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PLANET EXCLUSIVE: RUBERTO DENIES HE’S LEAVING OFFICE PREMATURELY, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING’s GOING ON; IS It with ‘OPPORTUNITY FUND’? , plus, COLUMBUS AVENUE NAME CHANGE: AFTERMATH OF THE WRECKAGE

By DAN VALENTI

ADD 1 JUNE 9, 2011

For Ruberto, Does ‘Opportunity’ Knock?

With respect to the rumors that Mayor Jimmy Ruberto will be leaving office before his term is up (see first posting from today, immediately below), The Planet has received information from a credible source that may shed light on the mayor’s tenuous response to the question.

Apparently, Ruberto has interviewed with Berkshire Opportunity Fund in Lenox. You likely don’t know who or what they are, and it’s probably because it was started in 2008 and it keeps a low profile. From the the company’s web site, we learn:

Roger O Goldman and Steven Picheny founded the Berkshire Opportunity Fund in 2008 to finance businesses that are poised for growth and require additional capital. As long-time Berkshire residents, Roger and Steven know how important small and medium-sized businesses are to the local economy. In addition to providing a return to their investors, they and their partners are committed to growing companies that create and sustain jobs and support the local economy.

Sources say Ruberto has not only interviewed there, but he has visited the office on multiple occasions. It sounds like it’s more than just a casual affair with serious mutual interest.  You can go to the company’s website to find out more about BOF and its founders. The site lists three companies as featured investments: Donovan Motorcar Service in Lenox, ceramic designer Michael Wainwright, and a small Pittsfield textile company named Rennie and Rose.

The Planet has a call into the mayor’s office for his comments.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, JUNE 9, 2011) — In a recent interview with Mayor Jimmy Ruberto, The Planet asked him if there was any truth to a rumor that has come back from the dead more times that Jason in Friday the 13th or the Frankenstein monster in the old Universal horror films.

Will he be leaving office before his term expires. Before we even got the question out, Ruberto began to answer, too emphatically, “No. There’s no truth to it.” That right there caused the fleeting thought: “He doth protest too loudly.” The conversation resumed:

PLANET: No truth to it? None whatsoever? You’re not resigning on July 1?

RUBERTO: Let me tell you, on July 2, I will be on the job. Period. PEER-ee-od.

PLANET: Fine. Now what about on the morning of Inauguration Day in January?

RUBERTO: Well, Dan, you know I would fully expect that to be the case as of right now but you never know.

PLANET: Ah, sounds like your equivocating. So something’s going on, right?

RUBERTO: No, but if a situation came along that was perfect or was the right one, well, I’d have to look at it.

The equivocation and the manner in which it was delivered makes The Planet conclude that something IS in the works. It won’t be in July but it might be before November. Beware of an October Surprise.

The mayor denied that there was anything going on in terms of a position with Gov. Deval Patrick.

This story needs to be monitored as Campaign 2011 heads into Labor Day. It would be a fair question for opponents to put to Peter Marchetti: Are you aware of any scenario that has the mayor resigning before his term is out to set up the circumstances that would have you as acting mayor prior to Election Day in November or after November should you lose the election?

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What’s in a Name? Pull-Lenty

As dumb as it was for Mayor Ruberto to try to rename a major artery of the downtown (Columbus Avenue) for Martin Luther King without consulting residents of the city, the mayor was as smart withdrawing the tone-deaf move.

In a brief letter to the council’s subcommittee on public works, Ruberto referred to “an unfortunate amount of controversy, something which is not befitting this great man of social change.” The cagey phrasing, as The Planet reads it, allows Ruberto to withdraw saving face. He implies that the only reason he’s withdrawing is the controversy. In other words, people, “unfortunately,” made a fuss and embarrassed this great man — a clever way of shifting blame.

Ruberto forgets that King WAS a man of controversy. He entire social agenda hinged upon upsetting the status quo in America and necessary fomenting a revolution with respect to the treatment of blacks (It was either King’s way of Malcolm X’s waay). Actually, Ruberto’s citation of “controversy” as the reason for shying away from renaming Columbus Avenue not only betrays a misunderstanding of King’s historical and political impact but also avoids addressing the genuine reason: Simply put, the proposal to change the name of Columbus Avenue was done unilaterally, ignoring the people most affected by the change.

Politically, as a lame duck, Ruberto faces no consequences for this implied shift in the blame. Personally, he can convince himself that, “Well, Dr. King, at least I tried.”

The Power of Political Activism

We The People hated the proposal from the start, on two fronts: (1) It’s a bad idea and (2) They were ignored. Citizens quickly circulated two petitions opposing to proposed name change. Ward 4 councilor Mike Ward, listening to the intent of residents, pronounced the mayor’s proposal “dead” on arrival.

Now, if only We the People could get as aroused about the budget process and put pressure on ALL public officials to stop the gravy train, cut spending, and maintain services. IT CAN BE DONE, AND RATHER EASILY. The old budget game of “Scare the People” has begun, and if THEY get away with it again, then the city deserves all the trouble that fiscal irresponsibility can produce. The Planet has spelled this out in a previous post [GO TO "BLOG" link on The Planet's home page, click on "Archives," and call up the May 31st posting on the budget]

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MORE TO COME ON THE PLANET. STAY TUNED.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

7 Responses to “PLANET EXCLUSIVE: RUBERTO DENIES HE’S LEAVING OFFICE PREMATURELY, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING’s GOING ON; IS It with ‘OPPORTUNITY FUND’? , plus, COLUMBUS AVENUE NAME CHANGE: AFTERMATH OF THE WRECKAGE”

  1. dusty
    June 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    So you have a call in to the mayors office seeking comment? Here is some free advice.

    The only way you will find out what he is thinking deep down is to break into one of his back room meetings where the cities business really takes place. Other than that, you are dealing with smoke and mirrors just like the rest of the citizenry.

  2. Jim Gleason
    June 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    ruberto will be gone before his term is up and Marchetti will be acting mayor. As far asthe budget goes, I looked at the school budget and the first category listed was administration. There were proposals to give the superintendent a $6k raise and the assistant supt. for business a $15K raise. Right off the bat this is a bloated budget. I saw these numbers in the Gazette listing of the school and municipal budget if you all would care to check.

  3. PCP
    June 10, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    Teacher’s turn down 13% by 263 to 6 vote. Superintendent given 6k raise for loss of 3 MILLION dollars (School choice &charter school) of Pittsfield taxpayer’s money. The teachers helped sent that money to other communities in Berkshire County. Democrat rep Speranzo drops community for personal gain just as Democrat rep Larkin did before Speranzo. Democrat Mayor Ruberto looks to dump the community also. HOW LAZY AND STUPID ARE PITTSFIELD VOTERS TO KEEP REPEATING THE SAME SSSS. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO FOLLOWING THRU ON A COMMITMENT? Public elected service should not be used for personal gain only. Yes, BB misreported as usually the $200 million in state aid to Pittsfield schools. That aid is sent by use of a formula for Chapter 70 funds,you don’t even need a state rep, like we had one anyway.

    • Dusty
      June 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      Well I think Ruberto knew he was going to be the dumpee so he is not running. At least officially. He may join the gang in the back room that dictates city policy however.

  4. Paul Smith
    June 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    The Gang in the Backroom at Remos or wherever it is also continues to drag down the city for personal gain. Shame on them. It’s time for citizens to pay attention to the actions of officials and get involved.

  5. just saying
    June 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    @DV,
    This mayor has followed in the steps of the those who came before him. He speaks of his caring for the working man/small business owner. However his actions show that he is as corrupt and uncaring as Doyle was. Certainly not as blatant. Robber toe is a nothing but a shill for those who run pittsfield. He has put the taxpayers money last and his interests first.

  6. Baby Baby
    June 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    You just won’t go away will you? Make a promise you don’t keep. Sounds like a politician to me.