Thursday, September 15, 2016

Charter Pros

Lauren Goldberg and Bernie Lynch (center)

The nine member Amherst Charter Commission heard a presentation last night from the second consulting group wishing to take on the $20,000-$25,000 project of guiding them over the next twelve months towards creating a new and improved town government.

Laura Goldberg is an attorney who works for KP Associates, who provide legal counsel to about one-third of the communities in the state (including Amherst), and Bernie Lynch of Paradigm Associates who most recently acted as headhunter for our new Town Manager.

Thus both professionals have direct experience with Amherst.

The Commission had planned to hold off discussion of the two proposals until next week when they would make their choice, but member Julia Rueschemeyer suggested each member weight in with "one sentence" about their overall impressions.

Of course that turned into somewhat of a straw poll with four members expressing a strong preference for Ms. Goldberg/Mr. Lynch and another four members expressing just as strong a preference for the the Collins Center.

 And ironically enough only Ms. Rueschemeyer said she could go, "either way."


Anonymous said...

Nothing is worse for the human mind that setting expectations too high.

What practical changes could anyone expect after such an expensive change? My sense is that we will still have overpriced schools, high taxes, lots of public employees, massive public spending, endless debate and no real say. Businesses and students will still be the enemy of the town. They will still put a rotary anywhere they can.

It is the people that make all these bad attributes a part of Amherst, not the style of pseudorepresentative government.

Anonymous said...

This is an incoherent rant with no discernible point.

You are unhappy? And the cause is? . . . . .

Anonymous said...

I think the blogger is happy that there may be a new form of government and he is reporting on it and the process of getting there. He has been pretty clear, the best of intentions.

As the commenter, I am not happy that we may put effort and expense into something that is unlikely to actually change things, kind of like driving to the new grocery store all excited to find out it sells the same food at the same prices as the old grocer. I believe this process provides false hope, yet still has a significant expense in both money and intellectual resources.

I am actually typically unhappy when resources get wasted, especially when it is by force. Even private monopolies are 2x as efficient as public ones....perhaps that can leave you wondering still.

Scrooge McDuck said...

It's true we will still have the same citizens, but here are specific things that would be different with a more representative form of government. Accountability and open government will be job one, as we recover from the secretive ways and feudal lords of Town Meeting. A town council that appoints a professional manager will have to follow open meeting laws and appeal to a wider electorate than the current TM members. This increased accountability should in theory result in a more responsive and progressive government.