Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ten Year High

The Special Town Meeting starting November 14 has 23 articles on the warrant -- the most in ten years -- including controversial zoning articles and of course the $66,339,000 debt exclusion for the new Mega School.  Zoning and Debt Exclusion require a challenging two-thirds vote to pass.

Thus it's a pretty safe bet the number of cold dark nights 150 or so Town Meeting members will have to trudge to the Middle School Auditorium will be in the neighborhood of 5 (as it was in 2007 with a 20 article warrant).

Jerry Guidera's three zoning articles to make it reasonably easier to do commercial development on the immediate outskirts of the downtown will bring out the NIMBY crowds in full force.

And the Planning Board's attempt yet again at "Inclusionary Zoning" -- requiring larger housing developments to have 10% of the units affordable -- will also be controversial as some view it as anti business and others think it's not anti business enough.

The Fire Station $75,000 for phase 1 feasibility and site selection should fly through as the average age of Town Meeting is ancient and therefor they understand how vital AFD is for Emergency Medical Services (as well as fires of course).

But the $350,000 for phase 2 of the new DPW building schematic design and construction cost estimate will certainly not get the same smooth sailing, especially if the Mega School mega million debt exclusion passes earlier in Town Meeting.

With the Charter Commission starting to align Town Meeting in the crosshairs for possible extinction at least members will be on their best behavior (which is not saying much.)


Anonymous said...

I say no to everything. The new fire station won't help me because when I need help the AFD will be at Umass!

Anonymous said...

Appy is doing her " Rain Dance " for the mega-school - " Divide & Conquer " has been what this insanity is all about !!!

Anonymous said...

Through a miscalculation on my part, I will not be in attendance at Town Meeting during the first week. I'm being told that there may be 3 sessions, which is almost unheard of. I fully intend to be present on the following Monday, November 21, if it goes that far.

My attendance record has been good so far, with only 2 nights missed in 3 years, for the college graduation of my daughter in Iowa in 2015. I am accountable, however, so I am sorry about not being present for some important votes in Week One, and I sincerely apologize to the voters of Precinct 7.

I am keeping my fingers crossed against any one-vote margins on recorded votes.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

No. No. No.

Anonymous said...

This 10 pct for poor housing makes sense. The best way to address the government over reach on our prosperity is to over reach even more and force those making more McHousing to do the job for them. It takes a lot to admit that you have access to everyone's money, spend 21k a year to barely teach math to kids and then fend of the expense of helping the needy to others. One step further, every citizen that has housing should have to house a poor person....ironically, that would be more fair than punishing builders and their legit customers a very small exclusive group being forced to finance society's failures.

But who cares, everyone will bend over on all this over spending and then they will ask for more. You work for public works and they are 10% as efficient as they were 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

"You work for public works and they are 10% as efficient as they were 50 years ago."

Really? Your roads get plowed? Total nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers, BEWARE!!! It is always so much easier to spend other people's money! Spending in Amherst is out of control.

Anonymous said...

The nonsense is that the government has pushed us to have 2+ wage earners per family. They are far far less efficient than they were 50 years ago. They should be doing more with less per capita. They do not, they always want more money and resources for all things public and we have gotten to the point where families work themselves apart and kids have little opportunity.

Work is a burden and takes a lot of life time from people. 50 years ago, one person per family could reasonably work and support the family, get ahead, save etc. There is no reason that if we have progressed, that we could not do better than this, not 2x worse. It would seem after 50 years of the most beneficial technological progress, that we could convince the government not to take it all and that the one wage earner could be working less than 40 hours a week and have the family do just fine. They would, if the government did not just come, take it and spend it inefficiently.

What's the government solution, more of the same...and then more again.

Yeah, my roads are plowed, sometimes by me, and yes with a fraction of the financial efficiency of years past. Nonsense is how hard gen x is working and how little gen y will get to, via your beloved design of giving it all to the lowest skilled folks in society to run a society that would run fine on its own, for far less money and work.

Anonymous said...

Ten year high indeed!

As a long time north Amherst resident I voted early yesterday at the Fire Station on East Pleasant, how cool is that? I voted NO, especially on the Question 5 School building deal.

Both the YES and NO groups on 5 are a bit wacked out in my opinion. But the YES “bold” people are really terrible. I spoke to one woman YESer who told me the new school is really two school of 300 students each. I asked her wasn't it 700 kids in one building? Her response was yes, while that's technically true, it's really two co-joined 'virtual schools' in the same building 'envelope', so she'd rather call it a two school project. Pleeeeeeease, what nonsense. Oh yeah, 300+300 is still not 700..

From what I read this mega-school plan is the product of the Maria Geryk and Katherine Appy cabal, and it just sinks. The school boards are in constant turmoil, we got an intern superintendent and a revolving door of short term principals, and now these jokers are gonna manage a $65 million school project? I suppose Katherine Appy, who has been hosting exclusive wine parties for the Question 5 project's expensive architect, now has a special 'in'. To say the least this architectural firm stands to makes millions from Amherst taxpayers on this boondoggle of a project.

I'm seeing more NO than YES on 5 signs. How did replacing old schools get soooo friggin' divisive? Better luck next time, and please vote no to this nonsense.

And Larry, thanks for this forum and keep stirring the pot.