!!UPDATED!! COUNCIL APPROVES INSIDE JOB IN CONTRACTGATE, FILES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE CITY SOLICITOR …IN THE INTERESTING WORLD OF POLEMICS, POLITICAL CORRECT MEANS ALL POINTS OF VIEW WELCOME, AS LONG AS YOU AGREE WITH US … NO CONFIDENCE VOTE IS ESSENTIALLY A VOTE OF CENSURE
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10, 2012) — Being tighter for time than a flunkie taking his SATs, we will keep our initial comments brief on last night bizarre city council marathon. Cutting to the chase, the council:
— Filed the Sherman-Yon Act on a last-minute request after a couple hours of chilly, contentious debate.
— Approved Contractgate in a disingenuous 7-3 vote (Barry Clairmont recusing himself), with Kevin Sherman, Christine Yon, and Jonathan Lothrop voting for common sense and upholding the importance of ethics in government. The result of this vote is that assistant supt/ of school Frank Cote essentially awards up to $150,000 of free construction work courtesy of slave labor by Taconic High School vocational students to — c’mon down! — his secretary, Lynn Whitney. Only one other party appliled, and that was the city of Pittsfield. The Fix was in, and it went back out, unscathed. Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, congratulations: You got hosed again.
Of course, Dick Lindsay of the Boring Broadsheet couldn’t be bothered to stick around to hear the discussion or voting on Contractgate. At least the Boring Broadsheet is consistent, having ignored this important story all along. Clearly, for some mysterious reason, the BB didn’t want it see as the city’s “dumb” residents to know about this story, one of those rare ones when we caught the GOB in action, robbing the cookie jar in plain view and with the consent of government — legalized theft. Not a word of Contractgate therefore could be found in today’s version of the Fishwrap. This is disingenuous at best, mendacious at worst. At least THE PLANET came to We The People with the facts, not that the council cared. Put it this way: their fear of the GOB reprisal exceeded their respect for the truth.
One point we shall get into tomorrow in our discussion of this farce is the misstatement of the facts by assistant superintendent of schools Cote, who told councilors repeatedly that the original ad that produced only two responses ran for a week in the BB ran for “one week.” Not true. According to the ad itself, it ran only four days: April 13, 14, 15, and 16, Friday through Monday — and not just any Monday. It was Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, a holiday, and a day where the article stood much less of a chance of being read. Same goes for the weekend. Also, it came during Tax Season and Day, when many people were preoccupied keeping Uncle Sam happy, just a coincidence of timing, eh?
Either Cote’s misinformation was an honest mistake or a deliberate action. THE PLANET doesn’t see a realistic third possibility. Cote’s is either misinformed, or he is a liar. If he made an honest misstatement, shame on him for not coming to the meeting prepared to provide accurate information. If he purposefully gave out misinformation, he lied to the council.
Which is it? Was Cote unprepared or was he lying?
All the members of the council had the information packet that included a copy of the ad. They could have corrected Cote when he said the ad ran a week, but they didn’t. Did they prepare properly? We know in the case of Melissa Mazzeo, the answer is no. She herself admitted to not doing her due diligence on any of the city’s business except for the Spectrum-No Confidence matter, complaining that the latter ate up all her time. Despite this ignorance, however, Mazzeo had no problem voting to approve the dirty dealing of Contractgate.
The taxpayers were served badly, twice — first by the school committee (all except for Terry Kinnas) and the second time by the city council (all except Yon, Sherman, and Lothrop … technically, Clairmont too, because he recused himself from the vote on Contractgate).
THE PLANET will have much more — much more — on these two items tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, as the announcers used to say!
FREE SPEECH IS FINE WITH POLITICALLY CORRECT LIBERALS, AS LONG AS YOU AGREE WITH THEM!
A pox on political correctness, that straight-jacketing of free speech enacted by liberal fundamentalists for the purposes of intolerance, all done in the name of “inclusion and multiplicity.” This tactic, of course, produces ruinous consequences on a community.
Case in point: a local debate about bullying, conducted recently on Facebook.
It began with a dark, out-of-focus, poor-quality photo of people dancing this FB post by Donna Todd Rivers:
The subsequent reader comments began with: “hope everyone is having a good time.”
THE PLANET then chirped in with this observation about such “feel-good” programs:
We made the point because (a) the obvious fact is that such feel-good and fun programs don’t work. There have been a slew of “fun” approaches to “solve” social problems such as bullying, and the problems worsen; and (b) to stimulate discussion, hoping to draw people into making the connection between their symbolic actions and the effect (or lack of one) on the actual problem. In other words, in a pragmatic sense, do these kinds of fundraisers, however well intentioned, make a dent in the problem?
For expressing this contrary view, THE PLANET was called by different responders “a bully”, “a sad man,” and “ridiculous.” To be fair, some actually engaged our points, such as this:
After more insults, we added this: