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PATIENCE REWARDED: THOSE WHO WAITED FOR THE INSIDE DOPE ON ‘CONTRACTGATE’ SHALL BE REWARDED … LATE DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHONY DEAL MAY TIP THE APPLE CART YET

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, OCT. 15, 2012) — Back in the saddle again, on a late Monday evening, after a time in the Big City. We did much more than go through the motions on actions that might affect the world itself. We can say no more.

We thank all those who posted over the weekend on Noconfidencegate. It’s hard to imagine how the dealings with Spectrum Health Services could have been handled in a way more inept, but this is Pittsfield, a city determined, apparently, to explore the question once asked by the eminent social philosopher, Chubby Checker: “How low can you go?”

To those who have been asking what gives on Contractgate, fear not. Our expose is in the works. THE PLANET has been holding off to learn more about certain developments in a case that, for its egregious violation of all decent ethical norms, stands out — even in such a Sad Sacked city such as Palookaville. We shall uncover clues of the deception, previously missed, even though they were there, right under everyone’s noses.

That the secretary of the assistant superintendent of schools should “magically” received up to $150,000 free slave labor courtesy of the carpentry student at Taconic High School could not happen in a city that cared about percepti0n, about its citizens, and about what’s right. That is DID happen testifies to the hopeless odds that an honest person faces in doing business with the city of Pittsfield.

I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, and Make Believe It Came from Me.

Lynn Whitney, that secretary, basically typed a letter to herself, stamped it as received,  gave it to her boss, Frank Cote, and after that, The Fix was in.

Where is the state Ethics Commission when we need them? The SEC issued five criteria that Ms. Whitney had to meet to qualify for this gift from the gods. She met two of them. Failing the other three, the school board kicked it over to the city council. The council is, technically, not her boss, and the council, in a shameful vote, approved the measure 7-3. Barry Clairmont recused himself, since Whitney is a client. Councilors Kevin Sherman, Jonathan Lothrop, and Chris Yon voted against this corrupt measure. The other seven saw no problem. Hmmmmm …

There were a million and one things wrong about the bidding process, including the way it was advertised to insure hardly anyone would apply. In fact, the school committee received only one other bid. One, and that was from an inside entity, the Office of Community Development. “They” would have us believe that no one in the entire city would want up to $150,000 of free construction services other than OCD and the secretary of the man who advertised for offers.

What a stinking joke.

THE PLANET has held off on the story because there was so much to say about Noconfidencegate and also because of some late developments that we hope to break on this site soon. In spite of the council’s terrible vote — a vote that further erodes faith in city government — there may be a chance that the deal may not go through. We can say no more, but we shall keep tabs on the situation.

Back tomorrow.

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SILENCE BRINGS THE NOISE OF QUIET TO THE EARS OF THOSE WHO ARE WILLING, JUST FOR A SECOND, TO BECOME DEAF.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

14 Responses to “PATIENCE REWARDED: THOSE WHO WAITED FOR THE INSIDE DOPE ON ‘CONTRACTGATE’ SHALL BE REWARDED … LATE DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHONY DEAL MAY TIP THE APPLE CART YET”

  1. tito
    October 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Planetaria’s never sleep!

  2. Demitrius T. Gladiator
    October 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    glad to have you back planet. Contractgate must be retracted. I am so disappointed in the council especially melissa mazzeo for approving this deal. I have been hearing though she’s friend of lynn whitney. If true, it’s disgusting. Look forward to your report.

    • danvalenti
      October 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      DTG
      That report is forthcoming.

  3. tito
    October 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    You are correct Gladheater, whether friend or not it was the wrong vote. Yon is to be commended for her vote on this, ie the Whitney House.

  4. FPR
    October 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    I could see if Melissa Mazzeo had a friend who needed a dog license or marriage license or a favor from city hall.

    I don’t think anyone would object to her using her position as councilor at large to help a friend.

    However, $150,000.00 of free labor in a scheme she knows is unethical, possibly illegal and in the public eye? Not so much.

    • Joe Blow
      October 16, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      Why would someone need help with a dog or marriage license? I would object to favors for friends of elected officials. Everyone should be treated equally whether connected or not…..liberty and justice for all!!

  5. GMHeller
    October 16, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Why aren’t you, and everyone who reads PlanetValenti, asking the obvious question?
    Why did Mayor Dan Bianchi, the guy who everyone thought when elected would put a stop to just these kinds of unethical dealings in Pittsfield City government, vote IN FAVOR of the sleazy Cote/Whitney construction deal?

  6. Still wondering
    October 16, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I thought the Mayor was out of the room.

    • GMHeller
      October 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Valenti corrected his earlier report and reported that in fact Hizzoner Bianchi did indeed attend and vote during the Pittsfield School Committee meeting at issue and regrettably did indeed vote to approve the Cote/Whitney contract.
      The buck stops with the Mayor.

  7. Disgusted In Pittsfield
    October 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Everything about this topic absolutely disgusts me. If allowed to go through, I will have lost what little faith I had left in my town!

    • danvalenti
      October 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      DIP
      An understandable reaction. The System is corrupt beyond measure. We report only on those stories for which there is good evidence. We know of other more unbelievable stories of fraudulence and misconduct that, while probably true, won’t be reported because those in the know have been told not to say anything, “or else.” Can you imagine what scandals are even now in the works of which nothing has been revealed? THE PLANET can. And it doesn’t require much imagination.

      • levitan
        October 17, 2012 at 6:06 am #

        Anger is the first step towards sanity. DIP, regardless of scandals, gossip, and tribulations, life goes on.

  8. Disgusted In Pittsfield
    October 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I know, I can only hope that somehow, this whole corrupt mess gets delivered to the State Ethics Board to investigate. It is a shame that the carpentry group from the high school could not be tasked with the Habitat For Humanity house, which was suggested during last week’s city council meeting. That IS a worthy cause!