BERKOWITZ “THE FIX IS IN” SABOURIN, a.k.a. LADY LIGHT WEIGHT, WINS APPROVAL TO SERVE ‘THE EMPTY SUIT’
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, APRIL 25-27, 2014) — What happens when The Empty Suit subsumes Lady Light Weight? No, this is not a question for Albert Einstein or anyone connected with quantum physics. You need not consult the theologians or the philosophers. Rather, it is a matter more for the realm of politics, a region not typically for the faint of heart. In the Podunk of Pittsfield, an especial no-man’s land of greed and dysfunction, the operating sentences are, “I got mine,” and “Screw you.” This is a region best dealt with by employing satire, the bite of which brings humor to its most informative and stinging zenith.
The Empty Suit is Mayor Dan Bianchi, a political zero who, rumor has it, saw his own shadow on Ground Hog’s Day, got a bad case of official “pink panty,” and hasn’t been seen since. Lady Light Weight is Julia Berkowitz Sabourin, Bianchi’s hand-picked “Fix Is In” choice to replace Mary McGinnis as the city’s director of administrative services (a job title, by the way, that tells you absolutely nothing).
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Does Lady Light Weight’s name sound familiar? It should. She headed the lynch mob The Empty Suit evidently employed to put school committee member Terry Kinnas on trial for the heinous crime of trying to actually represent the citizens of Pittsfield. It became famous locally after THE PLANET dubbed it The Scopes Monkey Trial.
To briefly recap the events surrounding the trial, Kinnas tried to attend a public meeting of the Reid Community Outreach Subcommittee. Berkowitz Sabourin chaired that group. Kinnas found the doors locked, with no sign posted, among the irregularities. When he finally gained access, Kinnas gave Berkowitz Sabourin and the subcommittee members a lesson in civics. He also notified Martha Coakley, state attorney general and keeper of the Open Meeting Laws. Coakley later found in favor of Kinnas on all counts. In the ultimate vindication, Coakley’s office scolded Berkowitz Sabourin and in official language, basically told her, “Honey, you better figure out what the hell you’re doing before you try going about The People’s business.”
Of course, that was after Lady Light Weight and her Master, Fifty Shades of Bianchi, trumped up the fake charges against Kinnas and put him on “trial.” Kinnas got red-faced, they said. He pounded on the table. His body language was threatening to committee members.
If you know Terry Kinnas as well as we do, you know this man is a gentleman at all times and conducts his public business with a rare combination of composure, class, and logic. Actually, the description — “red-faced, pounding, yelling, threatening” — sounds more like what sources said of Mayor Bianchi’s behavior at Tuesday’s council meeting, when they say he lost his cool after Kinnas dared share the true numbers behind the cost of operating school buses in-house.
THE PLANET dubs Berkowitz Sabourin Lady Light Weight based on our one and only in-person contact with her. This came immediately following the Monkey Trial, which we attended as a member of the press. We interviewed her. Let’s put this mildly: She showed about as much gravitas and intellectual rigor that night as a a sackful of helium.
Watching her perform during the testimony phase of the trial and later interviewing her, it reminded us of one of those dreadful interviews that Miss America candidates must stumble through. It was the only time we’ve ever knew when it meant to be Bert Parks. You know the interviews we’re talking about, the ones that call to mind such collective nouns as “bimbos” and “airheads.” Perhaps as Bianchi’s admin person, Miss Scopes Monkey Trial of 2013 will “want to work for world peace and help all the starving children.”
As for The Fix Is In, THE PLANET predicted her appointment weeks before it became official. Let’s give you a brief flash back to THE PLANET of March 31, when we prophetically wrote:
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FROM PLANET 3/31/14: SPOILER ALERT! We shall soon reveal the name of the person the mayor has already decided upon to succeed MM. Don’t tell anyone you know about it, because this was supposed to be an Almighty Secret. The mayor doesn’t want you to know, because (a) it may violate some laws pertaining to the hiring of people for public positions, and (b) he wants people to believe his Eddie Haskell impersonation, that he cares about fairness and good government. That’s why you’re not supposed to know anything about the fact that the mayor has chosen a person with the initials of Julie Sabourin to be his new aide.
As one put it, “The Fix is in.” Sources say the city will go through the usual charade of posting the position, pretend to conduct the “nationwide search,” and interview prospective candidates. None of it, they say, will be legitimate, because the mayor has already decided on McGuines’ successor.
A highly placed source spills it: “They decided who is getting the job a few weeks ago. It’s a teacher from Reid Middle School named Julie Sabourin. She has been going around telling everyone she has the job. … I wonder how the NAACP would feel about this? Another political hire decided well before the job posting and not to a person of color.”
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That is what we wrote at the end of March. My, how smart, how perceptive, how correct we were … and still are. In horseshoes, they call that type of accuracy a ringer.
Berkowitz Sabourin’s resume, submitted to taxpayers as evidence of her suitability for the job of Bianchi’s assistant, leaves any halfway intelligent reader with the urge to pray for divine intervention on behalf of the poor citizens of Pittsfield. Lady Light Weight starts off her resume with this gem:
“Resourceful leader adepts at implementing high-profile programs targeted for diverse constituencies. Ability to develop integrated strategies aimed at expanding public policy agenda and media endorsements.”
Quite a “say-nothing” opening. How “twenny-somthin.'” How “twittered.” How Honey Boo-Booed. We can almost see Berkowitz Sabourin copying and pasting this boilerplate from the online version of “Resumes for Dummies.” Lady Light Weight’s “one size fits all” opening doesn’t conclusively prove but strongly suggests that for this curriculum vitae, the girl was merely going through the motions, and why not?
Bianchi evidently gave her this $50K plum+bennies a priori as a reward for her work in “The Persecution and Assassination of Terry Kinnas as Performed by the Inmates of the Pittsfield School Committee Under the Direction of The Marquis de Bianchi.” Most know this piss-poor drama by its proper name: The Scopes Monkey Trial.
Those interested in due process and in their civil rights can rightly demand that the mayor share with us the due diligence he made in filling this position. Was the job legally posted? Were candidates called in for interviews? What other looking did the city and the mayor do? If the mayor conducted an honest search, then how come THE PLANET learned about Berkowitz Sabourin’s ascendancy before the job was publicly posted? We aren’t genuinely psychic. We aren’t even one of them phony psychics that have set up shop in Pittsfield.
We further learn from her resume that Lady Light Weight has a certification in “Olweus Bullying Trainer.”
“Olweus Bullying Trainer.” THE PLANET is not making this up.
She then tells us that as a 7th grade “English Language Arts Teacher,” whatever that is, she “Uses data daily to develop tiered instruction …”
“Uses data to develop tiered instruction.” MRS. PLANET does the same thing when she makes out a grocery list.
She also has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from a couple of diploma mills (at least this is what her resume claims).
Putting all this gobbledygook together, it does not spell “M.O.T.H.E.R.”
We wonder whether Lady Light Weight’s expertise in the “Bullying Trainer” and “tiered” instruction involving “data” shall produce many “tearful” (“tiered”?) moments for the poor citizens of Pittsfield, who haven’t had a moment’s relief from the embittering wind since The Empty Suit took the oath? That remains to be seen. Benefits of the doubt normally precede speculative judgment. This isn’t normal, though. This is Pittsfield.
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Berkowitz Sabourin appears to be Supergirl, though. Her Kryptonian name is probably: “Duz-al.” Her resume tells us that she is concurrently:
— “Administrator & Grant Co-Author (2013-present),”
— “7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher (2009-present),”
— “Team Leader (2011-present),” and
— “Chairperson of Reid Community Outreach Subcommittee (2012-present).”
That adds up to four concurrent jobs, up to “present.”
Hmmm. About that Reid Community Outreach Subcommittee position, though, there’s something odd. Lady Light Weight’s resume, as indicated by the word “present,” attests that the committee is still in existence. As we recall, however, when the state attorney general’s office found the subcommittee outside the law for its actions during the Scopes Monkey Trial and demanded remedial action, didn’t Berkowitz Sabourin attest that the committee had disbanded?
Which is it? How can both of these statements be true? And at what point does an untruth on a resume disqualify a person for a job?
For her technology skills, she lists: “Promethean Board and tablet trained” (must be a form of water boarding). “Gmail, Google Docs., Pages, Power Point, IPhoto, ICal, Imovie.”
THE PLANET could be wrong, but don’t kids learn that stuff now in 2nd grade?
As you can see, it is apparent The Empty Suit preordained this woman from the moment she was formed and shaped from the rib of the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Guess the old saying it true: You get what you pay for.
For the record, Mary McGinnis, the former director of administrative services, submitted her resignation letter to Bianchi on April 16. Here is the entirety of her statement to the mayor:
“I am sending a notice of resignation for the position of Director of Administrative Services that I have filled for the last year. My last day at city hall will be Thursday, May 1st, 2014. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the City of Pittsfield in this capacity.”
She did not say a word in her letter about Bianchi’s attitudes toward blacks. She did not accuse him of making “watermelon and fried chicken” jokes. She did not claim to have a picture of him in blackface.
“It’s cherry pink and apple blossom white when your true love comes your way.” — Perez Prado, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.