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.”

Mighty impressive.

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.”






  1. Dave M.
    April 25, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    These are the qualifications as listed for the position:

    The desired candidate must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, along with strong public relation skills. The candidate must be extremely well organized, with the ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks according to prescribed time schedules. Additional qualifications necessary are as follows:

    Preferably a Masters in Public Administration, or Bachelor’s Degree in a related field, plus a minimum of five years’ experience in state or local government.

    A masters in English is NOT related to public admin.
    Teaching 7th grade is NOT experience in state or local governmnent

    Advanced computer skills and working knowledge of Microsoft applications; experience with MUNIS software a plus.

    Google is NOT a Microsoft application – At least she could have put down Word!

    Thorough knowledge of municipal administration policies and procedures.

    Where would this be?

    Demonstrated experience in proper administrative practices.

    “Administrative practices”.. not evident from teaching english

    Good judgment in interfacing with citizens, consultants, department managers, elected officials, city employees, the business community and state and federal agencies.

    the one interface experience resulted in a reprimand from state government officials.

    If this is the one that got picked (before the filing date for the job) I’d love to see the ones not chosen!!

    This makes a mockery of selection process. It is appointments like this that created civil service.or the need for one.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      Excellent. The qualifications and the person who got the job seem to be poles apart.

  2. Nota
    April 25, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Seem like the quicker picker upper, Bounty’ will do as she’s told and when she’s told, and at 50 g plus bennies! Where we’re the candidates, especially the minority?

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Minority? Not wanted in Pittsfield.

  3. Ron Kitterman
    April 25, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Nice catch on the Promethean Board trainned bullet point, I’m a blackboard and chalk trainned guy myself the nuns at the old St. Mary’s provided extensive Catechism training clapping the erasers, jury is still out on the Mayor connection. Wasn’t that one of the meeting Mr. Mayor was absent from ? So, I still think it fell under the nationwide search criteria.

  4. Scott
    April 25, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Although there is a lot of comedic value in this blog entry it’s very harsh.

    I agree on Bianchi he’s just more of the same old crap appointing all his friends which is why he’s using legal obstacles to keep the harassment charges quiet just like he did with the methadone clinic mess. He likes to say he’s transparent but uses fictional legal walls created in his own mind to avoid commenting on and ultimately incriminating himself. I hope a better candidate runs against him next election.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      “Harsh” is what Bianchi and Sabourin didto Terry Kinnas and every citizen who believes in open government.

      • Scott
        April 26, 2014 at 8:14 am #

        I agree but when you criticize and apply stereo types it only weakens your argument. There’s enough to go on with out the added personal attacks. But hey at least you’re using your real name.

  5. levitan
    April 25, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Ron, credit where it’s due, please. It was Levitan who pointed out her posting smart toys and Apple freeware has the extent of her ‘skill’s.’ The business about grant writing and curriculum developing is puffery, which is perfectly legal but customer beware.

    Dan, these days you bring back distant memories of a certain journalist’s writing on his travels with Dick and his Fear And Loathing. Nice.

    • levitan
      April 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Regarding H S Thompson, that’s a compliment. Gonzo is good.

      • ed shepardson
        April 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

        Dan is not mimicking Hunter Thompson.

        • levitan
          April 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

          Ed, I could make any number of observations too, but why? I like the style of this issue, and the flavor of today is gonzo.

          Now, go to bed.

          • ed shepardson
            April 26, 2014 at 3:42 am #

            I’m sorry. I thought this was Planet Valenti, not Topix.

          • danvalenti
            April 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

            ED & LEVITAN
            Guys, guy, play nice.

          • levitan
            April 26, 2014 at 7:53 am #

            Your apology is accepted. Thanks.

          • levitan
            April 26, 2014 at 8:06 am #

            It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise. Our Barbie-doll president, with his Barbie-doll wife and his boxful of Barbie-doll children is also America’s answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string-warts on nights when the moon comes too close…

            H.S.T., F & L On The Campaign Trail.

            Thanks, Dan, Hunter’s Path is a strange and difficult one.

          • danvalenti
            April 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

            Great excerpt, LEV. I first encountered Hunter S. during the 1976 campaign.

          • ed shepardson
            April 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

            Mr. Levitan,

            You and Jonathon Melle have racked up 15 of the 45 posts here, or, as my math experts tell me, one third of the posts. Your 12 posts, and you may not be finished, represent nearly half of the anonymous posts. You should be proud.

          • levitan
            April 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm #


            Due to the peculiar method of this blog, I would make a computation that attributes word count rather than paragraph returns. Also, due to your urge to one-up, I am counter-urged to one up you. Which may be bad for my point/counterpoint score which I have admittedly been neglecting today.

            I’d play golf with you, but I still won’t give you my name or digits.

    • levitan
      April 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      Back to you, Dan. I was playing purty nice, but Ed wants to take it to the mud pit. Why deny us boys our fun? He’s plenty witty, and I’m happy to take him to the floor.

      Regarding HT, I was looking for the description of Nixon’s Cabinet turning into large bats and taking flight to the sky from the Oval Office. It’s a spectacular vision, likely happened, and I’m certain you can put your finger on it.

      • ed shepardson
        April 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

        First of all, Dan, how can I play nice, or not nice, with someone who does not have the courage to reveal his, or her, true identity. Second, Mr/Mrs Levitan, the majority of your many posts here have nothing to do with the the issue brought forth by Planet Valenti. I’m hoping you’re not one of those people who, when given a forum, thinks they are important because they have something to say, no matter how irrelevant.

        • danvalenti
          April 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

          Well, I have to play nice all the time with people who do not reveal their true identities. As to your second point, you should know that my standard is: “Does the comment move the issue forward.” There has to be much leeway. That being said, we have banned certain commenters (not many, less than five), put several on probation, and issues warnings to many more. It’s all part of policing the site so that we keep the discussions at as high a level as possible.

          • levitan
            April 26, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

            Actually, Ed has said nothing of matter at all. The essence of his post is, “no, it’s not and levitan is not your legal name.’ Plus a few ad hominen attacks.

            Ed, if you want a duel, name the place, I choose the weapons.

          • danvalenti
            April 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

            OK. How about coffee, on THE PLANET. LEV, ED, and THE PLANET. You folks up for it?

      • danvalenti
        April 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

        The best suggestion is that you and Ed play golf. THE PLANET will be there as the third, should you need a chaperone.

        • ed shepardson
          April 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

          Can’t play golf with a ghost, Dan. Game is hard enough.

  6. Thomas More
    April 25, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Bet all you Boston College grads are happy to hear that the Planet considers your alma mater a diploma mill.

    • Tim Bartini
      April 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      I got my associates agree from Berkshire Community College. Is BCC a diploma mill? Dan don’t you teach English there?

      • Tim Bartini
        April 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm #


      • Pat
        April 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        I get what Dan means about colleges being diploma mills. Colleges are handing out diplomas to anyone and are not too particular about whether or not they actually learned everything they should have. We have journalists writing stories in the BE and many of them don’t know the rules of grammar. We have college graduates who don’t like to read. We have college graduates who know more about popular Hollywood stars and their love lives than they do about how the government works and the names of their local politicians. It used to be that college gave people a life long love of learning and culture, but now a college degree doesn’t seem to mean as much in terms of the quality of education, but it’s more like college grads are being turned out like a production line.

        • levitan
          April 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

          I went to a diploma mill too. Had to work damned hard, but little chance I wouldn’t get a diploma. Hence the paradox of pain and suffering known as Education. You have no idea what it’s worth, you must work hard to get through, and loans will mount that will follow you to retirement, but the degree will happen unless you bail out on the finals.

        • danvalenti
          April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

          Thank you. You get it!

      • danvalenti
        April 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

        @ TIMMY: Yes, in point of fact. I do. And your point is?

  7. amandaWell
    April 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Anyone here get a phone message telling us to thank state representative Farley Bouvier for making this a better place to live, work and raise a family.

    • Pat
      April 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Yes, I did. I though it was strange.

      • B
        April 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

        I also got the call, but hung up when I figured what type of call it was.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      Say you aren’t serious. Say this is a joke. Tell me this is satire. Please.

    • italia
      April 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      I had a call left on my recorder. Deleted it as soon as I could.

      • Downtown Dweller
        April 26, 2014 at 6:35 am #

        Nope. Not a joke nor satire. I got one too. Since I detest robo-calls I deleted it without listening to it.

  8. Jonathan Melle
    April 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    “Julia B. Sabourin won unanimous City Council approval” versus Dan Valenti’s pseudo-intellectual criticism of a young woman who will serve in Mayor Dan Bianchi’s office.
    “Julia Sabourin said her interest in applying for the city post also stems from undergraduate work she did at Boston College” versus Dan Valenti’s unfairly insulting her education as “a diploma mill”.
    It seems that Dan Valenti’s dislike for Dan Bianchi has warped his flawed analysis of Julia Sabourin. Dan Valenti is off-base about this young woman. Dan Valenti owes her an apology!

  9. amandaWell
    April 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    And here is the job description: answer phone
    Mayor is not in
    can I help you?

    • billy
      April 27, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Lmao so true

  10. Nota
    April 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Jonatha, wouldn’t you have preferred a minority or better yet, a veteran to replace Mary?

    • Jonathan Melle
      April 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      Let us all give Julia B. Sabourin a fair shake at her new job that she will start next month in May 2014. If she does a good job, give her praise. If she doesn’t work out, show her the exit door.
      I am a Disabled Veteran who served our nation Honorably in the U.S. Army, and I believe in being fair to people. Dan Valenti is setting Julia Sabourin up for failure. He is being unfair to this young woman. Just because Dan Valenti dislikes Dan Bianchi doesn’t mean he has to give Julia Sabourin a hard time. Let us see how she does first before we criticize her!

      • danvalenti
        April 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

        Wow, J, this is a stretch, even for you.

  11. Gene
    April 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Yes Dan owes an apology. I mean Dan Bianchi. He owes an apology to any and all candidates who might have applied for this job, or who would have otherwise applied for this job if the fix wasn’t in. DV owes no one an apology. He’s in for a prize in fact.
    Reason: He called this long long before it happened. Thank you Planet.

    • Jonathan Melle
      April 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      more of the same…just another day in the annals of Pittsfield politics!

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Nicely done, GENE.

  12. Pat
    April 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    I get what Dan means about colleges being diploma mills. Colleges are handing out diplomas to anyone and are not too particular about whether or not they actually learned everything they should have. We have journalists writing stories in the BE and many of them don’t know the rules of grammar. We have college graduates who don’t like to read. We have college graduates who know more about popular Hollywood stars and their love lives than they do about how the government works and the names of their local politicians. It used to be that college gave people a life long love of learning and culture, but now a college degree doesn’t seem to mean as much in terms of the quality of education, but it’s more like college grads are being turned out like a production line.

    • levitan
      April 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      Colleges are handing out diplomas to anyone and are not too particular about whether or not they actually learned everything they should have

      You may call it a pot if you must, but don’t please put it on the stove.

  13. dusty
    April 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Bianchi s behavior is reason number one why I was against the new charter and giving the mayor a four year term. This is some scary stuff when power is out of control and you can’t easily fix the situation.

    Bianchi will soon be history but someone like him is sure to be waiting in the wings.

    • levitan
      April 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      C’mon Dusty, I tend to agree with you. The Charter and this plum (non) job are unrelated. The complaint about the puffed up resume of Sabourin is jarring on account of connections combined with political reward consisting of money, prestige, and future payoff. The Charter is not itself a ne,’ problem. But patronage is very old.

      From what I had observed sitting on Charter meetings, that council tried to offset the potential for abuse of power. McCarthy spoke well on those points.

    • levitan
      April 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      Plus, Ruberto made it a day well wasted by appointing friends and allies to public jobs. If he had served another term, maybe the rest of North Street would have been a tax-free Arts and Entertainment business.

      • levitan
        April 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

        meant to say, ‘businessf’nzone’ Enterprise.

        Bad day here in the Free State of Massachusetts. 51st State, freshly declared, and I may be willing to accept terms favorable to broadening my boundaries. First I take my neighbors’ shrubs. Then applications will be heard.

    • billy
      April 27, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      When you have a group of councilors that work for the mayor instead of their people ,a solicitor that’s gives personal opinions instead of quoting laws . A mayor that works two jobs instead of giving the city leadership it needs . This is why we need a city Manager . The mayor has done absolute nothing but settle scores and look for photo ops.Really you think Pittsfield can survive four more years of this nonsense. A biotech company is looking at setting up shop in Lee for two reasons

      1) it is near the mass pike
      2)it’s not going to have to deal with nonsense in Pittsfield

      • billy
        April 27, 2014 at 10:19 am #

        The mayor pushed out a local son Larry Bossidy with the stadium.Does he think Larry didn’t tell any one in the corporate circle that this guy is pro business set up shop in Pittsfield? Lmao. He will be lucky if we get any serious business ever being here,if you can’t land a carousel. Your not gonna land squat. If municipal pensions didn’t exist he be gone like the wind

        • danvalenti
          April 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

          Right you are, BILLY. One of the worst aspects of the entire Civic Authority/Stadium fiasco was Bianchi’s treatment of Mr. Bossidy. Unbelievable. Even when Mr. B graciously gave the city $1 million to fix up its parks, Bianchi served on the council that made a mockery of that generosity. Think that helped Pittsfield’s economic chances?

  14. Ron Kitterman
    April 26, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    How cool is that robo call message stuff, did it say anything about school choice programs that allows parents to send their children to schools in communities other than the city or town in which they reside? Where Tuition is paid by the sending district to the receiving district ?

  15. Bill Sturgeon
    April 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    I guess it is (was) common knowledge that the “fix” was in for the mayor’s the assistant’s job and Julia B. Sabourin was his choice. I feel badly for the other candidates who had applied for the job.

    Now, I believe to be fair to Ms. Julia B. Sabourin a fair chance. It is not her fault that the system was not followed by the mayor and the human resource director, if that’s correct.

    The real test will be to see how long Ms. Sabourin remains in the job.


    Good luck Ms. Sabourin, I think that you will need it.

    • Jonathan Melle
      April 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      I agree with BIll Sturgeon. All of the problems with Pittsfield politics are not Julia Sabourin’s fault, as Dan Valenti would lead us to believe to be the case. Give her a chance to do her job.
      How would Dan Valenti feel if someone had a blog and criticized him for all of Pittsfield politics’ problems?

      • danvalenti
        April 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

        Who said “all of the problems” are Lady Light Weight’s fault? As for Dan Valenti being blamed for all of Pittsfield political problem, get with it, boy. That’s done all the time. If you listen to The Empty Suit obsessing with DV off stage and out of mic range, you would catch on real quick.

    • Dave
      April 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      I was amazed that after Rev. Singleton’s presentation a few meetings ago, not one councilor asked 1-how many applications were received? 2- how many minority candidates applied? if so were they equally qualified? At least if these questions were asked the whole Governmental structure would not be cast as deaf dumb and blind to the firestorm that is a coming. If they think their silence on the issue will make it go away, I think they are sadly mistaken. I would like to know why the councilors who led a freaking inquisition on an appointment to the freaking ambulance commission were silent on this appointment….oh wait they are actually getting exactly what they want-never mind.

      • danvalenti
        April 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

        Great point, DAVE. Not one friggin’ councilor thought to ask. Yet, as you say, other appointments get the Third and Fourth Degree. This appointment was rigged. When this happens, it usually means the applicant would not and could not get the job on merits alone.

    • danvalenti
      April 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      (a) The Fix was in.
      (b) It robbed other candidates of due process, which is a constitutional right.
      (c) It is Julia girl’s fault to go along with a corrupt process.
      (d) This begs the question “Why?” Why would she give up a secure school job. Answer: She has political ambitions. The last thing Pittsfield needs is the likes of that in politics.
      (e) You’re right about the true test — not only how long she lasts but what kind of job she will do. We will be most pleased if she does a great job for The Empty Suit.
      (f) Love what your D.I. told you guys.

      • Dave
        April 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        Dan, my gut feeling is that this is a nice pay raise for at least a year and a half (assuming she is on a lower step for teachers), with a wink wink nod nod that a month before the next city election she will step down and be rehired by the PSD. But who knows, a few months of breathing that city hall air may expand her cranium too. PCTV should be informed the first time Terry Kinnas wants to schedule a meeting with the mayor!

        • Jonathan Melle
          April 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

          I like Dan Valenti’s statement that he will be pleased if Julia does a good job for Pittsfield politics. I feel sorry for her now. Talk about pressure. Pittsfield politics is in a multi-decade downward spiral. Everything that could have gone wrong in Pittsfield has taken place over the past 30 years. GE left Pittsfield for Wall Street. Pittsfield politics is as toxic as GE’s PCBs. Job loss is compounded by high per capita welfare caseloads. Teen pregnancies double the statewide average in Pittsfield. Thousands of people have fled Pittsfield. Pittsfield’s finances are nearing a cliff (nilan). Taxes are very high in Pittsfield. Dan Valenti picks on Julia B. Sabourin because he dislikes Mayor Dan Bianchi. If Julia Sabourin can solve even one of Pittsfield politics’ problems, then she is a miracle worker. But wait, only Dan Valenti can solve Pittsfield politics’ problems. Only Dan Valenti has all of the solutions to Pittsfield’s social and economic ills!

          • danvalenti
            April 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

            Now you’re finally getting it boy: “Only Dan Valenti can solve Pittsfield politics’ problems. Only Dan Valenti has all of the solutions to Pittsfield’s social and economic ills!”

        • danvalenti
          April 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

          Could be. She gets to park her tush lackey-ing for The Empty Suit. Then, after he goes and before the new mayor can “can” that tush, she miraculously finds safe landing somewhere within the tangled corruption of the PSD.

  16. Foxy Lady
    April 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    I can’t say how I know but I know. I have worked with Julia S. Everything you say here is on the money. Thank you and your work for digging out and exposing thetruth.

  17. Matt
    April 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    The central issue of this administration and maybe others before is that they fail to hire the MOST qualified person for the job and as a result the people who need service receive less.

    None of these are an attack on the mayor’s new assistant. Rather people question what might happen if, in each instance, the best qualified candidates were chosen using the established system. The assistant’s position, and the personnel technician fill are all examples of failure to use screening, selection and hiring systems properly. Pittsfield is a city in difficult straits. It cannot afford to have less than the best people in government jobs.

    • dusty
      April 27, 2014 at 3:00 am #

      I totally agree. Set up to fail.

  18. Thomas More
    April 27, 2014 at 5:58 am #

    The most important ingredient in any appointment is loyalty. If the person whose doing the appointing can’t trust the person he’s appointing he might’s well leave the job empty. Mary McGinnis left the job gracefully. Best wishes to the new girl as from the circulating rumors city hall is not now nor has it been for a long time a very pleasant place to work. As for Terry Kinnas I worked with him for two full years and the T.K. that I saw was very different from the one Dan described.

    • Foxy Lady
      April 27, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Mr. Moore values loyalty above all (“the most important” he says). Really? Dr Goebbels was loyal above all to Hitler. Kissinger loyal above all to Nixon. Oliver North above all to Reagan. Look what loyalty can get us.

      Blind loyalty without top ability a formula for disaster.

      • thomas more
        April 27, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        Foxy – since you feel free to smear the girl why don’t you tell us how you know what you know? We don’t have to know who you are.

        • danvalenti
          April 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

          I saw no smear. Thomas, you are off your game today.

  19. Mark
    April 27, 2014 at 6:01 am #


    I love it when a Syracuse grad puts down Boston College…don’t forget though they did beat us in hoop this past season.

    • thomas more
      April 27, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Wasn’t Syracuse one of the teams in the final four? or was it the final 64? I can’t remember.

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

        We need to refresh your memory, then. The National Champions in NCAA Division I hockey was THE PLANET’s other alma, UNION COLLEGE. The Dutchmen pulled off perhaps the greatest accomplishment of NCAA modern times. Not that we will brag about it, of course!

  20. joetaxpayer
    April 27, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Guys, let’s not jump to conclusions. Mayor Dan may have hired a minority after all. Ms Sabourin could be part Indian, like our esteemed Senator from Massachusetts granny Warren.

    • thomas more
      April 27, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      Dan calls her Berkowitz so she’s probably Jewish and they make up about 1.5% of the U.S. population so that would make her more of a minority than a black who collectively make up 13.1%. That’s clever calling Senator Warren granny. I suppose we can call Ed Markey grampy. Then we can take another slap at him because he attended the same diploma mill on Chestnut Hill as Sil Conte and Julia.

  21. joetaxpayer
    April 27, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Thomas can’t take credit for that one, heard it on the radio, thought it fit. Was a big fan of The Beverly Hillbillies as a kid,the likeness is uncanny.

  22. Mark
    April 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Wasn’t BC at home, again, watching the big dance? Jethro could have gotten a diploma from there.

    • thomas more
      April 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      But you couldn’t of had.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      I think Jetrho Bodine DID get a diploma from BC: Before Ciphering. “Uh, let’s see. Naught into naught goes naught.”

  23. Joe Pinhead
    April 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    The entire Sabourin affair has become comical to say the least. We have an individual who through her own actions has demonstrated that she is devoid of moral character appointed in an extremely inappropriate manner on the same agenda that the Human Rights Commission is established.
    Where to start on this one? Sabourin demonstrated that nothing as trivial as fact will get in her way as she does the dirty bidding of the Mayor and the School Committee. She railroaded Mr. Kinnas and self admittedly attempted to violate each and every citizens right to participate in a vibrant open Democracy.
    I cite you example 1 from her “resume” (resume being used very loosly) “Municipal employee with knowledge of local, state and federal government processes and procedures.” Really? How many with such a command of those processes and procedures have been taken to the wood shed for open meeting violations? I recall the entire meeting was redone because the first one did not satisfy the law. Is it fair to presume that “..local, state and federal government processes and procedures.” Are drafted and developed within the guidelines of the LAW?
    How sad that with all those impressive accomplishments she will go no further, she has reached the pinnacle of her career.
    Administrative Support Specialist Helping Out Local Electeds.

    just sayin
    but it is for the children Right?

  24. amandaWell
    April 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    The Planet made his bones many years ago reporting on the infamous Son of Sam murders in New York. I believe his name was David Berkowitz.