Article

GAFFES GALORE AT SCHOOL COMMITTEE-COUNCIL JOINT MEETING … BIANCHI TO BLAME, IN THE LOWEST MOMENT OF HIS CAREER … MAYOR TAKES A STEAMING DUMP OVER DEMOCRACY ITSELF … IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH FOR A RECALL, WHAT IS?

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, MAY 2-4, 2014) — The “hits” just keep piling up, as the inept mayor continues to run roughshod over due process. The appointment of Monterosso and Berkowitz Sabourin … an FY15 budget that approached $150 million … staff jumping the sinking ship … the seeking of a near-40% pay hike for himself, retroactive to July 1 of last year … low morale and an atmosphere of fear in city hall and in most city departments — it goes on and on.

The mayor has had two years and four months to prove himself. He isn’t “new” anymore, as his apologists claim. He didn’t inherit all of the city’s ill from previous mayors, as they like to blather. Even if he did, even if we agreed for the sake of discussion to accept this ridiculous proposition, let us ask: What has Dan Bianchi done to drive improvement for the city? What has he done to rectify all of the problems he “inherited?” What new programs has he introduced that have made a decided positive impact? What has he done, specifically, to inspire confidence? Answers, in this order: Nothing, nothing, nothing, and nothing.

THE PLANET shall be exploring the question of a recall in the near future, but first we must tell you about the latest. You won’t get it from the lapdog mainsteam press, and that’s for sure.

——- 000 ——-

On Wednesday night, April 30, prior to its regular meeting, the Pittsfield School Committee conducted a joint session with the city council for the purposes of reviewing the school finances. The heart of the session was a presentation by the mayor. This was a meeting among what should be three competing-not-complementary entities: The mayor, the schools, and the council.

The meeting was so fraught with procedural gaffes as to be rendered virtually meaningless if not illegal.   Citizens and taxpayers, go ahead and ask: “How did they ‘love’ us? Let us count the ways.”

GAFFE 1 — No Public Input

THE PLANET refers readers to city council rule 1-C. The relevant portion of 1-C reads:

For a period of fifteen minutes at the beginning of each regular or special meeting of the Council, or the City Council meeting as the Committee of the Whole, individual members of the public shall be permitted to address the Council. At a regular meeting, individuals shall be allowed to speak on any subject. At a special meeting, including the Committee of the Whole, individuals shall be allowed to speak on any subject listed on the agenda for the special or Committee of the Whole meeting. 

Clearly, this was a “special meeting” of the council, and yet the agenda issued for the meeting allowed no provision for public input. The agenda listed a “Call to Order” a “Moment of Silence,” the “Pledge of Allegiance,” a “Roll Call” and then led directly into the meeting.

Terry Kinnas, ever-vigilant citizen watchdog and as honest and informed a public official as the city has ever seen, raised his hand for a point of order. In parliamentary procedure, points of order can be requested of the chair. The chair must acknowledge the point and dispose of it, yeah or nay.

GAFFE 2 — No Co-Chair

We are taking this step-by-step, so you can see how inept the city’s public officials, led by Mayor Bianchi,  are when it comes to proper procedure and protecting citizens’ rights to fairness and due process. As a joint meeting of equal “branches” of government, the meeting required co-chairs. That would be Kathy Yon, school committee chair, and Melissa Mazzeo, council president. Mazzeo did not attend the meeting (neither did Lisa Tully; all other councilors were there, for a total of nine). However, council vice president Chris Connell did attend. Connell should have been sitting next to Yon as co-chair — you know, he should have been in The Big Boy Seat. He did not do that, nor did he appear to know he should do that.

GAFFE 3 — Bianchi Shits on the Democratic Process

THE PLANET is about to reveal what is by far the ugliest moment of Bianchi’s career in so-called public service, exceeding even the Scopes Monkey Trial, a lynching for which he in cowardly fashion skipped town. When Yon as chair acknowledged Kinnas’ point or order and announced “We have a speaker from the floor,” or words to that effect, Bianchi, apparently not thinking his mic was live, spit out these foul words: “Oh, wow, what a surprise.”

Soon, citizens may be telling the mayor where he can shove that bat. (PHOTO: screen shot courtesy of PCTV).

With those five words, Bianchi shit upon democracy itself, which is predicated upon citizen involvement. Now we all know that participatory government is on life support in Pittsfield (24% turnout for a general election??) thanks to malevolent politicians like Bianchi, who have inspired nothing but apathy in We The People. But here we have Kinnas, the only private citizen who dared speak, and the mayor issued what amounted to both an unprincipled personal attack on Terry Kinnas as well as a statement about what he truly feels about the democratic process: He thinks its for suckers and that he’s rather rule as a dictator. That’s pretty funny coming from such a ribbon-cutting, photo-op’d wimp.

It’s incredible: The chief executive officer for the city of Pittsfield mocking a citizen for participating in government. In any other reasonably governed city or town, such a citizen is praised, not taunted. Think of the chilling effect that has on anyone who might be willing to brave parting the curtain of fear The Suits have  placed between We The People and their government to perhaps offer public input on a proposal. One could make a compelling case that in those five little words, Bianchi just signed his own political death warrant.

Perhaps after Bianchi is recalled by citizens, he can repeat: “Oh, wow! What a surprise.”

GAFFE 4 — Point of Order is Simply Ignored

In our long journalistic career, THE PLANET has attended countless public meetings. We have seen many “points of order” raised. We have never seen a point of order ignored by a chair. Legally, the chair cannot simply ignore the point. The chair, or in this case, the co-chairs, needed to rule on Kinnas’ point of order and a vote is then taken. Terry told the joint meeting that they did not have a public input session on the agenda, as council rules require. Neither Yon, as co-chair, nor Connell, who for some reason did not take Mazzeo’s place as co-chair, said anything on the point of order. They simply ignored Kinnas. Astounding.

We asked various parliamentarians if they had ever seen that happen. THE PLANET even asked Kinnas himself. No one had.

“I’ve never seen a chair not respond to a point of order,” Kinnas told THE PLANET. “After I made my point, nothing happened. Literally, nothing. I was stunned. They didn’t know their own rules. They didn’t know what to do.” Bianchi sat there with one thumb stuck up his rump and the other twiddling itself.

 GAFFE 5 — Bad Timing, No Notice

Continuing in the unbelievable category, Kathy Yon told Kinnas she didn’t find out about Wednesday’s joint meeting until Monday. None of the councilors knew about it before Friday, when the agenda was posted. Hmmm. Posting Friday for a Wednesday meeting? Seems like they don’t want officials knowing too much in advance. That theory would be bolstered by the fact that none of the councilors received their informational packets until arriving at their seats at the meeting. Barry Clairmont at least offered a mild objection (it should have been much stronger, for he has a valid point), saying it prevented councilors from preparing in advance and — Bog forbid! — to be able to formulate questions.

GAFFE 6 — ‘Total Lack of Communication’

“There seemed to be a total lack of communication [among] the mayor, the school committee, and the city council,” Kinnas said. “Each group has its own rules and procedures. They must meet in advance  and organize the meeting, together.” That wasn’t done. Kinnas said he placed most of the blame for this on the mayor, since the mayor, pursuant to Section 7-2 of the city charter, gave the central presentation at the meeting — (from the agenda) “an overview of the financial condition of the City, revenue and expenditure forecasts and other relevant information prepared by Mayor Bianchi in order to develop a coordinated budget.”

THE PLANET agrees with Kinnas. The onus for the Keystone Kops nature of the meeting falls mainly on the mayor. Bianchi once again failed a test of leadership.

GAFFE 7 — ‘Administrative Budinsky’

Continuing what THE PLANET believes to be an illegal practice, the school superintendent Jake McCandless provided a “Recommended Action” to the members of the joint session, advising them “to accept the presentation by Mayor Bianchi.” THE PLANET has covered this before.

Public meetings cannot issue two different agendas. In this case, the public received one version of the agenda and the meeting members received a different one, with the administrative recommendation. Moreover, having the superintendent continue to make recommendations on agenda items implies there have been secret (that is, not public) meetings between the school committee chair or other members and the superintendent. How else could JIV‘s recommendations appear on the alternate agenda prior to the meeting?

——- 000 ——-

Ladies and gentleman, how much evidence do you need that The Suits, the Good Old Boys, the Special Interests — call them whatever you wish — are not only not dealing with Pittsfield serious problems but in fact by their inaction and their mis-actions are making them worse?

THE PLANET has reviewed the numbers: WIthout a drastic reversal, the city under this inept, cynical, and negative mayor, is fast-approaching the financial cliff.

Remember this and keep it seared in your mind: Dan Bianchi took a hot, steaming dump on democracy itself when he mocked citizens for getting involved with their government.

What more do you need to join what looks to be a soon-to-come effort at recall?

Are you in? Are you willing to lay it on the line for the city you love? Are you up for Pittsfield’s version of what the Founding Fathers did to that lunatic, King George III? Soon, you may have your chance to put up or shut up.

Ponder it over the weekend and be serious about it, because if this effort if launched, dabblers need not apply. You will have to be serious: Are you in?

—————————————————————-

“There was Bonaparte, a mean one, if ever I’ve seen one, and Nero fiddling through that lovely blaze. Antoinette, dainty queen, with her quaint guillotine. Ya ha ha haaaaa, those were the good old days.”Ray (Uncle Martin) Walston as Applegate, “Those Were the Good Old Days,” from Damn Yankees, (1955).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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74 Responses to “GAFFES GALORE AT SCHOOL COMMITTEE-COUNCIL JOINT MEETING … BIANCHI TO BLAME, IN THE LOWEST MOMENT OF HIS CAREER … MAYOR TAKES A STEAMING DUMP OVER DEMOCRACY ITSELF … IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH FOR A RECALL, WHAT IS?”

  1. Jonathan Melle
    May 2, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    It is all Dan Bianchi’s fault. Pittsfield politics, Pittsfield’s problems, Pittsfield’s finances, is all Dan Bianchi’s fault. For 28 months and counting, Pittsfield is fast approaching the proverbial cliff (nilan) with Dan Bianchi driving faster and faster to doomsday. If Dan Valenti doesn’t succeed in recalling Dan Bianchi in 2014, there will be a bankrupt Pittsfield by 2015. We can’t wait until the next municipal election. We need to recall Dan Bianchi this year of 2014. We must take down Dan Bianchi to save Pittsfield because we love Pittsfield.
    The above words are a synopsis of Dan Valenti’s logic against Dan Bianchi. Fortunantly, there is a big difference between logic and reason.
    Pittsfield politics, problems, and finances, were all big issues before January 2012 when Dan Bianchi became Mayor. In 28 months, Dan Bianchi has not solved one of Pittsfield’s problems. If he had, Dan Bianchi would have been a miracle worker. I don’t think Jesus Christ Himself could save Pittsfield!

    • Deb S
      May 2, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      Why do you to read Dan’s Blog if it bothers you so much? If it wasn’t for him we the people that live it Pittsfield wouldn’t know what is going on because the BB doesn’t bother or doesn’t care what happens.

      • Jonathan Melle
        May 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

        I respect Dan Valenti and I agree with a lot of what he has to say about Pittsfield politics. Like Dan Valenti, I have the right to free speech.

    • Linda
      May 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Yes, a synopsis of Dan Valenti’s column…a poor synopsis.

  2. Scott
    May 2, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    His scoff at public involvement is very disturbing and pusses me off. It’s our govts I guess he didn’t get that memo.

  3. Shakes His Head
    May 2, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Why wouldn’t they suspend without pay? Are there criminal charges? too much to leave to imagination…..

  4. Ron Kitterman
    May 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    I’ve lost what little respect for the Mayor I had if the comment is accurate (“Oh, Wow, what a surprise”), “ Today’s Berkshire Eagle headlines $57.2 M School budget approved –The amount is a $1 million increase and does not cut any programs or positions, though there are worries about next year. The Pittsfield School Committee wants taxpayers to spend an extra $ 1 million on education in the new fiscal year. By a 5-0 vote, Anthony Riello and Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, absent. “ Mayor Bianchi is looking more and more like his spiritual mentor Rob Ford, maybe it is time for a recall vote. This new charter stuff is really working well huh ? Maybe we should return to a town and go back to the old town meeting form of government.

  5. Spider
    May 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Continuing with the school budget…In the same Eagle story, the mayor says …..”we’ve made adjustments to the budget to handle the increase” Can someone please explain to me what that means and just how it was “handled”.. Either we do have a $1 million increase or not.

  6. amandaWell
    May 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    If you tell it like it is, this is the highest budget in the HISTORY of the City of Pittsfield! Prudent enough Mayor?

    • danvalenti
      May 2, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      $148,142,507. That’s what the mayor will be asking the council to approve, a ruinous request.

  7. Mad Trapper
    May 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    I think Bianchi is trying emulate the head Democrat honcho, Obama, in his disregard for rule by law.

    I mean if our US Constitution, can be flushed down the toilet, who cares about PITTSfield laws and regulations.

    Hiel Furher Bianchi!!!!

  8. Nota
    May 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    The Mayor stills feels your pain? So, I’ll give myself a raise, and uh, you’ll pay for it!

  9. amandaWell
    May 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Wuzt 40 percent amongst friends?

  10. Payroll Patriot
    May 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    They didn’t need co-chairs, they needed high chairs.

    • Linda
      May 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      Good one!

    • B
      May 3, 2014 at 11:31 am #

      That was a good one PP.

  11. Dave
    May 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I would have watched the meeting if I knew there was one. Maybe I missed the listing, I usually look at the gazette’s posting of upcoming meetings. If I catch the replay, what are the odds that if the Mayor’s comment was “on air”, that the replay will be dubbed silent at that particular moment? Just so you know, I am in the process of securing a trademark for “oh wow what a surprise” and will be selling t-shirts before the budget meeting regarding the school committee’s budget. There will be a black TK band on each sleeve, and I am looking for suggestions on what should be on the back.

    • MrG1188
      May 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      On the back? simple…”Recall Bianchi” Duhh!

    • B
      May 3, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      How about City Hall being flushed down the toilet.

  12. EddieP
    May 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    The mayor was on the radio this morning and all he talked about was potholes and the budget. No one called in with any questions about the raises or any appointments.
    Where’s the groundswell???

    • dusty
      May 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Maybe no one listens to that show or maybe raise questions were screened out. Rush Limbaugh only takes questions he pre approves so I guess it could be done in Pittsfield.

      By the way does he know that talking about potholes does not really fix the problem?

      • EddieP
        May 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

        He said he hit one and it jarred his bones. I’ll bet the calls were screened. His tone was jovial throughout the interview.
        Nothing in there to upset him.

        • danvalenti
          May 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

          That’s why there were no tough questions. The host tossed softballs, and in doing so, likely lost most of his potential audience. Plus, it’s a new show, and having been there done that, getting traction for a new show takes months. In short, no representative cross-section of listeners = no challenging questions. We might want to ask: Why is the mayor s-s-scared to do a live interview with me? I’m available anytime he wants.

  13. Matt
    May 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    The Mayor met with Alice Sweeney, Director of Career Center, Tim Dooling, Asst. director and general counsel, Heather Boulger, Head of the Employment Board, and HIzzoner, the Mayor.. and it was later said that the meeting had nothing to do with the PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE of Berkshireworks Executive Director, William Monterosso.

    At $2000/week including fringe.. you’d think the resolving the pending investigations into the behavior of the Executive Director would have been high on the agenda.

    When will the Mayor deal with the multiple allegations made against Mr. Monterosso? The mayor appointed him.. and is caught between embarassment about a decision gone wrong and exposing the city to damage claims by injured parties.

    No wonder he needs such a large raise!!

    • danvalenti
      May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you for the information, MATT

  14. amandaWell
    May 2, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    The mayor is a comedian, he said when he was in high school he couldnmt wait to leave and during the vote the other night, he had to get a antihistamine out of his car and got locked out of the high school, real,funny guy, you know. Then he was telling Conklin, his wife teaches at HVCC in New Yawk and was astonished at the high sales tax over there compared to our low sales tax,hmm? Then he called Megan Welldone, a cultural butterfly? Then he talked about the bad winter and he himself hit a pothole (not on his street) and hurt his back doing so. There is a bunch of other stuff, but the show was more or less a take on his sense of humor, he thinks he’s a comedian, I guess. One other item was he does feel for the taxpayer working two jobs to make ends meet.

    • danvalenti
      May 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

      ‘The Mayor’ will not feel so funny after he finishes the segment with THE PLANET slated to take place on live TV Thursday night. Stay tuned for more information on this!

      • ed shepardson
        May 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

        Nobody else bit on this Dan. To preoccupied with coming up with fake names, I guess. More details?

        • danvalenti
          May 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

          Nice pick-up, ED. Details to come. Keep Thursday night open, say 7 to 8 p.m. Spread the word.

        • MaryKate
          May 4, 2014 at 7:43 am #

          No fake names here. Staying tuned for more information!

  15. dusty
    May 3, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    The Berkshire Eagle has a nice little story today about how the Lenox High school is ranked 33rd in the state which is very good. But for some reason the Eagle left out the ranking of its own hometown school, which would be Pittsfield High school. Was this an over sight or did they just not want to embarrass the corporation size school system that bleeds money and gets pathetic results for it s efforts?

    • eddiep
      May 3, 2014 at 7:11 am #

      No. It was not an oversight. Whenever they do a story, the reporter always leaves out some bit of information that would round out the story or further explain something.
      They write about events but fail to list time or place, tell readers to go to a website but fail to list it.
      The Eagle is a very unreliable news source.

      • downtown dweller
        May 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

        Pittsfield’s two public high schools didn’t rank. I’m sending this from my phone so I can’t copy/paste but districts statewide can be seen @ usnews.com. I did a Google search to find it.

  16. Mark
    May 3, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    Everyone should go to the O & R meeting Mon. at 7 to express their feelings about these ridiculous unwarranted pay raises.

    • MaryKate
      May 3, 2014 at 5:44 am #

      Will this meeting be at city hall?

    • Gatos
      May 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      You know what would be really nice? If the study used to justify the raises were available to the public before Monday’s O&R meeting.

      • danvalenti
        May 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

        GATOS
        True, cat, but that would mean being “transparent.” They tried to hide this. Only THE PLANET’s coverage smoked it out. Again, we embarrassed The BB to cover it. Of course, The BB took the press release spoon fed from the dictation of government.

  17. Scott
    May 3, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    The mayor is set to be at arrowhead to cut a ribbon when we finish the barn. Lol.

  18. Scott
    May 3, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    That barn will be finished and the ceremony will be on the 22nd.

  19. Linda
    May 3, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    O&R meeting, Monday, 7 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers. C’mon fellow citizens. Lets have a show of force. I appeal to everyone. Show up. Spread the word. Bring a friend

    Let’s tell the mayor through the Council: “No Pay Raises”

  20. Dave
    May 3, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    The mayor formed a committee to further review the study information. I think each person listed would be effected by these pay raises -now there’s an objective bunch.

    • Pat
      May 3, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      “Here, Here….yes I definitely vote to give myself a raise. Yes, I think I deserve it.”

      Talk about ridiculous. Just when you think the city couldn’t possibly sink any lower. This is so insane. I will definitely show up at the meeting on Monday to protest these pay raises. A mayor in such a small city as Pittsfield does not need a three figure salary. They already think they are far above the people they were elected to serve. Let’s not increase their egos anymore than they already are. Maybe if the mayor had done an exceptional job and the city was booming, then a slight increase would be warranted, but this increase is ridiculous and the mayor isn’t doing enough to deserve it.

      • Linda
        May 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

        Pat I agree 100%. I shall be at that meeting. Hope many many citizens will be also

        • Dave
          May 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

          I don’t think I will be able to get my t-shirts done by Monday, so bring a ” oh wow, what a surprise’ sign with you.

          • mayor bilkanchi
            May 4, 2014 at 5:00 am #

            What no Tshirts?

            oh wow what a surprise

    • C. J.
      May 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      What kind of CEO or manager needs to hire a consultant to determine if his subordinates deserve a raise ? One who has no conception of how they are performing and is out of touch with reality.

      • DowagerHat
        May 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

        Let the Revolution begin. This lack of leadership on the shoulder of Bianchi is reprehensible. Hopefully this message from the underground will spread. We need sound leadership from the corner office and We the People need to bring our city to its economic leadership not only here but in the world.

  21. billy
    May 3, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    we are going the way of Detroit

    • DowagerHat
      May 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Not yet. We can do it.

  22. thomas more
    May 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    i LOVE this blog – you get so many different opinions

  23. amandaWell
    May 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    ….and more!

  24. amandaWell
    May 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Just heard a school committee member say the budget is really eeeeihhhty million. Your ‘re only off by millions rookie! try again!

  25. Nota
    May 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Sounds like the Planet will be bitch slapping someone, soon.

    • danvalenti
      May 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      NOTA
      Uh, could be.

  26. billy
    May 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    The mayor appointed Monterosso after a supposed “exhaustive search” and he was making 92000 . look how that turned out. Money is no sign of quality,it’s an excuse for greed.I truly don’t know how the mayor and other city “leaders” convince themselves they are putting the best interests of their neighbors,the elderly,andthe fiscal health of the city. If we can’t pay for buses what do you think this will do to us?

    • dusty
      May 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      The mayor is simply thumbing his nose at the taxpayers. Doyle and Ruberto did it too. Do you think Bianchi loses any sleep at night over whether a few more elderly will lose their home and have to move to senior housing? He has what he needs and will be getting even more. To hell with the taxpayers…let them be mayor and have access to the grab bag.

    • Scott
      May 4, 2014 at 6:06 am #

      Billy that seemed to be the common trend amongs councilors most dodged the question by saying I’m going to do my research and the others justified the higher pay by stating more money gets better quality people but I disagree.

      • Evian
        May 4, 2014 at 9:38 am #

        True scott, they say (like Krol did) I’m researching it. That’s a front for hiding what they think their minds already made up. All I can say is word is out on the pay hike, it’s all over FB, and people are fuming.

  27. Nota
    May 4, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    M, Everyone get on the bus,baby, Pay raises to other communities. That’s what is in store for Palookaville, we are compared to other communities and we will increase our salary structure accordingly, because that’s what is done in other communities, is that what I’m reading? It’s a wonder the local minority groups are complaining about getting the shaft when it comes to jobs in the city? Not only aren’t minorities hired, they also lose out on these hefty pay raises. Decrease not increase! More productivity!

  28. Nota
    May 4, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    Isn’t it sickening the way School Committee lauds all of these administrators, example: Would like the commend the Superintendent on a job well done! Response: Thank you, but we couldn’t do it without the fine staff and blah blah blah. This school committee has done nothing that great so far. Other than inflate the budget, everything is the same,if not worse.

  29. amandaWell
    May 4, 2014 at 3:12 am #

    Isn’t it Someone’s catch phrase…WE must be sensitive to the needs of our citizens in these economic times? Could have swore we’ve heard that before.

  30. amandaWell
    May 4, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    I’d like to hear this: other communities’ saying ” why should we give our employees pay raises, they don’t give raises over in’ the great City of Pittsfield”

  31. Ron Kitterman
    May 4, 2014 at 5:03 am #

    The perfect logo for the recall” Oh wow what a surprise”

  32. Spider
    May 4, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    Just being worthy of a pay raise for these employees (as the mayor claims) does not justify giving them. There are many worthy and hard working people (in the private sector) who haven’t had a raise in years and some have lost their jobs.

    And the retroactive part is enough to gag a maggot!

    I guarantee that I will do whatever I can to defeat any councilor who votes “yes” for these raises.

  33. GeoSims
    May 4, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    The past 10 years gave me hope the city was moving forward. I’ve lost that hope. Might be time to move on, my businesses and all. Sad.

  34. Ron Kitterman
    May 4, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Oh wow what a surprise ! The Mayor wants a raise. Blah, Blah, Blah….

  35. matt
    May 4, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Buses and Bosses — Money for moving and shaken… er.. shaking…

    What arrogance establishes a committee of the recipients of proposed raises to decide if they need raises?! It is truly insane.. no, wrong.. doing it is crafty.. allowing it is insane!!!

    This is a case of the rich get richer.. $120,000 for some while others can’t find a job that pays a livable wage!…while Monterosso is paid $2,000/week to not work. We’re not in Kansas any more Toto!

    • dusty
      May 4, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      We are not in Kansas Matt. And a lot of us wish we were not in Pittsfield either.

  36. Jamie
    May 4, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    The new battlecry–”Oh wow, what a surprise.” Thanks mini-mayor.

  37. Joe Blow
    May 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    This mayor is a real piece of work! The raises are bad enough but retroactive from last July makes no sense.

  38. Joe Blow
    May 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Do these raises have to pass a full city council vote if they pass o & r’s?

    • Pat
      May 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Who knows? There is little time to get info on what is required for it to pass. All anyone can do is to show up at that meeting on Monday to protest. The BB finally runs an article on the issue today more than a week after the papers were filed.

      They are trying to speed up this vote and get it over with before the public has a chance to stop it. Just as they did with the bus issue. They didn’t get what they wanted the first time so they got their minions in place and did the vote again a week later and got what they wanted. They will try to do a slum dunk with this issue as well.

    • danvalenti
      May 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

      Yes. O&R will vote, and that vote will be a recommendation to the full council, to take up at either the next (or future) meeting of the whole.

  39. amandaWell
    May 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    While we wait for a recall, lets’s boycott at the City Hall,I’m game.