Paul Bockelman, Amherst Town Hall
Paul Bockelman started his first day on the job as the new permanent Town Manager replacing Temporary Town Manager Pete Hechenbleikner who replaced acting Town Manager Dave Ziomek who replaced John Musante when he died unexpectedly almost one year ago.
While Mr. Bockelman was heading back up the stairs to his new office the Amherst Cable Advisory Committee was meeting in the room next door, fomenting revolution.
The CAC is very unhappy with the final offer from Comcast on a ten year cable license renewal with a drop dead deadline of September 26.
Temporary Town Manager Hechenbleikner was happy enough with it to recommend it to the Select Board on his final day in office, August 1st.
But at their meeting last week the Select Board unanimously passed a motion underscoring their unhappiness with the proposed contract as well:
"Voted that the Town Manager communicate to our counsel that the Select Board is not satisfied with the proposed contract with Comcast because of the need for a more specific understanding about the availability of high definition and electronic program guide for PEG channels and our conclusion that the proposed capital budget does not meet our community's needs and expectations as expressed through the ascertainment process and our knowledge of community needs."In addition the town is currently in a water crisis just as our #1 demographic -- college aged youth -- start returning to our institutes of higher education as Amherst is a three company town: UMass, Amherst & Hampshire Colleges.
Well, mainly UMass -- our states flagship of higher education.
And our public schools, once a source of civic pride, are in chaos after the sudden sour departure of Superintendent Maria Geryk, the highest paid town employee. With first day of school only a week away.
Perhaps Mr. Bockelman should be wearing something more comfortable on his first day, as he most certainly will need to hit the ground running.