PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

Two Messages from Peter Marchetti

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, AUG. 2, 2011) — In the past two posts, THE PLANET called upon Peter Marchetti to explain his vote to deny the electorate the chance to vote on an information question pertaining to the building of a new high school in Pittsfield. Not having heard from Marchetti after our initial question, we pointed this out yesterday.

To his credit, Marchetti answered the public via THE PLANET last night, via e-mail. We present his answer: “Dan, Just a quick response. I can go in more detail at a later time with you. First – I voted against a petition that was falsely worded – it said that the SBNC had already made a decision to build a new school. Second – I agree more information needs to be brought forward. I think that all options need to be discussed in a public forum before we place a question on the ballot. If it is best to add an addition and renovate there would be no purpose of placing that ballot question on the ballot. I have never said that the people were not smart enough to vote on a question – I said that night that I believe more work needs to be done before we entertain that option.”

THE PLANET followed up with a query. We asked Marchetti that if, in his judgment, the proposed information ballot question was poorly worded (and there’s no doubt it was), why didn’t he offer to rewrite the question to make it ballot worthy. Marchetti responded: “I just feel that it is too early in the process to be asking open-ended questions. We need to complete evaluating all the options, then have some open forums about all the options. Then we can create a ballot questions that asks what option the residents like best.”

Good answer. His answer leaves Marchetti with enough wiggle room to do the right thing By The People, later in the process. As Marchetti notes, the process of exploring bricks-and-mortar options for Pittsfield schools is in the early stages. This fact, however, then places even more of a question on the motivations and action of Tricia Farley-Bouvier, self-appointed chair of the School Building Needs Commission. After all, it was TFB who made with the rush-rush, hurry hurry at the council meeting.
When Melissa Mazzeo and Joe Nichols introduced the quetion of public input by the ballot box, TFB voiced stringent opposition. Basically, and boiled down, she said it would delay the process. In other words, SHE was the one who seemed to want a false sense of urgency over this question. That would have been an ideal time for Marchetti to voice this, during the meeting, to TFB’s face.
Mayoral Race: Early Game or Late Game?
The dog days of August surely mean the campaign season will soon swing into gear. Soon, nomination papers will have to be filed, and we will find out who’s OFFICIALLY in. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that … stamp from the city clerk and the registrar of voters.

It’s interesting to see the strategies of the so-called Big Three (or, as one wag put it, the Big 2.5) mayoral candidates, who are Peter Marchetti, Joe Nichols, and Dan Bianchi. Marchetti and Nichols, both of whom are leaving secure council seats to pursue the corner office, obtained their signatures, filed them, and got on the ballot.

Marchetti and Nichols went the early route. This path shows eagerness, a willingness to roll up the sleeves, and begin campaigning immediately.

Bianchi, on the other hand, has not filed signatures. A conversation with one of Bianchi’s camp tell THE PLANET that Danno has the signatures in hand and ready to go. He will file close to the deadline. He chose the late route. The late route creates a bigger splash, coming as it does at the end. It lends a certain “mystery” to the candidate’s intentions prior to that time. Morever, it suggests a confidence bordering on nonchalance. It’s as if the candidate is saying, “Tut, tut. I don’t have to get involved any time sooner than now.”


Diva Does Danny, or Where’s the Edge?

THE PLANET did hear from Donna Todd Rivers, the Downtown Diva, yesterday over our question of whether she would continue the marshmallow fluff on “The Berkshire Buzz” or if she would take the show into the arenas of edginess, where the Big Bang lies. There’s much that’s right and more that’s not right about doings in the city of Pittsfield. It’s both disingenuous and intellectually dishonest to exclusively present the moons in June without also getting at the warts of August.

We won’t share the content of the personal message, but we can say The Diva noted that we should have contacted her first, before making our statement. Seems reasonable, and we certainly could have done that. It’s also reasonable, however, to make the observations that we did, since they were based, neutrally and factually, on her programming.

There are a million and one organizations and outfits out there who will tell you everything is great. For some, that’s their job — the Chamber of Commerce, for example, civic groups, office holders, and some elements of the business community. It is the job of a media person such as DTR to be more than a cheerleader. She has a responsibility to cover the issues that matter to people, and, as THE PLANET never shied from doing, to share her informed opinions on the issues of the day.

Where, for example, is her show on Steroidsgate? I mean more than Chief Mike Wynn’s view. Where is her exploration of the budget ballet, where, once again, Pittsfield taxpayers got the short end of the stick? We can present any number of issues.

Doesn’t she care? THE PLANET believes she does. It’s not a question of caring. We do know, also, the internal pressures of commercial radio. We also realize that The Diva owns a downtown business. She has a vested interest in making nice-nice. Fine. Just don’t tell THE PLANET or anyone else that you’re going to take up the interests of the Little Guy, who has no voice, and then not do it.






  1. Jim Gleason
    August 2, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Anyone who thinks the decision to build a new school hasn’t been made is very naive. This decision was made long ago and is endorsed by Blah Blah and ruberto, who said he’s still in favor of one giant “super high school” at the last city council meeting. Beware the rhetoric, they don’t want you to have a voice.

    • Real Deal 2
      August 2, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      JimmyG you are the people’s advocate-my vote goes to you. MOP ON!!

      • Jim Gleason
        August 2, 2011 at 11:01 am #

        @reAL DICK 2- I was a custodian for 15 years and did a good job when I was. I guess an honest living is not good enough for you.SUCK ON!!!

        • Real Deal 2
          August 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

          Dan, you take down the posts I copied from Topix about JimmyG winning the janitorials lifetime achievement award, but you let Pittsfield’s finest janitor call me a dick? Whats up? MOP ON JimmyG!!

          • danvalenti
            August 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

            I don’t want any of Topix’s garbage on my website.
            I appreciate needling and satire, but the Topix post was too derivative. Also, won’t you admit that you were leading with your chin as far as spurring Jim G into action.
            We are serious on THE PLANET about not letting our comments section descend into the Topix gutter.
            We ask for the cooperation and understanding of all our correspondents.

          • Real Deal 2
            August 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

            Dan, point well taken. Thanks for the reply.

  2. Baby Baby
    August 2, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Bianchi has filed his papers. They have been in for quite some time. Check with the Clerks office.

  3. Jim Gleason
    August 2, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Listened to Blah Blah today on Sturgeon, evidently, according to her, she’ll be representing and lives in the county of Pittsfield. She said she wants to do what’s best for the county of Pittsfield during one of her spiels. If she lives in Pittsfield county, which state does she live in, beside confusion?

    • Real Deal 2
      August 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      You hit the nail on the head JimmyG-MOP ON!!

  4. Baby Baby
    August 2, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Jim, have you read “” lately? Real funny stuff over there. LOL

    • Jim Gleason
      August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      You think making fun of people who do honest work is real funny stuff? What do you do, baby, deal drugs or collect unemployment?

      • Baby Baby
        August 3, 2011 at 6:58 am #

        In your case…….LOL

  5. Ron Kitterman
    August 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm #


    I read in today’s Berkshire Eagle that she is taking a leave of absence to campaign for the 3’rd Berkshire District seat. Since this is a senior management position that she currently holds can you inquire if this is without pay ? the next time the subject comes to light.

    • Richard
      August 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      If that is so then we really dont meed some one in that job.

  6. Ron Kitterman
    August 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    In reference to TFB with my last comment.

  7. Concern
    August 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Are you kidding me Leave of absence. How long was she in that position?????? Talk about taking advantage of the citizens of Pittsfield. Also on the radio show did Bill or anyone ask her where her children go to school ???????

  8. Joeblow
    August 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Who is going to do the very important work that Tricia Farlee Buviour Blah Blah was doing. I thought this position was like super important and stuff. What a crock of shite!

  9. Dusty
    August 3, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    The whole Pittsfield political cadre is making a mockery of democracy and snickering in the faces of the people.

    and they are getting plenty of help from the media both from the newspaper and the radio which it would appear they control

    • Just Saying
      August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

      @ Dusty-

      There is a newspaper in Pittsfield?

  10. rick
    August 3, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    its election time, vote them out….. i believe no one listens to the eagle, people know their not an objective source of news… but heads up people, the arent going to stop with just marchetti, they need the same kind of voting as the last 6 years, this means watch the new faces running and their affiliations with the…. a few of the names running are buds with the network thats running this town. its a political move to ensure the keep the same votes, only new voices…. if u people think u have a say in your local gov. just think back the last 7.5 yrs. it started with the 3min. open mike and then the rush…rush last minute.. cant live with out it legislation.. remember the skeeter spraying that lothrop said they could have researced it better, yet cost us thousands…. that should lleave you with a vote of no confidence… vote the bums out

  11. Richard
    August 3, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    If anyone thinks that the question of the school will get on a ballot box at a later date when the council thinks that we are smart enough to make a decision they are living in a fool’s paradise

  12. Jim Gleason
    August 3, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Yesterday Tricia lived in the county of Pittsfield, today on GMP she called the MCAS a dreaded four letter word. MCAS is not a word, it’s an acronym for MA Comprehensive Assessment System. Yesterday she said she had a Masters in education on Sturgeon but she doesn’t know the difference between a word and an acronym. She wants to represent us in Boston, but doesn’t know which county she lives in or basic English.God please help me.