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THE TALE OF TWO COUNCIL ELECTIONS, WITH THE SECOND ONE BEING THE MOST DESPERATE … plus … BIANCHI AD PERFECTLY SUMS UP HIS THE BIG ZERO HE’S PUT ON THE BOARD IN TWO YEARS AS THE GREATEST MAYORAL FLOP IN CITY HISTORY

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, SEPT. 27, 2013) — There will be two elections this year for the city council. In the first, voters from the electorate will select seven ward councilors and four at-large. In the second, the newly formed city council will elect a council president.

This involves some premature analyses of the at-large council race. Jonathan Lothrop is unopposed in Ward 5, and so he will be back. In the at-large race, of the seven candidates, there is at least one close-to-sure lock at this point: Melissa Mazzeo (that being said, anything is possible). MelMaz has as solid a core organization as you can find locally, and in this era of low turnouts, that spells a pump-in. The import of these two developments can be found in that second election.

In 2011, so the insiders say, there was a tacit “promise” from mayor-elect Dan Bianchi that Mazzeo would be the council president. Bianchi lobbied behind the scenes for this outcome, but Lothrop’s supporters returned serve. The deadlock produced a compromise candidate, Kevin Sherman. As VP, instead of going for Mazzeo, Lothrop got the call, buzzing the bonnets of both Mazzeo and Bianchi.

In 2013, with Lothrop a certainty and Mazzeo all but, it promises to be another epic battle for what will likely be a split council: For council president, Lothrop versus Mazzeo.

We have been in contact with these two councilors, and THE PLANET shall be back soon with what they had to say.

BIANCHI AD: LIES, LIES, AND MORE LIES

In a full-page, back-cover ad in the Sept. 19, 2013 issue of the Pittsfield Gazette, Mayor Bianchi touts “Tuesday, September 24th is Primary Day.” The needless ad from a mayor who remains unopposed on the ballot speaks much of horning his own toot. The ad begins with seven color photos:

1. Bianchi talking to Babe Ruth Leaguers.

2. Bianchi on the phone next to a WWII veteran.

3. Bianchi with his wife.

4. Bianchi walking North Street with Sen. Elizabeth “Granny” Warren.

5. Bianchi with a bunch of fourth graders, holding trophies.

6. Bianchi shaking hands with a soldier, surrounded by American flags.

7. Bianchi interviewing girl softballers.

These marshmallow photos perfectly sum of Bianchi’s first term, a two-year hiatus from leadership and the hard choices of good governance in favor of ribbon cuttings, certificate presentations, and heaping helpings of similar mush mouses. The mayor didn’t realize it, but in the ad he perfectly captured his insubstantial, nugatory, ineffectual, two years of Nothing. Bianchi, hailed as a friend of The Little Guy coming in based on the earlier part of his performance as Ward 6 councilor, assumed office with the hopes and expectations of many in the city. He proceeded to lay the biggest egg since Yolk Simpson fried his brains on a Yosemite sidewalk.

The text of the pitiful ad well competes with the pictures in capturing the essence of a man trying desperately to puff himself up, to be the Big Man in light of the fact that he thinks he shall skate free into a second term. He thinks.

He begins: “Thank you to all who have contributed to the important progress our City has made over the past 20 months.”

Bianchi defines “important progress” as “public safety improvement” that has “made Pittsfield a safer community.” THE PLANET disputes that point and calls the mayor out for lying flatter than a sack of guano. There has been no “pubic safety improvement.” Rather, it’s been the opposite. The anecdotal evidence and the evidence that is there for anyone with open eyes and open minds to see: The city become far more dangerous, with shootings, stabbings, drug dealing, domestic violence, and other forms of mayhem becoming the norm, not Sara Hathaway‘s “aberration.”  Under Bianchi’s watch, the city has suffered from a major regression in public safety.

Here’s another stinking sack: “And, streamlining the permitting system to make doing business in the City easier, continues to be a top priority.” CAll me Lord Haw Haw on that one. Aside from horrible syntax (his campaign is in dire need of a competent writer), dealing with the city has never been more difficult and, sad to say, more political. Or haven’t you noticed the near complete lack of business development under Bianchi’s watch?

Bianchi blathers, “In my opinion,” nothing is more important than implementing solid plans for the economic future of Pittsfield.” That’s what we in the newsroom at The Post-Standard called a “NS” statement, as in “no shit.” It would be nice if the mayor had actually performed as if nothing was more important these past two years. Also, doesn’t the “In my opinion” reek of the timid defensiveness that has become Bianchi’s hallmark since he went over to the GOB side? He continues, “In my plan for Pittsfield, I proposed many important initiatives that would make this possible.” Naturally, he doesn’t name one of them, because there are none to name. Thus, the mayor continues to play the people who elected him and those who didn’t as suckers.

Forget about the beff. Where is the leadership?

“Our efforts will define the future,” Bianchi intones. Good God, let us hope not. If that is the case, Pittsfield has lost even its slim chance of recovery. Under this mayor, it’s become clear, the city of Pittsfield is doomed.

“From our schools,[sic] to our City’s Charter, we have set a course of positive development, one that ensures progress and promotes excellence.” If Bianchi’s for the charter, sight unseen, a thinking person who cares about Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski should be opposed. THE PLANET shall be eviscerating the proposed new charter in a future column.

Ladies and gentleman, aren’t you tired of the kind of political mush seen in Bianchi’s ad? Aren’t you just about fed up with this sort of say-nothing patronizing? Don’t you want to be treated as adults? Don’t you want someone who isn’t afraid to take on the true challenges that face Pittsfield? The top two are reeling in the out-of-control growth in the city budget and the automatic and steep tax hikes that have been foisted upon taxpayers under a false set of promises?

Dan Bianchi, you have told enough whoppers to the good people of Pittsfield.

Son, you’re going to have to soon start answering for it.

———————————————————————

“Lay and laze  in moonlight mist / once loved, twice blessed,  thrice kissed. / Imagine me in palm-pressed grasp: / one heart, two souls, four hands enclasped.”Dan Valenti, “Glow-dusk Birth,” (2009)

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

28 Responses to “THE TALE OF TWO COUNCIL ELECTIONS, WITH THE SECOND ONE BEING THE MOST DESPERATE … plus … BIANCHI AD PERFECTLY SUMS UP HIS THE BIG ZERO HE’S PUT ON THE BOARD IN TWO YEARS AS THE GREATEST MAYORAL FLOP IN CITY HISTORY”

  1. Ron Kitterman
    September 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Should prove interesting power corrupts as they say, more importantly power reveals.

    • danvalenti
      September 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      RON
      I like that one. Power reveals much. It reveals what a person will do with it. That, in turn, reveals much about that elusive but necessary trait, leadership.

    • Thomas More
      September 28, 2013 at 5:30 am #

      What good is power if you can’t abuse it?

  2. Nota
    September 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    PLANET? Have you seen the election infomercial by John Krol, it was on PCTV. Many of the articulations had repetitive outbursts, just like, guess who? you got it, Jimmy Ruberto. You’d think watching it he was runny for President. It is funny though!

  3. Dave
    September 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Dan, when the possibility of becoming Council Pres was presented to Melissa Mazzeo prior to last year’s election, she stated on more than one occasion that she was not interested because it would limit her ability to debate the issues. Maybe things have changed for the upcoming term( I’m sure most councilors would vote her Pres just to shorten the meetings) but unless she would use the Presidency as a resume builder I don’t see her pushing for it.

    • Dave
      September 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      last election-not last year’s election

  4. Evian
    September 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    I don’t know. Actually I think Melissa would make a fine council president.

  5. Jonathan Melle
    September 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I believe that former Pittsfield Mayors Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto were the worst Mayors of Pittsfield. Doyle bankrupted Pittsfield, while Ruberto put Pittsfield into deep debt. Mayor Dan Bianchi inherited a mess.

    • dusty
      September 28, 2013 at 1:33 am #

      Bianchi has truly followed some pretty sleazy people in the role of mayor of Pittsfield. But he does not seem interested in coming out of it with any better reputation than they did. People used to try to keep the family name in good light.

    • allthesame
      September 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      a mess the apperently his not trying to hard to fix

  6. Nota
    September 28, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    That’s the problem, don’t tell the voters that you feel their pain, then become one.

  7. Russell Moody
    September 28, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    My vote for worst is Gerry Doyle…

  8. Russell Moody
    September 28, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    When the pain of our immediate fiscal and political circumstance outweighs the pain of having the the current administration in office, an alternative candidate will present themselves.

    I’m pretty sure NOTA is nothing more than a ‘talking point.’ In the words of my cheer-leading daughter… “Action, Action, we want ACTION.” Who’s it going to be?

    • Robin
      September 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      I’mhoping it will be Dan Valenti.

  9. Nota
    September 28, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Bianchi is good at one thing, balancing the books. He seems to be content with staus quo. Why take the high road as was said before,when you can tilt the coin machine and draw off the taxpayer at your convenience. As far as Doyle, he does serve a purpose here, he makes any mayor that followed him look good.

  10. Bill Sturgeon
    September 28, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    I really believe that May Bianchi should agree to an interview with Dan. Dan has his opinion of how the Mayor’s administration is conducting business and the Mayor (Eagle Article) feels he is doing a great job – the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    If you are in politics I believe that you should not fear being interviewed by anyone. Every interview is an opportunity to sharing your thoughts and goals.

    Dan is professional and would conduct a very professional interview, in my opinion.

    • levitan
      September 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      Why should anyone agree to an interview with someone who hosted the debacle of a Boston blogger-come-to-Pittsfield-with-a-racial-chip on her shoulder? Wouldn’t it make sense to interview with someone whose interests goes beyond readership on his blog?

      “The city become far more dangerous, with shootings, stabbings, drug dealing, domestic violence, and other forms of mayhem becoming the norm,”

      That is ridiculous. I made my own neighbor loads safer this past year, and if you are a ne’er do well walking on my street, keep on walking and don’t look left nor right.

      Name the new shootings, not counting the nitwit who shot himself in the head by accident.

  11. Bill Sturgeon
    September 28, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    I really believe that May Bianchi should agree to an interview with Dan. Dan has his opinion of how the Mayor’s administration is conducting business and the Mayor (Eagle Article) feels he is doing a great job – the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    If you are in politics I believe that you should not fear being interviewed by anyone. Every interview is an opportunity to sharing your thoughts and goals.

    Dan is professional and would conduct a very professional interview, in my opinion.

  12. Tito
    September 28, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    At this point, The Planet and Bianchi can’t stand each other, or so it appears. Seems the Mayor is forgetting the endorsement given him by The Planet, in the first mayoral campaign vs. Smartchetti.

    • levitan
      September 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      That is not evident. Dan wants an interview, and Dan is not giving it.

      That’s more than I get from my friends.

  13. dusty
    September 28, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    If Lothrop gets council presidency we might as well invite Gerry Doyle back as mayor because it will be over for the people. I mean over even more than it is now if there is room for that.

    • levitan
      September 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      He’s just a vote, and the Mayor’s influence has been increased per the Council by the Charter.

      How about – too late! – term limits for everyone. I’d say one term with the length doubled. And State/National elected not permitted to walk our Streets until they agree to make it a habit.

      • dusty
        September 29, 2013 at 2:28 am #

        He is more than a vote. On the one hand if he were to keep his mouth shut like some other presidents of the council it would be awesome. But the GOB rule for their presidents seems to be to have them intimidate the public while speaking at the podium, keep their speaking time to a bare minimum and preferably to keep them fearful of speaking at all. Lothrup would be in heaven with this role lording over the peons.

        • levitan
          September 29, 2013 at 10:12 am #

          On the one hand if he were to keep his mouth shut like some other presidents of the council it would be awesome.

          I’m with you on that one. I always remind myself, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

  14. Tito
    September 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    If LOW gets the Presidency, we will hear the most famous and fact filled quotes from the history books. We will also see his fellow councilors play follow the leader. LOW, in essence,will be acting Mayor and Bianchi will be nothing short of a pawn. One has to notice that Mazzeo will be harnessed to a degree during this reign, and making for a not so effective mayoral tenure for biz zones da Mayor.

  15. Liz Arrington
    September 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Only here can you get this kind of unfiltered news. I’m also writing in DV for mayor, as for council it doesn’t matter to me but I’d rather see Lothrup because he will provide check and balance to the mayor

    • levitan
      September 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      Heh, that’s good. Now you are implying that not only has the Mayor done nothing, he needs a check.

      Which is it? He does a lot which is bad, or he does nothing in which case he is irrelevant?

      Beyond that, do you really believe that checks and balances are not present on City Hall? We have the Teachers’ Union backed by most of the Council and the School Committee, balanced by Bianchi who wrangled a quarter million dollar compromise out of them. No thanks to Lothrop, Yon, and others.

      I know, how can one fit in if one just pisses on the parade?

    • danvalenti
      September 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      Thanks, LIZ, for your support.