Article

!!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

!UPDATED!

(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!

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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:

Getting Busy against Bullying in our schools with Creative Boys Culture at the National Give Back for Kids Campaign Fundraiser — withRuth Loredo TaylorNicole DaviesPeter MarchettiTy Allan JacksonWarren Dews Jr,Roberta Mcculloch-dewsSara ReesePatricia CottonHosea James Givan IIShirley Edgertonand Martique Jackson.

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:

  • This stuff’s all well and good, but you know what the dirty little secret is: After these high profile events, the bullying goes on as usual, on the increase if anything. Get real. It’s not that the school administrators don’t care. It’s that they don’t know what to do and are afraid of not doing it. That’s how rampant the problem is. Thus, one could make the case that these events, which are little more than an excuse for a “social occasion” (what used to be called partying) actually make the matter worse by creating the perception that the problem is being addressed when it isn’t.

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:

  • The the truth is that there are solutions, Dan, and the reality is that you are correct, it does take a great deal of courage and leadership on the part of school administrators to find real, meaningful solutions to this problem. There is a tremendous amount of training that is needed for administrators and teachers to learn to create safe schools that are safe for every child, so they can learn. Higher Ed Teacher Cert. Programs are not teaching this so teachers come out ill equipped to manage their classrooms. Bullying is a local problem we all need to work on. It didn’t sound like this event is supporting any local initiatives. Hope I’m wrong!

After more insults, we added this:

  • You haven’t seen my suggestions because you do not readwww.planetvalenti.com, where this subject has come up more than once. I spend enough time in the schools to know about the severity of this issue. @ W—–: The “Rappers shows kids ‘cool’ ways to stop bullies” is just the sort of PR pabulum that the Boring Broadsheet (the Berkshire Eagle to non-Planetites) loves, just the sort of event that creates the illusive appearance that “They” are doing something about the problem. Let me educate you: Rappers can rap until Gordy plays taps, and meanwhile, the bullying in the schools grows. I should be more than happy to debate anyone on this, live, no notes, in a suitable pubic forum. Isn’t it interesting, also, that for my alternate point of view, I am the only one who have been personally insulted, three times, having been called “a bully,” “a sad person,” and “ridiculous.” That when I know I have won the argument, hands down. When the other side resorts to that!
Bullying is a big problem with kids. On that we all agree. There are different approaches to dealing with it. We dared to express an alternate view, and most of the Politically Correct People on the other side could do more than throw insults without engaging in our argument. We also all agree that the schools approach to dealing with the problem, which largely consists of “fun” programs such as this one that make for good PR, have not worked and, therefore, there is no reason to believe more of the same will suddenly prove effective.
THE PLANET shall address the issue of bullying at another time. For now, we want to point out the hypocrisy of many of those who pretend to be “inclusive” and espouse “diversity.” What they mean is: “We accept all points of view, except those with which we do not agree.”
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NO CONFIDENCE VOTE (PLEASE FORGIVE SPACING PROBLEM; FORMAT HAS JUMPED THE TRACK!)
In light of the no-confidence motion put forward by city councilors Chris Yon and Kevin Sherman, some have been asking “What’s the point?” The resolution, even if passed, has no penalty or proscribed, formal consequence attached to it. We responded this way to an online comment, and we wanted to share this as a preface to a discussion to what happened last night:
A “no-confidence” motion/vote is basically the same as a vote for censure. The point is to demonstrate that a ruling body has no confidence in an appointed member of the government. On the state level, often no-confidence comes with consequences, such as in Germany or Israel, which requires the ones expressing no confidence to propose a candidate of their choosing for the position. In other countries (UK, Canada, Australia) a no-confidence vote would require the prime minister (or head of state) to dissolve the government if that vote were expressed against him or her. Here, in Pittsfield, the councilors (Sherman and Yon) would use this to register their extreme displeasure over the conduct of an official, in this case, the city solicitor. The point is that it puts pressure on the appointing authority (the mayor) to make a change. It also can have huge political consequences, and remember, there’s a municipal election next year. In a consensus government such as you have in Pittsfield, this type of vote, while having no legal consequences, can have an enormous effect on government going forward.
DISCUSS IT HERE
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CONTRACTGATE
Quick word
————————————————————————————–
BERKSHIRE BUSINESS SNOOZE LIVES UP TO SLEEPY EXPECTATIONS, AGAIN
The latest issue of Berkshire Business News is out, an event that probably won’t rattle the windows or shake down the walls, expect for the tree that had to die to bring to death such deathless prose. THE PLANET, as a continued public service, should like to point out a few of the “highlights” of the October issue:
— In the “Volunteer Spotlight,” Michelle Lille is asked to write “Two or three sentences about what you do.” She writes four. The last one ends with an exclamation point. No, we are not diabetic.
— We learn that Pittsfield Promise, which THE PLANET discussed yesterday, has a “formal kick off” on Oct. 17. The goal is to “achieve 90% reading proficiency by 2020 by targeting the critical birth to age 5 years.” It would take an infinitely large room full of countless monkeys pecking at an endless row of typewriters to produce a sentence like that. One of the three pat-on-the-back speakers is John “Whit” Bissell. He knows Angelo Stracuzzi personally.
— The BEEPERS (Berkshire Young Professionals) have 22 of the young-uns depicted on page 11 (Matt Hamilton, Jackie Wendling, Kevin McGuire, Tom McKeon, June Roy-Martin, Erin Carlotto, Kelsey Hanlon, Kollin Allard, Kate Teutsch, Darren Katz, Kathie Penna, Brad Felix, David Bruce, Christina Barrett, Dominica D’Avella, Jeremy Halek. Tom Suski, Pete White (mis-identified), Jackie Dolan, Allison Billard, Jill Brothers, and Amanda Bettis). Thus, the extremely odd skein continues: Not one of the BEEPERS is seen holding a drink, and these photos were taken at one of their booze fests, otherwise known as a  ”social networking” party. Meredith Nilan is not in any of the photos. We also learn that at the next “networking social,” “Complimentary hors d’oevres and a cash bar will be provided.” Alcohol. Imagine that.
Pam Tobin, executive director of Downtown Pittsfield Inc., the useless office funded by Mary Jane and Joe Kanpanski against their will through excessive taxation, tells retailers, restaurateurs, businesses, downtown employees, residents, and visitors they should support DPI’s mission of fostering “the ongoing growth and vitality of downtown through vision, leadership[,] and advocacy.” We hear other empty verbal calories such as “various strategies, initiatives[,] and projects currently underway [sic] that result in a creative, lively, sustainable downtown environment” … we stop, in the interests of compassion. DPI: Too much “vision,” and not enough Seeing.
——————————————————————-
ARE NAMELESS GRACES THAT NO METHODS TEACH GIVE US ENOUGH FAITH TO KEEP INTELLIGENCE AND WITS WITHIN OUR REACH?
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.

83 Responses to “!!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”

  1. FPR
    October 10, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Hey Dan,

    Thanks for the update and cut right to the chase.

    I’d like to file a “no confidence” vote with the Planet for the City Link web stream. I have an ultra fast internet connection and trying to watch the city council meeting last night was a train wreck. The Apollo 11 moon landing would be considered high resolution compared to that.

    You got see 2 seconds of very poor quality video and 3 mins of spooling. Do they use a commodore 64 as their server? Don’t they know its the 21st century?

    I moved to a very small town where they a have a Mayor and a few city councilors – the Mayor chairs the meetings – they use a very inexpensive, probably $75.00 range handheld video camera with SD card. Then someone pops out the card and uploads it to youtube.com. After that anyone in town can watch the entire city council meeting in HD. You can get to see how they fall short of funding for a new traffic light. Its like Mayberry USA compared to Pittsfield.

    The whole operation costs less than $100 usd.

    Why is it Pittfield can afford a new multi-million airport and pay huge fines for a methadone clinic but can’t afford to upload a council meeting to youtube? Who is running that town?

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      FPR
      Our “cut to the chase” will be augmented by more as we move forward. I heard many complaints about the Citylink broadcast and agree with you. This is the 21st century. The hi-rez technology is there, and it’s inexpensive as dirt. Remember, though: This is Pittsfield. In fact, the statement, “Yeah, but this is Pittsfield” can be used as the universal disclaimer when government and officialdom (officialdumb) doesn’t act in a responsive, timely, and intelligent manner.

      • Kit
        October 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

        Likewise I tried to follow this on City Link. I tried three different laptops as well as a netbook. The most frustrating exercise I’ve encountered in a long time. Pity is what I did hear, especially during open forum, was very entertaining.

  2. Levitan
    October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I was happy to see a long line of residents standing up to oppose the vote of no confidence, and offer regrets to the maligning of Atty. Degnan’s professional reputation. I was disgusted, and so were they.

    • taxmano
      October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Please, please, let’s not forget to give Yon, Clairmont, Krol, and Lothrop a vote of “no confidence” of our own when we don’t vote for them next time they run. There is real work to be done, and political grandstanding won’t help.

      • Levitan
        October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am #

        Not my ward, otherwise I’d be delighted to help show them the door.

        • joetaxpayer
          October 10, 2012 at 9:37 am #

          Levitan, Councilors Sherman and Clairmont are at-large. I hope that Joe Nichols and Pete White will run at-large.

          • Shakes His Head
            October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am #

            If only the Council would censure former Mayor Ruberto and former Community Development Director Ruffer for costing the City six figures and ignoring that Pittsfield has a significantly troubled population.

          • Tim
            October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

            Joetax… I hope not, please no

  3. taxmano
    October 10, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    The best moment of the evening was when a burly man (he was dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, with healthy, curly locks, but his name escapes me) politely offered to clean the clocks of councilors Lothrop, Clairmont, and Krol saying: “Next time you want to play in the sandbox, call on ME, not her.” You could hear the collective *gulps* of these three gutless, pantywaist milque toasts.

    • Levitan
      October 10, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      Yes, he did say that and he was cooking.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      TAX
      I disagree with that assessment. The threat was a pointless show of emotional bravado, full of ignorance, and did nothing to move the issue forward.

      • Levitan
        October 10, 2012 at 10:38 am #

        Perhaps, but it he displayed more rhetorical substance than the political sideswipe Yon attempted to pull off at Degnan’s expense.

        It was hardly courageous to slip into the Mayor’s office asking for him to dismiss her, and less so to withdraw it after she discovered just how uninterested the residents are with her Motion.

        • billy
          October 10, 2012 at 11:33 am #

          i never heard a more ,self promoting load in my life. johnathon lothrop.spelled out why it happened cause she told the court one thing and the council she was bound to serve another. Yon went to the mayor along with the council presedent to resolve the lost of trust in what they were told, and find a solution but some people only comprimise with words.not addresing concerns of a majority of elected officals is not only not professional its not good goverment….and wishing for there demise when their concerns invoved fact s and yours involve harsh words…..anyone one can fill a room with friends and realitives but no one can run from the written facts

        • billy
          October 10, 2012 at 11:34 am #

          i never heard a more ,self promoting load in my life. johnathon lothrop.spelled out why it happened cause she told the court one thing and the council she was bound to serve another. Yon went to the mayor along with the council presedent to resolve the lost of trust in what they were told, and find a solution but some people only comprimise with words.not addresing concerns of a majority of elected officals is not only not professional its not good goverment….and wishing for there demise when their concerns invoved fact s and yours involve harsh words…..anyone one can fill a room with friends and realitives but no one can run from the written facts

          • joetaxpayer
            October 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

            Billy, from what I heard Yon and Sherman asked for Degnan to be fired.The Mayor said no.They filed the petition.Most of the speakers did’nt even know Degnan.

          • billy
            October 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

            give me a break do you think when the school budget comes around the school people dont load it with people. do you think people fell of the onion cart in this city.. you dont know what they asked the mayor you werent there.. …. stick to the facts instead of your mob mentality… read the court transcripts and get back to me…. her words are there i can tell no one here that is vicous in there words had read any of it so your arguements base less. and you sound arrogant

          • joetaxpayer
            October 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

            Billy, I thought Ms Degans lawyer shot holes in many of the councilers complaints.Also disagree with you must of the people didn’t know ms Degan.I guess we will find out next Nov.

          • joetaxpayer
            October 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

            Also I wil take the Mayor’s word as fact.He said at the meeting that Sherman and Yon they asked for Degan’s resignation.No one disputed that statement.

          • danvalenti
            October 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

            They did ask for her resignation at least once. There were several meetings. Involving some combination of Yon, Sherman, Bianchi, and Mattoon. Thus, we have four different versions of those meetings.

          • dusty
            October 11, 2012 at 1:44 am #

            Maybe you had to pay attention or read between the lines but Degans lawyer said that Degan had to abide by the confidentiality agreement and could not just spill the beans to the councilors. I think maybe their egos were hurt to find out that they were just councilors and not important enough to get inside confidential information. Just little boys puffing out their chests.

    • maxwell edison
      October 10, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Chris Yon wrote the petition. Was the healthy man offering to beat her up too?

      • danvalenti
        October 10, 2012 at 10:29 am #

        Don’t know, Max, but it was a colossal display of ignorance on the open-mic speaker’s part.

    • billy
      October 10, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      what mature grown man get up on open mic and makes a statement like that in public`. and you applaud that childish behavior…what has happened to this city. they want to hear from you as long as you think like they do. sad is the word to describe it

      • danvalenti
        October 10, 2012 at 11:56 am #

        Agree completely, BILLY

      • dusty
        October 11, 2012 at 10:20 am #

        It just shows the level of frustration with the idiots on the council. Lothrop was on the council for many of the Ruberto years, one fraught with dubious goings on. And he never once had an objection to anything Ruberto did. You will never convince me that there was nothing whatsoever that he could have gotten riled up about. And by the way, Lothrops name was floated at a mayoral candidate for a while before the last election. He may be planning to run next time and this may explain his bashing of the mayor and his choice of council.

        This is all ground work for the next election. I guarantee it.

        • danvalenti
          October 11, 2012 at 11:11 am #

          DUSTY
          That’s the best form of payback. The ballot box.

  4. tito
    October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    I think Degnan could kick Clairmont’s arse.

  5. tito
    October 10, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    But why resort to violence taxmano, vote them out next term, that’ll hurt more.

    • FPR
      October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      I agree 100%. Every single council member along with the president and the mayor should be voted out of office next go round. Absolutely! They have all proven beyond any shadow of doubt that they all incompetent.

  6. Larry
    October 10, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    All this garbage happening in Pittsfield makes the Lenox BS look like mere childs play! Happy see you guys up there are garner all the attention that was bestowed upon us through the Lenoxology and The Kennedy Park BS!

    I guess every dog has its day… I just hope ours here to the south of you has “done died”!

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      LARRY
      Yes, the Lenox doings are Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour. The way Pittsfield does disfunction, the city is the prime-time network star fare. It’s not called Palookaville for nuttin’.

      • Levitan
        October 10, 2012 at 10:40 am #

        Why do you call it dysfunctional? People showed up to the Council Meeting, were outspoken and clear, and Yon backed down.

        Now, perhaps the Council can start governing the city.

        • danvalenti
          October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am #

          LEV
          “Why do you call it dysfunctional?” Lev, surely you jest. We do, though, agree with you when you say Yon backed down. We think that was a mistake, and we’ll explain why tomorrow.

        • billy
          October 10, 2012 at 11:59 am #

          you must have wax in your ears… she pulled it cause it finnally gor aired cause as she said it needed to be aired and she wanted to move the city foward… learn the art of listening…. or lip reading

          • billy
            October 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

            got
            aired

          • Levitan
            October 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

            She pulled it because it was contentious and would not serve her objective of gaining political capital.

            People saw it for what it was, a personal attack on a public servant, and it is apparent that they did not like it.

            Also, you may not like what the large fellow said nor his manner, but he expressed his views publicly. Good for him.

          • Levitan
            October 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

            foward… learn the art of listening…. or lip reading

            Now who is talking like a babe?

  7. Ron Kitterman
    October 10, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Thanks Dan, in regards to the Degnan issue I think the city council made a correct decision. In regards to the Taconic students project it proves that the Berkshire Eagle would rather have us uniformed that misinformed. So a tip of the hat to the Planet.

  8. danvalenti
    October 10, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    RON
    Thanks for your views. I disagree with the council move to file, and I’ll explain why tomorrow. Agree with the observation on the BB. They couldn’t be bothered to cover this story, from the get-go, because it revealed how the GOB cookie jar works. That proved too much heat for seven councilors.

    • joetaxpayer
      October 10, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Dan, really think she was going to file anyway.This way she gets to emberass the Mayor and Ms Degnan,force her to hire a lawyer like she had too.Then after everyone pontificates to nausem she moves to file.

  9. Kevin
    October 10, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    “Douche chill” is an exclamation calling attention to the embarrassment of someone who has brought ill consequences on themselves.

    Watching on TV I had many Chills

  10. Scott
    October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Bullying can be taken care of at home with parental involvement with our children and their education. So many are oblivious to what their kids are even doing that’s why it’s a problem and with the spread of social media it doesn’t stop when they get off the bus anymore and you see that mob mentality when someone makes a comment other posters don’t agree with as Dan pointed out the insults are almost unbearable had they come from someone significant. (it even happens here from time to time.) Imagine being a kid who’s family can’t afford to buy you nikes or maybe doesn’t direct you to the bath tub and feed you as much as they should. When children lack compassion and bully it’s because they’re emulating what they learn at home and that behavior is getting positive enforcement instead of negative or it’s not getting any attention at all.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Great post, SCOTT. Parents are not doing their job at home, in greater numbers than ever. The schools are ill-equipped to clean up the mess, except by taking back control of the classroom from the little brats. We don’t see that happening in the city. Thus, you get well-meaning do-good groups who want to come in and do a little politically correct social engineering. Let’s make the issue of bullying fun! Let’s have a rapper come in, and we can dance. That’s going to get the schools to pay attention to this growing problem! uh, right.

      • Tired of BS
        October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am #

        Some parents aren’t doing their jobs at home and some don’t support the schools. Many times a child will complain about something and the parent shows up at school ready to support their child without all the facts. I worked in the school system and cyber bullying is out of control too. We need to walk the walk with our kids, support our school systems, know where our kids are and who they are with. I can’t tell you how many children are unaccountable to their parents for hours after school and no good can come from that.

  11. Joe Blow
    October 10, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Contract gate may not be over, an ethics complaint can still be filed.

    • FPR
      October 10, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      I think an ethics complaint should be filed. What if the city of Pittsfield had to pay yet another large fine for being in violation of Massachusetts laws and ethics.

      Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

      I honestly don’t understand how such a thing can be approved.

      It was very clearly unethical and where was the city solicitor on the legality of it?

      • Dawn
        October 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

        Did you call your councilor?

        • FPR
          October 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

          Just curious the question “Did you call your councilor”?

          Why would one have to call their councilor? Shouldn’t the councilors know that this was unethical and most likely illegal? Why would they need constituents to tell them that?

          Why did they not ask the city solicitor what if any laws were broken? Don’t you think the city solicitor would have done some research on this in case asked?

          I mean no disrespect to you. Not trolling. Legit questions.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      JOE and FPR
      THE PLANET would urge such a formal complaint be launched. The council’s action last night doesn’t make this putrid situation all comin’-up-roses.

  12. taxmano
    October 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    There is one interesting detail from last night that I don’t think many people caught. After Yon decided to file her motion( and I believe this what she had planned all along) Mayor Bianchi disputed her allegations that he was unavailable/unresponsive by pointing out that her “end of the rope” meant showing up unannounced demanding Degnan’s resignation. After the mayor’s lambasting, Yon croaked that she’d like to make another motion, at which point Sherman refused to let her speak again since she had already spoken twice.

    Here’s the thing: Yon strongly maintains (“never, ever, ever”) that she wasn’t driven by selfish motives or vindictiveness to call for Degnan’s head. But the fact that she apparently wanted to change her motion to file with a new motion to take the vote of no confidence after all (because she was angry at being censured by the mayor) calls that into question, doesn’t it? At least that’s how it appeared to this observer, if that is, in fact, what I was seeing.

    • Dave
      October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      She was never going to let a vote happen. She would have pissed off a lot of councillors who did not want anything to do with being put on the record with a vote either way for this nonsense. My favorite part was when Krol said it wasn’t just about the Spectrum issue, then said “for instance”, which one would assume meant he was going to bring up a different situation, but lo and behold, he starts in on another aspect of the Spectrum case. Let’s take a planet poll- Biggest pompous ass on the council. As far as I’m concerned, Krol lost his title this year to Slippery Barry.

      • danvalenti
        October 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

        DAVE & TAX
        When Yon made a motion to speak again after the mayor’s outburst, she was not going to put the motion back on the table. I know this as a fact. Good catch, Dave, on Krol’s “other” matter, which was still Spectrum. At least give Clairmont credit for bringing up “another” issue besides Spectrum when he said he would, the licensing board matter.

        • Tim
          October 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

          Well then what was she goingto do?

        • Jim Gleason
          October 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

          I give Clairmont credit for being nothing but foul and mean spirited. After Yon made a motion to file, he went on a 10-15-minute diatribe against Atty. Degnan after realizing he had lost his chance to vote and degrade her even further.I for one would enjoy a go in the so called sandbox with him and the rest of the snakes but I think after Donny got done there wouldn’t be much left.. I do applaud him for his statement to put the fear of God in these reprehensible cowards. [THIS RESPONSE HAS BEEN EDITED TO TAKE OUT NAME CALLING].

          • Dawn
            October 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

            Yeah it was real leadership.

          • danvalenti
            October 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

            JIM
            I don’t want that kind of name-calling, because that’s how things get out of hand and the comments section turns into Topix. Please respect that. I also disagree with Don Davis’ comments about “the sandbox.” It was heated, over-emotional, and ignorant. It helped set a bad tone for the rest of the night.

  13. Tim
    October 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Mazzeo admitting unpreparedness… What is with these incompetent clowns lately? But i guess since mazzeo is a frequent good source to the planet, her honesty will be praised like Elias’ was.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      TIM
      First, you don’t know who are THE PLANET’s “good sources.” No one knows THAT list! Second, did it read as if I praised her? Be honest, now.

      • Tim
        October 11, 2012 at 8:59 am #

        Ok good source, wrong phrase, but frequent contributor or something to that nature as she appears often in your blogs. And I said “will be” as opposed to “was”. You didn’t praise her and you didn’t let it slide, but in my opinion that action of being unprepared for meetings is unacceptable and has happened twice publicly in the last couple months… Not a good percentage in my mind.

    • dusty
      October 11, 2012 at 1:56 am #

      I can see where Mazzeo could be unprepared. There are just so many hours in a day. People have lives and families. And with all the extraneous bullshit going on how could anyone keep up with it. The difference between her and the others is that she admitted it. But my guess is that she was still more prepared than the others. Look at all the preparation Barry Clairmont put into his part in the hatchet job of Degan. He must been up all night for days. He was beyond obsessed with her destruction. But how much did he put into more important issues that actually help move the city forward?

      • billy
        October 11, 2012 at 8:56 am #

        Dusty he asked questions about her performance …in court and on other matters… her performance representing the city and the council is at question.. her own words hung her not Barry.

      • Tim
        October 11, 2012 at 11:18 am #

        She doesnt have a “real job”

    • billy
      October 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      Tim is right.if Mazzeo is going to add to political dicussions come prepared. she owes that to who she represents.she is not the only one with responsibilities.she takes up alot of council time. asking the same questions.. or attacking the views of people she doesnt agree with without a complete grasp of the facts.. she owes that to the other person and to be able to vote with clear understanding of what she is voting on

  14. billy
    October 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    she did nor pesonally attack she question her ability to litagate . you keep making it personal cause you refuse to read a transcript….. you refuse to accept the written facts so you make it personal …so i said learn to listen obviously you did not hear what she said or any of the others or chose not to… you have your mind maid up… but the facts are in the court documents period. and i wont even dignify you glorifying a grown man acting like a two year old ill let anyone who see s your statement judge the source

    • levitan
      October 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Billy,

      Your writing is incomprehensible. Please try again.

      Thanks!

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      Huh?

      • danvalenti
        October 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

        LEV
        That was meant for Billy. I, too, couldn’t follow his point.

        • dusty
          October 11, 2012 at 1:58 am #

          Billy is a GOB apologist. Check all his posts. And Billy might have a few martinis before coming up with that last one.

          • billy
            October 11, 2012 at 9:09 am #

            GOB ? Dusty i follow no person blindly. i look at the facts and follow what common sense dictates. asking for answers and expecting rebuttal with facts is how political disscussion used to happen and all parties went home with respect for a different opinion.. but now we have crowds show up and officials get threatned and we wonder why the country is split down the middle. Yon pulled the pettition to give a olive branch to the mayor after the issues had been aired. and he acted like a wild man instead of a statesman … sad sad sad

    • Scott
      October 11, 2012 at 4:19 am #

      I’m no scholar but one thing the GOB’s seem to have in common is thee basic use of homophones, the capitalization of one’s name and I.

      • Levitan
        October 11, 2012 at 6:12 am #

        Iye sumtiimz preefur foenetik speling too, but it needz too bee konsistint.

        • Levitan
          October 11, 2012 at 6:13 am #

          … too maik senss.

        • billy
          October 11, 2012 at 9:12 am #

          funny lev i have dyslexia i guess you dont know what that is like..

          • levitan
            October 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

            Yeah, and I have wax in my ears. We’re even.

          • billy
            October 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

            that has to be one of the most ridiculous responses ive ever seen..

  15. Gene
    October 11, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Dan thanks for the open discussion of two important issues, I guess you could call me a common sense moderate, try to see the other person’s viewpoint. The no-confidence vote is hard for me to understand, both sides. The one thing that troubles me is why did the city volunteer to pay Spectrum $100,000? As for the THS carpentry students I was extremely disappointed it was ever approved by the school committee, but doubly so when the council voted for it. Forget the legalisms. This never passed what good people call “the smell test” and I’m afraid the council did itself poorly on that vote. But again thank you for this forum, the only place where we can read about and discuss important issues that other media ignore.

    • danvalenti
      October 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      GENE
      THE PLANET appreciates your measured posts. They are full of wisdom and insight.

    • joetaxpayer
      October 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Gene, they settled out of court because they were not going to win and were cutting there loses. Google settlements for methadone clinics. The money that other areas had to pay are much greater than the hundred grand Pittsfield paid.

      • danvalenti
        October 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

        JOE
        Those larger sums of money were lost in court and were damages assigned to the verdict. Here, the sides settled, and we still don’t have a good explanation of how the amount ($100,000 plus a relocation fee of $76,500 that will be due if Spectrum relocated in the city). Was that a fee negotiated as a condition to settle? Could the city have gotten off without paying anything? Less? We still don’t know.

        • joetaxpayer
          October 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

          Dan respectfully disagree.One of the cases in the town of Berwyn federal judge ordered them to pay six hundred and fifty dollars. That is what Pittsfied was trying to avoid. Another case town of Dunmore settled out of court fot three hundred thousand. Don’t think Mayor was willing to gamble losing settlement in court and paying six times the amount of settlement. Just my thought.

  16. Tim
    October 11, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Dan, agree with your point that the one time happy go lucky things dont work for any sort of prevention, bullying or otherwise. Teachers and administrators need more specific training on behavior management and how to handle specific situations…. But the prevention of bullying starts in developing a sense of community at a young age. And its not just for teachers, those staff who work in youth centers, coaches, ballet instructors, and so on all need to know the how to’s in dealing with these issues. A teacher’s summer off should be spent in professional development that goes beyond subject areas.

  17. Tim
    October 11, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    And i was wondering when you were going to write about the business news. I wasnt positive, and they dont mention it, but at first glance ithought the blonde on the cover was nilan…. Also, in the pictures from byp event, i noticed a few drinks this time around.