MAYOR BIANCHI FINDS ACCURACY AND FACT DIS-CONVENIENT IN KROL’S REMARKS ON NAACP LAWSUIT AGAINST PITTSFIELD … ‘PETULANT’ MAYOR BANS CITY OFFICIALS FROM “GOOD MORNING, PITTSFIELD”
By DAN VALENTI
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:
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[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?]
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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.
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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).
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.