Priming the pump

Years ago, when I was a scout at summer camp, I can recall going down to the well to get a bucket of water.  The well had an old hand pump and a small bucket beside it containing a couple of quarts of water.

The procedure was to pour a couple of quarts into the pump to prime it, then pump away until it started delivering water.  When it started flowing, you first refilled the priming container, then pumped your water.  Once the priming was done, you could pump an unlimited amount of water from the well without pouring any more into it.

That’s what the Friends hope to accomplish here.  Copious amounts of cash for an investment of $750,000.  They’ve moved the handle up and down in the past, but nothing has come out.  Now they think that by priming it, the flood will start.

I haven’t written any letters to the paper lately.  The backlash of personal attack was overwhelming the last time.   Thankfully, there were some thoughtful letters by others:

  • I like the notion of telling the Friends, flush with cash, to make us an offer and buy the place.  Works for me.
  • A prior Selectman wrote to say that the key is voter turnout.  She stopped short of saying to vote no on Article 7, instead pointing out other high priority things that we should consider before borrowing another $4 million for 20 years.
  • And then there’s Bucky,  who says let’s move on and spend the money on new infrastructure.

All good advice, because once that pump is primed, they will never stop moving the handle up and down.

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3 Responses to Priming the pump

  1. Walter Spellman says:

    Love the analogy. Only difference is that your bucket has water in it to initiate the delivery of more water once the pump is primed. The BMH bucket has no water, only promises to put some in if necessary. The only funding certainty I see is the one-hundred and eleven grand in the TO Capital Reserve Fund.
    If Article 7 prevails I would expect the BOS and Town Administration to instruct the Friends and their supporting donors to immediately escrow, if not already done, the pledged $750,000 and execute on their promise. This would clearly demonstrate that they are true stakeholders and not just cheerleaders with paper pompoms.
    Can’t prime the pump if the water in the bucket has suddenly “evaporated”.

    Walter Spellman

  2. suzanne ryan says:

    Escrow funds..yes that should happen….however as I understand it…the arrangement for donors
    (who wish to do so) can give money 2014 and the rest in 2015…..wounder what the second year will
    put in the bucket. Let’s face it the taxpayers will be the bank..

  3. wolfeblog says:

    Without a doubt the whole notion of $750,000 in private funds is a leap of faith. A promise based on a promise. The warrant article is written to be able to proceed if NONE of the funds materialize. You might think that the Friends would have demonstrated at least some confidence in the quality of their pledges by only authorizing a bond amount that is consistent with their promise.

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