REOPENERS AREN’T (AND SHOULDN’T BE) EASY, BUT IT CAN BE DONE … WHY ARE THE CONSENT AGREEMENT RECORDS STILL SECRET? … PLANET FORECASTS TFB WIN TOMORROW … MARCHETTI’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS AN ISSUE WITH SOME VOTERS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, OCT. 17, 2011) — THE PLANET never said reopening the GE-Pittsfield Consent Agreement would be easy. We noted, though, that the contract has provisions for reopening.
Reopeners should be difficult to prevent easy access for casual interests to profoundly alter agreements whose every word was parsed to a minute degree, supposedly in good faith. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be so difficult as to make unprobable the redressing of grievous faults contained in one-sided language.
The most noticeable ingredient missing so far, discounting the political apathy that the Special Interests have worked so hard to create these past 25 years, has been the voice of candidates for office. THE PLANET submits that the redressing of GE’s poisoning of Pittsfield is the biggest issue facing the city of Pittsfield and Berkshire County. Candidates, though, act as if it’s not a problem. They will not admit it for some reason, and obviously, they don’t feel pressured by We The People.
The community, thus, can ignore the problem, do nothing, keep Hill 78 in place, cap Silver Lake, and move forward … but … economic development will likely not follow. What company would want to move to a city that has Pittsfield’s unaddressed toxic legacy? Even the perception of pollution will likely be enough to prevent everything except moving businesses already within the county to relocate … within the county, for example, the expansion of Mountain One Financial to Silver Lake Boulevard. This is not developmental growth. It is residual growth that would have stayed in the county anyway.
WHY HAVE THE RECORDS ON CONSENT DECREE TALKS NEVER BEEN MADE PUBLIC?
Except for the quiet of candidates on the reopener question, here’s another troubling query regarding the GE-PCB issue: Why have the transcripts, records, meeting minutes, and other related documents on the crafting of the Decree NEVER BEEN MADE PUBLIC? If officials will not consider reopeners, then will they at least fight for access to the records so we can trace how the agreement developed? Records, documents, minutes, and supporting documents have never been released for public examination. Why?
What is being hidden? Who is being protected? Were their secret agreements prohibiting the release of this, the public’s business? If the process was on the up and up, what is the harm in letting the public and the press see the information? Wouldn’t it prove the honesty and fairness of a just decision? These are the first questions that occur to an objective and reasonable person.
PLANET FORECASTS TFB WIN IN SPECIAL ELECTION TOMORROW
There’s a (special) election tomorrow. Pittsfield taxpayers bought and paid for it, not the vagrant erstwhile and now EX state rep, and as all elections, the results will speak for themselves.
THE PLANET offers this look ahead to 8:01 p.m. tomorrow night, one minute after the polls close.
— We see a turnout of 6,380 in the 12/14 precincts that will be voting. That’s about 12% more than the primary.
— We see Tricia Farley-Bouvier winning with a plurality of the vote, around 42%, with Mark Miller second (30%), Pam Malumphy third, 18%, Mark Jester fourth with low double digits.
Talking with Miller, the Green Party candidate, he is reluctant to hazard a guess: “People have been great. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, though. It’s been an uphill battle. I can’t call it. I appreciate everyone’s support. People don’t tell you when they won’t vote for it. They wish you luck, and most of them truly mean it.”
MARCHETTI’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A MATTER OF CONCERN FOR SOME VOTERS
Staying on the topic of elections, THE PLANET presents this letter on Pittsfield’s mayoral race. It addresses the Personal Third Rail in the race: the sexual orientation of Peter Marchetti. In March, Marchetti admitted in the Boring Broadsheet that he is gay. The paper buried the story of Marchetti’s candidacy on the inside. It obviously didn’t want to shout that fact on Page One.
Let us be clear. For THE PLANET, what someone does with their own lives, as long as it doesn’t deliberately harm anyone else, is a personal matter. So if the fact that Peter Marchetti is gay and married to a man. Predictions that gay marriage would ruin the institution of marriage itself seem to have been off the mark. Hasn’t happened. Should this be an issue in the election? No. Is it an issue? Yes?
In morally conservative blue-collar Pittsfield, especially with the elderly (who happen to vote in greater numbers than anyone else), Marchetti’s “lifestyle” IS an issue to some, as it it to this letter writer, MGR:
Comments: This isn’t going to win me any favors with the gay community but I feel compelled to write it anyway. I’m not revealing anything that hasn’t already been disclosed by the candidate himself in the Berkshire Eagle on 03/10/2011.I have gay acquaintances both male and female but I’ll admit to being homophobic by nature. That may be the result of the moral and family values taught to me by my parents and my religious teachings. I’ve often been kidded by friends that live in States that don’t share the ‘Same Sex Marriage Law’ as Massachusetts, that I live in the Gay State.I believe when a Mayor of Pittsfield addresses a High School graduation they should be projecting traditional family values to the impressionable youth in our community and not the alternative lifestyle. I don’t believe a gay, (same sex) married mayor could convincingly deliver that message. I also question how a gay mayor would vote on a school committee issue pertaining to the possible inclusion of a gay lifestyle class being taught as part of the school curriculum.In full disclosure I should say that I’ve been acquainted with both mayoral candidates for many years and consider my relationships with both to have been positive and friendly. I’m not suggesting that a gay candidate is any less qualified to fulfill the position. However, I do believe the voters should be aware of the realities, as well as the hypostaticals involved. My vote for Mayor will go to Dan Bianchi, a true family man.
THE PLANET thanks MGR for this letter. We welcome views on this or any other subject for consideration.
BUSY DAY AND LATER …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.