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.