Article

NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON FIRE DEPARTMENT-CITY CONTRACT TALKS, AS UNION PRESIDENT OBFUSCATES … MAYORAL CAMPAIGN ENTERS ‘OUCH’ PHASE as BIANCHI DRAWS FIRST BLOOD … and … COLONIALS SWEEP THEIR WAY INTO CAN-AM PLAYOFFS

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, Sept. 3, 2011) — FIRE STARTS UP AGAIN … KIND OF.

More information emerged in the past few days about the problematic contract talks between the firefighters union local 2647 and the city of Pittsfield.

You may recall that THE PLANET posed several questions to union head Tim Bartini. These were questions brought up by one of our commentators, queries we deemed relevant and worthwhile to pose. Bartini did not respond, despite telling THE PLANET in the now (in)famous letter he sent to us cosigned with the acting fire chief, no less, that he would “make every attempt to answer your questions openly and in a prompt manner.”

We waited and waited and waited after posting questions sent to us by a commentator who uses the handle RAY OVAC. See PLANET archives, Aug. 20 post.

Bartini and acting chief Robert Czerwinski told THE PLANET:

“We’d like to suggest to you, Mr. Valenti, if you have any questions regarding this fire department’s procedures, policies, and personnel, please feel free to contact either one of the undersigned. We’d like to think that we’re probably a couple of the most knowledgeable people on such subjects. We will make every attempt to answer your questions openly in a prompt manner. Please remember that we may be limited in our information sharing due to confidentiality requirements. Most importantly, you may quote us and place our names in your stories for all to see. While innuendo and half-truths may make for sensationalism journalism, we believe that the most honorable and respectable journalist would prefer to use a truly reliable source over some anonymous donor.”

As we said, we heard nothing, for 11 days. On Aug. 31, we sent Bartini this e-mail, based on contacts both from within the fire department and city hall, clarifying some aspects of the talks and also indicating that there had been a secret bargaining session, likely informal:


—————————-

VALENTI’s E-MAIL TO BARTINI, 8/31/11

TIM

I have new information from sources that

1. The city and firefighters recently had a session, within the last week or so. Yes? If so, what date?

2. I learned that the city wanted to take away uniform/clothing allowances and bereavement time? True?

3. I heard (this is less sure) that the firemen accepted random drug testing, in principle. True?

Also, if you could respond to these questions and statement:

* In the letter you cosigned with the acting chief, you wrote:

“We had the meeting and the members voted to have some of the language rewritten by our lawyer. There was some concern with the random drug policy language. This is a delicate policy that needs to have all of the ” i”s dotted and all of the “T”s crossed.”

QUESTION: What is that original language. The public should know.

* Please share the lawyer’s rewrite or give some idea of the changes.

* QUESTION: As for drug testing, why should city employees be compensated for obeying the same laws of those in the private sector? We are a nation of laws. No one gets to pick and choose which laws to obey, and no one gets paid to follow the law. We are required to do so as one of the responsibilities of good citizenship.

Finally, you said there is already a drug policy in place. Can you provide that language?

Thanks,

DAN

———————- END OF E-MAIL 1——————

Bartini replied on Sept. 2. He said, “You should have Emailed me 3 weeks ago.  This is old news as there are no offers on the table.  I will confirm that Pittsfield Firefighters were never against random drug testing.  We have a drug policy that is in place and can be seen in our current contract, which is a public document at city hall.”

Not satisfied with this evasive response, we followed up:

———————————————–

VALENTI’S E-MAIL TO BARTINI, SEPT. 2

“TIM

Thanks.

It’s not old news about the takeaways for clothes and bereavement, is it? Are you saying it was published elsewhere?

You didn’t answer the question on the original language that your lawyers modified or the one about the current policy.

Does that mean you choose not to comment, an oversight, or what?

I’m offering you a chance to state your union’s side of things and will ask once more for a more definitive statement.

You also haven’t denied a new meeting.

Also, does “There are no offers on the table” mean that you and the city are back to square one?

Thanks for the confirmation of the firefighters’ position on random drug testing.”

——————— END OF E-MAIL 2 ——————–

At 9:22 a.m. this morning, Bartini answered:

“We are in mediation with the State JLMC  Joint labor management committee. No meetings have been scheduled at this time.   I wont comment on what is being negotiated because things change at every bargaining session.  If you want I will comment when we have a new signed agreement.”

That’s it. So much for the open and reliable “knowledgeable source” that “an honorable and respected journalist” prefers.

PLANET ADDRESSES TIM

Timmy, baby, you stonewalled We The People. And we don’t by your escape clause — “Please remember that we may be limited in our information sharing due to confidentiality requirements” as it applies to your two e-mails in response to my questions. THE PLANET, on behalf of taxpayers, did not ask you for any proprietary information. You “won’t commented on what is being negotiated because things change at every bargaining session”?

That doesn’t make sense. We understand the confidentiality both sides hide behind when it comes to contract talks. But here, you’ve just told We the People that the reason you are not cooperating isn’t that requirement but because “what is being negotiated” changes “at every bargaining session.”

Let me tell it to you straight, Tim. That’s a crock, and you know it.

We also note for our readers:

* Bartini did not deny a recent (within the past week) of the union and the city. Meanwhile, city sources said that such a meeting took place. VERDICT: AT LEAST ONE MEETING TOOK PLACE.

* Bartini says the firemen “were never against random drug testing.” So are they for it? Will they accept it, unconditionally. VERDICT: HE AVOIDS THE QUESTION.

  • He does not deny the city’s insistence on the two givebacks. The city confirms it. VERDICT: THE CITY ASKED FOR AT LEAST THESE TWO GIVEBACKS
  • Bartini says the firemen aren’t opposed to testing. The city confirms that. The city also says that in return, the union wanted the uniform allowance and bereavement benefits restored.

* Bartini’s statement in his first e-mail referenced above states that “there are no offers on the table” (THE PLANET’S ITALICS AND UNDERLINE, FOR EMPHASIS) is confusing. Taken at face value, he’s saying the city and the union are back to the beginning!! Is this true? Has all the progress to date been scrapped? If so, this is a big story. If not, the union president has made a significant mis-statement either through an innocent choice of unfortunate of wording or a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Clearly, the public has a right to know which of the two is correct? Have the firemen and city gone back to square one, meaning that two years of bargaining sessions have been a waste of taxpayer money? Or has the union president made a serious mistake? We would welcome a clarification from Bartini.

————————————————————————-


MAYORAL CAMPAIGN ENTERS ‘OUCH’ PHASE


Yesterday, THE PLANET reported on statements made by Dan Bianchi’s campaign manager criticizing the Peter Marchetti platform as vague and platitudinous, saying little more than the obvious. We also included Marchetti’s response. What can one draw from this?

Compared to the duration of the 10 weeks to November, the event has little significance. Place it in the truncated three weeks of September until the prelim, though, and the event takes on a bit more weight — still not a deal maker or breaker but enough to permit some initial observations.

  1. Many people were wondering which side, Bianchi versus Marchetti, would fire the first salvo. It was Team Bianchi, through his campaign coordinator, Owen Davis. Bianchi scored a strategic victory, putting Marchetti on the defensive.
  2. Yesterday, a Marchetti supporter told THE PLANET that she wanted to know why Bianchi “was hiding behind his campaign manager”? We explained that we didn’t think he was doing that. Davis was playing catch-up, having been late in returning THE PLANET’s several attempts to reach the campaign the week earlier, when we wanted Dan’s position on random drug testing for city employees (he’s against it). When we’ve needed to talk to Bianchi directly since the initial pause, we’ve gotten through. Bianchi also has reached out with communication and contact.
  3. Marchetti pulled the trigger quickly in response. He answered THE PLANET’s request for comment that same night, providing a careful, measured reaction. He’s clearly keeping his power dry at this point. Some might say it’s too cautious, and Marchetti will have to shake his deserved reputation for indecisiveness and wanting to hem and haw nearly every time he’s asked to state a position.
  4. There is no love lost between the two campaigns. This doesn’t surprise us, but once the campaign began, the hostility quickly has surfaced. Bianchi and Marchetti have not criticized each other but have done so to THE PLANET through backers.  Each man has support personnel who are more than staffers or supporters. They are loyalists. They emote with zealotry. Too soon to judge what this means, although initially, it would seem to indicate a primary go-round strong on emotion and weak on logic and rationale, long on the amorphous and short on substance, focused more on the micro rather than the macro, ideology over issues.
  5. If this election turns into a mandate on Ruberto, Marchetti loses. Marchetti increases his odds of winning by distancing himself from the mayor in the eyes of those clamoring for a sea change in the corner office. He must do so without alienating the interests aligned with Ruberto. They won’t support Bianchi or Joe Nichols, and if they don’t feel comfortable with Marchetti, they won’t vote. Each one of Ruberto’s supporters who doesn’t vote is taking away a vote for Marchetti. In effect, keeping a point off of Peter’s tally adds one to the others.
  6. Keep an eye on Joe Nichols. He’s been campaigning since December. People may underestimate the extent of his support and the effectiveness of his organization. Nichols’ vote in supporting Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s FY12 budget hurt him, some say. THE PLANET disagrees. To us, it indicated on how serious Nichols is about his pursuit of Ruberto’s job. Nichols’ vote was clearly political, but so what? This is politics. He can now refute it every time his critics try to say he’s against everything. Maybe Joe Nichols is a more astute politician that people realize.

————————————————————————–

COLONIALS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS, SWEEP NEW YORK AT BWP

By CHAD COOPER

PLANET VALENTI Sports

(PITTSFIELD, GAME OF FRIDAY NIGHT, SEPT. 2, 2011) — The Pittsfield Colonials clinched a spot in the Can-Am League postseason for the second straight year with a doubleheader sweep of the New York Federals. The Colonials took game one by a 6-2 final before a 14-2 drubbing in game two.

Pittsfield will play their first playoff game on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7:05 p.m. at a site to be determined against a yet unknown opponent. All playoff games will be carried on the Colonials’ flagship station, 89.7 WTBR FM.

In game one, Pittsfield jumped out with a run in the bottom of the first before attacking the Federals with three runs in the second, highlighted by a two-run homer by Jerod Edmondson. The Colonials got single runs in the third and fifth. New York scored their only two of the game on a homer by Tom Maloney in the seventh.

Miguel Flores (4-9) tossed a complete game to earn the win, striking out 10 along the way. Brett Moore took the game one loss.

Game two saw an offensive explosion from the outset as the Colonials plated six first-inning runs. As Pittsfield scored throughout the contest, the game was highlighted by Edmondson’s second homer of the night and 17th of the season. The Colonials also hit four triples in the game, two by Billy Mottram, giving him 10 on the season, tying the league record.

T. J. Wink (5-2) tossed five shutout innings for the victory. Andrew Wells (0-2) took the loss for New York.

The final game of the regular season is on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Tim Stronach (3-2, 3.62) will get the start for the Colonials against Jim Schult (1-6, 5.40) for the Federals. The pregame show on WTBR will begin at 6:40 p.m.

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THE PLANET IS NOW OFF INTO THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND, REPLETE WITH PLENTY OF PARTIES AND FUN.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

42 Responses to “NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON FIRE DEPARTMENT-CITY CONTRACT TALKS, AS UNION PRESIDENT OBFUSCATES … MAYORAL CAMPAIGN ENTERS ‘OUCH’ PHASE as BIANCHI DRAWS FIRST BLOOD … and … COLONIALS SWEEP THEIR WAY INTO CAN-AM PLAYOFFS”

  1. beezer
    September 3, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Mr. Marchetti might be inclined to have Mr. Ruberto in his corner, if he loses, he can dignify his defeat for that reason. Don’t think at this point it would be wise to alienate the status quo. It will also be interesting to see what T. F. B. results will be as she is also with the Ruberto regime.Both candidates will benefit from this with larger donations and bigger war chests.

  2. James Gang
    September 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    beezer yeah, how much of this election is a mandate on ruberto? Marchetti and tfb are both closely aligned with her, especially trish. They are as close as it gets. I dont know how it plays out, but I think it’s going to hurt both of them. Lots of frustration here in the land where ordinary people live and convenient and right to take it out on the ruberto clones. Thats my take, anyway.

  3. beezer
    September 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    On the Nichols piece,the bridges that have been built were his yearning for a cut cost government. How can anyone say his voting for a bloated budget won’t hurt his campaign? Talking to several voters, all say no Nichols because of that vote, your a good man Joe… but can’t have it both ways.

    • Ed
      September 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      Beezer; I watched the council meeting when the budget vote was taken, and I too, was wondering what Joe was thinking, so I called him the next day. I don’t recall the details however, his process seemed sound. I believe it had to do with state mandates regarding education and department adjustments that may be made after the fact. Again, I don’t recall or understand his thought process, but Nichols usually tries to stay a step ahead of the issues, many times holding his cards close to his vest. Why don’t you simply call him and ask ? He is a most accessible and straight forward person and would most likely assuage your concerns. Go to the source !

    • Joseph Nichols
      September 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      @Beezer,

      I understand that you must not have watched the budget hearings because if you did, you would have seen that Melissa Mazzeo and I went through the entire budget line item by line item searching for any fat in this (bloated budget). Both of us made motion after motion to slash line item after line item. Most of the fat lies within each department very well hidden. It took Mellisa and I a considerable amount of time to go through every line item. It was very frustrating to have the rest of the council vote against any cut, even the smallest of cuts. You must try to understand that any true effort to reduce spending in the budget definately comes from the Mayor. The Mayor has to want to trim down where he can and is able to submit a budget that still maintains our core services while demanding his departments run their budgets more efficiently. Then with controlled discretionary spending any savings can be applied to the following years budget in order to reduce the tax burden. This is why I am running for Mayor. So that I can be in the correct position to actually have the control over the line items of the budget. This my friend is where a real difference can be made. In the end, a budget must be passed. The Mayor and his financial team can have the proper mind set to think of the people rather than think of how much money they can get out of the taxpayers this year. I have the proper mind set and you may choose not to believe it that, I am truly interested in looking out for you and every tax payer.

      • danvalenti
        September 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

        JOE
        THE PLANET thanks you for this response and for having consideration for our audience and readership.

      • Senator
        September 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

        blah blah blah. at the end of the day you supported the Ruberto budget just as much as Marchette with your VOTE, Counselor. So enough of the finger pointing. typical politician.

        • Congressman
          September 4, 2011 at 5:35 am #

          Unless you’re a Roman senator, you too are a politician, and ” blah,blah, blah’, seems to be your only platform. It is very progressive and intellectual, I must admit. Who is Marchette by the way ?

      • Aclu
        September 4, 2011 at 5:49 am #

        Joe will you close your restaurant if elected? Do you feel it would be a conflict of interest to own a business that is monitored by the health department if you are in a position that has influence over them.

      • Joetaxpayer
        September 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

        Joe,Thanks for your reponse.The one thing that jumped out at me was the excisive Overtime at some of the bigger dept. I would hope with better managment and maybe some part time hires we could get that number down.Wondering what is your take on this.

  4. beezer
    September 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    The thing that concerns me about Marchetti was his comment after the mayor downsized the contribution to the Museum from 500,000 to 250,000 a couple of years ago and was he (Marchetti) who was still insisting on giving them the 500,000. Unrelated, the Museum later found a valuable art collection.

  5. beezer
    September 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Now it gets interesting with Bianchi. He is spending most of his time deflecting rumors about what some are saying he is going to cut everything. Who do you believe? There are voters out there who are voted for him last time for that exact reason,cutting. ASnd if your not going to trim, then your taxes will go up. Can’t have it both ways Dan!

    • Dusty
      September 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      A mayor with balls could find plenty of fat in the city and school budgets. 10-20% would not surprise me. Unload Barrett for starters and anyone else who is dead weight appointed only as a friend of some hot shot.

      And where is all this money coming from for skate parks and the common and north street ? And start giving GE in lieu of taxes money to business that deserve it or better yet just put it into the coffers and lower the peoples taxes as originally intended. This money was stolen from the people and passed out to special interests…probably with kickbacks.

  6. danvalenti
    September 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Beez
    Excellent questions. Thank for helping THE PLANET keep the heat turned on. We intend to act for We The People, to the extent we can, in keeping candidates’ “feets to da fire.”

  7. OTR Driver
    September 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    A point of contention regarding Dan Bianchi’s position on not supporting random drug testing for public employees and his specific exclusion of Pittsfield Firefighters based on the terms of their union contract; Doesn’t federal law supercede municipal union contracts ?
    Local governments are specifically not exempted from 49CFR part 391.41, which mandates the qualifications to hold a commercial drivers license (CDL). There are two CDL classes that may apply to firefighters operating heavy fire apparatus, class A for firetrucks exceeding 26,001 lbs and class B for vehicles with a maximum GVW of 26,000lbs.
    The pre-CDL drug screening, post CDL random drug and alochol screening and schedules are outlined in Parts 382/38of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
    Check out www. FMCSAdot.gov.
    Is the union contract compliant with these requlations which every ordinary truck driver is saddled with ? Where does Mr. Bianchi stand on these drug and alcohol screenings ?

    • danvalenti
      September 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      OVER THE ROAD DRIVER
      Excellent post. We hope Mr. Bianchi responds.

    • Jeff ferrin
      September 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      OTR

      I can confirm As one of those holding a class A CDL and a former employee of the highway dept. and a candidate for the ward 3 council seat that you are correct. The employees in the DPW are required to have random drug testing done. I had testing done, sometimes several times a year through OCC Health. In some cases some employees had false positives and were given 30 days off without pay and were never offerred another test by the city unless the employee payed for it.. No I was not one of those employees. However if the test is conducted properly and in full vision of the test provider then they are not in my experience something that happens that often. I would suggest that an offer by the city in good faith would be to require the testing to be done by an outside vender other than the OCC Health the city uses for every day work related issues and pre employment screenings to prevent any impropriaties from occurring with such a sensative test.

      If a false positive does occur I believe that in a good faith effort on the city’s part that another test within 30 dyas of the first test should be offered to that employee. Any other beyond that if the second does come back positive as well should be paid for by the employee prior to returning to his/her position.

      I was also drug tested as an EMT-I and even as a part time police officer for other municipalities.

      More often than not the excuse and justification is that those types of employees are exempt because they are municipal employees.. So Under the 49CFR part 391.41 and as you also mention 382/38 of the Federal Motor carrier Safety Regulations I am willing to bet that many employers and employees, not just in Pittsfield, do not follow those regulations.

      I very openly believe that “ALL” city employees should at least be required to adhere to the same random drug and alcohol testing policy as the DPW workers.The testing should also include all of our department heads. It shows equal treatment and a standard that nobody is exempt. This is a business.

      Even more so in the public safety sector as we have a higher standard to live by and one we accepted when we choose the careers we did. We have a duty and responsibility to ourselves, public safety and the tax payers to know that everyone is safe. Including the employee.

      Under the laws pertaining to Hydraulics and other Department Of Public Safety licenses it is now required to have a full physical and drug screening in order to renew and keep the licenses. But under the exempt law for municpal employees operating class A and B CDL trucks of 26,001 #’s or more the DOT physical was an exemption. Drug testing was not. I can provide a copy of my DOT card to prove it’s requirement.

      When I drove truck OTR as you do in the private sector not only is a log book required, but so was random drug testing. Our school bus operators are required to give urine randomly for the safety of our children. Why should any public safety agency anywhere even consider fighting it.

      Here is how I see it. If you mention you had a poppy seed bagel (can trigger a false positive) in the morning and provided a detailed list of medications you take for whatever medical condidtion or ailment to the examiner prior to the test commencing and they are prescribed drugs or legal over the counter vitamins and minerals then what is the problem?

      False positives do happen and could happen to any of us. But to say no or to fight the drug testing or limit the scope of the testing is wrong and must be changed. Especially when it is involving pt. care or operating such equipment or whatever the case may be.

      Testing is painless, takes very little time, the employee gets paid for being there and most importantly is the right thing to do.

      I have hope confidence that all will settle this matter in a professional and timely manner.

      Jeff Ferrin

      • danvalenti
        September 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

        JEFF
        THE PLANET appreciates communicating directly with We The People in this fashion.

      • Allen
        September 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

        Jumpin Criminy! Those ding dong meetings will be four hours if this guy gets elected!

        • Dusty
          September 4, 2011 at 3:17 am #

          Those meetings should be serious business. These councilors get paid and free health care I believe. But if they do not have the heart or time to serve then they should not have run for the position in the first place. Besides, the bars are open every other night of the week.

          If it takes four hours every Tuesday night to do the job right then that is what it takes. Yes, it goes quicker with rubber stampers like the tribe that is in there now, but then that is part of the reason why things are so screwed up isn’t it?

          • Leona
            September 4, 2011 at 6:01 am #

            Some of them overdo it. Councilor Mazzeo repeating herself five times? Pullllease! I can’t watch it I just read the Gazette now.

          • James Gang
            September 4, 2011 at 9:47 am #

            I agree with Dusty, if the meetings need to be four hour meetings, then they need to be four hours. Jeff Ferrin attends more meetings that ost other citizens and elected officials for that matter. He has earned my respect and I’m definitely voting for him in Ward 3. We need more people like Jeff to get invloved with city govt and wrestle it back for the people .

          • Jim Gleason
            September 4, 2011 at 11:18 am #

            @Leona
            When you’re speaking to a bunch of sycophants and rubber stamps, like John Krol and Jonathan Lothrop, who seem not to understand the most simple concept nor basic English you have to repeat five times or more to get a point accross. It’s like dealing with a first grade class who have decided they don’t like the teacher.

      • OTR
        September 4, 2011 at 7:38 am #

        Jeff, please document where any municipal employee is exempted from any federal DOT or FMCSA qualification (including a DOT physical) or regulation. I find just the opposite. They are specifically included. I’m unclear as what exactly OCC health is but to perform CDL drug screening they must meet federal standards and be part of an approved screening consortium with a licensed MRO, who gets involved with negative results.
        The financial and legal implications for the city are staggering if a catastrophic or fatal accident occurs and federal law is found to be deliberately ignored.
        Again; Are rhe city’s union contracts compliant and where do the candidates, specifically Dan Bianchi stand on this concern ?

        • Jeff ferrin
          September 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

          OTR

          You are absolutley correct that there are no exemptions. What I should have said was the perception of an exemtion for municipal employees. I can say that I have always maintained a DOT card for both my CDL and Hydraulics licenses. As for the OCC it is Occupational Health. The physician the city uses is stated to be qualified. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. I still stand behind the generality of what I said and what is the right thing to do for all.

          What I would ask you to do is email me or call me with the info you have. Go to my web page at Jeffferrinward3.com and use that to get in touch. I would be happy to go over it and use it to do what I can to impliment the requirements of the DOT physical. My hopes are as I did with the equipment operators licenses is to get all employees including department heads and foremen into compliance. It was not until I was able to show that employees were not even properly licensed or did not even have a license as required by law that anything was done. It amazed me that nobody did any checks on compliance at anytime to verify if anyone even had one. So I take this very seriously.

          Thanks again OTR

  8. Hilly Billy
    September 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Like to address the fire question. mr. bartini shows that hes a phony. He invites you to ask him for information then he stills the request. Whats up with that? As I read the exchange the planet was only trying to find out whats really going on. Planet keep pitching for us. Thank you.

    • James Gang
      September 4, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      HB your right.
      The union head came off looking like a phony. And of course we cant get great stories like this in the BB now can we?

  9. Real Deal 2
    September 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Right now my vote goes to Joe Nichols, but like anything or anybody else, that could change. I will not vote for Marchetti or Trisha Farley-Blob Blob. We/I have had to much of the Ruberto and No Show Spurs show for to long and it’s time for change.

    1. If I were the mayor dealing with the PFD, PPD, and other unions, I would tell them there is no money; therefore, no raises.

    2. There will be mandatory, random, drug testing. I would cite the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, and let the union know that federal law supercedes a union contract.

    3. If you don’t support this contract offer, then I would let the chief know that he needs to plan for 7-10 FF’s to be layed off.

    4. Same with PPD. No more endless OT accounts to the SWAT and drug bureau. If they need the money that bad, plan for lay offs.

    5. No more part time bus drivers or other PT city employees getting full medical insurance/benefits.

    6. If a person is in city government, than their immediate family is ineligible to be a department head. No conflict of interests or nepotism.

    There you go Joe or Dan. That’s called making a platform of what you plan to do if mayor. Let’s hear what you plan to do to move Pittsfield forward.

  10. Hilly Billy
    September 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Im voting for Real Deal 2! Hes getting to the “brass tacks” I think is the way Bianchis manager put it. Well lets see. Police, fire, and teachers have to be told: NO more money for raises. Either accept the taxpayers terms or accept layoffs.

  11. JahnDoh
    September 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    First of all, I would like to thank Joe Nichols for explaining why he voted for Ruberto’s bloated budget. Secondly, I’ve stated this before – there is no need for random drug testing as there is already a state law on the books stating that any employer can order drug testing for an employee if they have reasonable suspicion to do so. So with random testing, you just end up testing a whole lot of people who do not use drugs, don’t deserve to be tested, and is also a big waste of taxpayer money. The real issue is that those in charge have not ordered the testing for those they pretty much know have a drug problem. A new mayor can change that.

  12. beezer
    September 4, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    @ Joe Nichols, thanks for your response.

  13. beezer
    September 4, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    …don’t think Coucilor Mazzeo voted for the budget.

  14. Williams
    September 4, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Councilor Mazzeo most definitely didn’t vote for the budget. Nor did Kevin Sherman. They were the 2 of the 9-2.

  15. Jim Gleason
    September 4, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    It was Mazzeo, Ward and Yon who didn’t vote for the budget this year. It was Dan Bianchi who for all the years he was on the council and ruberto was mayor, didn’t vote for the bloated ruberto fiasco’s. I call that a record of voting for the people over an extended period, not wo years of voting, one for and one against. Joe may have explained WHY he voted fpr ruberto’s budget but he still did it. Period.

    • Harrod
      September 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Flip-Flopper. Period

  16. beezer
    September 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    ….and to think I thought it was Clemenza?

  17. Williams
    September 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Hey tim bartini why did you break your promises for open transparency?you guys are all the same. Big promises until youre called on it then you fold (if you dont cheat!). There’s lots of guys in your union who think you’re doing a terrible job, and this is one of them.

  18. Hurdygurdy Man
    September 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    For mayor? Peter MArchetti! Experience, knowledge, and moderation.
    Fire department insisted on a 4% raise EACH YEAR. City told them no way.
    Union and city met secretly (not a formal session) monday 8/29
    Mr bartini has upset many of his members and he has not negotiated in good faith with the city.
    Take it from one who was/is there!

    • Jim Gleason
      September 5, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Peter Marchetti has never met a tax increase he didn’t like. Joe Nichols is a good guy but too inconsistent to be mayor. Dan Bianchi has been consistent in his actions and has the voting record to back it up. The most qualified by far is Dan Bianchi. Let’s get a good guy instead of a good ol’ boy in the corner office. If you want a ruberto clone vote for Marchetti.

      • James
        September 5, 2011 at 8:21 am #

        I could never vote for Marchetti. For one he would be owned by the GOB, two, he will kill the little guy, as Jim Gleason says, and 3, he’s married to a man. Thats too creepy.

        • Steve Wade
          September 5, 2011 at 10:07 am #

          Whats being married to a man have to do with being qualified to be Mayor?

  19. Richard
    September 5, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    I can’t understand how the people of Pittsfield can keep on putting the same people back in office when it is clear that they don’t care what the people want when voting on the council. Everyone should be replacing except for Mazzeo.
    And Bartini must have taken lesson from the Mayor on how to be vague and not answer a direct question.