Town Gown Steering Committee co-Chairs Nancy Buffone, David Ziomek
In its final public meeting 13 months after formation the Town Gown Steering Committee discussed and then voted unanimously to support the final letter of conveyance drafted by member Stephanie O'Keeffe that will accompany the $60,000 U3 Advisers final report -- both narrative and Powerpoint overheads.
The entire package will be sent to UMass Chancellor Subbaswamy and Amherst Town Manager John Musante, and committee co-chairs David Ziomek and Nancy Buffone will also meet with them in person to go over "next steps."
One additional amendment was added by member Ken Rosenthal to the bullet point about creating an "Economic Development Director". Forming a new committee charged with economic development to work hand-in-hand with the town hired Director and potential developers.
Even though the town already has an Amherst Redevelopment Authority, Town Commercial Relations Committee, Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District.
Roughly half the Town Gown Steering Committee
Not a single member out of the 18 who showed up for this final meeting spoke against the formation of University Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC) an outgrowth of -- but downsized from -- the Town Gown Steering Committee.
Or the recommendation the town (unfortunately not half subsidized by the University) should hire a "Economic Development Director."
Other half of the Town Gown Steering Committee
The meeting as usual, was not completely free of dissent: Rolf Karlstrom reiterated he would be issuing a "minority report" outlining key points of disagreement or "lost opportunities" with the U3 final report. So far two other members have signed on. Co-chair David Ziomek agreed to include it in the final package.
Now the key question is will the committee report became a vital road map to the future for two super powers, or just another dead end waste of time, money, paper and bandwidth?