Monday, August 22, 2016

First Day

 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.


Anonymous said...

The evening of September 26th is the first Clinton/Trump debate

Larry Kelley said...

With all due respect Ma'am, I'm not going to publish that.

(Although he would probably get a kick out of it.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure I'll have a chance to tell him in person. ;)

Also, it's sir, not ma'am.

Larry Kelley said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Nina Koch said...

I hope things go well for Mr. Bockelman.

I take issue with your statement that the schools are now in chaos. While the central office is going through a major change, it's the principals who lead the school buildings. We have strong, experienced principals in each building. That's what is most important for a child's experience. I doubt your daughters will come home from school next Wednesday and describe their day as chaotic. Maybe you could fly your drone over some parking lots and see how many people are there this week working hard to make the opening of school go well for all children.

ps It's "fomenting revolution" not "fermenting revolution" unless you were thinking of something like kimchi.

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks. Corrected.

I could use a copy editor obviously.

And apparently you have time on your hands ...

Nina Koch said...

Yes I am retired! And loving it!! Very happy not to have my car among the cars in the parking lot this week.

Anonymous said...

0h Nina, aren't two of the principals not only new but "interim"?

And there are cases where fermenting is more appropriate than fomenting as the latter includes an intent to incite.

Nina Koch said...

Patty Bode has a lot of experience in the district and a very good head on her shoulders. Diane Chamberlain also has extensive experience in the district and has shown herself to be an excellent administrator. That's why I described them as strong and experienced. We are very lucky to have two such qualified people stepping in.

Sometimes I just don't understand what people want around here. I think some people just want to be mad. Or fermented.

Anonymous said...

I also take issue with Larry's ongoing derogatory comments about the schools. It goes to show how little Kelley knows about schools when he thinks that Superintendents have much to do with the daily, classroom level operations. Every year, schools all over the United States and likely the world transition to new leadership. Your life may be in chaos because you are wetting your pants over not getting those precious executive session minutes, but the schools are in full operation. I'm guessing your children will study with people in schools who are much kinder and far more caring than you will ever be, Mr. Larry. And thank god for that. Otherwise your children would be learning the same mean-spirited attitudes at school that you are modeling for them at home.

And how interesting is it that Larry tries to get a dig in on Nina for having time on her hands when all he does is sit around all year.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I've been out and about quite a bit this gorgeous morning.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12 really does seem the kind hearted community service type. While I think School teachers and their type should be allowed on here (your welcome ) they should not be allowed on the school committee ! We have enough professional school fascist around here already.

Dr. Ed said...

Patty Bode has a lot of experience in the district and a very good head on her shoulders. Diane Chamberlain also has extensive experience in the district and has shown herself to be an excellent administrator.

Are they not both hired to principalships on an interim basis?

So the district got lucky, it's still in turmoil.