PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12, 2012) — THE PLANET received this e-mail from Linda Tyer, Pittsfield’s city clerk. It illustrates how Tyer has made that office her own, which is to say, one of the offices on city side that operates more or less at full efficiency — in a proactive, helpful, utilitarian, and informative way. As an added bonus, she has not botched one election in her tenure, unlike per predecessor.

LINDA TYER, Pittsfield City Clerk (Photo Credit: iBerkshires)

A few days ago, talking about the recently concluded party primaries, THE PLANET mentioned the odd position of the city council to take up the United vs. FEC matter with respect to campaign financing. THE PLANET has no quarrel with the issue, per se, but we found it strange that my Right honorable Good Friends on the council would take the trouble to weigh in on a matter that clearly lies in a universe beyond their jurisdiction. We explained their puzzling action in terms of one-party hegemony of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts.

Two Offices, Two Different Levels of ‘Customer’ Service

We mentioned enrollment numbers, guesstimating because the Registrar of Voters under the misdirection of Jeff Whitehouse does not make that information available online. The office is run like much of online Pittsfield, as if it’s 1985, in the Internet’s popular infancy. Unlike the city clerk’s office under Tyer, the voting office under Whitehouse keeps outflow of information to a minimum, obfuscation to a maximum, and transparency to a state of invisibility (her, we rather like that last one).

Tyer, answering the call unbeckoned, sent us this:

Hi Dan:

 I was reading the Planet’s blog today and thought I would pass along some information regarding voter registration totals.  You’re right.  It’s not on the city’s website.  It’s not there because the numbers fluctuate on an almost daily basis – not by huge swinging deviations I’ll admit – but it is a moving target especially this year since it’s a presidential election year.  The numbers I’m giving you are as of August 19, 2012 which was the most recent deadline to register (or change your party) in order to participate in last Thursday’s state primary.  On that date, there were 29,492 registered voters in Pittsfield.  This is the base number that’s used to determine voter turnout on September 6.  Here’s how it breaks out:

 Democrats                          12,842

Republicans                         2,770

Green-Rainbow                     148

Unenrolled                         13,580

If you add these up you’ll see that it doesn’t equal 29,492.  That’s because 152 voters are registered in a “designation” such as Libertarian or Reform or Constitution.  I do anticipate that these numbers will adjust again, and again, and again, as we approach the November 6 election (new voters registering, current voters changing parties or unenrolling, people moving out of Pittsfield, etc.). 

I hope this helps.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


It did help, and a great deal, for it confirmed our guesstimates as decidedly “in the ballpark.” We thank Linda Tyer for supplying information without us having to ask. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s customer service.



BARRY CLAIRMONT, Pittsfield councilor-at-large (Photo Credit: Facebook)

The matter of The Council Trio (John Krol, Jonathan Lothrop, and Barry Clairmont) vs. The Corner Office (Mayor Dan Bianchi, administrative services chief Donna Mattoon, and city solicitor Kathy Degnan) on the deal cut with respect to Spectrum Health Systems’ methadone clinic, set to open next month in the Yon Building on Summer Street in downtown Pittsfield, continues.

In the latest chapter of this saga, Clairmont contacted THE PLANET with what he labels a flip-flop on the part of Mayor Bianchi.

“As background information,” Clairmont said, “if you read the BB article from last Friday concerning the $76,500 potential payout to Spectrum, on the second page, first column, starting with the second full paragraph, it says:

‘In an interview this week, Bianchi said he doesn’t think the city will end up paying rent reimbursement costs to Spectrum, which is why he didn’t disclose that aspect of the settlement last month. The fact is that we’re not anticipating that to happen, the Mayor said.’

“Dan, I know you have a copy of the July 3, 2012 executive minutes.  Read the first paragraph, 2/3 of the way down:

He (meaning the Mayor) is confident that Spectrum will not be at the Summer Street location long-term and that Spectrum is aware of the proposed alternate location.’

“I’m not sure how one reconciles those two opposing statements, Clairmont said. “It appears to me that [Mayor Bianchi] was either lying to the Council or lying to Kevin Moran [of the BoringBroadsheet].  If I’m not seeing something, please let me know.  I don’t like walking around thinking the Mayor is not a truthful person.  It makes my job as a Councilor much more difficult.

—– 00 —–

 The councilor raises a fair point. On the surface, it would appear the two statements by Bianchi contradict each other. In the first, he tells the BB that he doesn’t expect Spectrum to move. In the second, he tells the council in secret session that “Spectrum will not be at the Summer Street location long term …” The quote is from the notes of city clerk Linda Tyer at the July 3 secret session. “Will not be at … Summer Street” appears definitive.

THE PLANET calls on the mayor’s office to explain this seeming contradiction. We join with our Right Honorable Good Friend in asking with Bianchi or Mattoon: “If I’m not seeing something, please let me know.”



Well, spoiled-sport landlord Phil Massery got what he wanted: Through legal Twister, he forced the city to cancel its deal with GDL Associates. Now, the city and taxpayers have to go through the bidding process all over again.

The school department selected GDL when it came in a small fortune lower than Massery’s bid to retain space for the city’s Adult Learning Center, which for years had been renting at exorbitant rates from the property Massery owns on East Street at Lyman, in the same complex as the nefarious den of sin and inequity, Hermann Alexander‘s bar.

Money Grab Didn’t Work, So Massery Took City to Court

PHIL MASSERY: Took his ball but didn’t go home (Photo: Clubrunner)

Massery wanted to hold up the city for $330,000 vs. GDL’s $225,000 for a five-year lease on the ALC. The GDL bid, which the city accepted until the courts got involved, (A) would have saved taxpayers’s $105,000 a year, (B) placed the ALC in a more central location, and (C) given it more modern facilities. But no. Massery tantrumed his way into a legal fit,  took his ball, and went not home but to court. (SEE PLANET STORY FROM AUG. 29, 2012, AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES).

Kristen Behnke, who is handling the bidding process for the School Department, told The Pittsfield Gazette that the new bidding process will be open to new prospective landlords: “We’re encouraging anyone who is interested to apply.” Information on the bidding process as well as a bid packet can be obtained at the headquarters of the Pittsfield School Department. Prospective bidders can also call her at 413-499-9502.

The contract for a lease is out to bid again. We know he’s got gall of the unmitigated variety, but even THE PLANET won’t believe Massery will have the stones to re-bid again after coming up short the first time and bringing suit to follow. That being said, nothing would surprise us given Pittsfield incestuous politics.

Having been burned by Massery, the city will be offering a one-year lease, with two one-year options to be exercised at the discretion of the school committee.

“Mr. Massery’s actions were selfish, in my view,” said a school department administrator familiar with the proceedings. “He presented an inferior offer, and the [GDL offer] met the requirements in every way. The court didn’t see it that way, and we strongly disagree with the ruling. Let me be generous and say the court had good intentions but grossly misread the law and for some strange reason found, in error, in Mr. Massery’s favor.  The losers here are the taxpayers, and I honestly think Mr. Massery cares only about his bottom line and about nothing or no one else. He didn’t react well when he didn’t win the lease that he thought would be renewed automatically. Nothing is automatic. We have a new mayor, a new administration, and new people [in administration on school side] here.”

What About Hibbard School?

We wonder if this issue will come up at the next school committee meeting.

All that being said, THE PLANET also wonders — What became of the Hibbard School option? Is the ALC now there, under “emergency conditions?” If so, why couldn’t the center stay there? Is that or is that not a feasible option? Taxpayers own the building and would be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent if the ALC stayed there. Does anyone on the school committee or in the School Department have an answer?



MITT ROMNEY: On the counter-attack (Photo: Inquisitr)

The latest pools show President Obama getting the predicted boost from the Democratic National Convention. He now leads Romney by anywhere from five to 10 percentage points. THE PLANET thinks national polls are about as useful as a trap door on a kayak, not that they aren’t sometimes accurate but that we are sick and tired of electoral prognostications, which every four years year more and more meticulously intransigent.

Are you better off than you were four years ago? That’s the question “they” like to ask. It’s a hilarious question, given that it cannot be asked of individuals, has no answer, and has little to do with the man who occupies the Oval Office.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has counterpunched in wake of the Obama bounce, making the following points:

  • The Obama Economy: The stakes are very high in this election, and voters understand the future of our country is on the line.  This may be lost on those living within the hyper-political world in and around the Beltway, but it is not lost in communities in battleground states.  In short, the Romney-Ryan campaign understands Americans struggling in the Obama economy will determine the outcome of the race, and once the preponderance of information about the President’s failed policies – combined with Mitt Romney’s vision to strengthen the middle class – are communicated, our nation will move in a different direction.
  • All Signs Point to a Tight Race: Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the President has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further.  In eight states,‘s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts the margin between the two candidates at less than three points, virtually guaranteeing a tight race.
  • Next, the battlefield has actually expanded, not contracted.  Note that Wisconsin is now in play and our campaign is now up with ads in that state, while the latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico show the race closing there.  And this tightening is not an anomaly.  Consider the traditional Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Connecticut, won by President Obama in 2008 by margins of 15 points and 22 points, respectively.  In both states,‘s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts Obama’s lead at only seven points in each of these states.
  • In North Carolina, fresh off of hosting the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign is laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal.  In a state the President won by a mere 14,000 votes in 2008, all one has to do is look at the Obama campaign’s television buy in the state to understand how they view their chances there.  The Obama campaign’s North Carolina television buy has dropped 35% compared to June, and they have run more than twice as much advertising over the past two weeks in Rochester, Minnesota (hitting a small slice of Iowa), than they have in any North Carolina market.
  • Historical Data: Political campaign historians will recall President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by a near double digit margin late in the fall in 1980.  In that race, the voters made their decision based on the key issues confronting the nation and it determined the outcome.  On the economy, the most important issue of this race, Mitt Romney leads by 51%-45%, according to the most recent CNN/ORC poll.
  • Targeted Campaign: The Romney-Ryan campaign is running deeply local and targeted efforts in each of the states focusing on the voter groups that will make the difference on Election Day.  Anyone asserting a “one-size-fits-all-campaign” effort is being put forward is simply misinformed, as evidenced by the 15 different ads released by the Romney Ryan campaign this past Friday and now running in nine states, including Wisconsin.
  • New Money Advantage: All of this is not possible without resources, and the Romney-Ryan campaign and the Republican Party have a real advantage.  In August alone, the Romney Victory effort raised more than $111 million, marking the third straight fundraising month of more than $100 million, putting us on a very strong financial footing for the final two months. 
  • Energy and Enthusiasm: CNN/ORC’s most recent polling shows that 62% of Republicans are “extremely” or “very” excited about this election, while only 56% of Democrats report being “extremely” or “very” excited.  This Republican enthusiasm advantage has manifested itself in an unprecedented and historic grassroots effort that will have a significant impact on turnout in battleground states on Election Day.  For instance, as of today, Victory volunteers have already knocked on more doors than during the entire 2008 campaign. (2.72 million in 2012 through September 8 compared to 2.43 million overall in 2008.)
  • Romney’s Ground Game: During last weekend’s “Super Saturday,” we crossed the 20 million volunteer voter contact threshold.  Also, the Romney campaign knocked on more doors last week than in any week during the 2008 campaign.  More than 55,000 volunteers have knocked doors or made phone calls for Victory this year and that number is growing by the week.  And volunteers have collected person-to-person identification information on nearly 1.7 million swing voters in battleground states thus far. And the numbers are even more startling when one looks at individual states.  For instance, in Ohio alone, five times more phone calls and 28 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008.  This past Saturday, more than 100,000 doors were knocked on by Victory volunteers in the Buckeye State.  And in Wisconsin, five times more phone calls and 72 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008.  And the list goes on and on.

THE PLANET would like to know your views on these issues.






  1. outfox
    September 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I’m glad this is published online, because if it were in a traditional newspaper all of that Romney scat would have been a waste of paper and that would be sad for the trees which I so like to hug. I read about Romney with the thought “know thy enemy” at the forefront of my mind. (Outside of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, anyone who wears sacred underwear makes me kind of nervous.) While I do benefit from his health care policies made when he was our governor, I don’t feel secure when I think of Romney as our commander-in-chief.

  2. dusty
    September 12, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    Anyone who watched the city council meetings back during the civic authority debacle are not surprised to see how some people involved in the Adult Learning Center issue are behaving now.

    It is amazing how low some people will go where money is concerned. Consider now that Waconah park is being all hyped up and that the existing team playing there is doing great. Back then Mr Massery could not say enough bad things about it and wanted it torn down. He professed to be such a huge baseball fan that the wanted to destroy a historic baseball park. Why would someone do this?

  3. rick
    September 12, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    in regards to romney… i think hes finding out that politics and business are two different animals. here is a guy well respected in business but a complete wreck in politics….. he is disrespected by the left and loathed by his own party. his trip to england showed his foreign incompetence, and his lack of
    specificity at home shows his domestic incompetence. the republican talk shows are ganging up on him to tell the voters what he stands for .if anything….. he is the shallow candidate for sure.. with romney getting the nomination leads me to wonder what was wrong with all those other candidates? although they were a mixed bag of nuts.

    • Wilson
      September 12, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Obama is nothing more than a law student and author, and wouldn’t even be able to properly run the tiny land of Massachusetts, while Romney can manage at any scale with enormous success. The Psycho Twin Parties are just uncomfortable with this competence, since their ideal candidate is patsy like of GW or Barry.

  4. FPR
    September 12, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    Linda Tyer is very pretty.

    • The Mighty Led Zeppelin
      September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Compared to what?

  5. jlo
    September 12, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Dan – I appreciate your national election coverage of the Presidental race. As a mini civics lesson from the election of 2000 and the State of Florida, national polls mean very little, The real action is of course the Electoral College. I believe it has been three or four times where the Electoral Vote winner for a Presidential Election lost the Popular Vote. The most recent of which was Al Gore who won the popular Vote by about 500,000 votes, but lost the Electoral Count to George W. Bush in the contested (Florida) election of 2000. (Remember the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore, 5-4?)

    I urge your readers who want to read up on the current status of where the states are in relation to the Electoral Collage to check out

    This website offers daily updates based on state by state polling data that is made publically available. I have followed this website closely for the past three presidential elections and have found thier information to be very accurate. One downside, by the time the polling is done and released the information will be from 3-5 days prior, and with a close election, the votes of a small number of voters is often fickle and determinative.

    History guides that the polling in 1948 stopped two weks prior to the election, thus leading to that now famous picture of Harry Truman holidng up the Chicago Newspaper with the incorrect headline “Dewey Beats Truman.” as of September 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM shows Obama with 332 Eelctoral Votes and Romney with 206. This is obviously much less close than national polling numbers, but it is more reflective of who is actually more likely to be our next President.


    • Kevin
      September 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      I like to watch electoral numbers too, jlo. I dont see how Obama can lose and actually I think he’s a much stronger candidate as President for President than Mr. Romney. President Obama has done a great job handling the mess left to him in the economy and in two wars by Bush Light.

  6. Levitan
    September 12, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    The $76,000 Pittsfield may pay Spectrum only would happen if, under pressure by the Bianchi admin, Spectrum needs to abandon it’s signed lease contract to relocate.

    No, Clairmont is not being mislead. Apparently, his confusion is causing him to mislead readers into thinking he has been hoodwinked.

    It is common for a party to compensate another for the costs of abrogating an agreement in relocation.

  7. taxmano
    September 12, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I thought Barry the Blowhard let you know in no uncertain terms that blogs and bloggers like yourself were beneath him? When did this change?
    To paraphrase the headline, I would say ( while correcting for the double negative): “I don’t like thinking certain councilors are self-serving, moronic, GOB sycophants who had it out for this mayor since the first day after the election.”

  8. Still wondering
    September 12, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Dan, when these polls are released you should pay very close attention to the party affiliation vs actual population percentages. Many pollsters bias their samples towards the candidate they favor.
    Also, “likely” voter results often differ widely from the overall sample numbers.
    So far, The Rasmussen Group has in my opinion the most accurate polls.

    • taxmano
      September 12, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Polls often give us nothing more than an indication of the overall popular vote. This is irrelavant in our electoral college system (just as Geo W.)
      Incidentally, if polls give leads to their favored candidates, might they not risk lulling his voters into complacency? Just sayin’.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Massery if you recall had a petition to do away with ward politics and have all at large councilors. e was a selfish man then and is a selfish man now.

  10. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    September 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Romney contiues to show his amatuer streak on foreign policy by issuing inflamatory press release….This guy is clearly not fit to handle this office..C’mon DV do you really think he is a man of character, fit for the Presidency?

    • danvalenti
      September 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      Agreed, Romney is an amateur on foreign affairs, but so was The President. Obama, in fact, still operates that way. He has an excellent secretary of state, though. And should we remind you, we are still in Afghanistan. “A man of character, fit for the Presidency.” Oh my, dear lad. If that were the litmus test, we would have stopped counting at Lincoln.

  11. Scott
    September 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Even though Romney made a living screwing the middle class doesn’t mean he can’t crunch the numbers and o do better job for America financially I mean he knows how things work that’s for sure. If I was Phil Massery it would already be clear to me that I should vote Romney. Dan, what’s the evil in what Massery is doing I mean we’re talking about a couple hundred thousand bucks I don’t blame him for losing it a little over that kind of money. That’s a huge income loss.

    • danvalenti
      September 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      No evil at all in what Phil Massery did. Many of us thought, however, that for years, he charged too high of a price for that less-than-A-List property. We can’t say for certain he got that deal because of insider trading in local politics, but it sure appears that way. That’s the part that hits the sour note for many.

      • Scott
        September 13, 2012 at 4:30 am #

        I was thinking that myself as I frequented chin bo jok and have been in the adult learning center I thought yesterday damn over three hundred g’s and they can’t get a new paint job. The place is a dumpy building blame the city for ever entering into the deal as you pointed out we have plenty of properties that could serve this purpose. Did Massery get money when he took the city to court?

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      September 13, 2012 at 5:08 am #

      Do you really think that Scott? If so, you should crunch the numbers cause Romney’s numbers don’t add up…Continued tax breaks for upper earners on capital gains and carried interest, closing unspecified loopholes that he refuses to identify only spells one thing…Increased deficit and more of a burden on the middle class brother…

  12. Dave
    September 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    The new person interested in Herman’s that Phil indicates as wanting to open a family restaurant is -drum roll please- his kid.
    Good luck! As far as Barry Clairmont- funny he has a problem giving Habitat for Humanity a pass on building permits because it would put us down a slippery slope(the new mantra of the new “naysayers”) but he brought a check with him to the meeting to cover said expense if need be because he didn’t want to be cast as being against what Habitat did, Slippery Barry I ask you, Is this not a slippery slope where now every non-profit that asks and is denied a financial responsibility by the city will be expecting you to foot the bill? With 350+ non profits out there, you better start playing the lottery!

    • danvalenti
      September 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

      Interesting. We shall keep an eye on this development. More power to his son, if he can operate a good, decent place and help clean up a property that has become another city eyesore. As for your other point, I hope Barry responds. My guess is he will.

    • B. Clairmont
      September 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm #


      I do believe it was a slippery slope to go down. As for the check to Habitat, I feel it is a worthy cause. If I thought it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have written the check.

      Just so you know, the check wasn’t conditional on whether or not the motion passed or failed. In fact, it did pass, and I dropped off the check today.

      I thought 9/11 was a good time to be making a donation to help those who help others; another reason for the donation.

      I still believe the wrong decision was made by the council. Time will tell on that one. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. No one is right 100% of the time; I don’t expect to be either. In fact, I hope I’m wrong on this one.

      As for future donations, I already make many to many different organizations, and will continue to do so, to those that are near and dear to my heart or my wife’s heart.

      As for the mantra, as you put it, I believe it is the first time I’ve used the phrase, but I may he mistaken.

      And, you are correct, I certainly didn’t want to appear to be against Habitat, because I’m not.

      Should we waive Spectrum’s building permit fees?


      • Scott
        September 13, 2012 at 4:32 am #

        No the city should milk spectrum for every penny they can they’re already going to e doing business here for free and making huge profits.

      • The Mighty Led Zeppelin
        September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am #

        No Barry, Spectrum’s end result will not put money into city coffers like HH ‘s end result will. There will be owners paying taxes on their property in the HH projects.Maybe, though, if Spectrum can get some citizens back to being useful people they would deserve a fee break.

        • Dave
          September 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

          Ahh, exactly my point. This was ONE proposal coming before the council. Not Spectrum, not the Brien center or any of the other hundreds of non-profits. This has an end game that makes money for the city in real dollars. We are not hoping for a future contibution from anyone, we are rehabbing a property that WILL be contributing to the tax roll in the future. And I appreciate Barry’s donation, and I’m sure his bringing it up at the council meeting wasn’t political at all and he already had the check made out before any of this came about.

      • Kevin
        September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

        I like this response, Barry, I give to Habitat financially because its local and I can see the work done on local rehab housing. I have a lot of respect for you and I don’t know how you feel about this but after DV started covering the Sprctrum matter and explained the case better than anyone I could see you reasoning and on this one with the apparent contracdiction. I don’t think Mayor Bianchi is a liar, not at all. I know him to be a truthful man, but I have to say you pointed out what looks like a contradiciton. I’m glad you’re on the council. Neve rthought I would say that.

  13. joetaxpayer
    September 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    What politicians are not always truthful.Say it isn’t so,whats next no tooth fairy!

    • danvalenti
      September 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm #


    • Scott
      September 13, 2012 at 4:33 am #

      That’s the excuse big banks used they said barrowers should expect to be lied to.

      • Scott
        September 13, 2012 at 4:34 am #


  14. The professor (and Mary Ann
    September 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Linda Tyler is a consummate professional who has done everything in her power to improve the quality of life in our fair city.A trip to the Clerk’s Office is highlighted by the staff’s unfailing courtesy and expertise.That level of performance doesn’t happen by accident.Three cheers,Linda!

    • Jim Gleason
      September 13, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      The clerk’s office was exactly the same way, with basically the same people, under Jody Phillips. Tyer hasn’t done squat in that or many other aspects of courtesy or helpfulness in the clerk’s office.It’s the people employed there, brought in by Jody, who make the office what it is.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Professor: Must agreed, great staff

    • danvalenti
      September 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Agreed. Linda and her staff are functioning at a productive, efficient level. The City Clerk’s office is now one office where the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth.

  16. Jim Gleason
    September 13, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Dan, this was said by an earlier poster, but why is B. Clairmont so friendly and informative now when he said he would never correspond with you when he first was elected? I recall you writing that CPA, in his case, stood for Certified Political Amateur.What’s changed?

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      Great question. I can only speak for myself. What’s changed is that Barry broke the ice, contacted me, and since then, we have moved forward. I am ALWAYS glad to do that. Some politicians can take the high road, as Barry has done, and some can’t (I won’t name names). Another where it worked that way is with Linda Tyer. We had our disagreements when she was on the council. As city clerk, she found “her element,” and she’s been stellar. I have been in the business WAY too long to let personal feelings get in the way. The Spectrum story I think became the tipping point with Barry and me.

  17. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    September 13, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Great Article by Conservative, talk show host of Morning Joe, Republican Joe Scarborough on The problem with Mitt

    • Scott
      September 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      Nice thanks.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      Thank, HILLY!

  18. tito
    September 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Barry Clairmont is becoming the rising Star’, on this City Council. Barry, you are well on your way to receive your second,unprecedented, King of the Swamp award for Saturday.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Many, that guy’s piling up the hardware. Barry’s in the running for THE PLANET’s coveted Orbit Award.Previous winners have been Mike Ward and Peter White.

  19. Jim Gleason
    September 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran were once rising stars too. Look what happened to them. I predict the same outcome for Barry.

    • Kevin
      September 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      have to agree with Tito and disagree with you Jim though I often agree with you and I like your input to this site. But on councilor Clairmont I think he has proven himself to be an effective rep on the council. And as I said just earlier in a post I came in not a fan of his. I’m willing to say so far I changed my position. I also respect DV If I recall he and Barry got into a disagreement after the election, but man, Dan’s coverage of Spectrum shows he just goes where a story and the facts take him as he’s often said.

      • danvalenti
        September 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

        Thanks, KEV. I, too, have revised my position. I’ve found my Right Honorable Good Friend to be a man I can respect, because, simply, he’s earned it. True, we had a little disagreement … only about the 1,345,729 we’ve had with a politician of public official in our career in journalism. Respect comes when both sides can put that stuff behind them and engage in a productive relationship. I have found Councilor Clairmont to be thoughtful, detail-oriented, motivated, ambitious, inclined to the factual, exact, well-documented, and, yes, honest. That’s not to say we won’t have tangles in the future, but when it’s with someone you respect, and he or she respects you, there’s a lot of good that can come from that. Remember, press and pol have built-in, mutually exclusive, and contradictory agenda. The one thing, in theory, we both want or should want is the uncovering of truth via the evidence pertaining to the specific issue.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

      Have to disagree with you on your prediction of BC’s future, but I did find funny your reference to the one-hit wonders Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran. Gee, you left out Men at Work! Hope you are well, my good friend.

  20. tito
    September 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Old age?

  21. Dave
    September 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Barry Clairmont can be an asset to the council if he sticks to his strong points which are monetary issues i.e. the budget. The funny part of his speaking against the Habitat for Humanity waiver of fees is that it is a small loss up front for a long lasting gain in the future. Hopefully he doesn’t use this same philosophy for his clients.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      Fair point, Dave

      • dusty
        September 14, 2012 at 12:50 am #

        I still think he is up to no good. I will give him a chance but I expect he will be peeing on the taxpayers again before very long. A leopard is a leopard and spots don’t change. I believe he was recruited by the connected to serve their purpose. Time will tell.

  22. tito
    September 14, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    The King of the Swamp’ award does include an actual award, which will be given at the end of the year. The award is an Alligators tooth on a necklace. The premise behind the award is a quote from Troy Landry, an alligator hunter on the series Swamp People, his saying is,”You don’t just show up at the Swamp and say, I’m the King of the Swamp, you have to earn it”.

  23. B. Clairmont
    September 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I would like to make one more point concerning my no vote on Habitat.

    While it is true that Habitat is putting a home on the tax roles, which is obviously a great thing to have happen. But consider this; what is worth more, a home on the tax roles or job creation?

    What happens when Berkshire Health Systems (an Organization I support), builds a $32 million cancer facility, which will require a substantial amount of work on the part building department, should we waive the fees for them? Maybe the answer is yes, maybe no.

    My point is (and was when taking my vote) is that the Council may now be spending a substantial amount of time voting on whether or not to waive fees. I personally don’t think that is why we were all elected. And, how can you say no to one when you said yes to others?

    Again, it just seems like a slipperly slope to me.