Town Meeting (on a voice vote) approved $26K for hand held voting devices
Last night Town Meeting meeting dealt with almost half (7 of 15) the articles on the fall warrant and only screwed up one of them (maybe two if you're a Patriots fan); meanwhile Charter change enthusiasts who wish to terminate with extreme prejudice the esteemed institution report they are half-way to the goal of 3,215 voter signatures needed to put the change question on the ballot.
Select Board unanimously recommended approval of Capital Stabilization Fund
Town Meeting failed to muster the two-thirds vote required to create a seperate "Capital Stabilization Fund" to squirrell away money for the four mega-building projects on the immediate horizon: new Fire Station and DPW buildings, expansion of the Jones Library and the new mega school the Amherst School Committee will support later this evening.
The original "placeholder" figure used by Finance Director Sandy Pooler was $57 million for all four, but only $7 million of that was for Wildwood School renovation. And tonight the School Committee will vote to support a plan (new mega-school) estimated to cost $20 million.
Town currently has $9.9 million in savings
Which gives you an idea of what all four of these projects will cost if they ever get done. The new South Fire Station, for instance, has been in the hearts and minds of South Amherst residents for over 50 years now.
If you can't trust the Finance Committee who can you trust?
Both the Select Board and Finance Committee supported the idea unanimously. But conspiracy theorists on the floor of Town Meeting thought it would tie future Town Meeting's into supporting the as yet not-in-the-pipeline building projects.
Some of those folks would much rather have the money available to feed unicorns.
After a ten minute or so hands on demonstration that actually (mostly) worked, Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported the bylaw change required to allow electronic voting and then quickly followed up with near unanimous support to spend the $26,000 necessary to purchase the devices.
Fortunately the gizmos, which will see first official use this coming spring, can be repurposed once Town Meeting has gone the way of the dinosaurs.
And Town Meeting also overwhelmingly supported borrowing $200K to renovate the Amity Street parking lot dead in the center of town. Good news for struggling small businesses located in the high rent district.
Amity Street lot. Jones Library top center