Article

KINNAS 4-FOR-4 with ATTORNEY GENERAL, BUT GOB IS CHOKING ON ITS OWN BILE HAVING TO ADMIT IT, HENCE, ITS MUD-SLINGING … STICKER CAMPAIGNS: A POWERFUL TOOL IN THE HANDS OF PISSED-OFF, FED-UP VOTERS … LEE BOARD ‘PHONES IT IN’ ON BUFFIS … plus … SAKSHAUG RE-APPOINTMENT: WILL ‘POLITICS AS USUAL’ KEEP HIM OFF CONSERVATION COMMISSION?

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY THROUGH LABOR DAY, AUG. 30-SEPT. 2, 2013) — Terry Kinnas, Pittsfield’s best public servant, filed four allegations of law breaking against Pittsfield school officials. Four times, state Attorney General Martha Coakley has agreed with him, upheld his allegations, and determined these officials to be lawbreakers. That makes Kinnas 4-for-4, an average that would lead any league, from the Majors to the lowest bushes that comprise Pittsfield.

Now, the GOB has their minions out desperately trying to divert your attention from Terry’s success and their abject failure by slinging mud regarding Kinnas’ “angry diatribes” and “anger management issues.” THE PLANET has seen Kinnas in action at countless public meetings, debates, and gatherings official and otherwise, and we have never — NEVER — seen him act in any way other than professional and courteous. He did not act this way even during the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, unlike his colleagues that night, who, by their very action, demonstrated their anger management issues over having to obey the law.

The flood of responses attempting to discredit Kinnas each have in common their refusal to acknowledge the most pertinent fact in this entire episode, which is this: Terry Kinnas is a public official, one of the rare ones, with integrity, who matches his ideal with a knowledge of the law and his responsibilities as an elected official to follow that law.

He, alone, has been willing to call out the Yahoos in Pittsfield government who think the law does not apply to them. Fortunately, the many readers of this website will not be fooled by the smear campaign now being conducted against a great citizen. They know that Kinnas is in the right. They know that Kinnas has only one political objective in mind, and that is to serve the city that elected him to his position. Remember that he tallied more votes than Bianchi in the last election.

Admit it, you GOB slackers. Kinnas ate your lunch!

There. Now that we got that out of the way, let us venture into the land of stickers.

According to the city charter, the city elects a mayor every two years. The provision reads:

“At each biennial election the following officers shall be elected in the following manner:  A mayor, by and from the qualified voters of the city for term of two years.”

WRITE-IN: The voter’s secret weapon.

The provision doesn’t mention so-called sticker campaigns, in which a person may run for office without filing nomination papers. Bill Galvin, Massachusetts secretary of state, posts this on his website:

All write-in or sticker votes should include the correct name and address of the candidates. Courts have ruled that a vote should be counted whenever the intent of the voter can reasonably be determined, even if a voter omits the candidate’s address or makes a mistake in the name or address. In O’Brien v. Board of Election Commissioners, 257 Mass. 332, 338-339, 153 N.E. 553, 556 (1926) the court said “that if the intent of the voter can be determined with reasonable certainty from an inspection of the ballot, in the light of the generally known conditions attendant upon the election, effect must be given to that intent… The omission of the residence … on some ballots on which the name had been written by the voters rightly was found not to invalidate such votes.” Maiewski v. Board of Registrars of Voters, 347 Mass. 681, 199 N.E. 2d 680 (1964). This includes where a voter fails to complete the vote indicator next to the write-in space—the write-in or sticker vote will still be counted.

This information indicates that a write-in campaign can be conducted by a person who is not a resident of the city. The “intent of the voter” is all that matters for the vote to count, whether or not an address is included. That’s why the city clerk counts all wrote in votes, including those for Mickey Mouse and Cochise.

The “omission of the residence … rightly was found not to invalidate such votes.”

Thus, a legitimate person (not Mickey Mouse, Elvis, or High Diddle Diddle) with standing in the area can in fact run a stick campaign.

DAN VALENTI: “A legitimate person … with standing in the area.”

“A legitimate person … with standing in the area,” a person such as Dan Valenti, perhaps?

We say that no one should be able to waltz into a position as important as mayor without opposition. It would be a disservice to that mayor as much as the electorate responsible for putting him back into office if he should  do so without having to explain his previous two-year term.

We would encourage anyone dissatisfied with the present direction of Pittsfield to write in Valenti’s name. Think of this “candidacy” as the “none of the above” option, which authorities are afraid to put on an actual ballot because NOTA would win most elections.

Every write-in vote for Dan Valenti will make a massive statement far beyond the effects of a single casting of a lone ballot. A write-in vote will send a clear message to the occupant of the Corner Office, the city council, and the school committee that what they think is a “good enough” effort is far from “good enough.” It will also be a much more productive way to cast a vote than leaving a blank.

——————————————————————————–

SELECT BOARD ‘PHONES IT IN’ BY FIRING POLICE CHIEF BUFFIS

* It’s ironic that after the federal indictment against former Lee police chief Joe Buffis that the Lee Select Board should have fired the chief for what the boards says is an unrelated matter. The board found that Buffis charged the town for his personal cellphone plan, a family plan no less, to the tune of almost $5,000 for a two-year period.

JOE BUFFIS: Fired by Lee Select Board for … phone use??

Buffis mouthpiece, Lori Levinson, told the board the cellphone use was part of the chief’s contract with the town. Town administrator Robert Nason denied the claim. It would seem a simple matter of the contact language, wouldn’t it? The simple thing to do here would be for Levinson to make the contract public. It should then be an easy matter to decide who’s telling the truth.

One wonders if the board acted in the phone matter to have Buffis jettisoned from any connection with the Town of Lee when the court summons him to appear to answer charges of extortion and money laundering relating to a Christmas toy fund that Buffis controlled in his role as chief. It would certainly be more convenient than not for the Board to have Buffis gone if and when the Feds get going with their proceedings. It might also have legal implications.

———————————————————————

SAKSHAUG DESERVES REAPPOINTMENT TO CONSERVATION COMMISSION

Will Tom Sakshaug be reappointed to the Conservation Commission?  Sakshaug’s term recently expired. You may not care much about this commission, but it cares about you — that’s its job. The conservation commission amplifies the work done by sportsmen’s clubs, garden club, nature associations, and charitable foundation to preserve our natural resources. The city conservation commission is responsible for protecting the land, water, and biological resources of Pittsfield.

From the state Association of Conservation Commissions website:

“The tasks of a Commission require a great deal of study, learning and thought by its members, who become expert only by patience and work. Appointments should not be made or taken lightly.

“The overriding factors governing appointments should be a candidate’s interest in doing the conservation job needed by the town: open space and water resource protection. Since this goal requires a continual, firm commitment to conservation, persons who have no conflict of interest and who relate well to others should be selected. The Commission should represent a variety of interests, skills and backgrounds.”

Sakshaug, one of the most dedicated and hard working members of any municipal board or commission, spent his own money to take a series of courses in order to qualify for service on the commission. Unlike many board and commission members, who want the name spelled correctly on the letterhead and care to do little else, Sakshaug takes the job seriously. His term of service as a conservation commissioner, moreover, makes his service highly desirable.

Now what could possibly cause a problem with the re-appointment of a person of this caliber? Could it be, oh, politics?

THE PLANET‘s sources inform us that Mayor Bianchi is refusing to re-appoint Sakshaug. To free up a slot for Sakshaug, Peter Marchetti resigned from the commission on Aug. 21, hoping to force the mayor’s hand. Bianchi hasn’t moved on it since. THE PLANET hears that Bianchi has asked conservation agent Rob Van Der Kar to look for two replacements, presumably one each for Sakshaug and Marchetti.

THE PLANET calls upon Bianchi to let politics, for once, move to the side and reappoint Tom Sakshaug as a conservation commissioner.

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Unwearied still, lover by lover, / They paddle in the cold / Companionable streams or climb the air; / Their hearts have not grown old; Passion or conquest, wander where they will, / Attend upon them still. // But now they drift on the still water, / Mysterious, beautiful; / Among what rushes will they build, / By what lake’s edge or pool / Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day / To find they have flown away?”W. B. Yeats, final two stanzas, “The Wild Swans at Coole,” (1916, 1919)

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

78 Responses to “KINNAS 4-FOR-4 with ATTORNEY GENERAL, BUT GOB IS CHOKING ON ITS OWN BILE HAVING TO ADMIT IT, HENCE, ITS MUD-SLINGING … STICKER CAMPAIGNS: A POWERFUL TOOL IN THE HANDS OF PISSED-OFF, FED-UP VOTERS … LEE BOARD ‘PHONES IT IN’ ON BUFFIS … plus … SAKSHAUG RE-APPOINTMENT: WILL ‘POLITICS AS USUAL’ KEEP HIM OFF CONSERVATION COMMISSION?”

  1. Ten
    August 30, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    I certainly am impressed with your knowledge of the laws regarding write in electoral procedure. But I ask you why ever should I cast a vote for a real candidate instead of say C’thulu lord of darkness and chaos as a none of the above candidate? I mean C’thulu at least has a clear platform he calls for the enslavement of the masses, the blotting out of the sun, and of course seas of blood. Here I kid of course so lets get serious. I do read your blog but I still wish to hear a clear platform. Mr. Valenti what would your plan be if you were by chance able to become mayor. I am always willing to vote for any candidate able to put forth a compelling case.

    • Scott
      August 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      If you have to ask what platform valenti would stand on then you don’t read this blog enough.

    • Dave
      August 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Ten, part of your comment yesterday read” I believe Kinnas failed to give the council a chance to rectify their wrongs without harsh punishment…………he is morally wrong in not giving them a chance to reform without punishment and in opening with aggression.” During the “Lynching of Kinnas” school committee meeting with the Reid members, after a thorough bashing of Mr Kinnas by all parties present, Dan Elias asked the Reid contingent if they were satisfied with the public airing of their grievance and suggested that it was enough and did they really need a vote to be taken. Guess what they chose??? Which do you say is a harsher punishment, the humiliation that Mr. Kinnas endured or the non-public(if it wasn’t for Dan Valenti)
      decision handed down by the AG?

      • danvalenti
        August 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

        DAVE
        Touche’, man! Brilliant point here. The Reid-ites, being adults, made what we have to assume was an informed choice. You’re also right: If not for THE PLANET’s coverage, there wouldn’t have been a peep mentioned of TK’s victories at the expense of the yokels and their GOB silent backers.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      TEN
      Thank you. I would answer this way: (1) In a real sense, every column I have written on (and as) THE PLANET — all 805 of them — constitutes my “platform.” (2) If you go to “Archives” (the drop-down hot link under “BLOG” on the yellow menu bar of THE PLANET’s mast, you can read all of our past news and views. (3) That being said, I shall be writing about my plans if by chance were became Hizzoner. We are glad to hear of your open to new ideas and candidates.

      • TKO
        August 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

        Having followed your columns for some time now I am clear on what you dislike or do not support currently in Pittsfield politics. I am not clear on what you plan to do to begin the process of recovery from this situation. I will continue to follow for your platform standings…

  2. Sally
    August 30, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    I’m sorry for the comment I posted yesterday. Please retract it. I’m not a GOB. I was only voicing my opinion based on a meeting I saw on tv. I should become more informed before I comment again. My sincere apologies to Mr. Kinnas and yours truly.

    • Russell Moody
      August 30, 2013 at 5:37 am #

      ughhh

  3. Joe Pinhead
    August 30, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Mr. Kinnas deserves credit not only for having the courage of his convictions but for taking the high road. He alone demonstrated to the citizens and “the children” of this community how it is supposed to be done. Think it through for a minute; did Mr. Kinnas contrive some story of intimidation pending bodily harm and certain doom as was done by the Reid school council and Mrs. Sabourin?
    I will be forever convinced that she hoping for favor in the future from the GOBS contrived her version of events in hopes of furthering her own position in the district.
    Even after the pathetic display at the Committee meeting known as the scopes monkey trial Mr. Kinnas quietly gathered the facts reduced them to writing and submitted them to the AG for review. Proving in a professional manner that as cumbersome and unfriendly as the system is locally it works that there is a method and a manner to it and with patience and diligence it works. Children take notice
    What did or does Mr. Kinnas get from this? Nothing at all there is no pot of gold for him which is why the GOBS have such a fundamental misunderstanding of him. What do we the citizens in a broader sense get? Hopefully we get government that is out in the open above board and decisions made based on open deliberations not back room deals. We get to further the great democracy experiment.
    That the Reid School council has disbanded now for whatever reason is not of significance, the James gang has disbanded as well should we allow train robberies again as well? The Reid school council stole from each one of us and more importantly from “the Children” the right to participate in the process that we as taxpayers must pay for in our treasure and “the children” will pay for every day of their lives within the quality or lack thereof of their education.
    I for one am thankful that there are citizens and Committee members like Mr. Kinnas. As far as comments made by Mr. Ward how sad and narrow minded those comments are. Might I remind you that Mr. Kinnas has been involved locally for decades and is a known brand most everyone is aware of his “watchdog” status of his unrelenting drive for the process to be followed, as demonstrated the process works. Mr. Kinnas was duly elected by these same citizens to be their watchdog we knew with our ballots cast what we would get from Mr. Kinnas as our rep and we voted him in. It’s a joke we are all supposed to be horrified because the Reid School Council has disbanded because despite Mrs. Sabourin’s insistence to the contrary she is a mere mortal and not above the law, yet citizens who have been engaged in the process for decades need not apply? In GOB terms Mr. Ward Celebrate Diversity

    Thanks Mr. Kinnas for your dedication

    • TKO
      August 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      Wow….now I understand why there is so much disagreement about the behavior of Mr. Kinnas….the Planet GOBS and I agree…the conduct unbecoming a school committee member did not occur at the school committee meeting….it occurred at the Reid school council subcommittee on outreach meeting at Reid Middle School.

      For the record… I am not a GOB…I have no connection to any political powers….I am a constituent and a mother of school aged children in Pittsfield….I am not a lifelong Pittsfield resident and am not well versed in the political history here. I care about the issues of today that concern me and mine.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      JOE
      As usual, your wisdom adds infinitely to the discussion. I love this part: “Might I remind you that Mr. Kinnas has been involved locally for decades and is a known brand most everyone is aware of his “watchdog” status of his unrelenting drive for the process to be followed, as demonstrated the process works. … It’s a joke we are all supposed to be horrified because the Reid School Council has disbanded because despite Mrs. Sabourin’s insistence to the contrary she is a mere mortal and not above the law, yet citizens who have been engaged in the process for decades need not apply?” Words worth repeating.

      • bobbyd
        August 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

        You’d have to ask her, but I rather doubt her decision was predicated on any belief that she she is above the law, but because she has no obligation to be continually treated as if she is beneath contempt.

    • Mike Ward
      August 31, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      Joe, thank you for your critique of my critique.

      You’ll notice my commentary had nothing to do with the public censure Mr Kinnas received from his peers. I agree that was the most awkward and embarrassing school committee meeting I have seen and I have nothing more to add to that story.

      My observations had to do with Terry’s overall effectiveness base on MY criteria. You don’t get to decide how Terry is evaluated for anyone other than yourself. Once the man was elected he started representing all of us. His service is a matter of public record and I have every right as a constituent to grade his performance from my own perspective.

      What do I mean by effective?

      An effective leader would have taken the “Reid meeting” as an opportunity to mentor the school council chairperson. He would have sat through the meeting and introduced himself at the end. He would have had a private conversation with the chairperson and said “you know you have to post meeting agendas, right? And you also should publish directions on how parents or other members of the public can get in the building to attend the meeting. Let me know if you need any help with how to do that.”

      Would that have been so difficult?

      • Tim Bartini
        August 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

        Mike. Great reply!

      • bobbyd
        August 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

        You’re dead on here, Mike. If Mr. Kinnas was actually a friend of the community, he would have acted exactly in the fashion you describe. It would have been more in keeping with his role as a public official and preserved the dignity of his office.

        As for The Planet’s affirmation of Joe’s “wisdom,” although I’m no lawyer, I am believe the first two paragraphs may well be defamatory … and actionable. Maybe no one will notice.

        • Kevin
          August 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

          Well I just have to get in on this. Bobbyd, you are right. You’re no lawyer!!

          For the record, I’m the parent of a Reid M.S. child. I happen to agree with the actions taken by Mr. Kinnas. The subcommittee were supposed to be versed in the OML, read it, and sign letters that they understood it. Shouldn’t someone have the letters.

          If that wasn’t done of course it means that they did blew off their required training in OML. I wonder of that was another violation?

          • bobbyd
            August 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

            Or didn’t know it was required.

            I bet most school school councils were not and ARE not aware of the variety of regulations that apply to them. Requirements as to the selection and composition of their school council. Term limits. I bet even Mr. Kinnas was and is unaware that for the purposes of ethics laws school council members are de facto city employees and that they are supposed to sign off on having read ethics regulations every year. Sadly, they’ll all likely begin the year STILL without knowing.

            I don’t for one minute believe that Mr. Kinnas acted illegally or that he had no right to do what he did. Frankly I don’t care. I wish the AG had actually fined the Reid subcommittee.

            Even so, I was not commenting Mr. Kinnas’s behavior, but on the edgy comments of the aptly named previous poster to whom I was responding.

          • danvalenti
            August 31, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

            Thanks, BOBBYD.

          • TKO
            August 31, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

            Kevin
            It was the responsibility of the school committee, and therefore Mr. Kinnas, to train the council on OML. Or to make them aware of OML training. He and the rest of the committee failed in their duty. As said, ignorance of the law is no excuse…the committee was negligent in their duty.

            Mike
            Excellent response…one does not need to be a trained attack dog to be a watchdog for the constitutents

          • danvalenti
            August 31, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

            TKO
            You are mistaken. It is the responsibility of every member of the Reid subcommittee to be in compliance with the law. The state makes training available, the Open Meeting Law is easily accessed, and the city clerk — reminds members of their duties. I agree that the PSC has some of the blame, and that blame lies with the chairman solely. In fact, Mr. Kinnas did what you suggest: He informed the subcommittee they were in violation. Instead of seeking direction from Terry, the subcommittee turned hostile to his intentions to inform them of the law.

      • Joe Pinhead
        August 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

        Whoa there Mike, while you are entitled to your opinion let’s take a look at this from what I would call a reasonable viewpoint. This was one of the first if not the first meetings of this body. I recall that being stated at the Scopes trial. That means that the body, after being selected and before meeting had 14 days to sign an affidavit stating they received, read and understand the OML. That record is a public record and as such should be available to us- I will file an official FOI request with the School department in the days coming.

        You contend Mr. Kinnas should have sat through the meeting and then talked to the Board or its chair after the meeting. I disagree with that thought and go more along the lines of being recognized by the chair then making the alleged violation part of the minutes and the official record. No screaming, hooting or threatening — just a request for the record to reflect the alleged violation. Neither of us were present. However, I tend to believe the Kinnas version of events, as he has been taped and present at countless meetings many I have viewed and I have never seen any behavior that would lead me to believe he behaved as claimed.

        Regardless I digress; you speak to how Mr. Kinnas should have handled the whole affair. Would it also not have been plausible for the chair or any other member of the board to request a recess to request from the Parliamentarian or anyone on the board to refer to either the AG website or to the material they signed saying they received, read and understand just recently? It would have taken a short amount of time and would have demonstrated that the board was trying to do the right thing. Minutes is all it would have taken and we might be discussing baseball. They could have either adjourned if they felt they might have violated the OML and the opinion back from the AG’s office would have been much different.

        I am further puzzled with the logic of informing them after the illegal meeting about the illegality. I don’t have the opinion to reference, but I do have what was posted by the Planet that says the AG’s office determined that Mr. Kinnas had sent written notice (written is always better than verbal as a paper trail is available) and the board failed to acknowledge the receipt of it let alone answer the allegations. I now ask would that have been so difficult?

        I am afraid to remove the board from any responsibility and to pin it on the one who reported. That is very misguided. IN MY OPINION the board did not act appropriately. After all, 3 violations in a short amount of time speaks to either a gross misunderstanding of the OML or, worse, a disdain for it. I have yet to hear, but I do look forward to hearing from the School Committee a plan to ensure that all boards etc. receive the information and understand it, as well as understanding the ramifications of violating the OML

        As for the actionable item remark posted by someone else I probably should not address it but I can only imagine how much fun I could have at discovery, but as we all know the parties involved are public officials as evidenced by the need to complete OML training and that’s a tuff bar. My comments come nowhere near it.

        • Mike Ward
          August 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

          I don’t wish to debate the details of the Reid meeting because I wasn’t there. We do know that the result was a communication breakdown with both sides leveling charges at each other.

        • danvalenti
          August 31, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

          JOE
          Well expressed. Your reasoning here wins the argument. Great point: When the Reid-ites found out about the allegations of their violation of the OML, the ignored the law again and DID NOT RESPOND within the 14 days required. How full of themselves can they be? I would suggest that Ms. Sabourin, as chair of the Reid-ites, has the primary responsibility to respond. She chose to ignore Mr.. Kinnas, the PSC, and, the AG, and — most importantly — the law.

          • Mike Ward
            September 1, 2013 at 5:24 am #

            Joe and I disagree (respectfully I might add) on the importance of busting a group of newbie volunteers for violating the OML. If you feel the need to decide a winner in an exchange of opinions, well, you own the blog. But it’s a silly notion. Happy Labor Day to all!

        • bobbyd
          September 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

          I have yet to hear, but I do look forward to hearing from the School Committee a plan to ensure that all boards etc. receive the information and understand it, as well as understanding the ramifications of violating the OML.

          On this we agree entirely!

          As for the actionable item remark posted by someone else I probably should not address it but I can only imagine how much fun I could have at discovery, but as we all know the parties involved are public officials as evidenced by the need to complete OML training and that’s a tuff bar. My comments come nowhere near it.

          In your previous quite you propose as a matter of fact that Mrs. Sabourin (and the others) “concocted some story.” Can you establish this as fact? Do you care if it’s a fact? You pair this with your belief that she (they?) did so for personal gain. Do you understand that such statements can harm others’ private and professional reputaions?

  4. Georgie
    August 30, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Not a GOB? We’ll be the judge of that.

  5. Sally
    August 30, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Sorry Guys,

    I am against the GOB and do not want to be labeled as such. DV took my comments as a GOB mouthpiece so I retracted them. Mr. Kinnas left a negative impression on me when I went to North Jr. High and he was a teacher there. Despite that, he was the only vote I gave to PSC candidates. I was disappointed that he displayed the same behavior that made him unpopular with the students back in the day. I was hoping for more…

    • CarlosDanger
      August 30, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Sally, you should not have to apologize for voicing your opinion, that is what this blog is for. But I do give you kudos for having the courage to apologize – I’ve seen some posters here get way out of line yet their frail egos prevent them from apologizing.

      • danvalenti
        August 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

        Well put, CARLOS.

    • bobbyd
      August 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I feel badly that you succumbed to the bullies. There is really no need to be so GOB-ophobic.

  6. tito
    August 30, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    ,,,,,so where are you really at, Sally?

    • Mike Ward
      August 30, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      she still thinks he’s a red-in-the-face angry guy but she’s sorry that she posted it. pay attention!

  7. MrG1188
    August 30, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Hey…see the “editorial” in the Eagle this AM? Talk about shilling for the GOB. I cannot imagine a newspaper taking a position AGAINST public transparency…and yet they did! Next they will be saying that robbing convenience stores is OK because they’re not banks and so not where money is supposed to be kept. That is JUST as logical an argument as the one they make. They need to publicly take this one back and eat the crow. Unbelievable

    • dusty
      August 30, 2013 at 6:49 am #

      The Eagle has published so many slanted articles that is is obvious even to a blind man that they are in the pocket of the GOB. I was hoping when their main editor left things would change but I guess the roots run deeper than I thought. This newspaper is not your friend or my friend. It is controlled by the same tribe that controls much of everything in the city and timely, accurate, all encompassing news is not part of their business plan.

      • danvalenti
        August 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        DUSTY
        There’s always hope when the top editor and publisher change. As you state, though, the GOB roots run deep there. They have their masters to please, and that task comes before the public that the BB allegedly serves.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      MrG1188:
      “Schilling for the GOB” — We couldn’t have phrased it any better.

  8. Russell Moody
    August 30, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    As we discuss… lets keep our spines

    • MrG1188
      August 30, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      And our kidneys…let’s not forget to keep our kidneys! Don’t wanna end up sedated in a tub of ice…and kidney thieves are lurking everywhere!

  9. tito
    August 30, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    , ,let’s give a big thank you to former councilor Mike, for giving us the beautiful view of Petricca’s backyard, thanx for intervening councilor, we up on the hill appreciate your effort on that,,,,

  10. Nip
    August 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Dan,

    Before considering a write in vote in your name, I would like to know why you decided not to run for the office of Mayor. In a recent blog, you stated that you would explain your decision to your blog followers! My curiosity has taken over! Looking forward to your comments!

    • skier1
      August 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Dan,
      If you were serious about running you would’ve taken out papers and for full disclosure shouldn’t you let your readers know you ran for mayor back in 1991 against Anne, Ed Reilly and a few others?????? In fact you mid way through a debate you announced you were leaving and going to a baseball game!! How do you expect voters to take you seriously?

      • danvalenti
        August 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

        SKIER1
        Your premise, that only “serious” candidates” take out papers, being false, your conclusion regarding my “candidacy,” while valid, cannot be true. In 1991, it was Anne, Ed, Jim McCaffrey, Andy Kelly, and me. Again, though, you have a faulty premise that relies on the relevance of an event 22 years ago to today. I must compliment on remembering back that far. Back then, that campaign season served as my “crash course” in Pittsfield politics, from the inside. I ran from June to September, eventually endorsing Kelly. Not long after, I started my talk show on WBRK and columns writing for the Newspaper Then Known as The Berkshire Eagle. My brief experience as a balloted candidate proved invaluable in seeing how the then relatively nascent GOB operated. Mission accomplished. As for “seriousness” (and back to your original point), I am indeed serious about offering my name as a “none of the above” option over Bianchi.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      NP Thank you, NIP. I shall be answering that very question in the weeks ahead.

  11. tito
    August 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    general dynamics could be in for an economic facelift should the U S decide to let some of those cruise missiles fly.,,,,,,,,,,,,,¥

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      T
      When it happens, the BB will run it as a “good news” story, quoting the usual gob suspects such as Corydon and Mike the Supranowicz on how robust the local economy is and how much progress the city is making.

  12. Jonathan Melle
    August 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    The Berkshire Eagle is a third-rate newspaper without a conscience. It is the epitomy of biased media in the pocket of Pittsfield politics’ Good Old Boy network.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      “Third rate?” That’s giving them a huge benefit of the doubt, JONATHAN.

  13. Scott
    August 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I too couldn’t believe what I was reading in the eagles opinion on the open meeting matter. But when you think about it they’d scrap the entire constitution if they could. So disgusted with the crap they pass of as news and their opinions on portent issues.

  14. Scott
    August 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I too couldn’t believe what I was reading in the eagles opinion on the open meeting matter. But when you think about it they’d scrap the entire constitution if they could. So disgusted with the crap they pass of as news and their opinions on important isssues. They this this community a terrible disservice. That’s why I try to write a letter once a month.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      Good one, SCOTT. The Boring Broadsheet’s editorial demise continues. THE PLANET commends your practice of letter writing. We wish more citizens would do it, but not many give the BB a thoght one way or another any more. Circulation, we hear, is down to about 15,000 and dropping.

  15. Tom Verizer
    August 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Hafta applaud Sally for her courageous apology but agree with Carlos that no apology is necessary as that’s what this blog is for. I also agree with the other comments on the spineless editorial in the BB today. The “news story” was also slated giving Alf more space than Mr. Kinnas.. Fact is if not toe Planet the BB wouldnt have said a peep. Good job DV again of forcing the BB to cover news the GOB would irdinarily squash.

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks, TV. It’s amazing that Alf would say what he did. One would think it impossible to heap further mortification upon oneself, but the chairman has again found a way. Good Lord, place yourself in the shoes of a decision maker who’s thinking of relocating or expanding a business. He or she happens to consider Pittsfield, Mass. Upon doing due diligence, that person then sees the quality of “leadership” we have as School Committee chair. Think that would be an inducement for you to move here?

  16. Tom Verizer
    August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    oops spelling should be “ordinarily” above.

  17. Joe Pinhead
    August 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Humm between the Eagle and those defending lawlessness one would have to think the GOB’s are running cover for the 2 running for Council. Neither one of them can articulate much on their own so they had better defeat the issue now before there asked to defend the Monkey trial and the question of why the endorsed and took part in the e-mail violation and condoned the Reid violation(s). Oh that’s right no one besides the planet will dare ask a question like that. Maybe the planet can probe further.
    Please ask on behalf of “The Children”

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      JOE
      Thanks for bringing this up. THE PLANET shall probe further. How can we let down “The Children?”

  18. raider50
    August 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    my guess is that less than 90% of the voting public can remember the facts regarding the Reid meeting and those that can remember probably do not care.

    • Dave
      August 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      raider50, is that 90% of the 20% that actually votes?
      P.S. the raiders stink!

      • danvalenti
        August 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

        DAVE
        The Raiders haven’t been the same since Jim Otto retired!

      • raider50
        August 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

        not the Oakland Raiders…..genius

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Guess again, because this one is way off the mark. Cheer up though, RAIDER50, because the guesses are free.

      • raider50
        August 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

        see above

  19. tito
    August 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    ,,,,well, if you play the video tape of that meeting, the players would have you believe he was disruptive, argumentative and his face was flush,,,,or flush face. The most telling action to me was when Alf said he was tired of Terry and his gotcha’ behavior and then proceeded to dress him down (embarrass) I was happy to see Ken Ramsdell with Terry, it gave him credibility before this scopes monkey trial’ reenactment, which the Planet correctly called it.,,,,,,

    • danvalenti
      August 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      TITO
      Good recollection, here. Alf did indeed tried to embarrass TK that night. All he succeeded in doing, though, was embarrass himself. His entire term as chair has been the ultimate embarrassment, if truth be told. Terry handed it all with wisdom and grace. In the end, he prevailed.

    • TKO
      August 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      I have never heard anyone say Terry was disruptive, argumentative and red faced during the school committee meeting. Where does that come from?

  20. TKO
    August 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    The members of the school committee were trained in OML by the state. Was it not their responsibility to ensure that the school councils were also trained? If not, who/what agency was responsible to inform the volunteers on the school councils of OML?

  21. tito
    August 31, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    @ T K O,,,,,the charge or complaint’ against Kinnas was “Leaning over the table, talking over the chair, pounding on the table, very red faced…..He made everyone in the room feel very uncomfortable.” That is a quote from a Mr. Frieri….another complaint was Kinnas “obstructing the legitimate workings of school councils across the city.”

    • TKO
      August 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      This behavior occurred at the subcommittee meeting not the school committee meeting. There are several posters, including Mr Valenti that state these behaviors did not happen and the council members are making it up. I know Mr.Valenti was not at the subcommittee meeting. Mr.Kinnas even said that his body language could have been mis-interpreted because he was experiencing pain at the time. In fact I recall he made a statement that no one acknowledged his health condition at the time, like anyone at that meeting would have guessed that he was in pain. Come on…excuses? Probably best to visit your health care provider if you are in that much pain not a school council subcommittee on outreach. Although we do need a watchdog to be sure that a rogue group of volunteers are not trying to do outreach in our community.

      • danvalenti
        August 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

        TKO
        Thank you, but please address the essential fact: The subcommittee, which should have been versed in the Open Meeting Law, acted in an illegal manner. They were, moreover, hostile to Mr. Kinnas’ attempts to deal with the situation in a productive way…. or don’t you recall the Reidsubcommittee eagerness to be engaged by Mayor Bianchi, Alf Barbalunga, and the PSC in “The Scopes Monkey Trial”?

  22. Mr. X
    August 31, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Yo Tito

    What’s wrong with the Jets coach? I think he looks good losing all that weigh!

  23. tito
    August 31, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    ,,,,,hey X…..don’t know about the looks, but it’s clear to me anyways,that if he doesn’t get it done this year, he’s done. I’d like to see the Jets draft Johnny Manziel at Q B if they could, then try to get a high profile coach like Jon Gruden formerly of Raiders and Buccaneers, currently with ESPN, love that guy!

  24. billy
    August 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Dan. I just read the council agenda in the Pittsfield Gazzette and I can not believe that the Mayor. Is going to to council to ask for permission to hire private counsel involving Dunkin Donuts. The mayor told the city when elected he was bringing the legal department in house to save money from the wasteful legal spending from the Ruberto administration .I have not seen us win one legal case before us and all I see every council meeting is legal payouts for loses. I have to give kudos to those councilors that saw this dysfunction early on andBrought it to the light then were attacked by a staged Mob with cue cards For doing their fuduciary responsibility to the citizens they serve. I wonder what the city has spent in legal expenses with out winning a case and why the mayor refuses to admit that The buck stops at his door for this frivolous use of tax payer dollars. I would love to see the Planet. Really get to the bottom of thisand ask the Mayor tough questions he refuses to answer at the meetings without 30 of his cronies to back him up.isnt he responsible enough to answer to the people of the city on why we are spending money to pay two ineffective solicitors on top of hiring outside leal representation .

    • danvalenti
      August 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      BILLY
      Thanks. You are 100% correct: Bianchi was all rah-rah in denouncing the use of outside legal hired guns. That was during the campaign. Now that he’s in office by all of 106 votes and unopposed on the ballot, he apparently sees it differently. There’s no reason why the DD-DT matter can’t be handled through the city solicitor’s office, unless the mayor has no faith in Ms. Degnan’s ability.

  25. billy
    August 31, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Meant legal

  26. Ron Kitterman
    September 1, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    What really concerns me about this incident is the fact that on the date of Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Mr. Terry Kinnas attempted to attend a meeting held at Reid Middle School and with no notice posted and locked doors is able to gain the attention of school custodians and gain entrance into the school and wander around the halls after school is in session to determine where the meeting was being held. Two days later on the date of Friday, Decemeber 14, 2012, at a distance of approximately 85 miles from Reid Middle School and about 2 hours away. 20 year old Adam Lanza in the Village of Newtown, Ct enters the Sandy Hook Elementary School and shoots 20 children and 6 staff members in the second deadliest mass school shooting in history and we are talking about violations in the open meeting laws ? The mayor refuses to go on record concerning the matter. School security is not even on topic of discussion in any manner shape or form. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but shouldn’t we the people be looking for ways that we can come together and work as a community ? Terry Kinnas, Alf Barbalunga decide not to run for re-election. Two other current members of the school committee decide to run for at large berths of the city council. The mayor is given a pass on his bid for re election, and refuses to interview with Dan Valenti. The members of the Reid council disband. I’m just saying maybe we the people are missing something here….

    • dusty
      September 1, 2013 at 5:12 am #

      One lesson I have learned from this is,

      “Don’t piss off the GOB.”

      because they will come after you and try to ruin your reputation.

  27. Mr. X
    September 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Screw the GOB network on this Labor Day weekend, for they have never worked a day in their lives. Like Quint said to Hooper…” you’ve got city hands, you’ve been countin money all your life! ” Salute to the people who have built this country with their hands and backs!!

    • Kevin
      September 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Nice one Mr. X. I agree. Good points Ron.