Article

AT LONG LAST, ON ELECTION EVE: THE PLANET’S FEARLESS ENDORSEMENTS

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, NOV. 4, 2013) — Tomorrow is Election Day, the day when the vast majority of citizens do not vote. Not voting has become the 21st-century equivalent of doing one’s civic duty. In fact, not voting has become such a part of democracy that we can say that only those who do vote forfeit their right to complain. It is, in fact, the non-voters who determine election outcomes. They cede the score to the tiny minority and in doing do, determine outcomes. That is how skunks win office, only to bring their stinky spray with them. My, how times have changed from the days in the 1950s and 1960s, when turnouts rates in Pittsfield elections topped 70 and 80%.

In the city of Pittsfield, non-voters will be deciding council races in wards 1, 3, and 6; will elect four at-large council reps; will vote on mayor; will elect a school committee; and will weigh the adoption of not of a proposed new city charter — the first since the early 1930s — that virtually no one has read. The election, in other words, has the making of skunkery of the first order, beginning with the charter. One last point: Keep in mind that THE PLANET‘s endorsements are not the same as our predictions. The first we readily share; the second we keep to ourselves.

THE PLANET’S ENDORSEMENTS, or, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE SAYING, ‘THE GREATER THE FICTION, THE GREATER THE TRUTH’

PROPOSED NEW CHARTER: VOTE NO

THE PLANET recommends that voters reject it.

— First, the GOB and the “usual suspects” have pushed adoption too hard. We’re already in “red flag” territory.

— Second, backers of the charter never made a convincing case why the city needed a new one. Their “argument” amounted to, “Well, the old one is ‘old.’” That’s not good enough. They have said, “The present charter is outdated,” but never told us where and how.

— Third, for all its claimed “importance,” isn’t it odd that the city did not readily make hard copy of the charter freely available?

— Fourth, ask yourself, how many people who vote on the charter know what is in it? A summary of the charter, which is the most that’s been made available, isn’t the exact language itself. As we said last week, that where the devils reside, in the details of the exact wording. “They” don’t want you to know that wording.

— Fifth, the new charter gives the mayor four years and keeps the council term at two years. This will create all sorts of political mayhem, especially when aspirants and councilors run for election or re-election. The mayor, sitting pretty with two more uncontested years, will be able to exert enormous political pressure in council races, especially in this era of apathy, where turnouts remain pathetically low. We have seen this happen this election. Mayor Dan Bianchi is unopposed on the ballot. Freed from a campaign, he is out there on the campaign trail telling people who he wants out and who he wants in. Think of it as a preview of coming attractions if the charter passes.

— Sixth, the new charter allows a provision for paying members of the Pittsfield school committee, which is currently a volunteer board. Ask youself: Has past committee done such a great job with the failing, $90+-million public school department that voters should reward them with pay? We don’t think so.

— Seventh, we share some this snippet of history, taken from Wikipedia’s entry on William “Boss” Tweed of the Tammany Hall Ring, the “Man Who Sold New York City.” Note, especially, the sections that THE PLANET has set in bold face:

After the election of 1869, Tweed took control of the New York City government. His protégé, John T. Hoffman, the former mayor of the city, won election as governor, and Tweed garnered the support of good government reformers like Peter Cooper and the Union League Club, by proposing a new city charter which returned power to City Hall at the expense of the Republican-inspired state commissions. The new charter passed, thanks in part to $600,000 in bribes Tweed paid to Republicans, and was signed into law by Hoffman in 1870. Mandated new elections allowed Tammany to take over the city’s Common Council when they won all fifteen aldermanic contests.[10]

THE PLANET recommends that a skull and crossbones logo be placed next to the charter question on the ballot. In potential for mayhem, it’s that deadly. It’s poison. Vote “NO” on the new charter.

——- 00 ——-

COUNCIL RACE, WARD 1: VOTE YON

The seeds of this race go back to the late 1980s, when Christine Yon‘s father race for mayor against Anne Wotjkowski. Lisa Tully‘s father, Phil, was council president back then and a big Wojtkowski supporter. The daughters continue the fight in this election. Christine Yon has been a tireless advocate of Ward 1 residents. There are many examples, but the best one is how she put herself on the line to fight the proposed location of the Spectrum Health Systems methadone clinic near Dwyer Funeral Home. Yon, a daily communicant at St. Charles Church, has a good heart. She is compassionate, and she’s probably the “least political” office holder in the city. Tully has not made a compelling case to unseat the incumbent.

WARD 3: VOTE LATURA

This is a tough one, with two newcomers looking to replace the embattled and criminally charged Paul Capitanio. Since his initial attempt at public office (mayor, 2009, and hopelessly in over his head) Nick Caccamo has attended countless official city meetings: council, committees, boards, and the like. In short, he’s put in the “ass time” and in that sense, he reminds THE PLANET of the diligence and persistence of Peter White. Caccamo’s the new White. Caccamo’s bid, however, has one fatal flaw. He works for the Pittsfield School Department, employed as a “data coach,” whatever that is. Could it be a make-work job to reward a loyal Democrat? Who knows? There is, however, serious question, whether the law allows him, as a full-time city employee, to serve on the council at all. Should he win this race, he could well be open the a legal challenge that could result in awarding the election to his challenger, Rick Latura. Caccamo’s position as a school insider is not what the council needs. For Ward 3 residents, even if Caccamo can legally serve, he would have to recuse himself from any discussion of policy matters pertaining to the public schools, including his vote on the $90+ million budget. Why, as a Ward 3 resident, would you want someone who cannot represent you on 70% of the total city budget. It makes no sense. That leaves Latura by default. The legal question is this: Caccamo is running with the old charter in effect. If the new charter is voted in, the language prohibits him, as a school department employee, from serving on the city council. City clerk Linda Tyer is on record as saying that the new charter, if voted in, will be in effect immediately. Under the new charter, if one follows the language, it would appear that Caccamo cannot serve.

In the interest of full coverage, Ward 5 city coucilor, our right honorable good friend Jonathan Lothrop, and city clerk Linda Tyer, posted yesterday on THE PLANET. Here are their posts, followed by our response:

LOTHROP: Dan – I want to disagree that Nick Caccamo could not serve in the upcoming Council term. The reason is simple, the rules of eligibility for which Mr. Caccamo qualified as a candidate, are from the current City Charter. If the proposed Charter passes, then it is possible for Mr. Caccamo to serve one term. The election following is when the new eligibility requirements would kick in. Then it would appear that he could not serve a second term, again assuming the Charter passes and if not amended in the intervening two years.

It is the same reason that the Mayor would not get a four year term, in January should that Charter proposal pass. The current rules apply to this election cycle, period. Check with any attorney with an municipal experience, they will tell you the same thing.

This is the kind of false argument that needs to be called out, especially since the election is two days away.

TYER: There has been a lot of discussion and confusion regarding the eligibility to serve requirements for the City of Pittsfield candidates on Tuesday’s ballot. It is paramount that voters are accurately informed on matters relating to elections. In my capacity as the city’s chief elections official I offer this clarification. If elected all candidates will be deemed eligible to serve based upon the city’s current charter. Elected candidates will not be disqualified by any election clause contained in the proposed charter if it is ratified by the voters. Provisions relating to elections will take affect for the first time in 2015. I hope this helps.

THE PLANET: I interpret the charter differently. You raise an objection that, of course, I considered. Here’s why it does not apply.
(a) comparing the mayor’s future term with the ward 3 councilor’s present term is not logical. The new charter, according to the city clerk, goes into effect the moment her office officially certifies the vote for “yeah,” should that be how the vote turns out. The mayor’s four-year term is clearly spelled out to begin in the next election, not this one. The ward 3 term, which the charter does not change, begins NOW, just as the mayor’s final two-year term.
(b) If the new charter is enacted, it will abolish the two-year term in the next election. It does nothing of the sort for the Ward 3 office.
Therefore, the only reasonable interpretation is that if the voters approved the new charter, its terms, which immediately go into effect for all offices that are unchanged, prohibit a full-time school department employee from being a councilor. That would apply, then, to Nick, should he win.
He will win office under the old charter. That office, however, will prohibit him from serving. It would be the same if the new charter prohibited full-time employees of the energy business. The mayor could not serve. It has nothing to do with the two-year/four-year difference.
I hope this clarifies my position.
I have reported only the facts (i.e., the provisions of the new charter). I have given the best and most reasonable application of the facts in my extrapolation.
—————————————————–
PS: The city clerk’s comments are an interpretation. THE PLANET would suggest they are subject to a court’s judgment. How can the new charter not apply to any office holder, no matter how elected, even if it is under the old charter. The provision of the new charter do nothing to the office or the length of office of the Ward 3 city councilor. It DOES, however, do everything to the eligibility of the person who, having been elected, shall occupy that office. It would seem, then, that the matter is still very much up in the air.

Ward 3 voters, it’s up to you. We would offer than even if Caccamo is deemed by the courts or anyone else eligible to serve if he is elected, why would you want a representative who will not be able to participate in the debate or voting on the school department?

WARD 6: VOTE KROL

The marquee ward race pits incumbent John Krol versus former Ward 7 councilor (and failed mayoral candidate) Joe Nichols. THE PLANET moderated a live debate between these two in which the differences were stark. To sum up with a broad brushstroke, we think Krol represents the more forward-thinking political style. Nichols seems too much a blast from the past. Nichols campaign basically amounted to little more than the assertion that “Krol doesn’t return calls” and not much else. You’d find plenty of Ward 6 residents who would dispute that Krol “doestn’ return calls.” In fact, Krol has been one of the most responsive ward councilors in recent memory. Krol has grown immensely since his first election. He has become more of an independent voice and vote, and he has displayed an open mind when it comes to city issues. As a ward representative, he has been true to the people who elected him. Nichols seems little more than a member of the slate that Bianchi has put together in an attempt to obtain control of the city council. In Ward 6, it’s Krol all the way.

AT LARGE: VOTE CLAIRMONT, MAZZEO, MILLER, AND RIVERS

Seven are running: The incumbents, Barry Clairmont, Melissa Mazzeo, Churchill Cotten; and the challengers, Mark Miller, Donna Todd Rivers, Kathy Amuso, and Jim Conant. THE PLANET recommends four for election: Clairmont, Mazzeo, Miller, and Rivers.

Clairmont’s performance in his first term warrants as the council’s biggest surprise. He has proven to be a dogged examiner of issues that come before the council, including, yes, the initiatives put forward by Mayor Bianchi. That is a highly desirable trait. An effective council cannot be a “rubber-stamp” council. One of the hallmarks of a good council is lots of questions. Remember, discussion, debate, deliberation, and dissent are healthy.

If one has Clairmont on the council, one also wants Melissa Mazzeo, who is his counter. On the scales, they politically balance out. Mazzeo has proven an effective campaigner and generally demonstrates a decent grasp of the issues. She thinks “citywide,” which is what you want in an at-large representative.

THE PLANET likes Miller for several reasons. We are familiar with his low-key, wonkish, uber-serious style from his previous campaigns for state rep. He does his homework, and, despite a far-left political leaning, seems to be a man who enters the arena with an open mind on the issues. Specifically, though, THE PLANET loved two ideas Miller raised in the campaign: He favors uniforms for the public schools, and he has advocated monthly public tours of the PEDA site. THE PLANET hope Miller pushes both.

Rivers brings city experience, which, we grant, isn’t a guarantee of anything. Her legal training should come in handy during debate and consideration. THE PLANET also judges her to be capable of an open mind and independent decision making. Moreover, she has campaigned as if she wants it and has thus earned the shot.

Amuso and Conant come from the school committee, which, given the charged political nature of the school budget and its disastrous “untouchable” status among office holders, is the last thing the council needs. Cotton had an invisible campaign. His debate performance re-defined “low key.” There’s a difference between being soft spoken and having little of substance to contribute.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE: ALL BUT THE TEEN-AGER

It amazes us that this board, which controls $90+ million of an overall $137 million operational budget, always runs under the radar. If you ever wanted a more tangible example of apathy’s cost, look no further. This race is easy: Seven are running for six positions. They are incumbents Dan Elias and Kathy Yon, plus newcomers Josh Cutler, Pam Farron, Tony Riello (former Pittsfield police chief), Cindy Taylor, and 19-year-old Brittany Douglass. Leave Douglass out. She didn’t bother to campaign. Of the six, THE PLANET sees Cutler as the person with the greatest chance to take up where Terry Kinnas left off. Their styles couldn’t show a starker difference, and it will take Cutler a year to get his sea legs, so don’t look for it right away. Cutler, a law student, has a great combination of eagerness, work ethic, and moral sense.

FOR MAYOR: “DAN VALENTI”

Do we have to spell this one out? We don’t think so. Bianchi has been an unrelenting disappointment as mayor. He has made an art form of ribbon cutting and elevated handing our certificates and proclamations to a science. He also has proven to be the Phantom of the Photo-Op. When it comes to accomplishments, however: Nada, nothing, zip, zilch. THE PLANET recommends writing in the name of “Dan Valenti” as a None-of-the-Above protest to this do-nothing mayor. Counting the write-ins, the blanks, and those who do not vote, Bianchi will enjoy an overwhelming landslide loss, leading him into his final fling at office. 2015, my friends. 2015.

——- 000 ——-

So there you have it, friends. Remember, do your civic duty on Tuesday. Don’t remember to vote.

———————————————————————————-

“Only you know and I know all the love there that don’t show, so don’t refuse to believe it by asking too many questions.”Dave Mason, from the album, “Alone Together.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

100 Responses to “AT LONG LAST, ON ELECTION EVE: THE PLANET’S FEARLESS ENDORSEMENTS”

  1. Nota
    November 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    No Nichols, eh Planet?

  2. dusty
    November 4, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    I see Nichols as honest and a man who does his homework. Krol is probably the most propped up GOB candidate since Kerwood.

    Krol is the LAST person i would vote for if I want an independent vote on the council.

  3. Mark Tully
    November 4, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    Dan,

    You are wrong. Get your facts straight. My father was Ward 1 Councilor from 1968 to 1974, President of the City Council from 1974 to 1976 and At-Large from 1974 to 1978. He lost in his bid for mayor in 1978 against Mayor Paul Brindle. Mayor Wotjkowski was in office 10 years later. There is no feud between the Tully’s and the Auges.

    Thank you

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      MARK
      Your welcome. Thanks for your input.

      • Tim Bartini
        November 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        Dan. Perhaps I’m sorry is a better answer to Mr. Tully.

        • danvalenti
          November 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

          TIM
          Perhaps not.

          • Tim Bartini
            November 5, 2013 at 7:28 am #

            Dan. Your wrong. If the Eagle printed this without checking it as fact you would be all over them. Is this how you teach your students?

        • Mark Tully
          November 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

          Thank you Tim,
          My feelings exactly. My father was an honorable man and this is not right for Mr. Valenti to use his legacy to take out his feelings on Mayor Bianchi.

          • danvalenti
            November 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

            Again, we appreciate your input, MT.

  4. Notw
    November 4, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    Nichols needed the Planet endorsement, now he has zero chance.

  5. C.J.
    November 4, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    Dan, Did you call Jimmy Ruberto, for his input on these endorsements ? Just like you were instructed to do just before the Nichols- Krol debate that you moderated ? It”s posted for the world to see on your October 23rd Facebook Page.

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      CJ
      The answer, in a word, is “no.” We shall let you entertain your other fantasies, as you note above. For some reason, they are important to you!

  6. amandaWell
    November 4, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    I could be wrong Mr. Planet, but will Caccamo be able to do any city council service during school hours?

    • Citrine
      November 4, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      At the Egremont debate Caccamo stated he could be reached after school (3 or 330?) and he put a time limit on how late as well but I do not remember the fact so do not want to make up a time.

      So yes, weekends and a few hours on school nights.

      • Dana
        November 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

        Rick stated in the debate he only sleeps 1 hour a night. Good thing he can commit the other 23 hours to being a city councilor.

  7. amandaWell
    November 4, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Another thing, during the ward three debate, Caccamo stated the only thing’ he won’t be able to vote on is the school budget itself’ HELLO, ward three residents should take this as being irresponsible! at best.The problem with the other candidate is that he looks like a progressive spending type. These are the best candidates out of ward three? 3 gets screwed again.

    • Citrine
      November 4, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      looks are not everything

      Latura is brand new to politics and has had enough just complaining to himself and his neighbors.

      He already helps many in his neighborhood and is looking to get more people on board.

    • Teresa
      November 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      I agree with you that comment from Caccamo was extremely irrisponsible.

      I do want to make sure you understand that Latura wants to work with the city council to find money in the existing budget to hire more Police and Firefighters. He also really cares about his ward and the city. He’s not doing this as a stepping stone to higher office.

      • citizeninsane
        November 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

        Teresa,
        I have yet to see a Reason to vote for Rick other than the fact that he isn’t Nick. What can he do for the city that Nick can’t? Other than being paid for his services and Nicks work will be 100% free.

        • Deb S
          November 5, 2013 at 3:21 am #

          citizeninsane where did you read that Nick will work for free? I only read that he wouldn’t get paid when the council was voting on the school budget and other issues dealing with the school. I am voting for Rick because PBS’s is more than half the the city’s budget and not only that ward 3 has how many school in the district????

          • citizeninsane
            November 5, 2013 at 4:27 am #

            He said it during the egremont debate, and it should be common knowledge that under the current charter any current city employe that is a member of a paid public office can not be paid for their service. So Nick really is doing it for the people, he isn’t getting a paycheck from this.

          • citizeninsane
            November 5, 2013 at 4:27 am #

            He said it during the egremont debate, and it should be common knowledge that under the current charter any current city employe that is a member of a paid public office can not be paid for their service. So Nick really is doing it for the people, he isn’t getting a paycheck from this.

  8. Nota
    November 4, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    I will be voting Elias and Lulu, for School Committee.

  9. CarlosDanger
    November 4, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I will not be voting tomorrow. Sick and tired of the voting for the ‘lesser of 2 evils’, and too disillusioned with Pittsfield politics. No matter who you vote for, nothing changes around here.

    • Citrine
      November 4, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      Lonthrop’s quote “Check with any attorney with an municipal experience, they will tell you the same thing.”

      The attorney general had a letter in the Berkshire Eagle over the weekend… is this not what he means??

      • Citrine
        November 4, 2013 at 8:43 am #

        Attorney* not attorney general… I correct myself

  10. Toland
    November 4, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Let’s see if I got this right. If elected, Caccamo may not be allowed to serve under new city charter. If elected and he is allowed to serve, he cant vote on the school budget, and he cant do any ward council or city work during school hours. Yeah, thats the kind of rep I want —- NOT!!

  11. Nota
    November 4, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    So, Caccamo can serve part time and maybe no time at all? Well, if he gets elected, at least you won’t have to pay him, I believe he cannot recieive a salary either.

  12. NBI
    November 4, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Dan, who the hell is Linda Tully? You’re as bad as the Eagle by printing such misleading information. Last time I checked Lisa Tully was the candidate. Point #2 regarding their father’s feud. Lisa is a Tully by marriage. Her biological father is a very nice man and I think you owe him an apology. You are trying to sensationalize something that doesn’t exist.

    If you want drama and feuds, why not remind the voters about how candidate Yon kidnapped a council meeting to throw a very unprofessional hissy fit, only to say “never mind” at the last possible second! If she had the courage of her convictions, she should have followed through.

    If any businesses were thinking about relocating here, that little display would have sent them running for the Pike!

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      “Linda” has been changed to “Lisa”. Thanks.

  13. Ben Weldon
    November 4, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Is DTR too anxious? I’ll vote for her for lack of another.

    Ben

  14. Rinaldo Del Gallo
    November 4, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Dan:

    I don’t think you can apply the new charter, should it pass, to an election held under the old charter.

    http://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/ci_24439412/local-attorney-questions-clause-proposed-pittsfield-city-charter?IADID=Search-www.berkshireeagle.com-www.berkshireeagle.com

    • jlo
      November 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Thanks Rinaldo – This is my interpretation as well. Your point was not that Nick Caccamo could not serve in the next Council, it was to inform the public that if the proposed Charter passed no City Employee could serve in the future. The future as far as elections go starts in 2015. See Section 32 of the proposed Charter where it states clearly that the first election to be governed by this charter starts in 2015.

      One could make a compelling argument for, or against, such a provision. It is an important point, one that voters should carefully consider before tomorrows vote.

  15. Teresa
    November 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Here’s a good piece of information for the voters of Ward 3 in regard to Caccamo’s ability to represent them.

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Ethics Commission sent me a letter that states that Caccamo cannot “vote or act on any matter that is in the purview of the agency by which he is employed or over which he has official responsibility.” That means he will NOT be able to vote on anything that concerns the schools, including what to do with Taconic. Even if there is a question as to whether or not he will have to recuse himself from a vote, he will have to call the State Ethics Commission’s Legal Division to ask.

    Now there is no question as to whether or not he can fully represent Ward 3. The answer is no, he cannot. Rick Latura is obviously the best choice for Ward 3.

  16. DontVoteDiva
    November 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Diva Todd Rivers is by far the worst candidate out of all seven for anyone to cast a vote for. While we may agree, mildly or vehemently, against any of the other six’s performance or positions, Shallow Rivers has no positions, and is all Performance. In 2 years on the radio treating dozens of issues she never took a stance or expressed a real opinion on one single thing, and has employed the same kind of beauty pageant techniques throughout this campaign.
    DTR wants both the Bianchi fans and the Ruberto fans to think she is with them, but to anyone really watching it’s clear Rivers prevailing interest is to be liked and paid attention to. She has no solid opinions, and not a single idea of her own, other than the best soundbytes she could squeeze out of the army of political insiders she’s milked for months. She will vote with the wind, depending on who got in her ear more that week.

  17. Nota
    November 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Linda Tully..please come forward.

  18. amandaWell
    November 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Anyone see super Sturge forget Cacca Moes name at the debate, a classic. I luv the Sturge!

  19. Jim Gleason
    November 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Krol; and Yon are vthe two most bought and paid for candidates and councilors i’ve seen in a while. They consult, in my opinion and with some knowledge of the situation, with their chums and clique on the council before any vote is made and vote on the Squiggy Line. Get rid of the bought and paid for’s and elect Joe nichols and Lisa Tully to the city council in 1 and 6.Melissa Mazzeo is the only one I will vote for At Large and Elias and Cuttler for the School Committee.

    • Mike Ward
      November 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      I think it’s more accurate to say there are two factions on the city council now, Jim. If you can’t see that then you better check what color your tongue is from drinking all that Kool-Aid. And if city hall’s dysfunction continues next term I predict a “throw the bums out” public sentiment in 2015.

      • Tim Bartini
        November 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

        Mike. Great comment ! Mr Gleason as usual is off on his high horse.

        • Jim Gleason
          November 6, 2013 at 7:44 am #

          And Tim, you as usual are a horses’ ass.

          • danvalenti
            November 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

            Now, now, gentlemen!

      • levitan
        November 5, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        Bravo, Mike! Insulting your opponent is the fastest way to convince him of your position – always! Seriously, the argument by derision has not been judged to be the most powerful means of logic and rhetoric known to the history of debate.

        Jim, Glad to see you have retained your senses all these years. Don’t despair – your eyes aren’t tricking you.

        • b_ball8
          November 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

          There clearly are two factions as Mike W stated. I have had first had experience with the current administration (who I did vote for in 2011).. works well if you “agree” with them, if not, or if you “cross” (ie have an opposing opinion) them, you can forget it and they resort to bully tactics. That is a fact, like it or not, as I have seen it first hand.

          Jim – MM unfortunately (as I had voted for her in the past) and very obviously is a Bianchi administration lackey, always was from when Bianchi lost the first time. And Tully is admin candidate, as is Nichols.. it is plain to see. The current admin has been a collosal dissappointment, so why add more lackeys to help progress to nowhere?

        • Mike Ward
          November 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

          But Jim’s “most bought and paid for candidate” statement wasn’t insulting, right? Look, Captain of the debate team, I disagree with Jim just about daily but I always respect him for owning his statements. Your anonymous blog trolling undermines the validity of everything you post.

          • levitan
            November 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

            If Jim G calls you a bought and paid for candidate, I would encourage you to challenge that (not him) since that statement constitutes a serious accusation. If you object to his calling someone else a hack, why take it to personal levels?

            Why are you so defensive?

            By the way, I come from a long line of trolls and we are proud of our heritage.

          • Tim Bartini
            November 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

            Mike. I too respect that Mr Gleason and yourself stand behind your real names. I would give the bloggers more respect if they used their real names. I respect people who say things whether I agree or disagree with their point, who use their real name.

  20. Mr. X
    November 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Correct on the statement that if Caccamo wins at least he can’t collect the $8000, saves us that dough I guess.

    DV—great flip flop on endorsing DTR after bashing the crap outta her about the closed-not closed bit on her North St. store. I think you gave her the kiss of death. And no comment to Mark Tully. I’m writing in Rick Scapin instead of you now. At least if he wins City Hall will immediately install a tanning booth and teeth whitening station!!

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      MR X
      Even this cad would not stoop low enough to pander to the Tanning and Teeth Whitening constituencies. If it costs the election, so be it!

  21. amandaWell
    November 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Disagree with Planet on Caccamo seat time. Anyone remember Councilor Tony, he literally left an imprint in the seat, so it doesn’t mean you’re deserving because you attend meetings. Of course Lothrop will do anything to get the Council President seat. If Cacky and the Diva get in, he could be a shoe in if MelMazz doesn’t run.
    If MelMazz wants Bianchi’s term to run smooth, she’d be wise to go for it.

  22. Evian
    November 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Thanks Planet. Good piece here, the best job of any media in your coverage of politics. i’m writing you in for mayor.

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      EV
      Thank you for your support.

  23. citizeninsane
    November 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Question for you Dan, why do you care about Pittsfield politics if you don’t live in the city?

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      CIT
      Because it’s there.

  24. Mark Tully
    November 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    In Rely to – Tim Bartini – “Dan. Perhaps I’m sorry is a better answer to Mr. Tully.”

    Thank you Tim,
    My feelings exactly. My father was an honorable man and this is not right for Mr. Valenti to use his legacy to take out his feelings on Mayor Bianchi.

    • danvalenti
      November 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      MT
      To be clear, our coverage has not used anyone’s “legacy,” has not questioned anyone’s “honor,” and has not employed “feelings” regarding anyone.

      • Mark Tully
        November 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

        Really?
        Hatfield and McCoy style?
        You stepped over the line. Only an apology will regain any respect you will get from the Tully family.

        • danvalenti
          November 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

          MARK
          We have removed the H-M analogy.

  25. Dana
    November 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Latura is the same man that was seen at the polls at Egremont smoking cigarettes while holding his sign. Just what Pittsfield needs. Another trashy Ward 3 councilor. I can tell you any outside investors that would even consider investing their resources into the PEDA site (not that there are any) would take one look at Latura as the ward councilor and find this city a joke. But then again he can vote on the school budget so he must be our guy. (All sarcasm). Pittsfield needs to hope Caccamo retains his seat once elected or it will be an embarrassing two years for the city with Latura up there.

    As for John Krol is there any more disingenuous politician that we have in Pittsfield. I have watched for years as Krol has weaseled through the issues and playing politics at every turn.

    We will never see this city turn around with this cast and crew up for election.

    • Citrine
      November 5, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      Didn’t realize smoking made you or broke you.

      AND that smoking was trashier for a city council member than buying drugs, doing drugs, OH AND tipping off your drug dealer the police were going to bust him since you have inside knowledge from your son in law

      Fabulous information to know. Thank you.

  26. Liz Arrington
    November 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Dan I cant believe how sensitive and prickly people get. I suppose when relatives and family get involved in politics this is inevitable. All your comments in the endorsements were spot on. I wil use your recommendations to vote including for you. Im glad we have the Planet.

  27. amandaWell
    November 5, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Yeah Dana, you definitely don’t why someone of I’ll repute replacing the last councilor 3 had, come on? Ward 3 will be the laughing stock if…CaccaMoe wins. As far a looks, smoking, ect. As far as I know, Latura served our Country admiralbly, to have the right to smoke. Winston Churchill one of the greatest statesman, dipped cigars in his whiskey and was always with whores, so what’s the point.

  28. Deb S
    November 5, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Does anyone know why the voting is at 8a.m. and not at 7a.m.?

  29. amandaWell
    November 5, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    @Deb…must have something to do with buses and students arriving.

  30. Nota
    November 5, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Joe Nichols thinks he’s the only one that works for a living. Krol pays taxes like everyone else. Krol wins easily, as does Yon.

  31. mike h
    November 5, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    You where my write in ward 4

  32. Outfox
    November 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Just cast my ballot in Ward 5A with a uniform cop shadowing me to the scanning machine. Only in Pittsfield…

    • Joe Blow
      November 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Should have told him to piss off!

      • Outfox
        November 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

        There were two ballot scanning machines; apparently I used the wrong one and the ladies at the exit table went bonkers, has the cop escort me and my ballot to the correct machine. Where’s my America?? Also, read my ballot front and back and did not see any where to vote on the charter. Pittsfield: ballots and bullets…

        • danvalenti
          November 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

          OUTFOX
          Your America is back in Mayfield, with the Cleavers, in 1958.

  33. scott
    November 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I voted no on the charter f that noise Dan you’re right its a power grab I hope it doesnt make it. I voted DV for write in I’m interested in the number of votes you get next time youre really serious you need to do more to get your name out out otherwise youre not going to.be taken seriously.i wrote you in cause i read your blog and know what youre all about but the majority mary jane and joe kaps’ have no clue you even exist.

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      SCOTT
      The new charter is a power grab, and it is going to be voted in.

  34. Liz Arrington
    November 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Just voted .. for DV!

  35. Magic
    November 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Amandawell – don’t believe there was school today.

    Dan, I did write you in.. Do you think we will know how many votes you really received and how many voted for no one and the true number that Dan Bianchi received

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Thanks, MAGIC. “True number?” Can’t yet say.

  36. Billy
    November 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I voted for you dv

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Merci, BILLY.

  37. Ron Kitterman
    November 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Challenger Lisa Tully ousts incumbent city councilor Christine Yon, 565-480

  38. Tito
    November 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Liz, Rivers got beat by .001 you’re right, Barry is a Winner!

  39. Nota
    November 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Congratulations Linda, uh, Lisa, wow, nice upset!

    • danvalenti
      November 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      Congrats to all winners, including (maybe especially) LISA!!

  40. Edconnect
    November 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Bianchi.5134
    Tyer.5263

    Looks like about 130 write in or blanks for mayor. Since these two were citywide unopposed.

  41. Nota
    November 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Look like everyone in here got a little something.

  42. Ron Kitterman
    November 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em boys- No reading those tea leave….
    Mazzeo..Cotton..Amuso..Clairmont At Large winners …DTR out by 14 votes Tully..Caccamo..Krol wards 1,3 and 6 winners
    City charter revision winning big.
    NewsRadio 560 WHYN‏@WHYN56025m
    The dream of a casino in Palmer is dead. Voters by less than a hundred votes have killed a measure that would… http://fb.me/2JnRyQd9d
    John Krol wins council reelection in Ward 6: Ward 6A Krol 485 Nichols 237, 6B Krol 268 Nichols 136

  43. Tito
    November 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Maybe Barry will volunteer to do a free recount, at no price to the taxpayers. Barry is going to make it very difficult for the Bianchi administration if LOW gets the Presidency.Speaking of LOW, he received only 539 votes, had he had opposition, he would have surely been defeated.

    • smh
      November 6, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      Seems “LOW” has no legit claim on the presidency, and moreover doesn’t really appear to have the right temperament for the job. My guess is that his colleagues on the Council will see it the same way.

  44. Outfox
    November 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    I took a cue from Ann Arbor, MI and wrote in Twenty pound xarp for school committee. Also voted for the teenager because I thought she would bring a fresh voice to the table.

    • Outfox
      November 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Carp, that should read

      • levitan
        November 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        Outfox: Sounds to me you follow the golden rule and vote for the opposition. One term should be plenty for anyone regardless of stature or office.

        Me: No vote for Bianchi – no opposition and I only write in a real candidate. yes for charter – if we have a mayor – surely he/she is more than a lawn ornament or benefactor for friends and donors.

        The Charter Committee did a diligent job and considered the hazards of conflict of interest just fine. No, they did not establish an second manifesto of the recognition of civil rights and journalistic propriety, but since when does a charter do that? Such a document would most likely end up violating a higher Charter such as State Law or Federal Law.

        All recognized names save Mazzeo and Cotton did not get inked by me. I basically voted against Amuso for all the good that did.

    • Dave
      November 6, 2013 at 4:23 am #

      You and over 2000 other voters … great job! Vote for someone who didn’t show up for the debate, didn’t respond to the BB’s request for her position on the issues and put no effort into getting any information about herself out there. You are the type of Pittsfield voter that has put Pittsfield where it is today.

  45. dusty
    November 6, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    So who does the Tea Party put up against Biianchi in 2015? I feel they would prefer Lothrop but he is too arrogant. Krol can throw the bull as well as Ruberto so he may get the nod.

  46. Nota
    November 6, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Let’s get one thing straight, Barry lost a lot of School votes due to his stance during the budget fiasco.

    • B. Clairmont
      November 6, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Yup. And the sad thing is I’m not anti-school.

      • smh
        November 6, 2013 at 8:56 am #

        No disrespect, but noticed you just barely got re-elected, so I’m thinking, sure, guess you can still be a watchdog, but at the same time maybe going forward show a little humility.

        • dusty
          November 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

          The only reason I did vote for Barry was his tough love stance on the school budget. That budget is what is driving the taxes through the roof and the whole city should be grateful that one person had the balls to stand up. The time for ass kissing and political correctness has long since passed.

          Hell I would have voted for him as a mayoral candidate based on that alone.

          • levitan
            November 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

            Wasn’t it Bianchi who brought the school budget fight to the table?

      • danvalenti
        November 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        BARRY
        You don’t have to tell this to anyone who follows the issues. Please continue to go after the budget in an aggressive manner. Forget the politics of it. Think of We The People.

  47. Tito
    November 6, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    LIke Liz says, winners win by .001 percent, and losers lose by .001 percent.

    • danvalenti
      November 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      A win is a win is a win is a…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Planet Valenti Endorses Krol in Ward 6 | John Krol - November 4, 2013

    [...] Published November 4, 2013 | By john It doesn’t happen often, but journalist Dan Valenti, of planetvalenti.com, today agreed with the Berkshire Eagle on who is best fit to serve Ward 6. See Mr. Valenti’s [...]