CITY PADLOCKS WATER PLANT TO KEEP GAETANI OUT … plus … THAT MAN AGAIN, THIS TIME IN DEFENSE OF DOREEN WADE AGAINST THE BLUNDERING HRC
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
TONIGHT: EPISODE 11, PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION. ON THE SLATE: l’affaire gaetani, Doreen in Wonderland, The Generalissimo, and a cryptographic challenge! Tune in, tune on, and drop in beginning at 7 p.m. on Time Warner’s Access Pittsfield, channel 16. PV-TV: You won’t believe your eyes and ears.
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014) — Yesterday at 10 a.m. Craig Gaetani stood at the gates of Pittsfield’s water treatment plant in Hinsdale seeking entrance. In response, a plant worker padlocked the gates with a heavy chain. The police-state actions extend the bizarre behavior of Mayor Dan Bianchi. For some reason, Bianchi fears letting Gaetani — who co-designed the facility and its proprietary technology — into the plant.
Gaetani says he and Dr. Lawrence Wang, one of the country’s pre-eminent water treatment authorities, can save the city at least $40 million on upcoming federally mandated upgrades to the plant. Why wouldn’t the mayor welcome the Gaetani-Wang proposal? Why did Bianchi threaten Gaetani with arrest if he showed up at the plant unannounced and without insurance, as he did via letter sent by DPU chief Bruce Collingwood, a document THE PLANET obtained and published yesterday?
Why did The Empty Suit order the gates locked Wednesday morning?
If there’s a good reason, the public wants it.
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Gaetani says he notified the city earlier this week that he would be coming to the plant. The first three calls were to the mayor’s office, he says. They (1) hung up on him, (2) didn’t answer, and (3) referred him to the Department of Public Utilities. To be safe, yesterday morning at 9 a.m., Gaetani says he called the city again. Upon his arrival in a powder blue Mercedes, a worker dutifully chained the gates.
“I’m not going to take this guff from the mayor and Collingwood,” Gaetani said at while we stood outside the locked gates. The only other media person there was Tammy Daniels, editor of iBerkshires.com.
The Cleveland facility stands about 30-feet high and runs three and a half football fields long. Despite the monolithic outer appearance, it’s an impressive sight. Gaetani knows his water, apparent as we questioned him on the plant workings. He says as large as the facility is, the footprint came in at one-seventh the size of the design the city originally entertained. The rejected design would have required enormous storage tanks, which the Krofta “flotation” system doesn’t need, and an additional $100 million.
Gaetani said the last time he entered the facility was October 2013 with Melissa Mazzeo, when he gave the council president a tour. Gaetani says when Bianchi learned of the tour, the mayor “exploded” and ordered Gaetani barred from future visits — quite an exclusion for a man who has over the years escorted hundreds of engineers from all over the world through the plant.
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Gaetani says he is “absolutely not going away.” He says he will redouble his efforts on behalf of Pittsfield citizens out of his “love for the city,” where he has lived all his life. To that point, THE PLANET has learned that this morning (Thursday) Gaetani will be visiting two offices at city hall. First he will go to the clerk’s office to ask for the paperwork needed to file an age discrimination case against the mayor. Second, he will go to the mayor’s office and ask for the notes and minutes taken during Gaetani’s controversial meeting with Bianchi.
The plot, as they say, thickens.
That Man Again, This Time Siding with Doreen Wade
Gaetani also made news Tuesday night at the meeting in council chambers of the Human Rights Commission, when he supported Medford businesswoman Doreen Wade in the latter’s civil rights case against the mayor. Wade claims Bianchi treated her in a racist manner. In addition to her claims before the HRC, Wade says she has filed charges against Bianchi at the state and federal levels.
Knowledgable sources say that should Bianchi be found guilty of these charges, his municipal bonding will not indemnify him. State bonds do not provide indemnity for civil rights violations. Bianchi, personally, and not taxpayers, would be on the hook for any fines or penalties.
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The commission, meeting for the third time since its reactivation, once again topped itself in maladroit blundering. As if the city and the mayor don’t have enough to worry about, the HRC may have given Wade more ammo with its latest blundering. One would be tempted to blame chairman Josh Cutler, a young man appointed by the mayor to exploit the lad’s lack of experience. Cutler’s a sitting duck for Bianchi’s go-to gal, Pummelin’ Pam Malumphy, as later actions illustrate.
The most serious error occurred when the HRC voted in its rules of procedure. In other words, the HRC went two-plus meetings without rules of order! Wade pounced on it as a violation of her civil rights. The mistake could be costly.
Gaetani made a forceful statement from the open mic on Wade’s behalf, noting the similarity in how Bianchi allegedly treated both of them. He also made a valid point in noting that none of the commissioners had name tags. Perfect: An anonymous set of politically appointed judges presiding without public rules over the interests of private citizens — something right out of Kafka‘s The Trial.
When Gaetani piped up from the gallery not having been recognized by the chair, Pummelin’ Pam made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved. Instead of allowing the chairman to restore order, for the third time in as many meetings, the HRC humiliated Wade, leaving her standing there without answers or any sense of resolution.
Incidentally, the HRC commissioners are Cutler, Malumphy, Bob Sykes, Mark Miller, Susan O’Leary, Alfred Johnson, Louis Perez, and Church Cotton. Brewster, make a note of it and order nameplates for these folks.
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THE PLANET finds it amusing that Malumphy’s delicate constitution found the discussions too much to take. How Victorian. THE PLANET reminds her that the Founders set up free speech so that public debate could be passionate, hot, and full of emotion. Malumphy thus added another notch to her hatchet, the one that cuts off a nose to spite the face, the one that unjustly gives women in politics a bad name. Little wonder she’s 0-for-5 in her last five runs for office.
Count it a good week for Gaetani and Wade and a bad one for TES and the HRC.
“Been so long since I found out what people mean by down and out.” — Led Zeppelin, “Black Dog,” from the album Zeppelin IV.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.