Letter: Looming Library Costs Endanger School Override Vote


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The following letter was sent to the Amherst Town Council on March 28, 2023.

I support the new elementary school plan.  It is a vast improvement over the previous plan in almost every way.  I am especially approving of the net zero energy component as it agrees with my environmental ethic, a value that I believe is shared by an overwhelming majority of Amherst’s residence.

However, I cannot support the May 2 tax override.  I will be a no vote because it is not, as advertised, a “clean” vote solely on the school project.  In fact it is a vote for the council’s “One Town, One Plan” to pursue four capital buildings simultaneously.  

While that is a laudable goal, I feel deceived by the council’s decision to commit to funding the least popular, (environmentally unfriendly, over sized and over budget), Jones Library Project within our existing tax budget, while asking the voters to increase our taxes for 30 years for the most popular School Building Project.  

Meanwhile, not a word or dollar has been spent on the second and third most popular Fire Station and DPW buildings.

Committing to four buildings and singling out one for an override vote, as if it is solely for that one building, is disingenuous.

If you want my vote for the tax override, then I need your vote to stop funding the library demolition project.  

As the tax override vote comes up first, I will accept the public commitment, of at least seven of you, to voting against the current library plan.

Jim Turner

Jim Turner has lived in Amherst for more than 25 years.

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2 thoughts on “Letter: Looming Library Costs Endanger School Override Vote

  1. Thank you, Jim. What you say makes eminent good sense. One of the reasons that I did not support the expensive and destructive library plan was that I knew there were three more capital projects in the Town’s pipeline. Now that the first one of them is upon us, we can see how much it is going to cost the town. I personally support the new school and would be ready to vote for it, but not if the Town remains committed to the current library boondoggle. And as you say, Jim, the taxpayers don’t yet know how much the new fire station and DPW building are going to cost us.
    How can we best convey this message collectively to the Town Council and the townspeople before May 2nd?

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