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Letter: Amherst leaders’ priorities have become questionable

The closing of the pedestrian bridge on the Amherst bike path is a good indication of how the priorities of the Town of Amherst have become distorted.

The Town can’t replace a simple pedestrian bridge on a trail which many in the Northtowns use daily, yet the Amherst Industrial Development Agency grants a $1.2 million tax break to another Amherst hotel which doesn’t need it. Think about that next time you pay your taxes. It isn’t as if no one saw this coming – the bridge didn’t rust and tilt overnight. Nationally, our infrastructure has been ignored for years while the developers have run wild. Looks like this bridge/Amherst IDA fiasco is another local example of that national trend.

Town Board Member Jacqualine Berger was quoted with “I’m amazed at how complicated it is.”

Trust me Ms. Berger, the view from the Amherst taxpayer is equally amazing to the point of pure chagrin. First, it doesn’t have to be complicated because it’s not the Golden Gate Bridge. Second, I suspect as probably many taxpayers suspect that any complication will come from too many layers of town government.

The best fix for this problem can be found in another quote from the article: “For now, the town is recommending that people approaching on the trail from either direction turn around and head back the way they came.” The Town should issue that same recommendation to the next developer who shows up looking for a tax break – turn around and head back the way you came.

Phil Parshall


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