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$222,000 CRAPPER EXEMPLIFIES HOW GOVERNMENT, AT ALL LEVELS, IS OUT TO STEAL YOU BLIND … FEDERAL CASE IS JUST A LARGER VERSION OF CONTRACTGATE AND TAILGATE-GATE … SPEAKING OF WHICH, IN TAILGATE-GATE, NO HARM, NO FOUL, & NO CONSEQUENCES

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, JAN. 17, 2013) — Do you want another great example of why so many politicians, bureaucrats, and public employees are lying sacks of guano? read this little item, from Yahoo! News:

What, exactly, does a $222,000 bathroom renovation look like?

Gold fixtures? Marble tile? Well, you should know—you paid for it.

Scott MacFarlane of WSB-TV Atlanta’s Washington Bureau has finally secured images of the expensive taxpayer-funded bathroom renovation in question, which occurred in 2007 for the bathroom of President George W. Bush’s Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. It took the government four years to produce the photos requested by the news station under the Freedom of Information Act.

The photos show a tiled shower, custom cabinetry, a Sub-Zero fridge (price tag $3,590), $1,523 wall panels, a mirrored sink with expensive fixtures, even a “vintage” toilet paper holder, according to the news station’s slideshow. (Surprisingly, it doesn’t include former California Rep. Duke Cunningham’s antique commode.)

The renovations were the subject of an internal audit.

Contractgate, Tailgate-gate Just Another in the Long, Gray Line

This exemplification of government waste filters down to all levels of government. Such waste embodies an attitude that produces Contractgate, wherein an assistant superintendent of Pittsfield public schools rigs the awarding of student labor to build a free house for his secretary. This double standard, all done legal-like, can also be seen in behavior that does more than simply waste tax dollars. You can see it when a member of the anointed tribe screws up. The bigger the screw up, the closer the wagons circle to see that there are no consequences (Tailgate-gate, anyone? Tune in tomorrow for an update).

People are not blind, nor are they insensitive. They see the corruption, and yet they feel helpless to do anything about it. They have been shut out of government and, sadly, have accepted this as the final answer.

THE PLANET is here to tell anyone who will listen that this should not be — should NEVER be — the final answer. As long as we want to maintain the fiction as truth that we are a democracy, the final answer can only rest in the hands of We The People. It is only up to citizens to take back control of city hall. This is done, primarily, by voting in large numbers.

The problem with government and government officials (and employees) is that these phony bastards usually don’t think of tax money as your money, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski. They see it as their money, to do with what they wish. Your job is to keep forking over the taxes needed to keep the carny game going and — most important — keep your mouth shut. In addition, don’t pay attention to local government, where you can actually put a stop to the nonsense. Moreover, don’t do anything rash such as attending meetings, and by no means do not vote. That is how they want it for you.

There is a municipal election coming up this year. It might be the last opportunity for We The People to make a statement and bring the insanity to a halt. Get involved. Put pressure on the clowns. Tell them you expect a perfect game. Get active. Vote. Vote. Vote.

Who knows? This year in Pittsfield, you may actually have Someone for whom to vote and in whom you can feel confident.

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BLOATED ADMINISTRATION PHATTENS SCHOOL DEPEARTMENT BUDGET; TAXPAYER AGAIN PLAYED FOR SUCKERS

Yesterday on THE PLANET, we shared the shocking numbers of how the Pittsfield School Depeartment has pheathered its nest and phattened its already phat rear end over the past generation. The number of students is now half of what it was, but the number of teachers has doubled and the number of administrators has quintupled.

The bloated administration has turned into a scam. Whereas once we got by with a superintendent and his secretary, now, for the same function, Pittsfield taxpayers fund the following:

* Superintendent, $125,000 (probably to rise when the Frozen Chosen (aka the Pittsfield School Committee) finally hires its new yes person as superintendent.

* Deputy Superintendent, $101,717.

* Assistant Superintendent, Personnel, not filled.

* Secretaries and clerks, $421,742

* Director of Human Resources, $75,750

* Districtwide Information Management, Technology, $189,689

* Assistant Superintendent, CVTE, $89,250

* Assistant Superintendent, business and finance, $90,711

* Assistant Business Manager, $55,000

That’s a grand total of $1,152,159 to taxpayers, most of whom do not have children in school yet still are required to pay for public education. Outside of Fantasyland, that’s called extortion.

Honestly, look at the product that is being turned out, on the whole, by the Pittsfield Public School system, and ask yourselves: Are taxpayers getting their money’s worth? We invite your responses to this question.

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AMAZING (NON)TRANSPARENT FINDING ON THE ONLINE PSD BUDGET, or OH SAY CAN YOU SEE, MAYOR BIANCHI?

If you want to find the Pittsfield school budget online, you can do that, but it’s not easy. Remember, at the helm is the Amazing Transparent Mayor, Dan Bianchi. THE PLANET dares to publish what they would rather not have you see.

To find the Pittsfield school budget online, follow these steps:

1. Go to the city of Pittsfield’s website.

2. Click on the tab that reads, “City departments.”

3. Click on “public schools.”

4. Click on the hot link, in blue, that reads, “Pittsfield Public Schools.”

5. That brings you to the PPS home page. At the top right, locate the red tab, “About the District.”

6. Under that red tab, click on the black hot link labeled “Administration.”

7. That brings you to a page where you will see a link for “Business Office.” Click on that.

8. That brings you to a page that lists the FY13 budget. There, you will see a red hot link, “the FY13 revised budget.” Here’s what it looks like.

FY13 BUDGET

The Pittsfield Public Schools’ proposed revised FY13 budget will be presented to School Committee on December 14, 2012. The PDF for the FY13 revised budget is attached.

Eight Steps is Seven Too Many

As you see, THE PLANET has saved you the eight steps. The link should be hot and take you there. You might want to ingest large quantities of bromo, pepto, and other stomach settlers prior to your examination..

We ask you, in this age of point and click, does the budget need to be an eight-step process? Does it have to be that difficult? And would you put the school department budget under a buried link for “Business Office.” Why isn’t there a hot link on the city’s home page that reads: “School Department Budget?” Would that spoil some vast, eternal plan?

You will also notice that, again for anti-Transparency’s sake, the school department lists the total cost to taxpayers as $54,773,093 and not the actual $90,000,000. This is the shell game of not including health insurance and other ancillary costs (e.g., maintenance) on its own budget but hiding them on the city-side budget.

Transparency, Mr. Bianchi?

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“VESTIGIA MORIENTIS LIBERTATIS.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

12 Responses to “$222,000 CRAPPER EXEMPLIFIES HOW GOVERNMENT, AT ALL LEVELS, IS OUT TO STEAL YOU BLIND … FEDERAL CASE IS JUST A LARGER VERSION OF CONTRACTGATE AND TAILGATE-GATE … SPEAKING OF WHICH, IN TAILGATE-GATE, NO HARM, NO FOUL, & NO CONSEQUENCES”

  1. Pat
    January 17, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Excellent reporting Dan. While so many here in Pittsfield can’t even find a job, the School Department continues to pull in more and more money for its own. This is money that could go toward job training programs for the other 99% of the population here in Pittsfield that is struggling to pay taxes, mortgages, and fuel for the winter or pay their monthly rent and utility bills without a job. The 1% here in Pittsfield, the bluest of the blue probably in the entire country, continue to wield power over the 99% by giving such a large share of the pie, $90,000,000.00 to the exclusive 1% of the population. Smells a lot like hypocrisy to me.

    Don’t Democrats look out for the average citizen anymore as they have tried to brainwash voters for years that it’s all about making things better for the lower classes. These figures show just how much that claim is a lie. As an independent voter, I will remember this ridiculous sum of money at election time.

    • echo
      January 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      speaking of training programs~ how do folks feel about the C.C.C. Programs and the C.ET.A. Programs of the 30′s and 70′s? These programs created public service jobs..put people to work, cleaned up our forrest and helped our communties economically…would program like these work now?

      • dusty
        January 18, 2013 at 1:17 am #

        Not if the Pittsfield Public School Systemic issues group was overseeing it. Although I do hear they already have plans in place for building nepotismal housing for the advantaged.

  2. GMHeller
    January 17, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Mr. Valenti,

    In re the notion that government steals the taxpayer blind, what are the odds that the Pittsfield DPW garage would by coincidence burn down just at a time when the City has been looking to expand DPW’s space.
    No doubt city officials will declare the burnt-out structure not worth fixing and will recommend building a brand-new structure to house DPW.
    What a stroke of luck, eh!
    Instead of alleging arson, Pittsfield’s taxpayers should be grateful that Fate, out of the blue, has come along and given Pittsfield City officials (and some lucky city contractor) — an opportunity to improve a city-owned property.
    How much would a brand-new DPW garage with all the bells and whistles cost city taxpayers?

    [One guy on Topix, and who knows his tip may be total hogwash, recommends taking a "look into who one of the major beneficiaries of the garage relocating to the previously discussed East Street location is".
    He even hints, "He and a close family member keep turning up again and again in the news regarding special treatment and corrupt shenaningans (sic)."]

    Regardless, who would have expected a fire at a city building the city was anxious to replace?
    Right?

    Here’s the Topix link:
    http://tinyurl.com/bkvhtat

  3. Gene
    January 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    The list of top heavy administration in the schools is revealing. It reveals how corrupt the school dept. has become.

    On the city garage burning down I did not know that. Thanks Mr. Heller for providing that info …yeah what a coincidence. it wasn’t arson. wink wink. nudge nudge.

  4. GMHeller
    January 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    SEE: The Berkshire Eagle:

    ‘After fire, Pittsfield DPW garage’s fate unknown’
    http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_22382348/after-fire-pittsfield-dpw-garages-fate-unknown

    • danvalenti
      January 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      THE PLANET, too, thanks GMH for this information.

  5. tito
    January 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Yeah, GMH job well done exposing the Big Eaters?

  6. Rivetor
    January 18, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Wow. We (the taxpayers) are getting fleeced. DV if you orun for mayor, you have my vote and I will work for you.

  7. Richard
    January 18, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Well voters of Pittsfield it looks to me like we should not be expecting manufacturing jobs at the William Stanley Business Park any time soon. It looks like they are just going to put any old ting in there just to keep the voters quite. Instead of a manufacturing district it looks like just more banks . There won’t be very many jobs at this rate.

  8. debbie
    January 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Sorry people Pittsfield stinks!….of brown nosed BS. Taxes suck. The court system is corrupt along with our school committee. We have had no good leadership in the last 20 yrs plus. We have had children serving jail time for marijuana cigarette on school property. Pittsfield has had a Sheriff who everyone suspects is a sex offender who has never served a day in jail. We have had a very well known Bank President who likes little boys and now a coach who gives alcohol to students and it all gets swept under a rug , accept the child with the marijuana cigarette serves jail time. Ask yourselves what the hell is up with this City ? who is going to change it.? Who will have the balls of brass to stand up and take charge and say we the people have had enough. Someone. Please make the tax people happy. Its disgraceful!!!