Amherst Regional High School
I was a little surprised last week while perusing the town attorney "litigation update" to the Amherst Select Board at the half-way mark to the fiscal year, which ends July 1st.
A pleasant surprise was the number of litigation's and billable hours cost so far are pretty low. In Amherst when you lose a political fight before a board, committee, or Town Meeting the standard response is to "bring in the lawyers."
The town being named the main culprit in Carolyn Gardner's discrimination lawsuit, however, was an unpleasant surprise. I asked why and was told the town is on the hook because she taught a summer math course for the elementary schools, which come under town jurisdiction rather than the Region (Middle and High School), which is a totally separate legal entity.
Carolyn Gardner MCAD complaint names town first
Because a part-time summer job can't possibly entail the same responsibilities as her full-time job at the Amherst Regional High School, and since no incidents of discrimination are alleged to have occurred during that part-time summer job, it sounds like a stretch to me.
But then, I'm not a lawyer.
Another unpleasant surprise is the town's insurance will not cover this kerfuffle, meaning both the billable hours for the town attorney or the payoff, err, I mean "settlement" to make the lawsuit go away.
Maybe her lawyers think the town, with its sterling bond rating, is a better target for a bigger payoff. Since Amherst pays over 80% of the Region's budget maybe not such a big distinction.
Another MCAD complaint, more directly related to the elementary schools and therefor the town, also came as news to me.
Last year when it seems the Amherst schools were in a lockdown-a-day mode of operation, a Crocker Farm employee panicked when someone returned to the elementary school searching for a lost umbrella without signing in.
Now that Mr. Ortiz is running a write-in campaign for Amherst School Committee, perhaps we will hear more.
Although, probably not the best campaign platform.