KROL CALLS THE PLANET … MAZZEO PLEDGES TO GET RID OF HILL 78 AND RE-OPEN CONSENT AGREEMENT … WHY ARE MIKE WARD AND JOHN KROL RELUCTANT TO GIVE ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ THE BENEFIT OF THEIR WISDOM? … plus … FALLOUT FROM TWO MORE MAYORAL DEBATES … & … THE BB WHIFFS AGAIN!
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
KROL DEFENDS HIS POSITION
THE PLANET heard from Ward 6 Councilor John Krol this afternoon about our posting below, from earlier today. We had a comprehensive exchange of views, and it culminated with us thanking him for calling us directly, explaining the reasoning of his position. THE PLANET can only respect that approach. That has characterized our relationships with Krol and Mike Ward (who’s mentioned below): We can disagree intelligently, maintain a dialogue, and at the end of the day enjoy a beer and a ballgame together.
That’s the main point we wish to make here. Agree or disagree, there should be, there must be, dialogue, especially when there is a difference of view. Though the more strident (we are trying to be polite) of democracy’s backers would be loathe to admit, fact is, consensus of philosophically tied to Karl Marx. The point-counterpoint-consensus is Marx, straight up. That method of arriving as a position from among a multiplicity of voices works. Consensus works.
Krol did say, for the record, “I’m going to vote for any proposal that is good for the city. I don’t care who it comes from. If it comes from Dan Bianchi or Peter Marchetti, if it’s a good one, I’m going to support it.” Krol said that he will be ready to work in a collegial way with either man as mayor. Krol is running unopposed in six.
Not long after, Bianchi called. He gave us his views of the two debates, and said he’s approaching the period from now until 8 p.m. on Tuesday as if he’s in a 1-0 game. He said he’s not taking anything for granted, has loaded up his schedule with campaign stops, and will leave it in the hands of voters. We haven’t heard from Marchetti.
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011) — It’s always a busy time on THE PLANET, with more news, commentary, and information than we can ever hope to share. Today, our continents are enlightened by several assorted and sundry items.
MAZZEO: ‘I WILL PUSH FOR CONSENT DECREE RE-OPENING’ — In a huge victory for We The People, incumbent councilor at large Melissa Mazzeo has pledged to wage War Against the Machine in the battle of Citizens of Pittsfield v. GE Industrial Poisoning.
Mazzeo tells us: “Since reading on THE PLANET about the issue of the PCB cleanup and Hill 78 etc., I attended the Lenox meeting and have been getting up to speed, so when the New Year starts, if I am re-elected, I will push for new talks and a re-opening of the Consent Decree.” Mazzeo also pledged to do “whatever else needs to be done” on the matter of GE toxins still in Pittsfield. That would be led, of course, by the fight for the reclamation of Silver Lake: Don’t Cap It, Clean It. Imagine it: An elected official fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way. Yes, a clean, healthy, life-sustaining environment is part of the American Way. We hope other officials will join Mazzeo in this renewed effort to — finally — clean up the mess that GE injected into Pittsfield.
MISS HATHAWAY SITING — Former Mayor Sara Hathaway, rumored to have moved back to her native Michigan, is alive and well teaching eighth grade student at Reid Middle School on upper North Street. We know one of her students, whose mom says she doesn’t like Miss Hathaway as a teacher. That probably means the school marm demands excellence. That gets THE PLANET’s endorsement.
WARD and KROL JUST WON’T SAY IT — Both John Krol and Mike Ward, my right honorable good friends from wards 6 and 4 respectively, have been making politics on Facebook. Krol said he hoped for a turnout exceeding the 2009 vote. THE PLANET shares his hope. When asked as a city leader and thus an eminently qualified person to share his judgment on which man would make a better mayor between Peter Marchetti and Dan Bianchi, Krol got silent all of a sudden. Similarly, when Ward posted a critical comment on Dan Bianchi, THE PLANET asked him which man, then, would make the better mayor.
Ward dodged not once but twice. First, he said he doesn’t give endorsements. THE PLANET replied that we weren’t looking for an endorsement but a dispassionate judgment on who’s better mayoral timber. As Ward knows, the two are not the same. Ward dodged again, getting into a discussion of the Colonial Theater. We repeated our question. Like Krol, he has since remained silent. Why? The overwhelming circumstantial evidence suggests that each man is backing Peter Marchetti, yet each is afraid to publicly declare so. THE PLANET finds this odd and borderline creepy. Does it have to do with the Family Values question? If not that, then what? We are still waiting for my right honorable good friends to answer.
IS A SECRET SLATE OPERATING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS? — THE PLANET talks to a lot of people — officials, candidates, working stiffs, seniors, students, and more. We try to get a good cross-section of opinion on the issues that matter. One strain of intelligence that has been jacked up past the rumor stage is the view that there’s a secret slate meant to win the vote for Marchetti. We had been hearing this on the campaign trail, and this morning received all-but confirmation from a public officials.
The information we received today would fit in with the reluctance of office holders and other players to openly back Pete though they are pushing for him behind closed doors. Named as alleged members of the “Secret Slate” include Kevin Sherman, Nick Caccamo, Barry Clairmont, Churchill Cotton, Peter White, Ward, and Krol. We also heard that palm cards have been printed for distribution beginning tonight and through to the election. If THE PLANET obtains one of these cards, we shall be curious as to what it says and whose name it bears. We, of course, will share it with you. The Boring Broadsheet never will.
TWO MORE MAYORAL DEBATES, TWO MORE WINS FOR BIANCHI — Near unanimous consent of seasoned observers after all three mayoral debates (BCC, PCTV, and WUPE) is that Bianchi has emerged as the winner. We remind our readers that we entered this campaign with a blank slate (no pun intended given the above item), pretending we didn’t know anything about either Bianchi or Marchetti (in fact, we have known each man for years). We determined to let the campaign decide our judgment. Consistently, Bianchi has come off as the more polished, the more prepared, the more professional, the more poised, and the more ready. Marchetti has been defensive, performing more as the reluctant anti-warrior than as someone who burns with an intensity to serve the people as mayor.
EX-RUBERTO BACKER FAVORS BIANCHI — Josh Cutler, a UMass law student folks may remember for his stellar Colonials coverage this summer at this website, supported and voted for Mayor Jimmy Ruberto in 2009. He’s hardly what you would call a Bianchi man. After the PCTV debate last night, Josh sent this to THE PLANET:
“If Bianchi doesn’t win this election, then I seriously think Pittsfield’s collective IQ is lower than Twiggy’s weight when she was in top form. I listened [to the debate last night, and] it’s pretty clear to me that he is the right man for the job. I went into this election with an open mind, a mind that supported Jimmy Ruberto last time as his popularity started to decline, and now I believe at this juncture, Dan [Bianchi] is what we need, a man of integrity and honesty.”
IN A FAMILY WAY — At the PCTV debate, Bianchi made reference to “family values.” Was he touching the third rail?
Dan is married to his wife, Teresa, and they have three children. When THE PLANET asked him earlier in the campaign season about his priorities, Bianchi said (1) Be a good husband and (2) Be a good father. All else was secondary. According to viewers of the PCTV debate, Marchetti got emotional and defensive when Bianchi mentioned “family values.” It appears that Marchetti was reacting to his own marital status.
Marchetti married his husband on Oct. 2, 2004 at 21 East Acre Road, Pittsfield, by Jody Phillips, justice of the peace. The marriage certificate says it was Marchetti’s second marriage and lists him as “DIV.” for divorced.
Is this information relevant to the campaign? Ceratinly, if a substantial number of the electorate thinks so, then the answer is yes. Many if not most of the people with whom we talked to on the subject of Marchetti’s sexual preferences and marital status think it’s a wash. THE PLANET includes ourselves in this number. For many of the remainder, however, having a same-sex-married, homosexual mayor is a reason not to vote for the man. They believe in the traditional view of marriage as a sacred bond between one man and one woman. You can say their view is wrong, which we will NOT do, but you can’t deny such a view will be in play during Tuesday’s election. The traditionalists do not want such a homosexual man married to another man representing the city of Pittsfield in any official capacity.
Because this issue is so explosive, virtually no one will discuss this openly. On any number of levels, such silence is not healthy. THE PLANET does not shy from a discussion of this, even when the view does not reflect our own. The vast majority seems OK to allow consenting adults do what they wish with their lives. The ones who have a problem seem to be concerned more with Marchetti’s open marriage to a man than his gay lifestyle. They defend the traditional view of marriage. They view as morally flawed any other arrangement.
We can’t judge Bianchi’s strategy, but if his reference to “family values” was code for Marchetti’s marriage to a man, then he won votes. If that is the case, a neutral observer would have to agree: It shows a formidable campaigner making artful use of a delicate, though helpful, issue.
BORING BROADSHEET CAN’T BE SEEN OR HEARD — We find it lazy in the extreme that the Boring Broadsheet couldn’t bother to have coverage in the physical paper today of last night’s mayoral debate at PCTV. Once again, they have failed the community at large. We can’t think of a legitimate journalistic reason for no coverage. Politically, maybe the BB got order from the Good Ol’ Boys not to cover, since their boy, Marchetti, captains a sinking campaign ship. Perhaps they’re trying to minimize the damage. Perhaps it’s nothing of the sort. Fact is, though, that to miss an important story like this cannot be condoned, however it is explained. THE PLANET had better see debate coverage in the BB tomorrow, or else … We know that our message will be resounding in Rug Row at 75 S. Church St. as soon at this post goes live.
TOMORROW, WE SHARE THE CONTENT OF AN EXPLOSIVE STATE DOCUMENT THAT HAS MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE QUALITY OF WORK DONE BY THE CITY’S SCHOOL BUILDING NEEDS PEOPLE. THE COMMITTEE HASN’T MADE THIS DOCUMENT AVAILABLE TO THEIR BOSSES, THE GENERAL PUBLIC. TOMORROW YOU WILL LEARN WHY. DON’T TELL ANYONE THE PLANET HAS A COPY, OK?
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.