Article

INCOMING COUNCIL, SCHOOL COMMITTEE HAVE A DUTY TO BE ‘DISHARMONIOUS,’ FOR THAT IS WHERE THE BLADE OF DEMOCRACY GETS SHARPENED … plus … SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER-ELECT FARRON PREVAILED IN LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY, HAS OTHER LEGAL ACTION PENDING BEFORE MCAD

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, NOV. 8, 2013) — The point of democracy is not harmony in communion but hammering out consensus. THE PLANET finds the recent calls for “harmony” in council-mayor relations to be at best poorly phrased and at worse a call for a clampdown on political opposition. It reminds of of similar calls for “civility” in and after Hathaway-Ruberto II, in the wake of Mayor Sara Hathaway‘s first term.

The problem here isn’t disharmony and disruption; it’s that Pittsfeld politics doesn’t know how to agree on anything or disagree on anything. What passes for polemics looks more like kids in a sand box arguing over who took Tommy’s red pail. That being said, though, in such a depleted argumentative state, by far the best symptom to look for in government is disagreement (not to be confused with its counterfeits, namely, stalemate, gridlock, and dysfunction).

Disagreement, debate, discussion, and deliberation are as part of the democratic legislative process as a sanding stone or grinding wheel is part of ax sharpening. That’s why THE PLANET found what Mayor Dan Bianchi did with his unopposed free ride to be the true disharmony of Campaign ’13. Bianchi used his “Pass Go Free, Collect $200″ card not to build consensus or to work on the many issues plaguing the city (failing schools, rising taxes, shrinking tax base, diminishing services, etc.) to hammer his political opponents rather than, as a statesman, try to hammer out consensus with and among them.

We truly hope that the incoming 2014-15 city council will take up its responsibility for action instead of rolling over and playing dead upon the command of the administration’s orders. Bianchi is trying to spin the election results as a mandate for “harmony,” and it has the Boring Broadsheet as the corner office’s leading propaganda sheet. It has produced a chilling effect. The mayor wants a government of uniformity of views. He wants no opposition. He wants no questioning. He is attempting to set up a Fifth Column to subvert any chance the city has of reversing its present course to fiscal disaster and getting back on its feet.

My, how different the Dan Bianchi of today with the Dan Bianchi of Ward 6, who made a living making noise, especially going after Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto. Councilor Bianchi’s opposition did serve a useful purpose and did the city good, the battle over the Civic Authority being one example. [ED NOTE: We feel obliged to state that the vote on the Civic Authority was not a referendum on a new stadium. Unfortunately, the stadium became a pretext, a Trojan in an attempt to establish a permanent, mayoral-appointed board with far-reaching, unrecallable power].

As mayor, Bianchi sees the role of councilors differently.

According to Mayor Bianchi, the council should keep its mouth shut and approve without question every mayoral action. When the mayor sneezes, the council should be there with the chicken soup. As we say, the effect is chilling. all the more reason, then, for THE PLANET to remind every official just elected to office beginning in January to be mindful of their duty. Their first obligation is to the citizens, not the mayor. They must not be compliant. They must be conscientious and outspoken.

——- 000 ——-

The mayor will be surprised to hear that not everything he proposes will be dipped in gold and frosted with confectionery. He doesn’t expectorate nectar from the gods. He gobs just as much as the next guy. That’s where the council comes in, to right-size the mayor, who has — to the surprise of all — let power go to his head. Without an independent, free-thinking legislative branch, the city of Pittsfield might as well take the “democratic” path of Goma, Congo. Such a council, however, will provide Mayor Bianchi with his best chance for good government. THE PLANET still believes that is possible, and we still believe Bianchi can go on to redeem his awful first term.

Lisa Tully, Kevin Morandi, Chris Connell, Nick Caccamo (if allowed to serve), Jonathan Lothrop, John Krol, Tony Simonelli, Churchill Cotton, Melissa Mazzeo, Barry Clairmont, and Kathy Amuso have a duty to citizens, constituents, the mayor, and themselves to provide such a council. THE PLANET will be watching closely, because that council will be the last to operate without a mid-term political vice to squeeze contrariness out of it, courtesy of the new charter, which three-quarters of 25% of the electorate voted into effect. In other words, the document came alive with only 20% of the entire electorate voting for it, with 80% voting opposed or not voting at all. In November 2015, Pittsfield voters will elect a two-year council and a four-year mayor. During this election cycle with his free pass, Mayor Bianchi gave voters a preview of how a political performer will handle it as opposed to a genuine leader.

This same responsibility olds true of the newly elected Pittsfield School Committee. The members of the new board — Kathy Yon, Dan Elias, Josh Cutler, Pam Farron, Tony Riello, Cynthia Taylor, and Bianchi — must understand their job is not to rubber stamp the administrative wish list but to provide the “loyal opposition” that seeks as its goal the highest performance possible for every buck spent on the schools.

That’s more than $90 million, with more than 85% of it never touching the classroom. The outgoing school committee has two meetings left, and at least it had Terry Kinnas, who by far led the league in what can be termed political leadership. He eschewed the “popular” stances and pursued outcomes based on analysis, study of data, facts, and a relentless desire to represent bedraggled taxpayers. Kinnas, and Kinnas alone, proved to be honestly for “The Children.” The others, once again, enabled the administration to use “The Children” as human shields to shakedown more money out of poor taxpayers despite the continuing loss of academic competence.

That must end.

There are two specific, doable policy changes the new school committee can enact that will immediately turn this fractious, failing system around, and THE PLANET calls upon Cutler and the other new members, especially, to initiate these changes:

(1) Refuse to accept any meeting agenda that come with “Administrative Recommendations.” This lousy practice has been in place for at least two years, and maybe longer. It took Kinnas to spill the beans and let the public know what was going on. It’s illegal to have two versions of the official agenda available for school board meetings; nonetheless, that’s what this group has been doing. The public and press get a version that lists the orders of business. The school committee members get agendas that have the administrative “recommendations” on them for action items.

The only way for those recommendations to be there is if the superintendent (or his designate) meets privately with the school committee president (or his designate). That’s a no-no. Remember what Kinnas has been trying to teach everyone with his successful actions re: the state’s Open Meeting Law — The public’s business must be done in public. Administrative recommendations must be done in public. In this case, “recommendation” translates as “orders.” In other words, in sending back committee agendas marked with “recommendations,” the administration is sending not-so-subtle “friendly advice if you know what’s good for you politically” to committee members. We call upon the new committee chairman, and if not her (it will likely be Yon), the new members, to force this change. It won’t cost taxpayers a penny, and it will at least be a baby step toward independent governance. THE PLANET also calls upon Supt. Jake McCandless to show leadership in this case. Jake, please end the “recommendations.” They’re illegal and insulting.

(2) Begin the process that will lead to uniforms in the public schools. The days of “anything goes” have to end. This can start with the two high schools or it can apply across the board, grades K-12. The debate is over. The many public school districts across the country that have made this switch (involving tens of millions of students) report a host of benefits, including better behavior in classrooms, increase in academic performance, elimination of “clothing” issues, and lower clothing costs for parents. Like (1), this change will not cost much, if anything.

Do it.

——————————————————————

ANOTHER ‘ONLY IN PITTSFIELD’ MATTER: SCHOOL COMMITTEEWOMAN-ELECT FARRON HAS LEGAL ACTION AGAINST SCHOOLS

Farron … Farron. Why was Pam Farron’s name ringing a bell? Then, a commentator to THE PLANET answered this for us: The new school committeewoman-elect was one of the four former Reid Middle School English teachers that sued the school department and won rehiring and back pay.

In May 2011, an arbitrator sided with The United Educators of Pittsfield and against the school department. Arbitrator Tammy Byrne ruled that the teachers, among them former mayor Sara Hathaway, were “significantly and substantially prejudiced by, among other items, the failure to provide required notice of performance issues and the lack of opportunity to meet [principal Morgan] Williams‘ performance expectations.” The other two teachers were Nancy Manes and Ramsay Steward.

We won’t try to translate that gobbledy-gook into English. The more pertinent point is that, to the best of THE PLANET’s knowledge, Farron and the others still have a current complaint of discrimination pending against the schools. All four of the fired teachers were middle-aged women. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the last we heard, still has that case. That case claims that the dismissal of the four teachers represents age and gender discrimination.

We wonder how this “first” will play out. Even by Pittsfield standards, the situation is an awkward one: a newly elected member of the school committee has legal action pending (the MCAD case) against her employer after having already one one lawsuit against the city. Does this prevent Farron in any way from fully exercising her duties as a member of the school committee? Just a question, but it’s an important one that should be fully explored by the city before the new committee begins its work in January.

THE PLANET is surprised, but then again we aren’t, that this issue didn’t come up for Farron in the campaign. We would think it fair game for any of her opponents. On the other hand, the seven candidates for the six seats never had a doubt about the six winners. The teenager never campaigned and has no shot at the office. That allowed the six remaining to complete for the six seats to be all lovey dovey. Six into six goes once, as you may recall.

No word on how much the lawsuit by Farron and the others eventually cost the taxpayers. They were awarded one year of back pay as well as benefits compensation. At the time of the arbitrator’s announcement, then-superintendent Jake Eberwein III said, “To be honest, we don’t have any idea of what the damages are.” Things like that were always easy for Jake to say. Easy come, easy go: That’s why the school department has taxpayers.

Will taxpayers be on the hook if MCAD rules against the city? Stay tuned.

—————————————————————————-

“She’s acting single, so I’m drinking doubles.” — Greatest country-western song line of all time.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

43 Responses to “INCOMING COUNCIL, SCHOOL COMMITTEE HAVE A DUTY TO BE ‘DISHARMONIOUS,’ FOR THAT IS WHERE THE BLADE OF DEMOCRACY GETS SHARPENED … plus … SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER-ELECT FARRON PREVAILED IN LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY, HAS OTHER LEGAL ACTION PENDING BEFORE MCAD”

  1. bobbyd
    November 8, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Not only did Ms. Farron’s lawsuit never enter the public consciousness, the teenager was never contacted by various media outlets about the various events and opportunities as were the other candidates. Rather serendipitous for someone, don’t you think?

  2. Tito
    November 8, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    @bobbyd..either one of those occurrences could have swayed votes. How could you vote for a silhouette and non participant, that with the Farron legal issues, raises eyebrows for sure! When Ms. Douglas didn’t show for the debate, my vote was cast, if it is true about the invite, then Ms. Douglas should be upset.

  3. bobbyd
    November 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    She is very upset about that, as well as never having been invited to participate in the Eagle interviews by Mr. Therrian or by PCTV to record a 5-mintute spot. Being silenced like that made it all but impossible to compete. Mr. Therrian could not even be bothered to retract his statement that she “did not respond for requests” in favor of “could not be reached for comment.” All she received was a very politely worded “tough luck” email.

    • danvalenti
      November 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      THE PLANET would like to get the paper trail on this. Can it be done?

      • skier1
        November 9, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        I know one media outlet that used the list from city hall and that was where it was sent! She no showed at that one.

        • bobbyd
          November 9, 2013 at 10:36 am #

          It may well be that City Hall had the wrong contact info. However, she contacted each outlet as soon as she became aware and no one was willing to remedy the situation. Tough luck all around. She’ll know for next time.

          Jonathan from The Gazzette did reach her to write a 400-word column, which she did. The signs, stand outs, and radio ads weren’t enough to overcome the rest.

          • danvalenti
            November 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

            BOBBYD
            I have made contact with Brittany. I have the e-mail chain between her and the Eagle. I also have questions into her. When I get all this, I shall likely write about what I learned. Someone dropped the ball here, and it’s important to try to understand who and why, if nothing else, for future candidates.

          • bobbyd
            November 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

            I’m sure it was more a collection of foul ups rather than foul play. She’ll be back in a couple years. In the mean time, she’s worth getting to know.

  4. Ron Kitterman
    November 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I seem to recall a post by : TKO
    November 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm#
    I know Britt personally, she got over 2900 votes on Tuesday. She would have attended the media events if she had been invited…I do not buy the excuse that they had the wrong contact info. The info was correct at the voters office.

    If that is true it would make one wonder why the so called media would go to such trouble. She did have excellent radio ads, instead of talking about progressive ccokie cutter ideas like 99% of the candidates she talked about her individual ideas to make government work. With no direct evidence that the powerful media would stoop so low it just makes you all that cautious about the media in the future. Sad commentary if in fact there is truth to it.

  5. TKO
    November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I am the treasurer for Brittany’s campaign. I know that she was not invited to the events listed by bobbyd. I do not know why, but I suspect it is because she was “the teenager”. Such a shame for the city and the school committee… She is already talking about what she will do differently next time…she won’t be a teenager in 2 years.

    • danvalenti
      November 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      TKO
      That’s a shame. I wish I had known about this.

      • TKO
        November 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

        If I had said anything at the time I was afraid that it would have looked liked sour grapes and may have looked bad for Britt. She hoped that the radio ads would get her message out there….and it did for a couple of thousand…we can forward the email response from Jim Therrian at the BB when she found out she had not been contacted for the article about the candidates. She spoke with the PCTV folks on the phone when she found out about the 5 minute spots after the fact… They said it was too late a week before the election.

        • danvalenti
          November 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

          TKO
          Yes, please forward the Therrien e-mail.

  6. Jonathan Melle
    November 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Thank goodness that Dan Bianchi spoke out against the corrupt leadership of Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto! Mayor Doyle bankrupted the city government and sent Pittsfield into state receivership. Millions of taxpayer dollars are still unaccounted for in Pittsfield. Gerry Doyle also signed the flawed GE Consent Decree with Jack Welch. GE left toxic waste PCBs that cause cancer and kill people in Pittsfield. Most of the PCBs sites were capped. The caps do not last forever. After the caps become useless, the PCBs pollute Pittsfield’s land, water and air that kills people in Pittsfield with cancer. Fellow Good Old Boy Jimmy Ruberto saw Pittsfield’s decline while he spent millions of dollars on revitalizing North Street. KB Toys went bankrupt, GE left town, the Hospital laid off hundreds of employees, with thousands of jobs lost during the Ruberto regime. Mayor Ruberto raised taxes above the rate of inflation each and every year in Pittsfield. I don’t know if Dan Valenti is correct about Mayor Dan Bianchi being a lemon. But at least Dan Bianchi spoke out against the Good Old Boys and its leaders Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto!

    • #voteoutbianchi
      November 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Melle

      seems like you only live in the past. I don’t really remember when Gerry Doyle was Mayor so I can’t speak to that.. Jimmy Ruberto may have had the support of the “gob” as everyone calls them but I do recall that Mayor Bianchi also had support from fmr mayor Wojtkowski and as I recall there are two “gob” networks there is the one Doyle is associated with and the one that Wojkowski is associated with. You cant fault candidates for who their supporters are.

      As far as the tax increases are concerned, Pittsfields taxes increase yearly but it is still one of the cheapest places to live in Berkshire County. in NY state the towns and cities tax you to death with more taxes. Most tax increases are to cover the cost of the services we have and the salaries of those providing the services.

      You speak of BMC laying off employees and it being then Mayor Ruberto’s fault. I think you are way off base. When any compnay chooses to lay off workers for whatever reason it sees fit then I highly doubt that they woould contact the mayor or council to tell them why. Especially when the city gives no funding what so ever to the hospital. it makes all its money off the insurance companies and from the federal government. KB Toys went out of business during a bad economy. At no fault of anyone, maybe other than Wall ST.

      its obvious to see that you dislike both fmr mayors doyle and ruberto but atleast they had the balls to give it a shot and run for office. All you have ever done is hide behind this blog and this bloggers former radio show “The Dan Valenti Show”. Mayor Ruberto had his issues but atleast he got things done. He had a vision. Dan Bianchi;s only vision was to run for mayor to pad his city pension. He has no interest in moving this city forward. That proof is over his first term as mayor. The only thing he has gotten done is countless ribbon cuttings and feel good public appearances.

      • Jonathan Melle
        November 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

        Please defend the public records of the Doyle debacle and the Ruberto regime. The Good Old Boy network ran Pittsfield politics into the ground. I know, the truth hurts!

  7. Foxy Lady
    November 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I am sorrry to hear that young Ms. Douglas wasn’t notified as all other candidates, if it’s true. Dan you make great points about the need for debate in govt and also the two excellent suggestions about school policy. School committee: Please LISTEN!!!!

    • danvalenti
      November 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      FOXY
      They had better listen. We have new lumber on order for a fresh supply of wood shampoos in case they don’t.

    • skier1
      November 9, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Douglas was notified thru the info she provided city hall

      • danvalenti
        November 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

        SKIER1
        That’s what I understand.

  8. Jeff Ferrin
    November 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    I can tell you from experience with the city and my own cases that there are more lawsuits against the city for wrongful terminations and other issues than by any other groups. I asked 3 years ago for the city to disclose the amount of suits brought by this group and the amount of money it has cost tax payers in these suits. I understand that the outlines or contents of the agreements should not be made public. However!!! when it comes to tax payers money they/we have a right to know what the cost is to include legal fees paid by the city to it’s legal council and the amount ordered to pay to the employees council by tax payers. For whatever reason the city feels that the true number should be kept from the tax payers of this city. Yes they disclosed at that time of request the cost of legal expenses related to arbitration and other legal incidences and court proceedings to include tax issues, property sales, workman’s comp issues etc. But I have never seen full disclosures of tax payers dollars regarding legal action against the city by former employees wrongfully terminated or paid off to resign. Perfect example is a former highway employee who had felony charges lodged against him but never went to trial if he agreed to resign and accept a financial deal. Another is former water Superintendent who was forced to resign after the embezzlement scam was disclosed and to top it off given a glowing recommendation so he could slip into another community without missing a days work. We have a right to know regardless of whom it is when it comes to our money.

    Jeff Ferrin

    • danvalenti
      November 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you, JEFF. You mention two infamous cases that are only the tip of the iceberg. You are also 1000% correct: Taxpayers have a right to know the shocking extent of how their money has been spent to settle “claims.” “Claiming” has become a cottage industry in the city.

      • Jonathan Melle
        November 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

        If you speak out against the Good Old Boy network in Pittsfield politics, you get blacklisted. My own experience includes Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. falsely alleging that I threatened him to the Pittsfield Police Department in the Spring and Summer of 1998 so that I would be arrested and sent to Nuciforo’s close friend Carmen Massimiano, Jr.’s Pittsfield jail. Prior to Nuciforo trying to jail me, Nuciforo filed “ethics” complaints against my dad in the Fall of 1997 though the Spring of 1998 to try to get my dad fired from his state government job at the Pittsfield courthouse. Fortunately for me and my family, Nuciforo was unsuccessful in trying to get my dad fired and putting me in Carmen Massimiano’s Pittsfield jail. Over a decade ago from the Spring of 2002 to the early-Summer of 2003, I looked for a job for over one year of my adult life in Pittsfield without anyone in Pittsfield hiring me for employment. I was blacklisted from finding a job in Pittsfield by the Good Old Boy network. Pittsfield politics is vindictive and retaliatory, as well as conspiratorial!
        http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/andrea-nuciforo-jonathan-melle-month-of.html

        • B
          November 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

          Jonathan I just went to your site and read everything that you wrote,wow do you have a lot to say. Believe me I understand what you’re saying I know a lot of the players you’re talking about, I know a lot of the inside stuff you’re also talking about. I am not a bit surprised about your story I can really see it all happening but there is one thing I do want to let you know about, there is a soft side to Carmen. I had to go to him and ask him for a favor and he came through for me, he was a big help to my family. I’m not a GOB I just happen to know all these GOB’s I’m just a little old lady who happen to have known Carmen more than the others because he came into my place of work every week. You seem to be a very nice man I wish you peace of mind and I hope that someday you can get over all of this good luck to you and your family.

          • Jonathan Melle
            November 9, 2013 at 6:52 am #

            I am happy to read that Carmen Massimiano helped you and others. Carmen Massimiano is close friends with Andrea Nuciforo, Jr. They gave me a very hard time in Pittsfield when I was a young man. I was never more afraid than when Nuciforo wanted to send me to Carmen’s Pittsfield jail in the Spring and Summer of 1998. I don’t know what Nuciforo’s problem is with me and my family. Nuciforo is the kind of person who hurts people without leaving behind his own fingerprints. Nuciforo has other people do his dirty work for him. Nuciforo wanted to become a Member of U.S. Congress, but he lost to Richie Neal by 40-points in 2012. I hear that Nuciforo spends most of his time in Boston now. Thank you for your kind words.

          • danvalenti
            November 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            B
            I love the response you made to Jonathan. Thank you for posting this on THE PLANET.

    • Dickie Neales
      November 9, 2013 at 7:12 am #

      Hey Jeff How can you collect disability retirement for a bad back and then work for a ambulance company lifting heavy stretchers?

  9. levitan
    November 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m digesting something interesting. In Philadelphia, a sensible young man – someone who will be become something I never can be – won the Election Judge (?) and did so as the New Whig Party. He got 24 votes, his opponent running on the big Party ticket got 13.

    What would happen if someone brought the Whig Party to Berkshire County? Social progressive, fiscally conservative and historically all American. Don’t people crave the better traditions in the American Politic?

  10. Nota
    November 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    After watching the School Committee meetings this year,they couldn’t stress the importance of Student involvement, and how eager the students were to be involved in the process. This young Lady, for all intensive purposes was not given a fair chance. Hopefully the dogged Planet and it’s spies can come up with answers. I wouldn’t bet against it!

  11. amandaWell
    November 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    PUleeeeeeze, she is young, she’ll get over it.

    • Dave
      November 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Hopefully she doesn’t get over it and moves somewhere that appreciates someone her age that wants to serve her community and possibly make a difference. If how she was treated is true, the powers that be should be ashamed. “PULeeeeeeze,”- I’m pretty sure Brittany wouldn’t use this in any statement she would make, so I guess we can’t judge intelligence by how old we are.

  12. amandaWell
    November 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    That p U as in sump tin stint.

  13. Jonathan Melle
    November 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Jack Welch lived in Pittsfield once. He went on to be a legendary CEO of GE. Jack Welch transformed GE from a manufacturing company with thousands of jobs in Pittsfield to a financial business with no jobs in Pittsfield. GE left Pittsfield for Wall Street. GE also left Pittsfield with decaying buildings, polluted properties, and a flawed consent decree signed by former Mayor Gerry Doyle. After neutron Jack Welch laid off all of the GE workers in Pittsfield, the number one employer in Pittsfield became the City of Pittsfield. Other Pittsfield workers are employed by non-profits like the Hospital. Both public workers and non-profit employees are dependent on taxpayer funds. So there are no private sector jobs in Pittsfield, thousands of local workers depend on taxpayer funds, and the rest of the people are poor and depend on welfare assistance. Pittsfield politics is like a dystopian story where Jack Welch took all of the loot and left the taxpayers the bill.

  14. amandaWell
    November 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Jonathan, what did you mean by millions of dollars being unaccounted for? Please explain?

    • Jonathan Melle
      November 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      As I remember, Mayor Gerry Doyle bankrupted Pittsfield with the health insurance account. There was a city treasurer who could not account for millions of dollars that made the city government insolvent. Pittsfield went into state receivership. Ever since, taxes were raised above the rate of inflation to make up the difference.

      • dusty
        November 10, 2013 at 3:00 am #

        and didn’t the mayor at the time give that city treasurer $50,000 as a retirement bonus? Taxpayer money I might add

        some thought it looked like hush money

      • Donald
        November 10, 2013 at 4:55 am #

        I seem to remember the broker not paying the stop loss fee. A gamble typical in the industry. All money was repaid to the city though so not clear how this bankrupted the city?

        • Jonathan Melle
          November 10, 2013 at 8:03 am #

          Gerry Doyle bankrupted Pittsfield by making the municipal government insolvent with millions of dollars unaccounted for from the city’s health insurance account. This sent Pittsfield into state receivership, which resulted in large tax increases over the past 14 years. If Pittsfield is financially solvent after the Doyle debacle, then Mayor Dan Bianchi should stop the tax hikes every year.

  15. Mr. X
    November 10, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    Mr. Melle

    It has never been proven that PCB’s cause cancer and kill people. Man you have alot of anger for a sweet old man!

    • Jonathan Melle
      November 10, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Are you a clone of Jack Welch?

    • levitan
      November 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Take a bath then in Silver Lake. Maybe you could convince Jack to share a bar of soap there.

  16. Mr. X
    November 10, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Right on Dickie Neales for nobody!!

  17. Foxy Lady
    November 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Dicke Neales for himself and that’s about all.