SUPRANOWICZ LEAVING CHAMBER: THERE’S THE BB ‘STORY’ AND THE PLANET’S, WHICH DOESN’T NEED THE QUOTE MARKS … plus … $75,000 to STUDY PARKING? ANOTHER TESTIMONY TO BIANCHI ADMINSTRATION FUTILITY AND A CITY THAT’S LOST ITS WAY
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013) — As usual, our readers were on to the news before anyone had a chance to break it. THE PLANET had word of Mike Supranowicz‘s departure from the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce before anyone else did. Not only that, but, thanks to our astute readership, we got the story right, unlike the Boring Broadsheet. By “right” we mean accurate to a fair sense of what happened. It has little relationship to a paint-by-numbers recounting of sterile and unrelated “facts.”
Our good friend Tony Dobrowolski got the surface of the the story correctly, but he missed the “underneath,” where the real stories usually hide, where the facts commune in an undertone with their relationships to other events. To get them, one must dig. Dig?
THE PLANET did.
If you missed it, Supranowicz will leave the chamber at the end of January 2014. In “It’s a small world, after all” style, he lands at Hillcrest Educational Centers at the beginning of February with the fancy title of “director of business development.” Yes, friends, Iron Mike has landed another “jobs” job.
There are many “jobs” jobs in Pittsfield. They belong to the executive directors, leaders, and staff of publicly funded “jobs development” organizations. They never go to unknowns or Little Guys who are not politically connected.
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“As I looked at the position, it really struck a chord with me,” Supranowicz told Dobrowolski. What chord, Supranowicz didn’t say. Was it E, D minor, B flat major? Hillcrest apparently had sent Supranowicz the description of the new job, hoping that he would recommend someone for the post. He did. He recommended himself. Nice of him to spread the wealth, eh?
Supranowicz’s move comes at the same time as THE PLANET has received intelligence from our moles buried deep inside the Chamber that all was not perfect on the local Chamber’s Good Ship Lollipop. Supranowicz told Dobrowolski, “[Receiving the job] was totally by accident. Totally unplanned. I wasn’t seeking employment anywhere else.” Hmmm. Two points here:
(a) Most people who are looking for jobs work their tails off to even get an interview. In the local economy, they rarely get the job. However, here is Mike Supranowicz, who’s not looking for a job, and he gets one, and a big one, “totally by accident.” Plausible, in the same way it’s plausible that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed JFK.
(b) Our Chamber moles tell us Supranowicz was “seeking employment elsewhere” though they would not say why.
The BB article tells us that while at the Chamber, Supranowicz spent “considerable time” in education and “workforce development efforts.” THE PLANET doesn’t have to draw you a map to tell you how that turned out, or haven’t you noticed how the city of Pittsfield looks of late, suffocating on its poverty and from its lack of good government. The performance must have wowed them at Hillcrest — That and what we hear are the phantom phone calls from No. 1 ordering “a soft landing for Mike. D’ya follow?”
THE PLANET also received this from another source, one of our valued “Z Agents,” a former government official still with deep ties to the inside. We published this letter on Friday. Now it has more of a context.
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Did you see Supranowicz is leaving the 1B cabal?
This missive drips with meaning. Added to Supranowicz’s “totally unplanned” departure, it strongly suggests that taxpayers are being set up for yet another “not-for-profit” scam. Will it ever end?
$75Gs to PARKING CONSULTANT LATEST INSULT TO TAXPAYERS FROM A CITY THAT HAS LOST ITS WAY
The answer to the question at the end of our first story, its final four words, is: “No.” It will never end as long as so many of Pittsfield government, elected officers, and appointed officials keep their death clutch on the preservation of their insular cliques and ignore both the root causes of Pittsfield’s decay and continue to pander to ordinary citizens.
The turf wars fought between the various fiefdoms of power give way to their common desire not to let the vast majority of citizens in on the wealth. In the GOBs greedy little assessment, there’s not enough to go around. For example, how many times in the past generation have local Big Shots kept industry away from the Berkshires because it would upset the balance of power and produce competition to the ever-shrinking qualified work force. It has happened again and again. Promising, legitimate opportunities have come Pittsfield’s way, only to be deterred by the dysfunctional, insane politics and the cozy, inbred alliance of politicians, not-for-profit businesses, and local “players” who know they can only hang on to their blood money by keeping their mouths shut, not rocking the boat, and following orders.
Why do you think the Spaulding Golf Ball manufacturing facility went elsewhere, when it could have been Pittsfield’s? Why do you think the city spent more than a decade arguing over and then squandering a $1 million gift from native son Larry Bossidy to fix city parks? The insult to Bossidy — a local boy who made it big and wanted to help the city, motivated by love for his native town — to this day remains one of the city’s all-time worst showings. Or more recently, why do you think the city of Pittsfield managed to screw up the opportunity presented by the Berkshire Carousel? The Carousel guru Jim Shulman offered the city province of the merry-go-round, like room service knowking on the door. Yet even when benefactors laid this right set of circumstances right in Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s lap, the death instinct took over. Bianchi attached a list of conditions, including a demand that the city wrest power away from the carousel board. Shulman basically told Bianchi to pound the seashore where Ol’Sol doesn’t shine.
The irony, of course, is the counterpoint, the vice to the versa. THE PLANET here refers to the numerous entrepreneurs peddling snake oil who have been embraced by the city, the Workshop Lives and EV Worldwides of the world. They come in promising “1,000 jobs” or endless supplies of champagne and brie only to leave town after a few years flush with millions of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski‘s hard-earned tax dollars.
This toxic mix has been left on the stove too long. It has boiled itself down to a form of local governance equivalent to pure crystal meth. It’s a substance the dealer tells you will transport you to bliss. If you believe him, you will end up selling eternity to gain a 10-second toy. And that’s what’s happened to Pittsfield. The “meth” can be seen in the paralysis of the Bianchi Administration, incapable as it is to take meaningful (let alone visionary) action on the biggest problem confronting the city at this moment. That would be its finances.
Another example, you want? Glad to oblige.
Downtown parking, a long-time local bugaboo, continues to embarrass Pittsfield officials. The city has enough space, but it doesn’t use it properly. The recent changes in the downtown actually took away spaces where they were needed the most. Think of the ugly bump outs. Now, instead of solving this problem internally, the 18-member Downtown Parking Management Committee — let THE PLANET repeat that: the 18-member Downtown Parking Management Committee — has done what Pittsfield always does. It farmed out the job to a consultant at a cost of $75,000. That’s $75,000 dollars wasted that could have been applied toward a tax reduction.
The memo to the consultant might as well have been titled: “Help, oh help! Save Us From Ourselves!”
Naturally, this being Pittsfield, when THE PLANET went to the city’s website and clicked on “Boards and Commissions,” the “Downtown Parking Management Committee” is nowhere to be found. You can thank the mayor for that.
“Dan Valenti,” who is running a “None of the Above” write in campaign for mayor, tells THE PLANET that he would make an executive decision on parking that would have as one of its centerpieces parallel parking on North Street, even if it had to hair lip every ugly self-watering planter in sight.
Tired of all the crap? Write in “Dan Valenti” for mayor.
“Governor, does your secretary still live? / And tell me, what else more can I give / But solace now that slays my gloom / And a loving woman to share my room?” — Huntington P. Holligsworth, “Once More to Asylum Street,” (2009)
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.