PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, DEC. 3, 2013) — How low has political pettiness stooped in The Corner Office? If our sources within the building can be believed, the ground around city hall has sunk below that of  Death Valley, and worms in the area of Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s office have been complaining lately of being crowded out and out-crawled. Indeed, THE PLANET has noticed a certain depression in the land on which the former Pittsfield Post Office stands. It threatens to become a sinkhole.

Word from our spies, all connected with the inner doings at city hall, comes down that Bianchi, Mr. Transparency who routinely  clouds the pellucid panes of politics with a rare form of impenetrability, has issued a royal decree. As of immediately, the hardly oh-so-controversial city arts czar Megan Whilden and Director of Administrative Services Mary McGinnis have been banned from appearing on Good Morning, Pittsfield.

What’s next: An enemies list? Book burning. City control of the press? (Oh, we forget. The latter has already occurred save for this lone, remaining bastion fighting for Truth).

One feels a creeping paranoia settling over, into, and back out from under the door crack of the corner office, like a cold, San Franciscan fog moving in to assault any sense of mildness or comfort.

THE PLANET hears that His Excellency Daniel The First did not approve of host John Krol‘s comments regarding the NAACP’s lawsuit against the city. What, you didn’t know about the lawsuit? The Boring Broadsheet hadn’t informed you? The mayor’s office hasn’t issued a press release about the lawsuit in between those of his ribbon cuttings and visits to 4th grade science classes?

What was Krol’s crime? He had suggested that “this is an issue that has gone unresolved for some time.” As far as we can determine, Krol’s statement is accurate and factual, qualities that no doubt irked the august mayor as much as his consideration of the source. Bianchi, as it has turned out, prefers the erroneous and fictitious when it comes to reporting the truth about his do-nothing administration.

Here is a story reported Nov. 15 by Madeleine Rivera for YNN News:

—– 00 —–

[HEADER] The Pittsfield NAACP Chapter has filed a complaint against the city, claming it has violated fair hiring practices. They say the city has long overlooked Minority Candidates applying for jobs in its administration and school system. [THE PLANET wonders why Rivera and YNN think “minority candidates” is a proper noun?]

—– 00 —–

PITTSFIELD, MA — For the NAACP in Pittsfield it was simple, the city just wasn’t hiring enough minorities.

“I think the issue is a legitimate one,” said Councilor John Krol. He says this has been an on-going issue.

“It includes people who are our friends, our neighbors, people who are in this community,” he said.

In a complaint, the NAACP says the city has violated state and federal regulations governing fair hiring practices by overlooking qualified minorities for positions where they competed against Caucasians. And, the NAACP alleges the discrimination is not only inside City Hall. They say it’s also in schools. The NAACP points to the numbers. The school system only employs ten minorities, which make up less than two percent of total employees.

“The NAACP to their credit is going through the proper channels after a long time of trying to work with the administration,” said Krol.

Last June, the NAACP confronted the mayor about the city’s Affirmative Action Policy. They were told there wasn’t one. There’s been some confusion regarding city’s Affirmative Action Policy. When the NAACP asked for it, the city actually had one in the handbook, it just hadn’t been updated since the early 90s.

“We’ve put together an Affirmative Action Advisory Committee,” said Mayor Dan Bianchi.

He says the city is revising the Affirmative Action Policy. It’s also taking a closer look at the demographics of public school employees.

“I have met with the superintendent to tell him about that people are sensitive about this issue. And he is as well,” said Bianchi.

If all goes well, the city council may have a revised Affirmative Action Policy by the end of the year. Councilor Krol says it’s a long time coming.

“I think there are some things that should make us look a little closer at ourselves in the mirror,” he said.

—– 00 —–

As a related aside, THE PLANET is healthily suspicious of the societal attempts to engineer by force the workings of the human heart, including such well-meaning failures as Affirmative Action. We also question how much of the lack of minorities in city employment is Pittsfield’s official fault and how much can be attributed to (a) the lack of qualified minority candidates or (b) their disinterest in such jobs … or jobs of any sort, for that matter. We don’t know the answers; we merely ask the questions. Moreover, we would remind any side of this story that only the specifics of hard numbers and provable intent can back the claims.

All merits of that issue aside, however, THE PLANET condemns in the strongest terms the actions of the mayor in muzzling two key members of his administration.

“Talk about petty and vindictive,” says our source, who asked to remain unnamed. “Mary probably won’t be there too long anyway. She is completely disgusted with Bianchi, not because of this but because of so many other things. He’s apparently trying to quash the Affirmative Action Committee that he supposedly started.”

THE PLANET would like to hear the mayor’s version of these events, but he, you see, doesn’t speak with us. He thinks if he just pretends we aren’t here, people won’t hear about the truth or falsity of what we report. Of course, should the mayor finds himself overwhelmed by the pangs of guilt while drinking his morning Tang, we should be more than happy to take his entreaties.

Speaking of GMP, THE PLANET shall be the first to break the momentous news that Dan Valenti, a man that Berkshire Magazine calls “a one-man mob scene” and who convincingly plays Berkshire County’s resident bad boy, appears on the show Dec. 13. This must be taken as proof assured that Mayor Bianchi has not prohibited Valenti from appearing on GMP.


“Stand at your window some night. Again, let me see the one that is holding the best side of me.” — Jim Reeves, “Stand at Your Window” (1965).





  1. Still wondering
    December 3, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I doubt PC has a lot to do with Dan’s decision. You can bet the city lawyer is behind it and for good reason.

    • scott
      December 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Then rest assured this thing is gonna cost us a whole lot Degnan already portrayed the entire community as a bunch of discriminatinf racist in spectrumgate remember!

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Lawyering up will trump PC everyday, but is it all too naive to expect “leadership” from the corner office?

  2. MrG1188
    December 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    “their disinterest in such jobs … or jobs of any sort, for that matter.”

    Wow Dan…You really gonna say that for attribution?!? That comes DANGEROUSLY close to, and perhaps even goes beyond the “…shifless and lazy” characterizations of an entire group of people. You sure you wanna let that stand?

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Yes. Let that stand. I am merely asking a question many others are asking. We can’t pretend it’s not there.

  3. scott
    December 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Pittsfield has a f’n special committe for everything! Whys crime so high? I dont know lets form a committe and create another job for one of my friends to oversee it. I never understood why consultants get paid so well.

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      They get paid well to take the heat off of spineless officials. If the consultant does good, the officials take the credit. If the recommendations fail, the consultant gets the blame. The infinite number of committees reflect a lack of leadership in the city.

  4. Wilson
    December 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Hiring brown people instead of white people is about as much of a “fair hiring practice” as lynching was a fair system of punitive justice.

  5. Ed McClelland
    December 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Just read “Iberkshires”, report on Pittsfield’s Police Advisory Committee meeting held last night, It appears to support claims of this administration’s political cronyism and indifference. The chairman of this committee ( a qualified African American) was replaced by a well connected political hack, as was the vice chairman and secretary who were replaced by extreme Bianchi lap dogs and sycophants. A good time to replace a minority leader with political favorites ?
    Just found out the committee’s only black woman member wasn’t present to respond or vote. And the only member with law enforcement experience was likewise replaced as a committee officer by a Bianchi crony.
    Affirmative action in action. Never changes.

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      The pettiness of Bianchi’s politics are stunning in their triteness.

  6. Dave
    December 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    “This is an issue that has gone unresolved for some time”

    How long has Mr. Krol been on the council? Why didn’t he bring something forward to fix the problem? The job of the city council is to check the administration when they feel the people are not being represented. I would feel it was more genuine and not political in nature.If Mr. Krol brought up this issue in his first term instead of now when it is politically convenient.

    If we had only changed Columbus Ave to MLK Boulevard, non of this would have ever come up! Ruberto in 2015- 4 more years!!!!!!
    Settle down Jim G- just kidding

  7. Jonathan Melle
    December 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Over a decade ago, the Walter Powell case cost Pittsfield taxpayers over one million dollars. He was a minority who profitted off of Pittsfield politics.

  8. We Love Pittsfield
    December 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Appreciate the honesty of this story. Race relations in Pittsfield, a ticking timebomb or a reason to hire people simply on the basis of the color of their skin?

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      Thank you, WLP.

  9. Bill Sturgeon
    December 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    How appropriate that you will be appearing on GMP on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13th! If I may give you some advice – Don’t say anything negative about the following people:
    Mayor Dan
    Terry Kinnas
    Larry Kratka
    Santa Clause
    Downtown Pittsfield Inc.
    Downtown Parking
    Or you will join many of us who have been banned by the “New” GOB group! Good Luck, I will be watching.

    • Dave
      December 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Terry Kinnas?

      • Dave
        December 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

        —– hit submit prematurely (my wife hates when I do that) but Bill, if you think Mr. Krol would be adverse to negative comments about Mr. Kinnas on his show, you are delirious.

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      Thanks, Bill. Why are YOU on that list?

  10. joetaxpayer
    December 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Really don’t care about color of there skin, just want them to reside in Pittsfield. At least give Pittsfield residents, affirmative action.

  11. Payroll Patriot
    December 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Krol should have some real legal problems: using city property for his own personal use: Taconic is city property, Krol owns a media company, and does he pay rent to the school department or the city? He is in a position that may have to fund the results of the lawsuit? But this is Palookaville; ask the city employees about their pensions AKA Detroit. Same pattern. Amuso campaign is funded directly by unions; look at the original campaign finance report. Breaking News Just in BS from BS.

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      As you say, “But this is Palookaville.”

  12. amandaWell
    December 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Bill S. you own your words.

  13. nota
    December 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Ya mean b s owns his words. ya gotta love the speaker at the last council meeting Dave C. I’d vote for him in a minute.

  14. Payroll Patriot
    December 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Dan V, what is the difference between mayor Dan B. using the City web site and john krol using city non profit WTRB???

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      I cannot say. I would defer to JK on that question.

    • Mike Ward
      December 4, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      I don’t think it’s wrong for one section of a city website to be for whatever the current Mayor wants to promote. As long as residents can easily access the information they need, they’re free to read or not read the mayor’s section.
      The thing I don’t get about the John Krol WTBR access issue is why none of Krol’s detractors will take him up on the offer to be a guest on the show. Why not use the show to present your counterpoint to whatever wrong-headed idea you believe he is propagandizing?

      • Mike Ward
        December 4, 2013 at 11:05 am #

        I know, “mayor” is not a proper noun.

  15. NBI
    December 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Ed McC, thanks for pointing me to the iBerkshires. What a contrast to the PV. Over there they actually look and feel like a legitimate news sources. They cover all areas of the county and have a nice balance of news, sports, social happenings, etc.

    Unfortunately PV has turned into a one trick pony. Accusing the mayor for everything wrong in the world is just plain boring. I don’t know what Dan B did to Dan V, but his constant attacks feel more personal than professional. Some sources are speculating that PV has become a hired gun for the GOBs and is out to discredit the mayor at all costs. Has he truly sold out to the dark side? The evidence seems to point to that possibility!

    PV, time to move on. There are bigger fish to fry.

    • Sonny
      December 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Hey NBI do you want me to call 911 for you? I’ll report the person who is standing there with a gun to your head making you read planet valenti. Phony!!

    • levitan
      December 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      I noticed that too some time ago. But, the writing is good, and I enjoy the satire.