QUOTABLE QUOTES FROM A BUDGET FIASCO … THE PLANET’s LASER LEXICONJUGATOR ZEROES IN ON THE FRAUDS AND THE FRIENDS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013) — Quotable quotes leftover from the latest school department budget fiasco. You won’t find these in Bartlett’s Famous Quotations:
— “I thought we had a pretty lean budget.” — School committee chairman Alf Barbalunga. Comment: “Think again, Alfie.” This budget is “lean” the way Furnace Creek, Calif., is chilly. Think again, Mr. Chairman.
— “To me, this sounded like campaign season heating up.” — Barbalunga again. Comment: First, this comes from a man who would hair lip every Eskimo on the Bering Sea if it meant winning a vote. Thus, he would know all about pandering. Second, this comment refers to the six city councilors who voted to “trim” $200,000 from the school department’s $91.66 million budget [NOTE: This figures includes school expenses hidden on the “city side” budget]. We would remind our Right Honorable Good Friend The Chairman that these six — Clairmont, Yon, Morandi, Connell, Simonelli, and Mazzeo — acted in a non-political manner. The suck-up vote (to the GOB, that is) here was to go the way of Capitanio, Lothrop, Krol, Sherman, and Cotton: to approve the full amount, depriving taxpayers of a symbolic win. The Savant Six cast the courageous vote.
“Are they looking for us to return [to ask for more money] when the schools run out of fuel?” — Interim supt. Gordon Noseworthy. Comment: Here, we see the dearly departed, The Nose, employing the ancient trick of using “The Children” as human hostages. In this hyperbolic statement, The Nose implies that if the council makes this cut of .002% of the budget — well less than 1%, in fact, one fifth of 1% by our estimates — the Little Darlins’ will freeze to death. That would indeed raise a serious situation. How could The Children text during class or surf porn in the Internet if they died from hypothermia? Picture The Children, dressed in rags, cutting firewood in the forests to try to raise a little heat in the pot-bellied stoves, all because of those Mean, Nasty Councilors.
“[I prefer] flexibility in the budget.” — Mayor Dan Bianchi. Comment: The mayor speaks in tongues in this saying, all of them forked. By “flexibility,” he means he wants excess funds for the schools, far more than they actually need, because that’s how public schools operate these days: with lots of slush. Bianchi also know the move will win him votes from the Vested Interests.
“It’s unfortunate that at the 11th hour, [the council] decided to cut the school budget.” — James Conant, school committeeman. Comment: We dealt with this whopper yesterday. The Special Interests deem it a “cut” when anyone dares to reduce the amount of increase they will actually receive. In this case, Conant asks you to believe that $1.66 million in additional money is a “cut.” THE PLANET also adds that the council’s “11th hour” action was a masterpiece in gamesmanship. If the council had advertised the “cut” in advance, the school department would have wailed, howled, and filled the chambers with The Children. The Boring Broadsheet would have obeyed the GOB and run a story on the proposed council “cuts.” The School Department hacks would have stacked the chambers with protesters, including four-year-olds carrying misspelled hand-made signs. Admit it, JC, six city councilors out-slickered the bunch of yez.
“I don’t have a problem with the cut.” — School committeeman Terry Kinnas. Comment: Kinnas again shows that he, and he alone on that committee, has the interests of We The People in mind.
“I said that I didn’t want to hear that teachers would be cut. Right away, we are hearing teachers will be cut. I will support cutting the $200,000.” — Ward 7 councilor Tony Simonelli. Comment: Here, we witness a city councilor actually standing up to the entrenched Vested Interests. He made the remark after Barbalunga threatened to ax teaching positions if the council “cut” the $200,000. Simonelli called Alf’s bluff. He had nothing, not even a pair of deuces.
“His response is very disturbing.” — At-large councilor Melissa Mazzeo. Comment: This remark, directed at Barbalunga, hit the target. Bullseye for another straight shooter.
“Times are tough.” — Ward 2 councilor Kevin Morandi. Comment: After saying this, Morandi made a great, impassioned plea for taxpayer relief. He said the “cut” would be a way of acknowledging how much taxpayers have been abused. This was Morandi at his best, a comment alone worthy of his re-election.
“I don’t know how cutting a surplus [in utility costs] relates to teacher layoffs.” — ward 4 councilor Chris Connell. Comment: It doesn’t, and Connell had the fortitude to point that out to a lumbar-challenged school committee and five of his council colleagues. “Viva, Connell!”
“[Pittsfield residents] are not overtaxed.” — The Boring Broadsheet, in an unsigned editorial. Comment: We wonder if the new publisher knows that his editorial staff kow-tows so scrapingly low to the GOB? We wonder if he cares ever to make The Newspaper Formerly Known as The Berkshire Eagle relevant again. Do you think he wishes to boost circulation? He’s going about it in an odd way.
“I was trying to frame this budget around a vision.” — Noseworthy. Comment: You did, The Nose. You framed it around Dante Alighieri‘s vision of hell. You can find it under “D” for The Divine Comedy.
“This had to be about getting somewhere and not just thinking in terms of one budget.” — Noseworthy. Comment: The Nose didn’t tell you that the “somewhere” will one day soon be the poor house for the city of Pittsfield. Ahead within a score of years if current events and the poison politics that drive them are left unchanged. Destination, State Receivership.
“I don’t think cutting $200,000 will stand in the way of our progress. … It’s not going to stop our vision of progress.” — Noseworthy. Comment: What The Nose means is that the schools didn’t need the money! Their going to achieve their “vision” anyway. In other words, he admits that everything THE PLANET has been saying about this budget is correct. The Nose knows, as they say. Incidentally, don’t you get that queasy feeling whenever a public official, defending a spending plan that preserves the sinful Status Quo, begins talking about “a vision.” Vision? Go to an eye doctor if you want “vision.”
“When you are going after resources, you have to tell people what you are striving for. What we are striving for is excellence.” — Noseworthy. Comment: You can’t make this stuff up. Where shall we begin? First, we see The Nose’s slip of the tongue. He admits to “going after” money. That particular phrasing often refers to the actions of predators looking to scam, for example, telemarketers calling a widow and asking for her credit card numbers. They “go after” the money. Second, when, exactly, did The Nose “tell people” the goal? Third, the schools are “striving” for excellence? We thought you were already there, Mr. Interim Super. You material on the web boasts all over of “excellence.” Who’s not telling the truth, Dr. Noseworthy, you or the website you blessed?
“[I’m an] “eternal optimist.” — Noseworthy. Comment: “Optimists” are simple people who know too little.
“Well whoop-dy friggin‘ do.” — Joe Kapanski. Comment: Our regular Little Guy has the right reaction to the latest round of the city of Pittsfield‘s budgetary hosing.
“Regret is dead, but love is more / Than in the summers that are flown, / For I myself with these have grown / To something greater than before.” — Alfred Tennyson, from “In Memoriam.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.