Article

!PLANET UPDATE! … PITTSFIELD’S PROPOSED ORDINANCE SEEKING TO OVER-REGULATE FOOD TRUCKS IS AN EXAMPLE OF BAD LEGISLATION, BAD TASTE, & BAD BUSINESS RUN AMUCK

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

ADD 1 TUESDAY, DEC. 10, 2013

In light of the information below, THE PLANET is asking the question: Does Pittsfield have a secret “VIP No-Fee Parking Ticket” list, in which the vehicles of certain of the Chosen Few can park with immunity anywhere they like without having to worry about fines. As you well know, the hoi polloi and others among the unscrubbed, unwashed, and politically unconnected must pay fines the second after they have worn out their welcome in officially designated parking spots, especially downtown.

Our inquiry starts with Pam Tobin of Downtown Pittsfield Inc., for reasons that become immediately apparent after one reads a 2009 story published in the Albany Times-Union. Our correspondent Ed Shepardson has provided a link to that story in the comments section below.

THE PLANET will be back with our findings, we hope, tomorrow, after we hear from (or don’t hear from) Tobin.

Stay tuned.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, DEC. 9, 2013) — Food on the go, a concept embraced by most civilized burgs, naturally finds the stew oily and cold in the city of Pittsfield, a muni where what passes for political “debate” is an enlightening as a runny egg and as satisfying as moldy, marinated turnips.

What in the name of Ernie the Hot Dog Man is all that difficult to understand about food carts? People or ordinary ability and common sense typically do just fine in deciphering the messages when their breakfast cereal talks to them — Snapped, Cracked, and Popped — but in Pittsfield, the Vested Interests can’t even do that. Seems that some among the “Connected Fearful” have gotten into the Administration’s ear about protecting what they perceive as their Divine Right Exemption from Fair and Healthy Gastronomic Competition. Ever compliant, the elected wheedlers have crafted the over-wrought and pompous “ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF THE CITY OF PITTSFIELD, CHAPTER 9, ‘HAWKERS, PEDDLERS AND TRANSIENT VENDORS.”

Pam Tobin, that shill of her former self now selling her services through the auspices of that useless appendage, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. (DPI), tells the city council that food trucks will bring malaria and smallpox to downtown restaurants, where “we have worked long and hard to bring vitality.” Yeah, you and every other freeloader who makes a living off the public trough. To our Right Honorable Good Friends on the City Council: Will one of more of you introduce an initiative that eliminates funding for the taxpayer-funded DPI and bury those leeches in the public sand pile?

Pasquale Arace, who thinks that his family’s four score years at the Highland Restaurant entitles him from a “non-compete” license, told the council’s Ordinance and Rules Subcommittee, “It’s not fair that people can syphon off business.” Pasquale, our good friend, didn’t you learn by now life isn’t fair, especially in an alleged capitalist economy?

“Hawkers” so named in the ordinance doesn’t refer to young males who cruise downtown on skateboards or anyone forcing up big, gooey, green ones to”loog” contentedly away. It refers to those who sell food on the fly. And don’t you love the 19th century ring of the word “peddlers,” which harkens back to the day when the ice man, the milk man, and the fish part visited housewives during that part of the day left unattended by working husbands.

The draft of the proposed ordinance defines “Mobile Food Vendors” (don’t you just love the unnecessary initial capital letters?) as “Any truck, cart, wagon, or towable unit selling food or beverages; except as otherwise defined as ‘Ice Cream Truck” under Massachusetts General Law.’” At this point, THE PLANET reminds the city solicitor’s office that the semicolon usage in the previous sentence is improper. We remind city solicitor Kathy Degnan that semis and commas are NOT EXCHANGEABLE. Mayor Dan Bianchi loves her work, we understand, but we remind Degnan that while the mayor in her puppy eyes walks on water and parts the red ribbons at the waving of his august hand, he, alas, is not grammarian.

The proposed ordinance makes it illegal for any mobile food vendor to do business in the city unless first obtaining a permit. To obtain a permit, these on-the-go food entrepreneurs must (a) sacrifice their first born, (b) swear allegiance to King Daniel the Foist, (c) Have their fingernails removed, (d) dip their raw, bleeding finger tips into a box of Morton’s Salt, and (e) solve Rubrick’s Cube in under 2.17 seconds. If they can meet these requirements, the ensuing footage restriction on where they can and can’t set up for business essentially bans every square foot of downtown Pittsfield except the closed-off alley on Renne Avenue, which has not seen a human footstep since 1984. The “proximity bans” in the ordinance effectively prevent mobile food operators from doing business. This is not right, and it must be rejected.

Who says it’s difficult doing business within the City of Pittsfield? Only anyone who has tried. And please tell us, how difficult is it to see that if food trucks want to move into the downtown, it’s a sign of life. In typical Pittsfield fashion, at least the kind that has become all too familiar in Bianchi’s disastrous reign, “If it’s a sign of life, kill it!” We are thinking of having that saying translated into Latin and put on a desk plaque for Bianchi. It would be his version of Harry Truman‘s, “The buck stops here.” That shall, we promise, be the last time THE PLANET makes any comparison between the spineless Pittsfield mayor and “Give ‘em Hell” Harry.

Here’s a link to the actual proposed ordinance to examine for yourself. Keep in mind that neither Degnan nor Bianchi want you to read this. They prefer their citizens barefoot and pregnant.

http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/planning_and_development/docs/Mobile_Food_Vendor_Ord/Draft_Ordinance_for_Website.pdf

This example of deadly prose notwithstanding, we can tell you that the affected vendors, who will be robbed of a livelihood by this ordinance, aren’t taking this sitting down. THE PLANET has word that the vendors have sought private legal help and that a court challenge will likely happen should the city enact the draconian new law.

Those opposed to mobile food vendors raise seven objections. When examined in light of the facts, the objections are more aptly termed “myths.” They are:

1. Food trucks hurt a city’s restaurants.

2. A truck’s mobility give it an “unfair advantage” over a restaurant because of its mobility.

3. Food trucks don’t have the same cost as brick-and-mortar restaurants.

4. Operating a food truck is easy, another “unfair advantage” over a restaurant.

5. Food trucks are unsanitary.

6. Food trucks clog up sidewalks with customers.

7. Food trucks increase littering in the areas they serve.

Each of these seven myths is easily refuted. We draw upon the research done by the Institute for Justice’s National Street Vending Initiative, particular a study written one year ago by Bert Gall and Lancee Kurcab.

Let’s deal briefly with each “myth.”

(1) Food trucks actually boost business for established restaurants by generating more traffic. “Cities with the most vibrant food-truck scenes also have booming restaurant industries.”

(2) A food truck’s mobility may offer advantages, but it also imposes disadvantages that restaurants don’t have to deal with, including lack of a fixed location, weather dependence, lack of seating for customers, restricted set-up and serve times, vehicular breakdown, and lack of liquor licenses. “In a free-market system, there are really no ‘unfair’ advantages between business models because all are free to used by anyone.”

(3) Food trucks incur most of the same costs restaurants face. They must purchase liability insurance; pay license and permit fees; pay sales, income, and payroll taxes; train new employees; purchase inventory; and pay marketing costs. Moreover, food trucks face expenses not incurred by restaurants such as truck purchases, vehicle maintenance, fuel costs, parking fees, and the like.

(4) Operating a food truck is not easy. Talk to the operator of one and ask. You’ll hear about the hard work that is required to establish and maintain a successful enterprise. Margins are tight, space limited, and the market is always a moving target. With prepping, serving, and cleanup, workdays can run from the wee morning hours to late at night. There’s little time off for vacations or even a butt break. Eighteen-hour workdays are not uncommon.

(5) Food trucks are no more unsanitary or Mr. Clean than any other eatery. Like restaurants, they are subject to inspections by the board of health. In fact, they get inspected more often than the brick-and-mortar joints and tend to be cleaner.

(6) There’s no evidence to support the claim that food trucks cause harmful sidewalk congestion. Anyone who has seen a food truck in action will see customers lining up on the side. There’s plenty of room on the sidewalk. Pittsfield has a lot of fat people, porkers, and wide bodies, but let’s call a spade pole a rake handle.

(7) Any food operation has the potential to generate litter. To single this out as a strike against only food truck operators is silly, stupid, and wrong. If you doubt that, why don’t you follow the paper trail some day between Burger King on First Street and PHS, or Dunkin’ Donuts and PHS, at noontime, when the Little Darlins are allowed to roam free to litter at will without consequence.

From the conclusion of the IJ report:

Food trucks do not have an “unfair” advantage over restaurants. The restaurant business model is more favorable than the food-truck business model in several ways, and food trucks actually help the local restaurant industry. There is no basis for the argument that restaurants need government intervention to “protect” them from food trucks. (And, as several federal courts have recognized, regulation for the sake of mere economic protectionism is constitutionally impermissible.58) Nor is there any basis for the notions that food trucks pose some special threat to public health and safety.

Instead of creating public policy based on these myths, elected officials should allow food trucks to operate freely within their cities, subject only to reasonable health and safety regulations. Doing so is good for the local entrepreneurs, the local economy and the local community.

It is clear what Pittsfield should do with its poorly written, badly intended proposed ordinance: Put it in the deep fryer, coat it with confectionery sugar, and offer it on a snack tray in the waiting area at Bianchi’s office.

Finally, to reward those who made it to the bottom, check out this video. It reminds us of The Little Darlins’ who cross the street at PHS in the morning, at lunch, and at dismissal. Don’t you wish the guy in the car floored it when the Angel stepped in front to dance?

Students get out of hand during Friday’s snowfall

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“She wore no gloves, for neither sun nor wind / Would burn or parch her hands, but to her mind / Or warm or cool them, for they took delight / To play upon those hands, they were so white.”Christopher Marlowe, from “Hero and Leander,” (1598).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

56 Responses to “!PLANET UPDATE! … PITTSFIELD’S PROPOSED ORDINANCE SEEKING TO OVER-REGULATE FOOD TRUCKS IS AN EXAMPLE OF BAD LEGISLATION, BAD TASTE, & BAD BUSINESS RUN AMUCK”

  1. outfox
    December 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Kathy Lloyd and her truck made the national media over the summer with their food truck, and the city of Pittsfield could have used this as part of a PR campaign to sell employers on moving here, but no…the provincialism around these parts is both staggering and frightening. Brilliant marketing move by How We Roll to offer $1 egg rolls from the truck before the meeting; sadly, they are up against St. Joe’s now, which is like a power base unto itself around here—St. Joe’s seems to supplement and enhance the SOBs, er, I mean, GOBs. Anyway, I’d love to seea food truck parade down North St., followed by major feasting by those of us who support the trucks. When I was in college in Philadelphia, that’s where we ate so much of the time, from the food trucks. Most of them are NOT roach coaches; in fact bring diversity to the table… How sad that the bricks and mortar merchants cannot trust we consumers to know what we want for lunch on any given day, and are deciding on our behalf that we really would prefer their establishments. Some people probably do go to the same restaurant every day; as I retired chef, I find that idea kinda horrifying, but I also would not force feed my food choices to the consumer who prefers the comfort of the same joint every day. I’m hoping KAthy LLoyd willl tap into a food truck network and have a food truck parade down North St, (provided, of course, that the can get the parade license…) as part protest/ part celebration of food culture.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      OUTFOX
      What was the national news that Kathy made? We don’t recall.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. Anyone who has been “off the farm” and beyond the borders of Berkshire County likely have experiences with food trucks. They are GREAT for the downtown.

      • outfox
        December 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

        How We Roll was on Good Morning America in early July, in a food truck competition. They did not win, but they got several minutes of airtime

        • danvalenti
          December 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

          Thanks, FOX

        • Magic
          December 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

          All around the country there are food truck competitions. And they fun to watch, I bet more fun to be involved in. I wish “How We Roll” the best of luck.
          My hope is that Pittsfield decision makers will start really looking out for us, we the people of Pittsfield. Even though Dan Bianchi is still in office maybe some of the new faces will make a difference. I have high hopes.

      • Kathy Lloyd
        December 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

        We tied for 3rd place in a national food truck competition on Live! with Kelly and Michael. We put a big “Go Pittsfield!” sign right behind Michael Strahan.

        Kate, thanks for sticking up for us!

  2. dusty
    December 9, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Tobins case against the food trucks looks very weak. If they can afford good legal backing the results will add to the embarrassment the city has been getting from all corners lately.

    By the way, if the city’s health inspectors found unsanitary conditions in a North street restaurant would anyone ever hear about it? I am going out on a limb and assuming they do get inspected once in a while.

  3. Russell Moody
    December 9, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    Hey Dan…
    Great article… as a footnote, the parking study ($75,000) to tell us to be more creative in our use of downtown has Tobin’s little paws all over it. It will also affect the mobile food truck debate.

    I have it on pretty good authority that Tobin was ‘relieved of her duties’ over in New York state (Troy, or Albany… i’m not sure) in the midst of a parking scandal. This is the ‘ticket’ — Tobin had hundreds of ‘no-fine’ parking tickets ‘disappear’ thanks to her connections in city government while working in a similar capacity as she does for Pittsfield.

    Abuse of power and position? It would not surprise. Again, thank you for your work.

    Russell

      • scott
        December 9, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        Its nice to have connections.

      • danvalenti
        December 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

        ED
        Great find!

    • dusty
      December 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Is everyone associated with “cultural Pittsfield” in the connected circle? Does anyone remember Dan O’Connell? Apparently he was not connected and all the skills and talents he had and all the long term contributions he made were not good enough for him to be kept on once Pittsfield became the cultural mecca of the world.

      I can’t really remember if this was before or after it was discovered that baseball was invented in Pittsfield.

      • Russell Moody
        December 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

        Dan was a great guy…

      • danvalenti
        December 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

        Love that bone-dry last line, DUSTY!

      • Jim Gleason
        December 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

        Funny comments about the cultural center of the world and baseball being invented here, both fabrications (a nice way to say lies) made up by the ruberto fiasco and continued under this administration.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      RUSS
      Check out the article that Ed Shepardson posted.

      • Russell Moody
        December 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

        I know… right? What to do? What to say?

  4. nota
    December 9, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Tobin actually received 736 ghost parking tickets or no fine tickets, nice!

  5. scott
    December 9, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    We’ve talked about this issue before and most agreed and its proven that competition drives business and gives the consumer more better quality options. Shame on the mayor for trying to control and legislate away individual freedom and Liberty. Theres no end to the lengths this administration wil go. I really thought it would be diffetent boy was I wrong. We have been fooled on a local and national level we took the promisses of hope change and transparency hook line and sinker.

    • Joe Blow
      December 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      I voted for Bianchi in his first term but sure as hell didn’t fall for Obama and his B.S. This country is screwed on all levels and I have a feeling it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      Correct. The more competition, the more choices. The more choices, the better the quality and service. The better the quality and service, the more customers.

  6. anne white
    December 9, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Thats too bad. I work in downtown and would love it if there were more options.

    It is like book stores outlawing e books.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Thank you, ANN. We appreciate your input. Downtown Pittsfield doesn’t, and neither does the mayor’s office.

  7. Thomas More
    December 9, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Is this the “shocking news as it pertains to “official” Pittsfield” we were promised? Pasquale should smarten up and toss a few lunches Dan’s way like the RLI and Blantyre do and he’ll soon have the best restaurant around.

  8. Ron Kitterman
    December 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Spray paint graffiti on a sheep on North St not a problem, park a food truck anywhere near the cultural arts mecca and the local government pillars scurry quicker than Rob Ford token on a crack pipe to come up with some new ordinances on no parking fines and punishing food vendors, Merry Christmas to all.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      Yeah, Pittsfield certainly has its priorities in order.

  9. LP
    December 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Great piece, Planet and it blows away what hte Bb has done on this issue. Well the BB article just blows. The information about Tobin is most interesting. And we have her having any any any any say on the parking study? its not even the election ans already I’m in a ‘lets get rid of the bums’ mood. Must be the Pittsfield version of the Christmas Spirit.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Thank you, LP. Keep your anger high. It is justified.

  10. Bill Sturgeon
    December 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    That sucking sound you hear is the “Life of Local Businesses” leaving the “Downtown”! North Street can be saved, but the rescue has to start “NOW”!
    I was almost rear-ended today, coming around the corner from East Street onto to North. Why BECAUSE there were two delivery trucks parked and unloading something into the old “Pop Corner’ Bank. The two delivery vehicles were a traffic hazard and they were blocking a handicap parking space. I have pictures! What’s is ironic one of the delivery truck’s belongs to a Downtown Inc. “Big Shot!! I know that the dangerous situation lasted at least an hour.

    • Ed Shepardson
      December 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

      Man up. Who’s the truck belong to? Who’s the BigShot?

      • danvalenti
        December 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

        Yes, our inquiring minds would like to know.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      BILL
      Most interesting, especially in light of the revelations about Pam Tobin’s previous gig in Albany and her VIP no-fee parking status. Was it her vehicle? Was it ticketed?

      • acheshirecat
        December 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

        Happened to be walking by the “pop corner” bank today on my way to the museum. The delivery trucks where from an office furniture company. I asked one of the moving guys who was moving in, and he said he didn’t know. He said they were setting up in the old bank lobby and setting up 30 desks. Yes they were parked just as you round the corner, but It seems that the people not taking pictures as they were driving had no problems negotiating the turn. Sorry Bill but no big deal here.

        • Bill Sturgeon
          December 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

          acheshirecat
          I had to stop because traffic was backed-up so I took some pictures. I agree it not “Big Deal” In itself, rather
          , it is the accumulative effect & affect that all if these incidents ( j-walking, double parking, bikes & skateboarders) have on people and partially explains why people don’t shop downtown. Also, if it were either of us we would be ticketed. They should have had a police officer directing traffic. I’am a supporter if Downtown Pittsfield I shop there my wife and I walk on North St. a few times a week.

          Thomas Moore please cite the law that backs up your statement. Ron Kitterman and I were both beat cops and I never heard of your law. What use to happen was that the vendors bought the parking spaces for the time that they needed them. Like Allegrone is doing on Federal &Fenn streets.

          I once worked for a boss who instilled in me, “Take care of the small things because if you don’t they will become big things and then you will have big problems.

          • Mike Ward
            December 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

            “j-walking, double parking, bikes…”

            Bikes are not a crime, Bill. Riding a bike on the sidewalk however is a crime in Downton Pittsfield.

    • Thomas More
      December 10, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      The law says that if someone is actively making a delivery they can double-park. Perhaps you can suggest a better way to deliver furniture on North St. The “Big Shot” your talking about has a loading zone in front of his store taking two parking spaces that sit empty 23 1/2 hours a day. Most of the loading is done through a side door in Palace Park.

  11. skier1
    December 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    The food truckgate sounds similar to the great Lenox B & B’s going after the homeowners for renting out their houses for under a month. Ridiculous! Competition can be good. Newport has a food truck festival that’s fabulous. Delicious!!!! Was wondering when this problem would arise. Just thought it would’ve been the negative nellies in Lenox.

  12. joetaxpayer
    December 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Once St.Joe’s starts paying taxes,then they can chime in on the food truck fiasco.

    • danvalenti
      December 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      JOE
      Good point. St. Joe’s has NO SAY. It is tax-exempt.

      • Russell Moody
        December 10, 2013 at 12:30 am #

        Just because an institution is tax exempt doesn’t mean it has no voice, has no opinion or shouldn’t be heard. Institutions are made of people and all people have a voice… even parishioners. St. Joe has tax exempt status according to the laws of the land.

        Tax exempt status for churches, synagogues and service institutions make it possible for them to serve.
        First United Methodist
        St. Stephen
        South Congregational
        St. Joseph
        The Salvation Army
        The Christian Center
        First Baptist
        Reigning Love
        Pittsfield Church of Christ
        Temple Anshe Amunim
        Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
        and others… realize that the charge of ‘being a good citizen’ includes service to our fellow man. As one example, each of these entities cooperate to provide a food safety net in our city.

        Don’t like the tax exempt law? Well, then change it. That is our right, that is our choice, that is our vote.

        St. Joseph and the other churches in town do more than make up for their not paying property taxes in service to the community. St. Joe is a partner in attempting to fill in the cracks through which so many struggle not to fall. Do they have a voice? Sure they do. People make up the institution (ideally.) (Please… I am not saying ‘institutions are people’ — lol)

        However, St. Joseph’s parish should get no special treatment either because they are a church. They do not own the space in front of their church building. That belongs to the people… but we should at least listen and even encourage the dialogue that moves us forward together to make Pittsfield a healthy place in which to live and do our business.

        • dusty
          December 10, 2013 at 1:53 am #

          Berkshire Medical Center is tax exempt and you had better believe they have a voice in what happens in town and it is heard loud and clear at city hall.

          Try opening a competing business and see how far you get.

  13. outfox
    December 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    On their fb page,How We Roll announced a food truck rodeo here in the spring. Way to go Kathy!

    • scott
      December 10, 2013 at 4:57 am #

      I heard the rabbit eggrolls were excellent but Im not really the type who buys fast food off a truck. Although I’d most likly never eat from them I support their right to do business. Of course theres a lot if restaurants diwntown I’d never eat at. Too many to list. I thought thesame thing when I heard about the ordinance stopping people from renting thier homes for less than a month. No I have a dog in that fight as a lot of my business comes from second homeowners and the ones who rent need maintenance more frequently. Hotels and b&b’s never call me. Bunch of cheapos!

      • Kathy Lloyd
        December 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

        Scott, any time you want to swing by please do. All of our food is as local and organic as it gets. We are New Orleans trained foodies and I assure just because we are mobile and we get your food to you quickly we are by no means fast food. Last week we were serving local duck breast seared just past medium rare, dressed with an organic blackberry bourbon sauce and served over (with?) pureed acorn squash from our organic garden. All in an egg roll wrapper? Yes. Fast food? I don’t think so.

  14. Jim Gleason
    December 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    This should be of concern to Pittsfield government but in a whole different way than they’re going at it. i believe that competition is a great thing for any city, especially a dead place like downtown Pittsfield.All of these fantasies expounded upon by these organizations such as DPI and the chamber of commerce that downtown is a bustling place are just that, fantasies.That strip of road, on which millions of taxpayer dollars has been spent, is usually deader than a doornail on any occasion I have had to drive down there in the past years.Just because a few thousand people come there on the third Thursday of the month in summer doesn’t make it a bustling location.The local powers that be, including John Krol’s propaganda hour, urge people to do their Christmas shopping on North St. The question is, what can you get up there that any normal adult or kid would want for Christmas )YES I SAID CHRISTMAS, NOT THE HOLIDAYS).You can’t get a pair of Levi’s up there. You can’t get any music, as in CD’s or vinyl records or anything associated with that up there.You can get a small selection of toys, but they’re very expensive. I can go to Amazon and get similar things for half the price.If you want to wear a prom dress to Christmas dinner you’re in great shape if you shop up there, there being several places to get those.Regarding the food trucks again, I say free enterprise is the base of our country. if you don’t like the competition, make your product better and people will go to your establishment. The people in the food truck had a great idea, and instead of congratulating them on their idea and welcoming them, the government tries to legislate them into oblivion.It seems to me that business is welcome here but only if you’re willing to do business THEIR way, not yours.This is all bullshit and shouldn’t even be an issue. These people and more like them should be encouraged, not chastised, and urged to expand. Things should change here, but like always, they won’t.

    • joetaxpayer
      December 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Jim, If anyone needed some holiday Bud, they should be able to score some downtown.

  15. Mr. X
    December 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    DV

    I heard this morning that Sysco Foods is buying US Foods for alot of money. What do you think this now lack of competition will do to that line of business? You always see both of their trucks all over the county, competing against eachother. Will this mean higher prices for their products sold to restaurants? And then passed onto you know who?

    • scott
      December 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      My philosphy is if youre gonna spend that kind of money on a meal why not just go to the supetmarket? I fed thee adults and two kids top quality salmon and organic brocoli from guidos for $45 that including a bottle of wine and egg rolls for appetizers. People talk about eating “organic” beung expensive but spend money on crap out at second rate restaurants two three times a week. I will say baba loius is good andreadonable and I dont know about “organic” but bombay in Lee is worth the money. The food at thosr places is at least fresh.

  16. Gene
    December 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I welcome the food trucks. They are upscale in quality but lower in price than the typical 9third rate) Pittsfield restaurant. Also DV I read the article to the end and saw that disgusting video of ‘the children’ raising cin with the autos. Nice little bonus you stuck in there.

  17. Gene
    December 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    oops meant “raising cain”

  18. Joe Pinhead
    December 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    We each vote everyday with our dollars. Limiting our choices will not only hurt the consumer but will strangle the business community and climate as well. If those that are whining so desired they could put in a grab n go window that caters to the same clientele as the food trucks. That would take more effort than many are used to. After all it doesn’t take much to place a phone call and demand that action be taken now does it?
    I travel both domestically and internationally and I seek the food trucks out. It is an inexpensive way of sampling cuisine that is new, fresh and more often than not quick ( sorry fast food is so over used) and generally very healthy. I will go further and state that more times than not in an area with a healthy mix of both mortar and mobile street food you will find a vibrant mix of business from arts and theater to clothing and other retail outlets.
    We are all in this together if one business succeeds without handouts we all succeed, and I would rather have an eggroll in my face, than egg on my face.

    Just sayin

  19. Joe Blow
    December 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I’m so sick of hearing about downtown and the amount of taxpayer money being pissed away on it. We should be putting the time and resources on bringing living wage jobs back to Pittsfield. If living wage jobs were plentiful, downtown would restore itself organically. How We Roll picked up on a national trend and brought it to Pittsfield,only to be shit on by the powers that be. The
    restaurateurs opposing the trucks should get a grip and stop resting on their laurels. Like others said this is the USA and competition is a great thing. Pittsfield needs a revolution and 85% of politicians,board and committee member need to go!

    • scott
      December 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      Why do you think I vited against the charter maybe we do need to tweak things a littke but I sure as heck dont trust Bianchi and his people in doing so. Good post btwjoe!

  20. nota
    December 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Interi council president Low,already had a confusing vote on a clerk for the charter commission, then proceeded to call the councilor’s by the last name, leaving out Councilor,real Classy, Low.

  21. nota
    December 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    LOw

    is confusing evryone and has lost control of the meeting.

  22. Tito
    December 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I am watching this meeting and he is just not a very good council president, vote Melissa.