Thursday, September 29, 2016

The $67,200,000 Question

League of Women Voters School Building Forum last night

Not sure too many minds were changed by the League of Women Voters forum on the new Mega School last night, which attracted parents, School Committee, Select Board and Town Meeting members in almost equal measures.

Although little to no college aged youth.  

Any yes surely the entire audience of about 100 will be voting on the ballot question on November 8th with probably the highest turnout in Amherst election history.

But continued status quo is not a good thing for proponents of the shiny new co-located school as recent school related chaotic events has eroded confidence in their overall administration.

Proponents of the $67 million project cited equity, health & safety, streamline efficiencies and of course the state's contribution to a little over half the project cost, while opponents zeroed in on the the high overall cost of the building and even higher cost of "grade reconfiguration" which  breaks up the neighborhood school concept in favor of a two grades 2-6 schools in one.

The Finance Committee presented facts that will make the average homeowner break into a cold sweat especially considering the other three building projects waiting in line behind the Schools.



The ballot question will not even have a number attached to it but the School Building Committee announced the state had approved the project at $67.2 million with the town share of $33.7 million.

 Click to enlarge read

The Finance Committee also pointed out that should the ballot question fail or Town Meeting turns down the authorization, the School Building Committee can try again with the same concept as happened in 1996 with the $22 million High School expansion that passed the second time around.

Or they can downsize the project and/or combine it with a renovation of one school and much smaller new school and resubmit a statement of interest to the MSBA.  The state agency does also fund two projects in one town (Granby for instance) as long as one is completed before applying for the second.

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Voting No on November 8 will certainly stimulate a little inventiveness from town officials and send a message about the other major projects lining up in the queue. 


51 comments:

kevin said...

To be determined by a small group white property-owners, age 67 and above, who get the final say. Behind the backs of the citizens on a closed Yahoo group. Immune to conflict of interest. And with zero fiduciary duty. Free to use their elected position to influence a state-mandated board. Who represents the future residents? Our grandchildren?

Larry Kelley said...

Hopefully a Mayor/Council.

Anonymous said...

I thought Maria Kopiki did a fantastic job last night articulating why many are advocating for a no vote. I was a probable yes vote until I learned that we do not lose the state money if we vote no (as the school administration says). Many towns have adjusted their proposal, gone back to the state and been approved. If we vote no, we can move to a scheme that the majority think is a good compromise and will not give up our K-6 system.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I wouldn't want her mad at me.

Anonymous said...

Ms Geryk's admin repeatedly equated EQUITY as meaning the SAME. Flawed logic. An equity issue repeatedly highlighted by the Geryk crew (BOLD) is that it is inequitable that some student are bused to a school different from their larger neighborhood (ie some apartment complexes in S Amherst). The solution is to bus most (not all) students to a school far away from their neighborhood (although for some students at some times it might be close- is that fair? not according to the BOLD logic). But the important point is whether those neighborhood kids will be in the same classroom in preK-1 and then in the same pod in 2-6. If not, then how is there an improvement over the current situation (according to the BOLD logic)? Real equity issues can be addressed that don't require grade reconfiguration. In addition, while a preK opportunity for low income students is a worthy goal, but we currently are not doing a good job addressing the issue and we could be (and it doesn't rely on reconfiguring the schools). As I understand it we have many low income families that don't enroll their kids because of the limited hours available. As it is now we have families of means who occupy seats in preK that should be filled instead by kids of families with needs (to close the achievement gap).

Brian said...

My name is Brian Scully and I don't exactly know where I fit into the voting demographics of Amherst. I'm 63 years old and retired, and own a home with my wife and, like a lot of other people, I am always concerned about any increases in our already too high property taxes. We have a 9 year old daughter who goes to Fort River Elementary School and because she is in 3rd grade and because of the length of time it will take to build the new school, she will not benefit from it.

All of that being said, my wife and I support the building of the new school and are willing to pay our fair share towards it's completion. It really doesn't matter if our kid benefits from it, because a nice bunch of citizens bit the bullet back in the 1970's to pay for and build Fort River School, which she benefits greatly from attending now. I'm guessing that a lot of the people who shouldered that financial burden also had kids who may have no longer been going to elementary school and I'll bet many didn't have kids at all. But they still supported that new school and building the new schools at Wildwood and Crocker Farm when they needed to be built. They did it because it was the right thing to do, even if it didn't directly benefit them.

In America, at least in the America I grew up in from the 1950's through today, people have consistently done the right thing and the good thing, many times for themselves and many times for people they never knew.... for generations that lived far beyond those citizens and taxpayers lives. But the schools they built lived on for 30 and 40 years and a lot of kids went through them and got good educations and were safe and happy and healthy in them.

My thinking is that now it's our turn to do something for all the kids in town; the ones who will benefit from it in 4 years or so and all the kids who aren't even born yet who will enjoy good warm safe schools for the next 40 years. I'll be gone long before the new school ever wears out like these old ones have, and so will a lot of the other older voters and property owners... but we can have that same good, satisfying feeling of having helped a generation or two beyond our own. Yeah, it may mean we end up spending a few hundred dollars a year more on our property taxes than we are used to spending. And no doubt we could all use that money for things in our own lives. But the way I'm thinking about it is, if someone gave me the chance to help even one kid from 2nd grade thru 6th grade and give that one kid a leg up on life with a safe, healthy school, I'd cough up that money. And this isn't for just one kid... it's for hundreds of kids each year for the next 30 or 40 years? It will ultimately benefit thousands of children. How can we not at least do what our parents and grand parents did for us... and what many childless good citizens did for our families and our children? I don't have a Phd or a Masters in anything... I didn't even go to college. But I've lived long enough to recognize a moment in life when something is just the plain right thing to do.... and I think this is one of those times. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Anonymous said...

Racism rears its ugly head. What do you have against whites?

Anonymous said...

When does the League of Men Voters meet?

Nina Koch said...

Well said, Brian.

Anonymous said...

Well Folks, I read the New York Times today - oh boy- headline - education now spending trillions to build 1970s style open minimalist classrooms based on garage style factory floor plans ...Appy & Nina - you've been. " eclipsed" - what's old - is new again !! Get a life !!!! Brutalist international mid century modernism is the new " hip !!!!"

Anonymous said...

Too bad no consideration given to retirees who are on fixed incomes and any tax increase affects our standard of living. Also, anyone who thinks the projected tax increase going down has already drunk the koolaid.

Anonymous said...

I agree, 12.07. Why the need for grade reconfiguration? I am not convinced it will benefit the children and their families, and I am willing to wait a couple more years to get this done right.

Anonymous said...

If you think college is expensive now, just wait until it's free. Inexplicably, some will vote for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Are you willing to wait a decade Anon 912?

Anonymous said...

anon@9:26 at this point, after all that Donald has told the voter and what his past behavior and deeds tell reveal, you must be a racist, sexist, complete idiot (who probably isn't even in Amherst)

Anonymous said...

With the established trend of greater and greater volatility in Amherst school enrollment numbers, a rational strategy would be to preserve or increase flexibility of physical plant by preserving a modular system - the one we have now, with multiple school buildings so that future student population can be sorted and reconfigured if necessary.

The worst and least flexible condition is to lock in with a mega-school built for a set student population, which is destined either to grow or more likely continue to shrink resulting in inefficiency either way.

Is anyone thinking clearly about this or does $30MM from the state make building thw mega-school essential, even if it is precisely the wrong thing for the Town? Does anyone recall the 1970's route 9 2-mall overbuild?

Anonymous said...

So,

It wasn't true that this is our one and only chance and if we vote it down or change the project we'll never get the state money?

And it wasn't true that we'll only ever get one project state-funded?

This has been an enraging process. A front-loaded survey that still managed to show that parents and teachers are not onboard with this plan, but they go ahead and push it anyway, and now it turns out that these dire threats were not true???

Anonymous said...

Just as in selling your home. Clean up your house before you buy a new one.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the pro-build forces are determined to trash the reputation of the existing schools by publicizing insignificant lead levels and now Fort River is alleged to be dangerous for other reasons. Scare tactics worthy of the Republican National Committee. I hope that, as will be the case in the presidential election, Amherst citizens see through the smokescreen and vote NO on the override.

Anonymous said...

I am in Amherst. You call me an idiot but you're the liberal. Hillary lied to the families of the Benghazi dead.

Anonymous said...

If anything comes of the Trump candidacy, it will be the death of political correctness. People now laugh at the accusations of microagressions and the snowflakes who need a safe space.

Anonymous said...

Here are some facts to consider:
1. If the project is voted down the town has 120 days to reconsider and remote on the EXACT same project ONLY. No changes.
2. If during that 120 period the town does not vote for the project we are done with the MSBA in terms of a new elementary school. We go back in the queue.
3. When we make it back to the top of the line again (who knows how many years that will take) we start the whole process again from the beginning. So everything we have spent so far both in terms of time spent and money spent goes down the tunes.
4. While we are waiting to get back to the top of the queue again we will most likely need to spend money on a new boiler for Wildwood and a new roof for Fort River. Money wasted on two school that have out-lived their usefulness.
5. Some people point to Granby as an example of how it's not true that we'll losee our place in line. Here's the Granby story. In 2010 the town voted down the project for the MS/HS. That project is now back in the queue waiting for its turn again. Six years later and still waiting. Since that time the MSBA has awarded funding for Granby for a new elementary school. Totally different project. Totally different school. The MS/HS project is still waiting six years later.

Bottom line: if this project is voted down it will be years before we have another shot at a new elementary school(s).

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 1046. Sorry for some odd the auto correct mistakes in my post. Thought I caught them all as they were happening. I hate auto correct!

Anonymous said...

Free college. It's to laugh! America is not the birthplace of socialism. It's a Constitutional Republic. 9:26 is right on.

Anonymous said...

I want new schools to replace WW and FR but since the ONLY option that Ms Geryk offered (one that most parents and teachers didn't support) includes reconfiguring grades, which I don't support, I will vote NO. Don't put the blame on me, put the blame on Ms Geryk and her supporters who went against what the majority wanted. As community members, we should have a say in our schools and Ms Geryk decided to ignore that (and don't use the excuse that we voted in the SC who oversees the SI). Ms Geryk handled the entire project poorly from the beginning. Her arguments and questionable use of data do not persuade me that the reconfiguration will provide a better experience and education for our elementary students. There were other choices on the table and more options could have been explored, but Ms Geryk was closed-minded and resistant to suggestions and discounted what the community wanted (as usual).

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to vote for anything that doesn't have the dollar amount attached to it. And I'm also not going to believe any "facts" for or against this that's posted anonymously.

Anonymous said...

And I hate identifying all the store fronts. Although not difficult for us robots.

Laura Quilter said...

The Anon 10:46am brings up Granby, but may have missed that Granby was awarded at the beginning of the year -- http://www.massschoolbuildings.org/node/40111 .

SASS members Maria Kopicki and I did a public records act request with the MSBA (the state funding agency) about failed votes and exactly what happens. You can read more here https://saveamherstssmallschools.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/what-happens-if-amherst-residents-or-town-meeting-vote-the-current-proposal-down/ and see the list of failed votes yourself here: https://saveamherstssmallschools.wordpress.com/reconfiguration/msba-failed-votes/ .

The fear-mongering of "oh we will not get funding for decades or who knows how long" is outright exaggeration for political expediency. Maybe people will find 5-6 years too long for a new program; maybe they won't. But to have the School Administration and their associated lobbying group telling us 10-15, 15-20 years, is really misleading. It does a real disservice to the BOLD members and residents of Amherst who are given these exaggerated and misleading numbers -- and this wasn't the only example of highly questionable numbers being touted by the Administration. I guess I'd be worried too, if I only had the numbers and stories the school administration was giving me.

On the concerns that "oh doing a different vote will take a long time and be more expensive" -- two thoughts. One, we're already spending $67 million on a plan that the Town will have to live with for 50 years. We'd damn well better get it right. Building a megaschool based on 1990s educational trends ("bigger is better") doesn't seem like a great idea, especially when the research is ALREADY showing that large grade cohorts and student bodies are inequitable and harmful to our most vulnerable kids.

And two -- another commentator pointed out, and I agree, that those concerns really ought to be laid squarely on the Administration's doorstep. The MSBA process has a pretty extensive timeframe during the feasibility study in order to do exactly what our school administration should have been doing and wasn't: Understanding public opinion, and if appropriate, trying to shape public opinion. Instead, the administration ran out the clock on the feasibility window, literally scheduling the vote on reconfiguration only two weeks before what they (wrongly) thought was the deadline for the vote. That was it. Their allotted time for public participation was going to be two weeks. But we now know that they were aiming for reconfiguration during the whole feasibility process. So that was two years that they could have been selling this to Amherst, or responding to parents' & teachers' concerns by going to more popularly supported proposals. A truly dismal example of failure to involve the community. So if you want to say a NO vote is a big waste of time -- place the blame on the administration that has, in every way, tried to force the community into a vote by withholding information until the last minute and then saying "we have to do it NOW."



Anonymous said...

To anon @ 10:46. These are the actual facts from the MSBA website...

In the event that a school district fails to approve funding for a proposed project within the 120-day deadline, by no later than 10 business days following the failed vote, the school district must submit to the MSBA a plan that: (1) presents the vote results, (2) explains the school district’s understanding of the reason(s) for the failed vote, and (3) sets forth the school district’s plan to remedy the failed vote and a suggested timeline for such a remedy. The MSBA will review the plan and determine whether it can continue to set aside MSBA funds for the proposed project. However, a failed local vote likely will result in the school district being required to submit a new Statement of Interest to the MSBA and await an invitation from the MSBA to enter the Eligibility Period phase of the MSBA’s process.

I think we have a very strong case to move quickly to a twin K-6 option. I hope the administration is not being truthful about not having a back up plan. If this is the case and their option is voted down, they should resign.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting the kids Brian...but please support our kids by supporting the K-6 new twin school option by voting NO in November. We can then move on to the twin K-6 option that still creates the 2 new schools. A no vote is a yes vote to move on to the scheme that most teachers and parents prefer. We do NOT lose the state money like some people are falsely claiming. This scheme is not our only option.

Anonymous said...

A decade is an outright lie, it may not require waiting at all....and are you willing to rush into this only to make a mistake that lasts 50 years like FR and WW?

Anonymous said...

the admin could have expanded K-6 in CF (to provide space similar to a new twin k-6 in the WW location) by moving the preK (and maybe, if justified, expanding it) into the twin k-6 project. That way all the 3 k-6 schools would have the potential/flexibility for ~3 classes/grade. This is but one example of other options that seemed not to have been considered bc the Admin decided reconfig or bust.

Anonymous said...

It is NOT a mega school. It is two 375 student schools.
When will SASS stop distorting the facts?

Anonymous said...

It is a mega-school no matter how you cut it. Imagine... just the traffic at the beginning and end of the day. How about school functions or parent conferences? Where will they all park? Or, will we have to provide taxpayer funded shuttle buses? How about staff parking? Consider when the snow is piled high and spaces are filled.

But, most of all, think of the children. They belong in neighborhood schools where each child matters. Not lost in the herd of the masses of little ones that would attend this proposed monstrosity.

If(Heaven forbid) Ms. Clinton is elected, give a thought to how your taxes will be guaranteed to increase. Those who think that college will be "free," will only grow up to realize it will be, they, who will pay this bill...along with the many years of accumulated interest.

Ever consider that Massachusetts is already trying to find money to fund its current spending? Or that the USA owes trillions? There are so many unfunded liabilities, what if your pension goes belly up? What are you going to do then?

No schools should be built at this time. This is an expensive project that has to be a good fit for the community. Much more consideration is needed.

Laura Quilter said...

Anon 5:16 pm, I have occasionally made efforts to abandon the catchy "megaschool" phrase in the interests of getting along. I attempted to engage in very earnest conversations with consolidation advocates talking about the ways that this is and is not two schools. Not once was any nuance acknowledged by the consolidation advocates, who prefer to keep using the the administration's "two 375-student school" line.

That was frustrating, but more importantly, it's not a really fair description of what's happening at the building. I'll reprise:

* This school building has two sets of administrators, but all other facilities are shared. There are two separate doors off of one central entrance plaza, and I'm sure there will be different labels off the two doors. One cafeteria / dining, one gym, one nurse's office, one library/media space. This is contrast with the typical "co-located school", which usually have separate entrances / exits, two sets of facilities, and so forth. In fact, materials from last fall included that sort of discussion of the co-located schools, so you can easily contrast what a more conventional "dual school" looks like, and how much the current proposal is NOT that.

* The 6th grade is combined into one "pod". Note that it's one pod in one of the wings. Let's do some math. If 150 6th graders are in one wing, then the other kids are going to be divvied how? About 225 of the 2d-5th graders in that wing, and the other 450 2nd-5th graders in the other wing. Assuming they're divvied up evenly. Or maybe there will be more 5th graders in one of the wings ... so some kids will be moved from one wing to the other at 5th grade. Anyway, it's not "two equal 375-student schools". And that's not even looking at the asymmetric and unequal access to the (smaller, less grassy) playspaces. (More hardtop! Just what every kid wants. Except for the kids who get to go down the steep hill to the middle school grassy fields when their turn to use the fields comes up. That will be not fun for kids with physical mobility challenges. On the plus side, by the time they get to the fields they'll have already gotten quite a workout, I guess. But I digress .... )

* Anyway, maybe you are not happy or even disillusioned that the two schools will not actually be equal in every way. Don't worry; it probably won't be for long. The plans make it clear that the building is set up so that the school can convert to single-grade. (See, e.g., Letter from Josslin Lesser to MSBA, April 11, 2016: "The floor plan / building design is modified to address potential future use of the building as a single grade 2-6 elementary school. The MSBA notes that Grade 6 is now combined as a single pod." Available on the ARPS website at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By0mz4P0v3bWaG9vUk54emJud2s/view , page 615.)

The administration continues to label this "two 375-student schools", although the plan has changed significantly from the early proposals that actually looked more like duplex. When your 2nd grader is milling about the entrance plaza with 750 other kids (150 other 2nd graders), let me know if it still feels like two schools.

Or, maybe the school administration and school consolidation advocates could abandon the fiction of "two equal separate 375-student schools" and acknowledge the ways that this is (at best) a hybrid with some aspects of dual schools, and some aspects of a single school. Then we can perhaps agree on some terminology that is a little less annoying to the consolidation advocates.


Anonymous said...

Laura Quilter,
You keep saying parents and teachers don't want this plan. What you should say is some parents and teachers don't want this plan. There are many parents and teachers who support this plan.

Anonymous said...

On a different topic, but still related to our schools, I don't fully understand why the lead story for the Gazette today is on Maria Geryk's emails about Aisha Hiza. Sure, the public information request came through but what do we learn from it? Not that much really.

Yes, Geryk presumably had phone conversations with then Regional School Committee chair Laura Kent upon Geryk's request & the contents of which are known only to Geryk and Kent and anyone else they told. Nice way to keep the conversations out of the public eye.

And yes, Geryk's emails say that she issued the stay away order from Hiza based on the recommendations from Amherst and Pelham police officials. We knew that already. What's been disputed is if Geryk's conversation with the police were as she portrays and if such recommendations to issue a stay away order were in fact made. Based on other reports, the police have a different recollection of their conversation with Geryk and never made such recommendations.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah I was not overly impressed with the story.

I'm still waiting on my Public Doc request for emails which is now past the ten day response date.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how Ms Geryk's letter of complaint can include the problems with her evaluation (not following protocol), since it had not been officially submitted (and never will be).

Anonymous said...


Once the project scope and budget is officially signed, Amherst has 120 days to get town approval and Town meeting approval for our share of the funding for the project. That means the town can vote No on Nov 8 and can vote again as many times as possible within the 120 day period. After that 120 days, if there is a re-vote and the town still votes No on the exact same project,the process goes back to the drawing board and starts all over again. This means beginning with a statement of interest (SOI) to the MSBA every year until accepted back into the process. Town Meeting would have to approve the funds for a feasibility study, then form a school building committee,hire an OPM, hire architects, develop an educational plan and design a project. The MSBA website states this pretty clearly. The Granby issue is a red herring. It was actually two projects. In 2010 Granby voted down a junior/senior high school. That has never gotten back into the pipeline. The project they are now doing with the MSBA is West Elementary school. So to suggest that Granby got quickly back in to the MSBA process after their failed vote, is completely false.

Laura Quilter said...

Anon 8:07 am -- This is what the MSBA reported about the failed Granby vote on the middle / high:

Granby Middle/High School -- Special Town Meeting and Election Ballot Vote failed, Statement of Interest Removed, New Statement of Interest Filed, Currently in Grant Program.

The MSBA's press release section and the database that compiles press releases doesn't include all the information on projects.

.... Rather than speculating on how long it "might" take, we asked the MSBA for information about all the failed votes. In each failed vote where the TOWN wanted to go ahead, they either asked and received extensions, or they made a different proposal, got back into the program quickly, and had new votes within 4-6 years. Again, the data is here: https://saveamherstssmallschools.wordpress.com/reconfiguration/msba-failed-votes/

People should also know that the MSBA has a number of programs, including an "accelerated repair" program, a "green repair" program, as well as the "model school" program. If buildings are in truly bad shape, for instance, they can be admitted into the "accelerated repair" program.

There are a lot of options. Amherst does NOT need to accept a plan that most of its parents do not like, and that most of its teachers (when surveyed ANONYMOUSLY) also did not like. In the 1970s, the town went with a program that teacher expressed grave reservations with. Now, the Administration proposes to do it again, and to use fearmongering and divisiveness to pit us against one another, or to make us fear that this is our only chance. I believe that our Town, which loves our schools, can find a solution that will bring us all together in support of our schools. We need school leadership that actually listens to teachers and the community, and works to bring us together, instead of withholding information to try to chivvy us like wayward herd animals.

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura Quilter,
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all the time and effort you have put into following this situation and doing all the research. In the midst of all this brohaha, the few times that I have felt I was actually getting good, detailed, analytic info has been reading your posts, letters etc.

Please keep up the good work and know that many of us are deeply appreciative. Thank you for your time.

:) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Laura...Your recollection of the 70's is absolutely correct. I fear that "if we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it" and this is exactly what is happening. More time will not hurt a thing, it will help us make better decisions about the futures of our children.

I taught children for over thirty-five years and I know this current proposal is NOT good for the children or for the town. It may be shiny and new, but it will not serve us well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1220 and others who are willing to wait. Are you willing to wait 6 more years? Willing to throw away the almost two years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars that have already been spent? Willing to spend thousands of dollars on a new boiler for Wildwood and new roof for Fort River while we wait? And which school will be chosen next and which will have to wait years more?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:53 The answer is YES. "Haste makes waste."

Laura Quilter said...

Anon 12:53 pm -- You do know that EVEN IF APPROVED, kids will be in the current Wildwood until 2019 anyway, right? And the current Fort River until 2020 fall, right? If the boiler or roof fail they will have to replaced, period.

If you're truly worried about throwing dollars away while we wait, then maybe you would want to look at plans that would actually conserve existing buildings and infrastructure, i.e,. renovations. Then the improvements we've put in over the year's (Fort River's new boiler, new doors, and parking lot improvements, if I recall correctly) would not be "wasted". The greenest building is the one that's already standing.

Anonymous said...

This has not been a hasty process by any stretch of the imagination. It's taken 2 years in the process to get to this point.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to pay for the renovations? The state won't be chipping in.

Dr. Ed said...

Who is going to pay for the renovations?

The same people who will pay for the MegaSkool.

Do not forget that (a) the MSBA's "Core Program is primarily for projects beyond the scope of the Accelerated Repair Program, including extensive repairs, renovations, addition/renovations, and new school construction" AND that the proposed MegaSkool technically is a renovation/expansion of the existing Wildwood school.

The state won't be chipping in.

!: Wrong -- the MSBA funds renovations as well.

2: Where do you think the MSBA money comes from? Chests of Gold that come floating in on the tide? One of my many issues with the mASSgop is their consistent failure to point out that there isn't a Magic Money Tree" on Boston Common, that state (and federal) money is tax dollars. (And folks, you gotta cut spending before you can pursue the legitimate goal of cutting the income & sales taxes, but I digress.)

3: As to the (quite asinine) attitude of "if we don't spend the state's money, someone else will", may I suggest we look at how much cleaner our environment is now that we don't pump raw sewerage into the river & touch off the dump every Saturday? (An UN-lined dump back then, with lots of nasty things in it.)

Now Amherst could go back to pumping raw sewerage into the Connecticut and having smoky dump fires without causing that much environmental damage, the issue is that ALL of the communities agreed not to do this anymore. So too with wasteful State & Federal spending, the only way we are going to get it under control is to admit that this isn't "free money" -- to do our little bit to help with a massive problem.

Folks, the state is broke -- those of you either receiving a public pension and/or planning to need to be really worried. And if a state declares bankruptcy, which it can, you become an unsecured creditor, someone lucky to get a few pennies on the dollar.

But then I, unlike the mASSgop, am a true fiscal conservative. Waste not, want not...

Anonymous said...

Do the school nuts booster cheerleaders know that squandering millions on redundant building infrastructure-sacrifices employee salary budgeting arguments ???!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ed, and unlike the MassGOP, you don't actually live in Mass.