Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Not By (Nearly) Enough

Wildwood $67 million Mega School faces crucial vote next week in Town Meeting

In a democratic society such as ours, when is a 50.38% majority of the vote not even close?  When it requires 66.67% super majority.

Already the spinmeisters are saying Town Meeting will have to support the new $67 million Mega School because "the people have spoken," and if they don't critics will say they do not represent the town.

And archaic Town Meeting is currently in the cross hairs for extermination by the Charter Commission.

Okay fine, if Town Meeting votes next week EXACTLY as the town voted yesterday, with an extremely narrow mirror image 50.38% of the vote then the measure fails.  Not even close.

In the past whenever a borrowing or zoning measure that requires a two-thirds vote only garners 50.38% of Town Meeting support it is pretty much considered an almost embarrassing loss.

Since newbie college student voters probably accounted for 30% of the total (14,695 voters or 66.27% overall turnout) many middle of the road Town Meeting members will be perfectly comfortable questioning their wisdom on this issue, which will impact year round homeowners for the next 25 years.

Finance Committee graph on Mega School Override impact


Anonymous said...

As a TM member, I have no qualms based on the election votes about voting no.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, it is asinine to say that the students don't pay property taxes, not when over 50% of the tax base is rental housing.

You were a small businessman, you know that all costs, including all taxes, get passed on to the customer. The students -- or future students -- will pay.

The students actually pay a de-facto higher mil rate as they don't enjoy the O/O exemption, particularly in the complexes.

Anonymous said...

There couldn't be a majority of property owners voting for it with that thin a margin. The vote is greatly skewed by UMass students.

Anonymous said...

Larry, How do you know what percentage the college students were in the total vote?

Anonymous said...

Larry could you please report on all the machinations the governor, attorney general and statehouse are going to be going through to delay and thwart the will of the people on legalized marijuana?

Anonymous said...

Do we even know what the results are for Question 5 ?

I see on the town's website the unofficial results page puts the NO vote ahead of the yes vote:

Any idea of when we'll get the official Question 5 results???


Anonymous said...

Oh, Wait a minute, (deep exhale).

Breaking in this new bong and your post caught me mid-hit.

Finally, in my lifetime, pot is legal and we elected Bozo the racist, mysoginist, homophobic, xenophobic clown President of the United States of America.

(inhale, again deeply and talk in a holding my breath in voice)

President Trump and his band of merry-hateful, fear mongers are bringing us the new family values. Can't wait.

The President is known for hitting on his own, voluptuous daughter so she's obviously in play. Maybe she'll sit on his lap while he tells America a good night story and then when we wake up tomorrow half of our friends (all non-white males are in play here) are mysteriously gone. Maybe the new First Lady porn channel will dovetail with all this fireside mayhem between Dad and not so little Ivanchacha. [Insert that sexy, frenchy word here.] Hey, it's Trump, we can expect the best in entertainment, huge, beautiful new realizations inside the west wing of the Gold House.

(exhale, good shit, man)

Can't wait for Obama to pardon Clinton on his last day in office. It'll be reminiscent of Reagan cutting a deal with the Iranis in late '79, early '80 to get the American hostages released in Tehran, on the same day he was inaugurated President! It was so cool. You would have thought he was negotiating behind the scenes with the Iranis before he was even made President. Naa.

And then, in the style of the incoming President, who set new standards in how to be President, Obama should turn around and flip President Trump off, maybe grab Melanie's cootchie coo and slap the new President on the back, or something. You know, like, yeah Mr. President, she's hot! Did you just say she likes to get locked up? Handcuffs on the four poster in the Presidential bedroom? Dude, that’s epic.

And so finally, it is revealed in a new zany, Trump-reality show that the President has some surrogates that even he doesn't know, but you can bet that crazy-eyed Melanie has a few phone numbers. After all, tiny hands is 70 years old and even viagra has its limits. Rock on, girl. Can’t wait for the First Lady centerfold! Go girl!

So loving this legal pot. Thanks Massachusetts!

Anonymous said...

This is why we need to do away with town meeting. By the way Granby turned down their MSBA money in 2010 and they're still waiting to get picked again. Good luck to Amherst if we walk away from this money.

kevin said...

The highest taxpayers, as a percentage of income, in Amherst are renters, who pay out of after-tax dollars. And 5,761 of these are "students". They have the same rights as you or anybody. Would you deny them their right to vote? Where else do they do that, deny people the right to vote. I hope Town Meeting does vote it down, defying the will of the voters. It will make it easier to kill Town Meeting when the Charter vote comes around. Who cares about the children anyway, they don't vote.

Larry Kelley said...

No I would not deny students their right to vote, I would simply not put much stock in in it when it comes to local town matters.

Anonymous said...

It's simple: there is now a debt exclusion override which allows a tax increase up to a certain amount, but Town Meeting is never obligated to increase taxes all the way to the max. In fact, Town Meeting has a long history of being generally more prudent and much better informed of the details than the many under-informed folks (mostly UMass students who normally live elsewhere, though no disrespect to them on other matters) who took part in this particular vote.

- YF

Anonymous said...

7 of 10 precincts approved...seems reasonable if TM represented constituents it would sail through!

Anonymous said...

Umass students do pay property taxes on a very short term basis but no way do they vote based on that largely unseen fact. And yes I would limit their voting on strictly town matters. I would also raise the voting age to whatever age I happen to be! (Not kidding)... be King!

Dr. Ed said...

If one wanted to determine which way the students voted, an analysis of precincts relative to the percentage of students would be informative.

In other words, look at the precincts the dorms are in, while remembering that those aren't entirely student precincts.

And as to students paying property tax, A student will be paying property tax on the unit indefinitely -- as will someone else on your property when you eventually transfer it.

And WHY don't students understand how much more this ill cost them?

Why doesn't someone calculate how much this will raise the rents of various types of rentals, e.g. 3-bedroom apartment, 4 bedroom house.

Anonymous said...

Granby applied in 2011 for a school and got accepted this year. Facts. The world is filled with facts. Go find them K.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Ed, because it won't cost them much of anything. First, for students living in campus housing the number is $0. That's zero. And for students living off campus, the school will only add around $500 in property tax per house, per year. That's $500 divided by 4 renters and divided by 12 months. In other words, $10.41 a month. This is not exactly breaking the bank.

Anonymous said...

I would have no problem supporting this if they left the grade configurations alone and made WW project pre k to 6 and did same to crocker.

Anonymous said...

The funny part is that pushback to the neveau Amherst way of thinking got Trump elected. The spending and the collectivism are just too much and most folks have had it with this type of welfare and income redistribution.

Anonymous said...

Headline: After years of trashing UMass and futile attempts to devalue degrees for alumni, Dr. Ed now wants to protect student interests ... details at 11:00 ...

Anonymous said...

"Facts. The world is filled with facts. "

Yeah but facts don't matter anymore. Haven't you heard? You must not twitter or facebook. Facts are passe, man. President Trump is the icon for the new world order,, sans fact.

Hate is love. War is peace. Trump is President.

Anonymous said...

Granby was accepted for an ES school this year. In 2010 their town meeting voted to not accept funds for a MS/HS and they are still are still waiting to get accepted again. 6 years and counting. Is this what we want in Amherst? Possibly waiting 6 years or more to get accepted back in the MSBA procesd? Are we willing to be set back that long in our quest for new elementary schools? Do we really want to gamble that we'll be accepted back in the process in only a few years? As the saying goes a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Anonymous said...

9:18: yes.