Article

UPDATE: SOX SOAR, MAYOR BORES … FOUR DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES CLOSE DOORS; MAYOR BIANCHI SILENT, ALTHOUGH HIS ‘CAMPAIGN’ MATERIAL TOUTS GREAT PROGRESS WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

ADD #1 FOS, FRIDAY, OCT. 18, 2013, LATETHE PLANET caught the red-eye back east, and we are delighted at the discussion ignited here by our observations. That’s the purpose of this site: to share news and information, offer commentary, and invite your responses. It’s a testimony to our team keeping THE PLANET running “backstage” in Techniland, to the high standards we have set, and mostly to the intelligence of our readership.

A serendipitous turn of events brought us out of town, and while we were taking care of business, we caught the Boston-Detroit game on Thursday night. Two plays at the plate pointed out the difference between these two talented teams. The first was when Tiger  Miguel Cabrera ran through the third base coach’s late stop sign and barreled to home plate on a two-out single to left. Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes fielded the ball cleanly in medium left and threw a strike to catcher David Ross, nailing Cabrera by 15 feet. The Tiger third baseman didn’t slide and didn’t try to known the ball loose from Ross.

Only that tubalard Cecil Fielder is slower than Cabrera on the Tigers. The play reminded my of Touchdown Tony Ferdyn‘s remark: “It’s one thing that your running the bases with a piano on your back. It’s another thing to stop and play the @#$%^&* thing.” Cabrera’s selfish play took the Tigers out of an inning.

The other play occurred when Ross tried to score. Like Cabrera, the throw had him beat. Unlike Cabrera, Ross plowed into the Tiger catcher with as hard a hit as you’d want in a training film.

There’s the difference. The Red Sox grind the game with hustle, speed, daring, and smarts. They aren’t afraid of getting dirty while playing clean. The Tigers do not have athletes. They have plodders too afraid to play hard. Detroit has a great starting rotation with the AL ERA leader, a 21-game winner, and last year’s Cy Young award winner. Boston has superior depth, a better bullpen, and the phenomenal closer Koji Uehara.

Boston has grit. Detroit has quit.

——————————————————————————-

BIANCHI: BORING IN ON IRRELEVANCE 

In the discussion about the four businesses closing, some commentators mentioned the bra store and the yarn shop. True, these are boutique businesses, and as it turned out, the market pronounced judgment. It’s not city government’s role to subsidize companies whose products or services do not fulfill marketplace needs, and it’s true that no politician including the mayor can change that. In fact, a mayor should never try to artificially try to prop up a failing business that the marketplace doesn’t want and customers won’t support.

Nonetheless, THE PLANET lays the net effect of four business closing on the doorstep of Mayor Dan Bianchi for his failure to address the major contributing factor to the city’s depressed economy. He has failed to reel in municipal spending. This in turn has led to two steep tax hikes, which has driven people and businesses out of town, which has reduced the tax base. Those that are left end up paying more in taxes for less service. We also indict Bianchi for failing to address the loss of four businesses. He had the obligation to make a statement. Instead, like he has done so many other times as mayor, he took a powder.

Bianchi has continually made himself unavailable for questioning, hiding from THE PLANET’s honest inquiries made on behalf of citizens. That tells you everything you need to know about him as CEO of the city. Honestly ask yourself if you feel a man like can represent you, the citizen and taxpayer, who are so oppressed right now. He’s feeling secure, since he has no balloted opponent, but the mayor mistakes pusillanimous for plucky and running scared for “security.” It’s hard to imagine how the mayor of a city could become an irrelevant bore, but you don’t have to imagine. You have the real deal now playing in the corner office.

Never approach a bull from the front. Never approach a horse from the read. But you can always approach a fool from any direction. He can hide but he cannot run. Bianchi’s time will come.

——- 000 ——-

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESSDAY, OCT. 16, 2013) — You may have seen the coverage in the Boring Broadsheet last week of four — count ‘em, four — business in downtown Pittsfield that gave up the ghost. They cited lack of parking and other reasons. The names of the businesses are of little importance here, although THE PLANET salutes each of the entrepreneurs who gambled on central city. The BB, though, failed to see the larger picture.

It takes pluck, verve, luck, and nerve to succeed on your own in any business and in any business climate. However, these businesses happen to have been in place for the nearly two disastrous years of a Dan Bianchi mayoral whitewash, and it would seem that at least some of the blame for the closings lies at the doorstep of the corner office. THE PLANET says this with the mitigating factor that only a close look at the management, business practices, and books of each of the four businesses could more accurately assign blame.

On Bianchi’s website, votebianchi.com (THE PLANET has no problem publicizing it; in fact, we want you to look at it in all its vagueness and bromidial generality), there’s an entry titled “Dan Bianchi — the only candidate with a Plan.” That’s all well and good, except the information, as is all the other on his website, is for campaign 2011, when he narrowly defeated Peter Marchetti. That’s how current Bianchi is with Campaign ’13, and this lack of attention indicates (a) his arrogance and (b) his lack of care in offering fresh ideas or even defending the old ones after two years.

How did his 2011 promises work out? It’s a subject the mayor wishes you wouldn’t mention, which explains why he has such an intense phobia about meeting with THE PLANET any time before Nov. 5.

If you want to know what Bianchi’s ideas are for 2013, good luck, because he is unopposed on the ballot.   Bianchi is running. He’s running not for mayor but running from “Dan Valenti,” the write-in “candidate” for mayor. Valenti is not running, he’s standing — for the truth, one thing Bianchi can’t handle.

We make Bianchi this offer, with a generous nod to Harry Truman: If he stops spreading lies about Valenti, Valenti will stop telling the truth about him. We have this as an iron-clad agreement from The Valenti Camp. We know them well.

—– 00 —–

Now, how can the mayor bear at least some, if not major responsibility for the demise of four more private-sector businesses? Let’s us count some of the ways by presenting some of his ”plan” for 2011, looking at how much of it was the usual campaign B.S. and pandering.

On Taxes:

BIANCHI in 2011: [I will] “Form a tax panel to recommend ways to improve service while reducing costs” (THE PLANET’s underline). REALITY: To the best of our knowledge, the tax panel never happened, service declined, and taxes went up.

“City Services”

BIANCHI: “Pursue new ways to streamline delivery of services and save money.” Also, “Hire based on qualifications not political consideration.” REALITY: Service is down, while his appointments and hires have generally been on the basis of politics and loyalty first and foremost. Ability, when it is there, happens as a fortuitous coincidence. Bianchi has been the most political mayor in a generation.

Education:

BIANCHI: “I will continue my strong support for education and high-quality public schools.” This blurry, ill-defined “promise” means nothing — a one-size-fits-all statement such as “I am in favor of good schools.” Like, who isn’t? REALITY: Performance in the Pittsfield Public Schools has continued to decline, during which Bianchi presided over two budgets. Each time gave the school department millions of dollars more with little to no accountability. Why? He reasoned that more money = more votes among the teachers unions and the other vested educational interests.

Economic Development:

BIANCHI: “Create … business improvement in downtown Pittsfield …” Also, “[D]crease downtown Pittsfield reliance on tax payer [sic] dollars.” REALITY: He skunked downtown by failing to stem the hemorrhaging in the budget, sitting on his hands despite the increase in crime, doing next to nothing to create meaningful work, and accelerating the contraction of an ever-shrinking tax base. Ask the four downtown businesses that are “cluster closing” how Bianchi’s downtown economic plan worked out for them.

“Open Government:”

What a bunch of bullshit here, to wit: BIANCHI: “Support ways to improve pur public policy and decision making by streamlining permitting processes and develop 21st century web-based interaction with city agencies.” REALITY: Didn’t happen. One common theme in the many businesses who have closed during Bianchi’s tenure is the lack of cooperation from his office, the political nature of Downtown Pittsfield Inc., and the departmental nightmare one has to endure to do business with the city. Dan Valenti is on record saying that one of the first cuts he makes in the size of the bloated government is Downtown Pittsfield Inc. DPI is DOA under Valenti. And “21st Century” Bianchi doesn’t even have his e-mail address listed on the city website. In fact, e-mail addresses are missing for many if not most government departments and officers. You will also notice that when you click on the “Mayor’s Office” on the city website, the “contact” link for Bianchi is not an active one. You can position your mouse over the word “contact” from now until Pixie and Dixie hairlip Jinxie, and it will do you no good. You would do better trying to contact Bianchi by smoke signals or carrier pigeon. THE PLANET has lost count of the number of people who have told us of contacting the mayor and not receiving the common courtesy of an acknowledgment, let alone a reply.

Public Safety:

Get this: BIANCHI: “I am proud to have earned the endorsement of Berkshire County Sheriff Tom Bowler.” REALITY: Yes, Bianchi says “earned.” The Amazing, Transparent Mayor doesn’t mention that Bowler and the mayor’s former director of administrative services were and are brother and sister. He also doesn’t mention that she, Donna Mattoon, served as campaign manager for both campaigns. Also, what does a political endorsement have to do with public safety? Nothing. Bianchi didn’t address public safety in 2011 because he had no fresh ideas. In 2013, Pittsfield is paying a punishing price.

—– 00 —–

In light of all this, THE PLANET encourages readers to visit the city of Pittsfield website. Click on the tab “Mayor’s Office.” You then see a picture of the smiling Mayoral Boy Wonder and a three-paragraph letter of welcoming. Bianchi talks of a “growing downtown … strong businesses, a skilled workforce.” He tells the visitor that he “stand[s] for aggressive economic development.” At this point, you see the nose of his mug shot begin to grow so large that it dwarfs the great California redwoods. He also tells visitors that he stands for “the highest educational standards for our children; for a city not weakened by crime, and for anything that ends up taking care of me politically, not matter how many citizens it ends up screwing.”

OK, THE PLANET made up the last part of the prior sentence, but, we opine that it would be a more truthful version of Pittsfield reality than the marshmallow fluff Bianchi’s been dishing out for nearly two years.

No, the time has come to call this guy out. The simple way to do that is to vote for Dan Valenti on Nov. 5. It’s as easy as writing in his name. Bianchi also better be getting ready for an invitation to debate him. The best way, of course, is to begin to pay attention to government. Besides voting, attend city council and school committee meetings. Let the mayor know your mind. Call him, write him, or pound on his door. Get in his face. Bug him. He’s your hired help and nothing more.

Final thought: Speaking of which, last week THE PLANET sent the mayor the following e-mail:

MAYOR BIANCHI
Since you expressed a desire to defend your two years in office, and given that you face no balloted opponent on Nov. 5, I am inviting you to a series of interviews/debates prior to Election Day. I will make myself available for any number of events that you wish. This would give you a chance to fulfill your desire to face questioning in defense of your record.

I’m sure your team can work out satisfactory details with me on scheduling this.

Please let me know of your availability ASAP. Thanks.

Sincerely,
DAN VALENTI

Dan Bianchi, come out, come out wherever you are!

When the phone doesn’t ring, I’ll know its Profiles in Courage not getting back to us.

———————————————————————————-

“He never found her, though he looked / Everywhere, / And he asked at her mother’s house / Was she there. // Sudden and swift and light as that / The ties gave, / And he learned of finalities / Besides the grave.”Robert Frost, final two verses, “The Hill Wife,” (1916)

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

74 Responses to “UPDATE: SOX SOAR, MAYOR BORES … FOUR DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES CLOSE DOORS; MAYOR BIANCHI SILENT, ALTHOUGH HIS ‘CAMPAIGN’ MATERIAL TOUTS GREAT PROGRESS WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”

  1. danvalenti
    October 16, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Remember your best choice on election day: Write in “DAN VALENTI” on the blank in the mayoral section of the ballot. “DAN VALENTI:” You’re “None of the Above” alternative to the failed incumbent.

  2. scott
    October 16, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Im writing you in but I feel like you need another outlet to spread the word. Do you think the eagle would print a letter to the editor endorsing you? Maybe some signs on park square. How serious are you really?

    • skier1
      October 16, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      He’s not!! Or he would’ve 1) taken out papers 2) gotten signatures 3) campaigned door to door. In other words “Walk the Walk”. Remember in 1991 he did walk the walk right out the door in the middle of a debate and went to a baseball game!!!

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

        SKIER1
        Of course I am. Everything I do is serious, even the satire.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      SCOTT
      Many thanks. Word of mouth is a huge way of spreading the word. Send the letter to the Eagle then here. Also, send to The Gazette.

  3. Thomas More
    October 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I think it was fairly clear that when, as a ward councilor, Bianchi allied himself with two other council geniuses to form the three amigos that he had no interest in seeing progress downtown. A two million dollar gift and he was definetly the most influential person in seeing to it that Pittsfield didn’t get it. No intelligent person would oppose such an offering.

    • Donald
      October 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Exactly. I’m not sure why anyone expected anything other than what they’re getting. He was and still is “no plan Dan”.

    • dusty
      October 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      I still have great admiration for Bianchi and the three amigos. It was a shining moment in Pittsfield history as far as I am concerned. I am not sure there has been once since. If he fights against the new city charter he might regain my admiration but I’m pretty sure he has gone over to the other side.

  4. scott
    October 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I’m assuming you’re talking about Berkshire carousel watch how it revitalize the Berkshire mall!

    • allthesame
      October 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      He means the stadium. The Mall is a ghost town. A hang out for teenagers and by the way the Carousel is not staying in the Mall. Every location has failed now they are looking into the Town of Dalton.

      • scott
        October 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

        Ahhhhh

      • levitan
        October 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

        No it was not the stadium; he really means the Civic Authority with an assumed Charter based on arrogance. Before the paper was inked the presumed members of the CA were telling residents that they were going to take property by eminent domain and there was nothing they were going to be able to do to stop them.

        Well, they were stopped.

        • danvalenti
          October 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

          All correct here, LEV. The “Stadium” was the Trojan Horse. The Civic Authority was the grand ploy. The citizens said no. It was the last time they succeeded in doing so. It does show, however, the power of The People when they unite to fight.

        • Vin
          October 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

          Yup…and how is that working out for those that had agreed to sell? Probably getting a fraction of what they were offered. Oh well, I’m sure they’re really happy that they the CVS is 50 ft closer now. Donkeys.

        • jlo
          October 21, 2013 at 9:35 am #

          Levitan is correct on this point.

  5. #nomorebianchi
    October 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I believe it was in the last mayoral campaign when Peter Marchetti said that if you elected Bianchi than you would have 2 years if nothing happening. And what do u know folks. You got what you voted for. Dan Bianchi only wanted to be mayor so he could get more money from his city pension wich takes your 3 highest years if earnings and that’s what they base your pension on. Not to mention I hear he is still working full time for his prior employer. I had no problem with that except h should tell the residents of this city. But Mr Transparency isn’t so transparent.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      The Amazing, Colossal Transparent Mayor ran into a serious case of Opaque Man.

  6. Ron Kitterman
    October 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    One of my favorites was with Bill Sturgeon when he had his own WBRK show, Dan Bianchi was recently elected by a few dozen votes and Bill made the comment. Something to the affect of “ Don’t worry in a couple of years you’ll be hated too” . Dan was in total disbelief . That was long before he developed a phobia of microphones, cameras and interviews , though so maybe he is still loved.

  7. eddiep
    October 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Dan..if you by some chance manage to get written in and make it into the corner office, will the planet continue to publish as it does now? Would it be appropriate for a sitting mayor to maintain a blog such as this, or maybe it would be a good thing if you did.
    It could be a very interesting read.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      EDDIE
      Yes. We shall continue.

  8. Pat
    October 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    You also have to write an address in for Dan Valenti as a write-in or it’s not legal. Isn’t that true? What is Dan’s address?

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      PAT
      Not true. Go to the AG’s website (or visit our posting on this a couple weeks ago). On write-in votes, all that matters is the “voter’s intention.” Only the name needs to be there, and it doesn’t have to be spelled correctly. It only needs to be reasonably clear as to the person the voter wrote in.

  9. Jonathan Melle
    October 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I believe Dan Valenti’s observations about Pittsfield politics is realistic. Where I disagree with Dan Valenti is that he cannot radically change the structure of Pittsfield’s finances without ruining thousands of people’s financial security. The #1 employer in Pittsfield is the city of Pittsfield. After the large public workforce in Pittsfield, thousands more work for non-profits like the Hospital. If Dan Valenti cut the city government’s finances, thousands of local residents would lose their jobs and financial security. Where would these people go? Lose their homes, pensions, healthcare, etc? How would Dan Valenti get a Fortune 500 corporate elite business like GE to move back to Pittsfield? There are no wealthy financial institutions in Berkshire County anymore. The corporate elite does business in global cities across the globe. It is not 1950 anymore. The only thing left for Pittsfield and Berkshire County is small business growth. What is Dan Valenti’s plan to grow the local economy of scale? He would cut taxes, which would destroy Pittsfield’s already fragile and depressed local economy because so many local people depend on tax dollars for their livelihood. There would be no demand for goods and services from small businesses in Pittsfield, but taxes would be cut under a Dan Valenti administration. Pittsfield has little to no power over its local economy and financial inequity in the short-term. That is where I think Dan Valenti is so wrong about Pittsfield politics. Where Pittsfield can change its community is in the areas of poverty, welfare, teen pregnancies, high school drop-outs, public education, and crime. Pittsfield should start to care about is fellow residents and stop all of the social injustices and inequities.

    • Russell Moody
      October 17, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      I’m thinking there is a difference between ‘Not for profit’ and ‘Non-profit.’

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

        RUSS
        Semantic or not? You raise an interesting point. Does anyone have a factual answer?

  10. Tim
    October 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    These 4 businesses blame the city and “parking and foot traffic.” Its not much different that saying give us money “for the children.” Its a catch all excuse that eliminates personal responsibility. Im not saying they arent factors but…. A yarn shop? How can you expect to succeed? A bra shop? Ditto. Internet shopping alone, along with other “big box” competition locally has to have doomed those business plans. one was a womens clothing store, and too much competition, declining population, etc. and the childrens store, activities for mommies place? Who really wants to bring their families downtown? We stopped going to third thursdays because every time we went we saw fights, drunken idiots, etc. my kids get enough of that at school, at dinner, on tv etc, dont need to put them in actual harms way. Not to mention, the hippy dippy style of lets do crafts with our 3 year old in public when he cant even color at home and behave, is off putting to lots of people. Theres plenty of other activities we can dowcith our kids that fit our style, and theirs, better.

    That said, its hard to measure im sure, but foot traffic downtown has to be highest in the area, except maybe the coltsville/allendale/berk crossing area. Its gotta be better than the mall. There are lots of businesses and people always walking around during the day, and the third thursdays bring in crowds too (but i obviously understand that one day a month doesnt make a store). The probelm is the people downtown are working, not shopping. Im sure construction has taken a toll, but there is something to be said for perseverence, and also for being aware that you are opening a business downtown, and the city has been working on improvement projects for years. Its nice to want to open a business downtown, but maybe that wasnt the smartest plan. Maybe a storefront in allendale is better?
    Also, many of these people have said they are keeping other aspects of the business open, in other areas. So the business is successful in a different spot. They also said part of the reason was family related, so dont then turn and blame it on parking.
    Another quote i read was “people say the place is great but i never come down here” (paraphrased). If it was good enough, theyd come for it. And again, it speaks to the competition out there, especially online. People are lazy. Parking at the lot in the mall and walking all over that place is not much different than finding a spot somewhere downtown and walking a bit to get to the store. If i can buy something cheaper at target, im not going to spend extra money to support some local shop. I have a budget. And its tighter than, well… Same if i find a deal online, that way i dont even have to spend on gas. Im ceruainly not going to drive all over the place to find the deal though, defeats the purpose spending the gas money.
    Personally, the only store ive ever heard of was the bra shop because of some publicity a couple years ago. Gotta put in the effort, or a bigger effort, to get the word out about your business. Goes back to the gas money thing, i know target for example has 90% or more of my needs, and the prices are very good. I can easily check them online, or in the flyers from the paper. Facebook doesnt cut it for that purpose. Not to mention i still need to know about your shop in order to even find the website, if you have one, or the facebook page.
    Sorry for the rant, but this page is often talking about personal responsibility, but i dont see much going on here with this story, except blame the mayor and the city. For all of the complaining about the current mayor, we seem to have forgotten all of the complaining about the previous mayor, who tried to revitalize but fell short. Downtown is still too many banks and social services and not enough attractions, whether that be shopping, arts, or a nice recreational space at the common. Its too close to the bad element, or the people who require the social services located there. And obviously those things need to be accessible, but it turns people away

    • scott
      October 17, 2013 at 4:09 am #

      Tim, you gave a logical angle and are right on a lot of points. The only thing the mayor can do in these cases is offer small business grants which he has done. My wife and I have two successful small businesses and we`ve done it on our own through our own hard work and financing. You have to get the word out something that takes time and money! The internet has put me in contact with lots of second home owners who if not for that marketing avenue would have no idea who I am. The only thing ill say to you is try and think more local a lot of times you get a better product and service although it may cost more it feels good to support our own people.

      • Tim
        October 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

        That philosophy doesnt take care of my needs, like feeding my kids, putting gas in the car, and heating my home. Like i said, very tight budget. I really do love this area, its where i grew up and its home, but i have to take ca of myself because im not some executive making 6 figures, heck, im not even able to make half that. Im not crying poor, ive made decisions that allow me to give back in so many other ways than paying higher amounts for goods whose better quality is not always proven. I feel tremendous about the ways i am able to give back. But i also feel immense pressure to clip every coupon and save every penny i can for my family’s immediate needs. Future needs? Forget about it! Can you argue that helping the local economy helps the future needs? Yes but its a very weak one, in my viewpoint. And not the tangible future needs that my kids, my wife, or even myself will need eventually.
        Your business (painting, right?) is unique in that local is usually a better option, other than do it yourself. But you still have to put in a lot of work to keep your business going, nevermind thriving. And you can probably be successful without having to have a storefront or warehouse, although maybe you need some storage? These shops had poor plans, in my opinion, to start with. What makes downtown the best location for them, other than maybe a desire to help inprove downtown! To that i s ay, what has that done for them? Clearly nothing. Location, location, location. Right?

        • scott
          October 18, 2013 at 3:54 am #

          Correct but if you`re not shopping there whats it matter. I just made the personal choice not to shop at places like wal-mart and target. Youd be surprised at how many painting or construction/carpentry jobs are done by out of area contractors usually for more money. If your system works for you and your family and you are able to secure their future then thats great. The point is though in order to turn things around its going to.require sacrifice at some point. Heck how can I demand you do it if the slobs in Washington wont. Its the people in govt that need to tighten their belts first!

          • Tim
            October 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

            I guess what i was trying to say, but didnt, is that i think alot of locals feel the same way i do, which is a major reason these businesses are failing. The customer base cant afford it, or its not convenient enough to be checking them out.
            If small local businesses are going to require customers to make too many sacrifices, until other conditions change, the small business model might not be the solution to make things change. Unless they can mass produce their products for a high demand

        • danvalenti
          October 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

          TIM
          Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

          • Tim
            October 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

            No problem, thanks for having the site

  11. Payroll Patroit
    October 17, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Westfield (Pittsfield)’s E.Dobelle on paid suspension(vacation) and some Board members accused of misusing taxpayer money. Could that be former Mayor James T. Ruberto?

    • Russell Moody
      October 18, 2013 at 6:19 am #

      Did you misspell your name on purpose?

    • Russell Moody
      October 18, 2013 at 6:19 am #

      Did you misspell your name on purpose?

    • Russell Moody
      October 18, 2013 at 6:19 am #

      Did you misspell your name on purpose?

      • scott
        October 18, 2013 at 7:29 am #

        Did you hit the reply button three times on purpose?

        • Russell Moody
          October 18, 2013 at 10:21 am #

          not on purpose… lol

    • Thomas More
      October 18, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Can see him like it was yesterday at DelGallo’s Restaurant, seated with his feet on the table expecting the peons to drop grapes into his mouth. He never bought a round nor did he ever pay for anything.

  12. Payroll Patroit
    October 17, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    He one of the official letters.

    http://www.mass.gov/ig/publications/reports-and-recommendations/2013/westfield-state-university-president-expenditures-9-19-2013.pdf

    Ps Conat has a law sign on the fire hydrant in front of Dobelle
    property. Jim nice people to do business with

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      An illegal lawn sign on a fire hydrant in front of Dobelle’s house. That’s precious.

  13. AmandavivesWell
    October 17, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Good stuff Payroll! Jimmy the Weasel.

  14. CarlosDanger
    October 17, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    So typical. Business owners with an unrealistic/detached-from- reality dream of opening a business that would never succeed (who in their right mind would think a yarn or bra shop would succeed in Pittsfield?) in the first place, and who also have no idea how to run a successful business, blame others for their failures.

  15. dusty
    October 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Was out in front of the Beacon this morning. Trash from city barrel all over the sidewalk. Looked like it had been there a while.

  16. AmandavivesWell
    October 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Big Pappy and the Sawx are going down again tonight, Planet!

    • scott
      October 18, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      Nope

  17. tito
    October 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    The Sawx are going to win it all, take it to the bank Mandy!

  18. Giacometti
    October 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Tim…the yarn shop and the building it is in is owned by the daughter of Rick Petricca. That being said it didn’t have to succeed to be profitable. The Petricca Family has long made efforts to revitalize Downtown Pittsfield if only Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. had cooperated. Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. is just a feel good arm of the Chamber of Commerce funded by the City of Pittsfield
    and is a complete waste of taxpayers dollars..

    • Tim
      October 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

      So its dpi’s fault? Doesnt pass the smell test… The same people who complain about handouts to the poor or the jackholes who take advantage expect some bs city organization to make thier business profitable… What would alexander graham bell, thomas edison, the rockafellers, etc say about that? America and running a business in america, you know the place of capitalistic greed, is about putting the work and time in to make it succeed…. And its also about who you know. So if you know the petriccas it shouldnt be a problem that dpi wasnt cooperative, whatever that means. C seriously, a yarn shop should have been successful? All the old lady quilters around here either go to joann fabrics or michaels (cheaper, big box type of stores) or order online, get stuff at quilting conventions, etc. you really expect old ladies to pay an arm and a leg for yarn just to make a local business help the, feel good about themselves? Fixed budget, put food in my mouth first, pay bills second, then chip in a little for my hobby. Even if they were willing to buy there, whats going to bring a bunch of old ladies to north street? The scary crime? The expensive movie theatre? Lets profit from the buyout Berkshire bank? Ridiculous art galleries? Ad lib? Well that one, maybe. Better off putting a shop like that in allendale. Compete directly with joann fabrics as opposed to hoping someone shows up downtown. At least the drive to check prices is minimal. Obviously, im generalizing intentionally about the old lady part, but im also serious. Is dpi supposed to atop all construction midstream so business can get by, as opposed to thrive? Not allow it to start at all so the half ass downtown appears even more half ass than it already is? Give them money for a terrible business plan because they are petriccas? Force people to walk down north street? Hand out yet another tax break so that a business that isnt doing good anyways can continue to not do well and not help the tax base? If im missing something, please spell it out for me so that we can all actually undeerstand why this is all someone elses fault, and not the business owners.
      The basics of the economics of the area are this: big business leaves town, others follow, a large proportion of best paying jobs also leave town either because they were part of the big business, or because the writing was on the wall and they cashed in the chips before it really hit the fan… Then the population starts to decline, along with it the crime rate goes up, low income families increase, and a plethora of other social problems either increase or are more pronounced in a less densely populated area. These are the people who cant afford to move out with the rest of the departures. Almost simultaneously, technology puts a large amount of businesses, and therefore jobs, obsolete, especially with a decined population. This leads to another mass exodus or just a dealing with increased poverty, etc. technology continues to make gains and shuts out more jobs/businesses. No one truly knows how to solve this. Lets put a mall in lanesboro and expect it to be some sort of savior. Lets turn down the mass pike/bypass. Lets try to build some unrealistic ballpark becauseceveryone loves baseball, but lets ignore that the mets rarely sold out the tiny park and that new parks for big league teams dont actually translate to business success. And lets create eminent domain so we can force the few hardworking good people out of their homes… Now lets blame the voters, its their fault and a few politicians, and a former ballplayer. But lets not come up with a plan to do the same thing in the current spot, lets just lose the team so there is always a scapegoat. Hey, We got some money from the big business that left and also left lots of pollution behind. Lets throw this money at any halfway decent idea we can… And politics are involved with this, so corruption is inevitable. Lets continue to throw money at things with either no plan, or a half assed, shortsighted plan. Problem not fixed because what is really needed is some sort of big business that aint coming anytime soon, which would likely, inevitably, create the same problem again at some point in the future anyways. The airport will fix it…. Um ooops, guess not. And hey, the pike, or a bypass, would have been good here to further help this airport “solution”. The hotel will fix it… Nope. College summer ball with save it, especially if we create this lame brain idea that we are the origin of baseball, eventhough cooperstown already has that niche locked up solid.
      Imcnot saying i have answers, but seriously, people dont see why this is failing? If i was to start a business, it sure as heck wouldnt be here, and i love this place, its home. Its not the mayors, or anyones, fault that we cant attract more businesses and improve our economy. The plan is too scattered and disorganized. I hated ruberto as mayor, for several reasons, but at least he had a vision and went for it. Was it misguided or at least needed to have more strategies than arts? Probably but at least his office and departments were working towards a goal most of the time. A long term, multifaceted strategic plan is needed… Maybe it is already there and i am unaware, but if it is, its not being acted upon very well. And any business owner with half a brain can see that and should stay away until something more stable takes shape. Can you try to get a business or 2 to take a chance and get things started so the smaller ones can begin to see some success? Maybe, buttehat clearly is a tough task. This is more than just a local problem, its capitalism defined. Maybe a silver lining is that sonner or later the people here will be so down and out that the new businesses can finally come in and get away with paying the minimum wages, etc that they are looking for outside of this country, or whatever they are already getting elsewhere. Maybe pittsfield needs to wait for the next big thing, but that could take decades. Example, detroit had cars, but capitalism forced that to asia due to technology and low wages. Silicone valley hit big with the tech boom. If someone can be visionary enough to either predictt he next boom, or jump on the next boom early enough and get it here, well then at least it could sace the areea for a few decades… But there are too many uncontrollable variables for that to be a successful wait and see approach. I dont claim to know what we can do now, but yarn shops, bra shops, and the like dont work without a stronger economy, or some way to rid the area of national chains… Or both.
      Relate it to a sports team if you must, its hard to rebuild but also compete for a championship at the same time, but this is what people are expecting pittsfield to do. More often than not, the team has to be dismantled first, then rebuild, and even then it may have to continue to struggle for a while. Most, not all, succesful teams reload instead of rebuild. So they have a mix of core veterans with a mix of rookies. As the vets retire or simply leave, the rookies have put in the time to be experienced enough to be a part of the core and take over the lead from the vets. Hodgepodge teams and teams of only rookies rarely do well. And teams with only vets and no plan to reload run their course and have to start from square one, taking many years to get back to where they can compete. This is where pittsfield has been stuck since the early 90s. The businesses that have lasted and are now the vets, arent vets of star power, or at least arent the type that are designed to carry the whole load, they are role players that have managed to survive, or thrive because they are catering to those in need of services. When ge left, no one was able to convince the other few strong brands to stick around, for whatever reason. They left too, leaving behind paper mills, something technology has all but replaced, and social services, something abouttdo become desperately needed, but werent going to have to pay taxes or provide enough high paying jobs. Too few make alot in these agencies, and alot is certainly relative in some cases. City government and department jobs are left, but with fewer citizens who need the services, but with high expectations to fullfill, so they get money thrown att hem to make it work. Case in point is the school system.
      Sorry for ranting

      • scott
        October 18, 2013 at 3:56 am #

        Tim its not a rant if it makes sense!

        • levitan
          October 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

          Wallpaper.

  19. Giacometti
    October 18, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Tim….run for office…put your ideas to work…make a difference

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      GIACO
      Agreed. He’s got ideas and perspective.

      • Tim
        October 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

        Haha, thanks but no thanks, i choose to make a difference in other ways and other venues.

  20. Bill Sturgeon
    October 18, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Tim:
    I would like to make a couple of comments to your thesis.
    1. I agree with a multi-faceted approach to dealing with the City’s issues.
    2. Once a plan or plans have been developed there needs to be a comprehensive implementation plan.
    3. As part of the overall plan (s) there needs to be pre-arranged evaluation methodologies, at pre-arrange times. These evaluations can be used to add, delete, and/or improve what has been put in place.
    4. I don’t see the current “Administration” having the ability or desire to start this type of initiatives.
    5.. In fact I don’t know if this “Administration” has any vision for the City, which is sad!

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      BILL
      Excellent points. I agree especially with (4) and (5).

  21. CarlosDanger
    October 18, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Odd, but all these so called ‘capitalists’ are the first ones in line for gov’t handouts, like subsidies, grants, rebates, tax exempt status, tax loopholes for the rich, etc.
    Then when their business fails, it’s all the gov’t's fault. They cry, ‘get rid of all the gov’t regulation!!’, then turn around and cry ‘where’s my gov’t handout??’

    • Scott
      October 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      It feels better to do it on your own for sure.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      CARLOS
      Good points. I’ve owned several businesses, operated in the Dreaded Private Sector, and never borrowed any money or took any public assistance. We financed on 100% owner equity, lived or died on our customer service, and made it in a way that far exceeded the dreams. A great idea, hard work, and superior service beats handouts every single time.

  22. eddiep
    October 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Just saw that Mike Supranowicz is leaving the CC to work at—put his time in—at Hillcrest Educational Center in January. Wonder who will replace him?

  23. Gene
    October 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    The GOB They take care of their own. Chamber will conduct usual nationwide search and select one of their own. Sickening.

    • C.J.
      October 19, 2013 at 7:04 am #

      Another so-called, “Workforce Development” job. Didn’t he make the cut by the chosen monkey screening committee to replace John Barrett in another “Workforce Development”, high paying job ?
      What type of workforce is being developed and what and where are the jobs that they are being developed for ?
      Supranowicz’s qualifications must be stellar. Adams supermarket training, Where is his academic degree ?
      Incidentally, Hillcrest H.R. mgr. is on the City Hall screening committee. Everything is intertwined within local politics, muncipal, and non-profit groups.

  24. dusty
    October 19, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    Recently I joked that the city might need to hire an expensive consultant to figure out the parking problems it has. and lo and behold someone took me seriously and they are now going to pay someone $75,000 to decipher how to park cars efficiently in Pittsfield.

    I guess it is an admission that no one in the city administration has the brains to figure this out themselves. Seems to me it might be better to have someone who lives here and is familiar with the place than a distant observer. But we like to spread that taxpayer money around. Perhaps we could get a local student with an A in geometry and give him or her the money. It just cannot be that damn difficult.

    • Dave
      October 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Some advice for entrepreneurs on North St. If there is an event like Third Thursday that bring thousands of people to you front door BE OPEN- suck it up and work later hours. Not mentioning any business in particular BB&But it’s not the parking!

  25. scott
    October 19, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Sox win it tonight at Fenway ten to nothing!

    • eddiep
      October 19, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      I like the spread.

  26. C.Trzcinka
    October 19, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Unfortunately government cannot do much to stop a regional economic decline. But government can help new business develop by keeping taxes low and trying to be more efficient and effective. A declining region cannot afford bad government as much as a growing region can. In a very real sense, government becomes more important when population levels decline because mistakes hurt more and good government matters more.

  27. AmandavivesWell
    October 19, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    The Sawx are going down tonight and Big Pappy is the goat!

  28. AmandavivesWell
    October 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    No Ribbeez for Big Papi tonight, sorry!

  29. Gene
    October 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Papi has big night, Sawx on to Series. Hows that for a head?

    • scott
      October 20, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      I should have spent the money and went what a game! I predicted ten nothing but I’ll take five two. Wheres amanduhjives??? Its all in fun!

  30. Tito
    October 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Bring on St. Louis!,,,,,,,,,,Yeah!

  31. Thomas More
    October 20, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    In reply to Russ – “I’m thinking there is a difference between ‘Not for profit’ and ‘Non-profit.”
    It’s not semantic – The non-profits pay no taxes, sales or property. They are the schools (Miss Halls), Hillcrest Ed., BMC, Boys & Girls Club, Museum, Chamber etc. May of them pay their executives huge salaries. Not for profit are the clubs who do pay both sales and property taxes. These are the country clubs who pay huge taxes, ITAM, Elks, American Legion etc. Most of these are managed by volunteers.

  32. AmandaWell
    October 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Good call Scott, I will be rooting for the Sawx and that’s no jive.x