BY DAN VALENTI
This Week in Jonathan Levine’s Pittsfield Gazette
Check out Jonathan Levine’s Pittsfield Gazette this week for the best and most complete coverage on the marathon City Council meeting last night (Tuesday, May 10). At the meeting, Melissa Mazzeo done whipped the boys on the issue of “acting appointments.” Kevin Sherman got in the Way Back Machine and proposed charter reform. And Uncle Gerry fell asleep, awake, eyes wide shut.
Also, The Planet writes about the upcoming Year Two for the Pittsfield Colonials. Find out what’s riding in the stands all year at Beloved Wahconah Park. Get the scoop on this last, best attempt to make professional baseball work in Pittsfield. As we know, The Gazette is the only newspaper in town right now.
Thoughts Over Lunch at Blantyre (Of Course … Not!)
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, May 11, 2011) — Now that the dust has settled in Lenox, we peer into the wake and see John McNinch and Dave Roche take their place on the five-member board. We see Kim Flynn bidding adieu. Eric Vincelette is ready and willing to resume his place on the town’s finance committee.
For the Conspiracy Theorists on The Planet, we will say that all this is the result of our pulling strings in town or, as one put it, “messing in Lenox politics, where he doesn’t belong.” To the vast majority out there, who value reason, logic, and common sense as the key ingredients of reality — that is, the remainder of our vast readership — we say that this will be the result of a natural progression based on the noted good work Roche, McNinch, Flynn, and Vincelette have done for the town.
Conspiracy Theorists: Out of Thin Air, They Make Nothing and Call It Something
In the rational Dreaded Private Sector, they call what will happen in Lenox an advancement (soemthing Will be happening there soon). In Lenoxology, some will call it a Planet Conspiracy. We will take all of it with our paper (the Boston Herald, for the curious) as we lunch today at Blantyre (it’s called “humoring the feverish!”).
Yesterday on The Planet, Vincelette posted a long response to the charges that have been brought up against him by a tiny handful of people. We thought it was a compelling document, remarkable for its frankness and exemplary of this medium of exchange for allowing a failed candidate to address matters that others don’t want to see put to rest.
The Planet says again that prior to the debate we moderated at the Lenox Library on Tuesday, May 3, we were not aware of the information that has since emerged on Vincelette’s finances. If we had been aware, we would have had it in our arsenal on Tuesday night — just as we had “ammo” against all four candidates, materiel we decided not to use because the audience pushed back when we hinted at “going there.”
Conspiracy Theorists have not given indication that they believe this, but that is their problem in its essence: being unable to separate truth from fiction and not having the sensitivity of appreciating fact over fever. We also pose this question to every critic of the electoral happenings in Lenox: Did you watch the debate? Answer in honesty.
Thus, The Planet Presents:
The Vincelette Statement
BY ERIC VINCELETTE
I thought this the appropriate medium and time to address some of the issues that have been discussed about me over the last few weeks as the campaign has now come to its end. I plan to make ONE statement, as clear, concise and complete as possible and be done with it. What the readers of this blog world do with it , is completely up to you, but if I may say, based on catching up with things on The Planet over the past few weeks, I’m sure most of it will be mean spirited and filled with partial truths, few facts, minus any humanity. But enough of my preaching, here goes.
‘My Relationship with Mr. Valenti’
* First, my relationship with Mr. Valenti. I met Dan through my father, over a cup of coffee, as more of a meet and greet, friendly get together. We found common interests, for example in sports, politics, and the like, and that led to subsequent casual meetings. One was a radio show about unfunded liabilities, the other gathering for the Pittsfield Colonials, where we were both invited by different people at Dan’s favorite roadside eatery, Blantyre. The total number of times we have sat down and spoken is about 5 or 6. Thats the extent of it folks. So if that constitutes that we took some solemn oath to be blood brothers forever to you, then so be it.
The Debate: ‘I Just Showed Up, As Did the Other Candidates’
* Second,the word on the street after our debate was that I, the newcomer, had somehow pulled the strings behind the scenes when it came to the debate. This again is completely untrue and inaccurate and gives me way too much credit. I am not a member of the Green Party. I ran as an independent. I did not have anything to do with who the Green Party chose as a moderator at all. They told me when and where and I showed up.
‘Valenti Refused to Meet with Me Prior to Debate’
* Third, I had no idea what to expect from Dan or the debate , just like the other candidates, when I showed up. Whatever due diligence Dan did, he did on his own, through his own sources, of which I am not privy. In fact, I actually tried to reach out to Dan about 5 days or so before the debate to make him aware of a potential issue of mine that had come out , that I thought he should be aware of as moderator, so he had the facts, AND HE REFUSED TO TAKE THE CALL OR COMMUNICATE BECAUSE HE WASN’T SPEAKING WITH THE OTHER CANDIDATES AND DIDN’T WANT ANY BIAS GOING INTO THE DEBATE.
‘My Financial Standing’
* Fourth, as far as my financial standing, again, if you have a problem with someone who is willing to work to no end to keep his house for his kids and put food on the table, then continue to take your childish pot shots, as you have been taking in blog world or if you are man enough,with a shred of integrity then personally reach out to me and I will be glad to take the time to address any of your concerns.
When I purchased my home in Lenox 7 years ago this month, I put 20% down, had an 800 credit score, plenty of savings , no extraneous debt outside of the mortgage, and our total household was making in excess of $100,000 per year. More than enough to pay our bills and save for the future. We did extensive renovation, including a “mother in law suite” (famous last words) and refinanced twice. We put everything back into our home, including our savings, the only home I have ever owned, to make it a family home.
At the time I was doing a mix of general contracting, some real estate sales, and had started to do some mortgages, fixed rate only, insurance and some mutual funds and retirement planning and making consistent money. January 1st 2007 we had a major medical issue affect our household, which not only affected the obvious things but also the family finances as well. That coupled with the dried up construction, real estate, and mortgage markets made it extremely tough to make money.
‘I Did Not Sit on my Butt All Day and Blog About It’
Now, I did not sit on my butt and blog all day about it. To the contrary, I worked side construction jobs, weekend nights at a restaurant, and evolved my advising practice into more strategic long term retirement planning, as you boomers are the only ones with any money, but of course, most of it was and still is on the sidelines. In fact, a record, $9 trillion or more sits dormant in money markets and CDs as people work through their fears of market volatility.
I did whatever I needed to do to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Again, in a bygone era, this was something that was commended. During this time I entered into troubled loan status with Bank of America. I applied 7 or more times for a modification with them only to be denied — until the last time, when I was granted a modification with them. I am currently in good standing on my way back to being whole. The legal notice in the paper was a ”Servicemembers Civil Relief Act” notice, which is served in troubled mortgages but doesn’t mention the good standing modification. In a HUGE bank like B of A, one hand doesn’t see what the other is doing. So there it is boys, in black and white for your derision, speculation, dart board material, OR your honest assessment of who Eric J. Vincelette is as a person.
‘This Puts the Issue to Rest’
I hope this puts this issue to rest for you. It does for me.
I also wanted to congratulate, David Roche and John McNinch for their victory in the election and thank Kim Flynn for her years of service to the town of Lenox. One thing I am proud of is how hard I worked, how many great people I met, and that I feel I drove the issues of unfunded liabilities, health insurance costs, etc.
I am only going to be getting more engaged in town going forward. I also think that the fact , whether its old guard, new guard, whatever it is, at least Lenox has a guard of people that care about its town, compared to so many others whose races go unopposed year after year.
Eric J Vincelette
WE THANK VINCELETTE FOR THIS POST. AND NOW, WE MOVE ON, BOATS WITH THE CURRENT, BORNE CEASELESSLY INTO THE “NOW.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.