easier for people who grew up here to live here via expansion of affordable housing so it's a good middle step to the ultimate housing solution--hopefully arriving soon. Much of the open space preserved through CPAC has a minimal effect on our collective tax burden and makes the town more beautiful and livable. And from my particular vantage point as someone heavily involved in youth recreation, CPAC may be the only solution to the problem of our recreation fields: from softball to soccer to baseball to field hockey, our town fields are a wreck. The worst in the Valley. Embarrassing. In my opinion, the way to channel frustration with CPAC is not to starve it but to make sure the Select Board appoints a diverse group of citizens to the committee so that its endorsed projects reflect the real, immediate needs of all Amherst residents. Throwing in the police/fire staff shortages to the argument against CPAC (real and immediate needs in their own right, for sure) doesn't really work. It's not either/or. They're completely separate animals. So I'm voting for Question 5 (and yes, while figuratively holding my nose) because it's the best bang for the buck for my tax dollars. By a mile.

Larry Kelley said...

Fair enough Nate about the staff shortage comparison. As I pointed out in a previous post one of the problems with CPA money is it cannot be spent on hiring police or fire personnel.

But let's just stay withing the realm of recreation. The town lost $100K last year on a municipal golf course and another $300K on a recreation department (LSSE).

Take all that money and spend it more wisely.