PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, SEPT. 13, 2013) — On Bill Sturgeon‘s radio show yesterday, the talkmeister asked Mayor Dan Bianchi why Bianchi refuses to sit down to an interview with THE PLANET. As you may recall, we have:

(a) Invited the mayor to do this, given that he is unopposed on the ballot and given his stated preference for a chance to talk about his record in the campaign. Where else will he get that chance … in an honest, open, and objective forum, that is. THE PLANET discounts ribbon cuttings and the countless opportunities for feel-good, rah-rahs we’re sure his “campaign” is setting up. We proposed a one-hour live TV interview, no notes, just impromptu questions and answers, and he never responded to our invitation. The offer still stands.

(b) We have also contacted Bianchi personally or his office several times of late, seeking comments on news stories that THE PLANET has shared, and he has refused to get back to us. Seems that when you’re unopposed, suddenly, you can grow a set of balls. He figures that with no opponents there are no electoral consequences.

In response to Sturgeon’s question, Bianchi first said words to the effect of “Why should I grant Valenti an interview?” Now this stunning answer has many excellent responses. including:

A.) Because it’s your job, Mr. Transparency. You did campaign on being transparent during the 2011 nail-biter, where many, especially Peter Marchetti‘s supporters, say Valenti‘s endorsement of you over Marchetti gave you the 53 votes you needed (a swing of the 106 margin of victory) to win.

B.) Because Valenti is the only person who will dare put Your Highness on the hot seat. He’ll play hard ball and give you chin music. If you had confidence and truth on your side, it seems to us that you would relish the opportunity.

C.) Valenti is a journalist, a member of the press, and a man who takes his responsibilities as a member of the Fourth Estate seriously. He represents your constituents, Mayor Transparency, who do not have the opportunities, the means, or in many cases the skills needed to conduct such an interview.

D.) Because you owe it to every man, woman, and child in the city. Think of it this way, Mr. Mayor: “It’s for The Children.” That lame argument has been used each budget cycle — and you have used it twice — to pick the pockets of good, honest, hard-working taxpayers. “It’s for The Children.”

E.) Because, as you publicly stated in the Boring Broadsheet, you saw the campaign as the opportunity to talk about your record. That’s big talk when you know you won’t face opposition. You didn’t expect you would be called on it, did you.

F.) Because it would give you a chance to explain where you were during the Scopes Monkey Trial and if you were the Hanging Judge and the Grand Designer in that travesty of justice.

G.) Because it would allow you an opportunity to name names of the what you claim are the many former political opponents who saw the futility in running against you, because you’ve done such a great job. You actually said that to the BB. You don’t mind talking to them because now that you are the head GOB, the BB won’t dare ask you an uncomfortable question. “It’s for The Advertisers.” Who are these people? Can you name them? Barry Clairmont? Chris Yon? Marchetti? Jimmy Ruberto? John Krol? Just which people did you mean?

The list of possible good answers is limitless. Sturgeon’s was maybe the best of all: Why should you agree to be interviewed? “Because tons of people read THE PLANET.” When Sturgeon pressed, the mayor emphatically said “No” in response to an interview with us.

It’s no skin off of our proboscis. It frees us that much more time to laze in the pool, sipping on our iced lemonade.

The mayor apparently toils under the illusion that overtakes so many good people when they get a little share of the power they so desperately crave: It goes to their heads. Bianchi has turned out to be a classic in this case, a perfect example of The Barney Fife Syndrome — A mousy deputy in a hick town who thinks he’s J. Edgar Hoover.

Bianchi, who did a serviceable job as a councilor in Ward 6 for 10 years, found his inner Mr. Hyde (as in “Dr. Jekyll and”) — we should say, for the purposes of accuracy, Mr. Hide — after he became mayor and proved such a nothing and nobody. It has been said that when Dan Bianchi slips his hands under one of them “wave hand in front for a paper towel” machines you find in restaurant bathrooms, nothing happens. The machine doesn’t realize that anyone is there.

The entire saga has the makings of a rather interesting page turner: “The Strange Case of Dan Bianchi and Mr. Hide.”

Hide. That’s what he’s doing from the only media outlet in the area that dares get in his face about his record. Wonder what the mayor will do if, during Dan Valenti‘s NOTA sticker campaign for mayor, the ersatz challenger demands a series of live debates? What will Mr. Hide do? Hide, of course.

For political reasons, we entirely understand the mayor’s position. In political terms, he sees it as a lose-lose proposition. With no ballot opponent, he can be choosy, all of which goes to prove a contention that many have made about Bianchi: That he’s thinking always in selfish political terms, not in terms of what would be best for the entire city. In that respect, of course, he’s no different than most of the others in that  duplicitous line of work called “politics.”

For some reason, Mr. Hide has become extremely nervous with the way THE PLANET has been asking questions about his actions, his record as mayor. Why, Gertrude, you’d think he was hiding something. You’d think there were two sets of books. You would think there was evidence of ax murders on City Hall steps.

Gee whiz, Superman, is THE PLANET that threatening? A few little questions? Jeepers, Mr. Kent, can it be that one little online journalist might dare suggest to the king that he’s bare-assed?

As you may be aware, there is a movement afoot, not begun by us incidentally, to write-in Dan Valenti for mayor in the upcoming election. We are not going to discourage this effort, because we believe there must be some kind of option. No one, least of all the occupant of the corner office, should get a skate. Mr. Hide has offered a monstrous piece of fiction in explaining why he’s unopposed, saying that he’s done such a great job, any possible opponents see the futility of such an action. If ever an election called for a “None of the Above” (NOTA) option, it’s this one. That is why we offer Dan Valenti as the sacrificial electoral lamb, both in September and November.

THE PLANET, and We The People, know Mr. Hide is unopposed because he has taken a city already on its heels and pushed it past the tipping point to impoverishment. He has for two budgets in a row mindlessly — that is, without providing evidence of strategy or purpose — grown the city budget by millions each swipe. He has grown the cost of running the city by almost 20% in two years: Counting capital expenses, Pittsfield’s budget has ballooned past $140 million, more than 70% of which has gone to the dysfunctional public school system. Tell us, has you pay check risen by 20% over that same time?

For two years straight, he has raised your taxes, demanding that you pay to Caesar more of what little coin you manage to keep in your pocket at the end of each month and year. If you are a homeowner, your services are down and your taxes are up. If you are a small business, the mayor has made you less competitive through an onerous tax rate, which he has jacked up two straight times.

As THE PLANET revealed yesterday in Mayor Hide’s bizarre listing of his “accomplishments” in office — literally numbering the amount of certificates he’s given out, the ribbon cutting he’s attended, and the fourth grade science fairs at which he has appeared — Bianchi has no record. He’s been invisible, a no-show. Evidently, “mailing it in” is what Mr. Hide meant by “transparency” in the 2011 campaign. He would leave no footprints. You couldn’t tell if he was there or not.

Sad to say, but in the Corner Office for the past two years, there has been no “there” there.

Clearly, the No. 1 issue in this campaign is the city’s finances. The witless increase in the budget, most of it done to appease the Special Interests and the GOB, has to stop. So does the automatic increase in the bottom line. As mayor, Dan Valenti would make an unbreakable, cast-in-stone promise: His first budget would call for a reduction in city spending. The FY14 cost of running the city would be reduced. Valenti also pledges that the tax rates for homeowners and businesses will decrease based on his budget proposal. This is not a promise. This is not a threat. This is a given. Lower taxes, reduced spending.

For those of you who may have missed it, yesterday we were challenged to provide three specifics of the Valenti campaign. We wrote in the instant:

1. By far the biggest issue facing Pittsfield is its out-of-control finances. Each term, going back almost a generation (since the GOB took hold) it has been automatic that the cost of running the city will increase. The tax hikes for both businesses and homeowners likewise have each time been automatically hiked. Associated with this issue of “finances” is the unaddressed matter of OPEB (other post-employment benefits) owed by taxpayers to city employees. That tab of unfunded liabilities is more than $300,000,000. It’s what did Detroit in, and other cities as well, that did not pay attention. As mayor, I would submit a budget less than the previous one, even if it’s by $1 less (the FY 14 budget in which Bianchi raised the budget by millions). Too many hard-working people have had to scramble to pay more taxes. They tightened their belt. It is time city government does the same.

2. Education. Out of a $137 million city budget (not counting capital expenses of millions more) the schools eat up anywhere between $90 and $100 million. That’s the place to begin addressing the budget. I would let the superintendent and the school committee know that the honeymoon is over. I would recommend keeping all the teaching staff but thin out the administrative ranks, which have over the years grown to ridiculous proportions. Example: Four superintendent-level positions, making well more than $100,000 a year not counting benefits. I would push for a revamped dress code and introduce a measure requiring school uniforms for both middle and high schools. That will eliminate the competitive teen-age clothing issues, save parents money, increase classroom performance, and help put the adults back in charge. There would be many other ideas for trimming the budget. Some are big (the school department should not be in the transportation business) and some small.

3. Business development. We have a plethora of entities supposed to create “jobs.” They have been failures. This includes PEDA, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, 1Berkshire, etc. They have created two jobs: a con job and a snow job — Cushy jobs for executive directors and lots of staff. Few jobs for the local economy. My idea is to (a) abandon the current philosophy of “sitting in Schwab’s drug store and hoping to be discovered.” That doesn’t work. You have to get out there. Many ways to do that, including attending appropriate conventions, trade shows, and the like. (b) I would also seriously look into reformulating the duties of the OCD director and give him more of a mandate with task (a).
There. There’s three things. These are Reader’s Digest versions of what I would do. This list of three doesn’t include public safety, infrastructure, and other important areas.


Dare to be different. Dare to register your protest of Mayor Dan Bianchi, a.k.a. The Amazing Transparent Man, a.k.a., Mr. Hide. Write in Dan Valenti for mayor.
“Men around the ring and suppose, / but the Secret sits in the middle and Knows.”Robert Frost, “The Secret.”



  1. raider50
    September 13, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    A simple answer to why Mr Bianchi would not give you an interview can be found in your own writings. Very rude and obnoxious, but that is why you have “tons” of followers. Could you provide us with the number of unique hits that your site receives daily?

    • Tim
      September 13, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      He wont give it to you Raider… He is as transparent as any other politician… And considering the sticker campaign we can now call him a politician

      • danvalenti
        September 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

        Throw mama from the train a kiss! I’ve finally been called a, ugh, “politician.” TIM, let me tell you, though, I’m the kind you want: Someone with the intelligence enough not to desire, crave, or lust after the job. That’s the difference here.

        • Tim
          September 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

          Thought you’d like that… And lets hope so

    • Magic
      September 13, 2013 at 10:24 am #


      I don’t follow Planet Valenti because he is rude and obnoxious,

      I follow him every day because without him I would know very little about the goings on at City Hall.

      Thank you Dan Valenti

      • raider50
        September 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

        Even with this site we know very little of what goes on at city hall. Only speculation from an alternate universe.

      • danvalenti
        September 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

        Many thanks. That’s what’s got “them” so riled at the moment.: Our parting the curtain to give you a small glimpse of the fetidness that they try to hide behind that barrier.

  2. Still wondering
    September 13, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Now tell us how you really feel, Dan.

  3. Nota
    September 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    I wish Mr. Sturgeon could come back on a talk show, he told It like it is ie The Planet.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      I agree. Bill runs an excellent show.

  4. Hurdygurdy Man
    September 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    DV I love this! I love that you have the likes of raider 50 and the others losing sleep over this. What they feel is “rude and obnoxious” the rest of us see for what it is..telling the unvarnished truth. Thank you for your work and your writing on behalf of the little guys like us.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      That’s a most perceptive comment. You’ll notice that because I’ve stepped up the heat a bit, the GOB and apologists resort to a standard tactic, which is to hurl lies and insults. They can’t win on the arguments. Remember to write in “DAN VALENTI” for mayor.

  5. Nota
    September 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Valenti has brass.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks NOTA.

  6. raider50
    September 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    who is losing sleep? I find this to be an enjoyable way to pass the time away.

  7. Nota
    September 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Planet? Who exactly saved at no cost to the City, the price of a new gymnasium floor over at P H S? I believe the Mayor said that. Yet, the new cost will be way more than originally thought, also at no cost. I hope Mr. Kinnas keeps an eye on who and for how much cost the floor will be contracted to. With this being said, it makes sense that councilor Clairmont would want to have an oversight committee.

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      Bianchi said that? If so, that level of outright lie would be noteworthy, even for the mayor. It will cost $60,000 more than the mayor submitted. THE PLANET, and THE PLANET alone, did the investigative reporting on this scandal. See our post of AUG 26, below:

      PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

      (FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, AUG. 26, 2013) — In our previous column, THE PLANET outlined the lack of process in capital projects under Mayor Dan Bianchi, exemplified by the shoddy procurement and vetting work related to a proposal for work on a new gym floor at PHS.

      Capital expenses occur outside the budget, brought forth by the mayor, approved (or not) by the city council, and paid for by borrowed money. Capital spending will this year push the city budget past $140 million. Bianchi put in for $150,000 in his capital projects to replace the gym floor. In a late communication to the city council, he asked for $60,000 more — a 40% hike in the figure initially approved by the council.

      As we pointed out, the first problem is determining why school officials allowed the floor to deteriorate. A source familiar with the maintenance told THE PLANET that the floor, which requires weekly treatment, hadn’t been receiving this treatment for some time — believed to be years. Is this in fact what happened? Someone needs to pull the maintenance records for the gym floor going back at least 1o years. There should be a maintenance log that has the facts: Who didn’t do what, when, and why not?

      The floor is shot; it needs to be repaired. That much is clear. However, it behooves the mayor, the school superintendent, and especially the Pittsfield School Committee to investigate the maintenance issue. If officials allowed the gym floor to crumble, what other facilities and infrastructure has been subject to this same inattention? Is there an established process and procedure for routine upkeep of taxpayer-owned facilities, equipment, buildings, and tools? Is there accountability? Who’s keeping track? As Casey Stengel once famously said about the 1962 New York Mets: “Can’t anyone here play this game?”

      Digging into PSC minutes, THE PLANET reports that on April 24, 2013, Steve Ray, head coach of the PHS boys’ basketball team, told the school committee “about the condition of the … floor and the need for it to be replaced. He said the floor is a safety hazard and unsafe for students to play on.” Committeeman Dan Elias, according to the minutes, “attested to the fact that the PHS gym floor was bad 10 years ago.” Again, the question of maintenance comes to the front.

      Once the decision was made to replace the floor, Bianchi decided to pay for it not with school funds but with borrowed money as a capital expense. At this point, one would expect a few things to happen:

      1. That Bianchi would inform the proper department heads (Jim Abel, athletic director at PHS, would seem to be the logical choice; also, the school committee; and he city’s purchasing department).

      2.) That Bianchi would assign Coleen Hunter-Mullet, the city’s purchasing agent, to head to effort to find vendors and obtain proposals from competing contractors.

      3.) That Bianchi would meet with Abel and Ray for their input.

      4.) After obtaining a proper quote, purchasing would submit a formal proposal to the mayor, who would pass it along to the city council for action.

      In short, such a process demands that purchasing professionals take charge at the mayor’s direction.

      THE PLANET’s investigation has determined, however, that an amateur, a volunteer and not city purchasing professionals, did the legwork on soliciting a proposal through the office of city treasurer Sue Carmel. Who was that person? We can’t say for sure, but it appears to be Jim Abel. At any rate, Abel’s name is in the “To:” blank of the FAX sent by a flooring company along with a proposal.

      Giving this person the benefit of the doubt, you can excuse the eagerness to be of help. Nonetheless, with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, no mayor can let purchasing take place outside of the city’s due process. Sue Carmel is not Coleen Mullen. The treasurer is not the purchaser? What conclusion can we reach, other than Bianchi seems to have lost control over his own government?

      To Better Understand this Chain of Events, Let’s Go Back in Time

      On Dec. 3, 2012 (more than four months before Steve Ray appeared before the PSC telling them of the floor), Abel received a FAXd proposal from a company called Forth Sport Floors Inc. of East Greenbush, NY. First question: Why Forth Sports? Someone must come forth, pun intended, and explain this, if only to avoid the more cynical interpretation: That there’s a mercenary reason that Forth Sport should have been asked to bid, with money finding its way to “who knows where.” Be clear: THE PLANET does not make that assertion. We merely suggest it as a possibility, where it will remain in place until Bianchi, Abel, school Supt. Jason McCandless, or PSC chairman Alf Barbalunga explains.

      Forth Sport furnished a proposal to “furnish all labor, materials, and equipment, to install the Action Interlock Floor System over the existing synthetic floor.” It quoted a total price of $113,000, or $97,000 less than what the floor will cost from another vendor. How could the proposal be off by so much? Was this a legitimate process?

      THE PLANET learned that those in the know about the cost of such floors scoffed at the $113,000 quote for being way too low. The low-ball offer raised eyebrows, including those of Bianchi. It further turned out that Forth Sport, according to our sources, is not DCAM certified to do the work.

      What is DCAM?

      From the website of the state office of administration and finance: “Contractors wishing to submit prime bids on public building projects estimated to cost more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for the construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance, or repair of any publicly owned building must first be certified by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). Certification is also required for filed sub-bids. The certification process is conducted by DCAMM Contractor Certification Office.”

      Thus, boiling this all down:

      1.) Mayor Bianchi allowed a volunteer to solicit a bid

      2.) From a contractor not certified to do the work.

      “Can’t anyone here play this game?”

      Wait, though. The story gets better.

      Our sources say that after the volunteer obtained the quote from Forth Sport, he gave it to school committeeman Jim Conant for some unknown reason. Conant, our sources tell us, gave the quote to assoc. school supt. Kristen Behnke, who is responsible for the school budget and school purchasing. Behnke reportedly gave the quote to Bianchi, who said the quote was underfunded. Sources says Behnke turned around and gave the quote to Pete Sondrini in building maintenance. Round and round she goes, and where she stops …

      Sondrini balked at doing the project, wanting to know if the old floor could be saved. Sondrini, we hear, also wondered why school-side maintenance did not do the required upkeep of the PHS gym floor. He then turned the proposal over to Coleen Hunter-Mullet. Hunter, sources say, “didn’t do anything about it.” What goes around comes round, apparently.

      At some point in this merry-go-round, Conant went to Mayor Bianchi and told him $150,000 would not be enough for a new gym floor. Bianchi went ahead anyway. Question: Did he know he would need $60,000 in additional funds? If so, why did he submit an underfunded request. If not, why not? Did he bait and switch, presenting it to the council at a lower price to get it approved only to come in later for the extra $60 grand, after the commitments had been made?

      In the end, the city selected American Sport Floors Inc. of Rockland, Mass., to do the work, which has not begun yet. We don’t know if the purchasing process for ASF went through the city’s purchasing department or not. ASF quotes $172,220 for a new floor, plus an engineering contingency that is expected to push the final price up to or over $210,000.

      —– 00 —–

      A proposal sought by a volunteer from a company not certified to do the work went through five different city departments (school committee, school department, mayor’s office, city building and maintenance, and city purchasing) with no one stepping forward to provide leadership.

      Does this exemplify the purchasing process under Mayor Bianchi, or is it just an aberration, to use a word made famous by Sarah Hathaway? We have calls into Bianchi’s office. When the e-mail or phone doesn’t ring, we know it’s the mayor not calling.

  8. billy
    September 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I sit in bewilderment of the daily escapades of Mayor transperancy .Ithink you give him to much credit even as a city councilor , I have never seen a man who spends his time building nothing except division and diversion. If there ever was a red hot reason to throw the charter out until there is 4 years terms for both Mayor and council this would be it.

    1). The City can’t afford to maintain all there public buildings,yet the mayor has become a interior decorator and spent 100000 on redoing old flooring. Really? Citywide your workforce. Hasn’t seen a raise. Most work two jobs. How shameful is that ?oh mayor of the people.

    2) we are delusional in our city finances. The Pittsfield Gazzette has published salaries and over 100 Public servants make close to six figures. Who will pay those unsustainable pensions. With ding fries are done would you like a apple pie with that?kind of jobs. The mayor rushed two budgets through and in 3 years it will result in a 12percent increase for the bloated underperforming school system.

    3)The mayor forgets he is not a king yet he made this candidate statement
    “. There is still a small group of elected officials who believe it is their job to engage I’m disruptive politics and who put ego and petty politics above public service.the voters have a opportunity to send a positive message on 9/24 make the choice to improve city government and put public service as our top priority”. There is only one person running on that day Dan. Yet. He is playing king maker and unleashing his GOB( goons of Bianchi )squad we saw with Spectrum and are keystone cops legal debacle.

    This man forgets he has a responsibility to serve the city and it readily appear ant that those officials he attacks as being egomaniacs have not forgot who they serve and have been willing to defend the children,the elderly and the working poor.

    The Mayor has spent so many years tearing things down .If the Mayor put the same effort into working with elected officials instead of trying to cherry pick only the ones that drink his kool aid he might amount to something constructive ,but I wouldn’t hold your breath

    • danvalenti
      September 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Your analysis is spot on. (1) The mayor doesn’t care about those folks who work two jobs to make ends meet. We are hearing some credible testimony that suggests that Bianchi is working two jobs as well, one as mayor and one his old job at Global Energy. Could that be why he’s ducking us? (2) The mayor’s two budgets are back-breakers. (3) It’s the “Barney Fife Syndrome.” Bianchi’s a classic case. He’s got a responsibility to be accountable, and we aim to see that he lives up to it.

      • Joe Blow
        September 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

        Dan, do you have any more info on him working a second job? If this is true the public needs to know.

        • danvalenti
          September 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

          We are doing due diligence on this as we speak. Stay tuned. This is a developing story.

  9. billy
    September 14, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    The floor I am referring to is the City Hall flooring

    • Wilson
      September 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Reminds me of Ruberto hand-picking the shade of red used for crosswalks. Nothing wrong with small-potatoes mayors, but the position should pay a $3000 stipend for gas and meals instead of being a welfare pension-building program for washed-out executives.

  10. Ron Kitterman
    September 14, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    No wonder the Pittsfield School Committee never got back to me with my request to dedicate the theater to the late Dr. Morton Wayne. Once they got done $pending that kind of money on the PHS gym floor, there wasn’t $15.50 dollar left to buy the plaque….

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      I didn’t know about your idea re: Mort, a great man. Yeah, there wasn’t the $15.50, or even two cents, left for the plaque. There were, though, $60,000 extra smackers — more than the council approved — for the gym floor. Welcome to Bianchiville.

  11. dusty
    September 14, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    I will vote for the new city charter when and after the mayor has a forensic audit of the city finances and makes the results public. Every bit of it.

  12. Ron Kitterman
    September 14, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Excellent point Dusty, the charter should sail right on through according to plans See no evil, report no evil, debate no evil, no questions, debates or responses. Why not make the term of mayor a life time appointment like the judges ? Notice, the changes in the recall also, makes it a little harder to get rid of the rascals with the new charter.

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      You are right. How informed will the average voter be about the radical changes in the charter? The GOB hopes to keep them ignorant, keep November turnout low, and engineer approval of the new charter by getting their core out to vote. Legal corruption.

  13. Nota
    September 14, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    The Planet response to my inquiry was excellent. The independent proposed cost of the new floor at P H S, was done for free, by whom? And the new cost is tens of thousands more?

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      The information I received about the scandalous overrun on the PHS gym floor was obtained solely through working my sources. Believe me, there are folks in and around city hall, good people, who don’t like stuff like that. Not one of the officials I contacted for on-the-record comments would talk. It was either off-the-record, “No comment,” or, in the case of the mayor, no response at all.

  14. GMHeller
    September 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Plus now we learn that Hizzoner wants to cut a deal to develop the walkway around Silver Lake.
    Bring the kids, Spend the day, Breathe deep!

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Actually, I like that project.

    • dusty
      September 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      A place to walk in circles around a pond of insidious chemicals. Ponder the symbolism.

  15. Nota
    September 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    ……enjoy the view.

  16. Giacometti
    September 15, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Local artist Michael Melle actually did an extensive design for Silver Lake Park that he gave to the Aging Greek God who then presented it to the city years ago. Perhaps someone could get this design, blueprints and all, done by a professional artist and championed by a professional statesman and make sure that Hizzhonor sees it. That way the imput of a local artist can be added to the designs of a big wig engineering firm to beautify what was once a dead lake. It might make Michael Melle and the Aging Greek God proud to think that finally somebody listened.

    • Hurdygurdy Man
      September 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      I remember them both well. Great idea Giacometti. That probably means it will get no where. It’s Palookaville remember.

  17. Nota
    September 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    The Ball was dropped on the bidding process and cost for the new gymnasium floor at PHS. Citizens need to watch the September 3rd meeting of the Pittsfield City Council concerning this matter. The Planet may be on to something here.

    • danvalenti
      September 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Yes, we are onto something. And that “something” is something the Administration is wringing its hands over, now that THE PLANET spilled the beans. The money was approved, and then, as a late communication, the mayor asked for $60,000 more. This is either incompetent or corrupt. If anyone has a third alternative, we would like to hear it. The more we uncover about the actions of The Bianchi Administration, the more we understand his desire to ignore our requests for a live, face-to-face, TV interview. He’s running, and he’s hiding.