Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bad Omen?

Town Meeting standing vote last night (which will be negated with electronic voting)

After a somewhat contentious 1.5 hour discussion Amherst Town Meeting narrowly approved hiring a $85,920 Economic Development Director, the pride and joy of Town Manager John Musante's FY16 budget.

The Tally Vote (another thing that will be negated by electronic voting) was 99-88. So if only a half-dozen people had changed their vote ...

I actually thought about voting NO simply because I think UMass should cover half the salary of this position since it was one of the main recommendations of the $60,000 Town/Gown consultant that UMass contributed $30,000 towards.

But I'm certain that the vast majority of NO votes represents the dyed-in-the-wool Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (BANANA) crowd.

Which is a bad sign for the other favorite articles promoted by the Town Manager: Articles 21, Affordable Housing Property Tax Incentives and Article 22, Inclusionary Zoning which requires 10% of units in developments bigger than 9 units be "affordable."

The pro-business "sensible center" types (of which Town Meeting has far too few) are already being told to vote No on Article 22 (IZ)  if the tax incentives in Article 21 fail. 

Article 22 is a zoning article that requires a two-thirds vote so it stands little chance of passing if Article 21, which requires a majority vote, fails.

And with left wing ringleaders like Vince O'Connor, Mary Wentworth and Carol Gray portraying the tax incentives as "corporate welfare" it could get dicey -- as in hacked to pieces. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure it's fair to have UMass pay for a significant portion of this position if it will benefit Amherst far more than UMass.

Mass already is a huge force for economic development in the Amherst area through employment, events and student utilization of restaurants and shops.

Anonymous said...

But you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks. That will be playing in my head for the rest of the night.

Anonymous said...

I'd give you verses for Amherst's "Eve of Destruction", but what rhymes with "inclusionary zoning"?

Anonymous said...

What is the average age of Town Meeting?

Larry Kelley said...

Retirement age (mostly).

Anonymous said...

Everybody can remember where they were when Kennedy was shot, some of them can remember the hysteria in the US over the Soviets launching Sputnik into space, and there are still a few who can remember watching the Army McCarthy hearings on TV.

Does that help?

Anonymous said...

Ask not what the average age is...
(And what difference does it possibly make?)

Anonymous said...

Here's what difference it makes: basically there's very little representation from young families, which is the demographic cohort in town that is either being closed out or deciding to move out. And there's virtually no representation of students, who are greatly affected by Town Meeting decision-making.

Yes, the average age matters.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but where is it written that there has to be a representation by every possible group?

Dr. Ed said...

Everybody can remember where they were when Kennedy was shot....

Amherst is but one giant Satis House, controlled by assorted Miss Havishams, all of whom were collectively "left at the altar" that fateful day in Dallas.

It's a collective pathology feeding upon itself while any scintilla of an economic base collapses around it.

Larry, if UMass paid half of that Economic Director's salary, UMass would have a legitimate right to demand that everything he/she/it did also be in the best interest of UMass, which in some cases might not be the best interests of Amherst. (Think "fiduciary duty" here.)

It's much the same thing as how Amherst would be better off -- long term -- simply running its own school system and letting the other towns fend for themselves.

UMass is doing good right now -- it hasn't always and won't always. Am I the only one who remembers the early 1990's -- when Checkers and other well-established entities suddenly closed, or the year (1992-1993) when TWO of the SW Towers stood empty because UMass lacked the 1,100 students to fill them?

Westfield was into buggy whips, Wichendon into wooden toys -- both prosperous communities organized around a particular industry that -- well -- kinda went away. A lot of people speak of a higher ed bubble...

Anonymous said...

Once Ed enters, the discussion is over.

Dr. Ed said...

Whatever...

And it's DOCTOR Ed, Penis Breath...

Anonymous said...

Doctor Ed Who?

Doctor Ed who regularly takes a verbal dump on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Ed, your maturity is astounding.

Anonymous said...

Even the immature have rights.