By DAN VALENTI
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.”
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.
LATER, IN A HURRY,
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE!”
LOVE TO ALL.