Article

EMPTY SUIT’s PROPOSED DEAL FOR 100 N St. RENTAL LOADED WITH CONFLICT OF INTEREST, WOULD COST TAXPAYERS $126K/YR FOR WHAT IS NOW RENT-FREE

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY, JULY 29-30, 2014) — THE PLANET smoked them out again! As The Empty Suit again finds out the hard way, there is no escape from a relentless  reporter with truth on his side.

The deal now in the works for 100 North Street hits new lows for sleaze, and that’s saying something given the “s-ball” occupying the corner office at 70 Allen St. in Pittsfield. Consider:

(1) The mayor wants to take the following departments out of city hall: building, police and fire inspectors, health, engineering, and public utilities. Together, they now stay rent-free at 70 Allen St., occupying about 40% of the space.

(2) He wants to move these departments to 100 North Street, where The Empty Suit has his offices at Larry Global Mondello, a.k.a., Global Montello energy group. The mayor admits he still works at Global, (only after THE PLANET exposed his double dipping).

(3) The landlord at 100 North Street is Scarafoni Associates (SA). The building has lots of empty space. Prospective renters aren’t breaking down the hatchways to locate there.

(4) Gary Scarafoni, SA’s principal, is Dave Carver‘s brother-in-law. Carver is SA’s manger of “Real Estate Development.” He also is the agent handling 100 North. He also is buddies with the mayor, sources say. See, we’re playing “connect the dots.”

(5) Bianchi wants to pay Scarafoni Associates $126,000 a year in rent for the above-mentioned city offices.  Again, remember that those offices are all under one roof at 70 Allen rent free. We would assume Carver earns commision on sales such as this. Neat.

(6) The Boring Broadsheet ran a story about this deal Monday, three days after we broke it. It mentioned none of these connections.

(7) In an amazing coincidence, Scarafoni Associates handles renting of space at the Clocktower BuildingThe BB‘s home, where it’s been trying for more than 20 years to unload empty office and living space.

The Worried Man.

(8) In another amazing coincidence, as BB reporter Jim Therrien dutifully notes, TES magically “finds funds” to pay for this sham, “despite rejection by the [c]ity [c]ouncil of a $100,000 request for office renovation work.” From Therrien’s masterpiece of political propaganda: “Bianchi said he is utilizing existing funds in the city budget and won’t have to put in another request for renovation funding. He said the changes won’t have to go before the council for further approvals.”

(9) In addition to not mentioning the connection of Scarafoni with The BB, of Scarafoni with Global Mondello, or the Carver-Bianchi bud-dom, Therrien didn’t think to ask:  ”Mr. Mayor, ‘existing funds’ from what specific accounts? Name them.” How does one suddenly “find” $126,000, all your tax dollars, ladies and gents.

(10) Therrien doesn’t press for details on what will fill the empty 40% of space at 70 Allen Street. The mayor says “storage.” “Storage” of what? Kickbacks paid in $1 bills? Spools of ribbon for all the openings that Bianchi attends when he isn’t working at Global?

100 North Street: Sweeheart deal? (Photo WBRK)

(11) The Empty Suit claims the move is necessitated “by requests from contractors and others who complained about having to visit several offices concerning various types of inspections and permits. Bianchi hopes to combine building, public utilities, fire and safety and other city inspectors in one office.”  What contractors? Name them. When did they complain? To whom did they complain?

(11a) KEY QUESTION! — Exactly how revenue does the city bring in from permits granted to contractors? Does it exceed $126,000 a year?

(12) The solution to the permitting problem is not to cut a sweetheart deal with a buddy in a building where you have a private office but to streamline the permitting process.

(14) That could be done by reducing the number of sign-offs, putting the process online, and having a point-person to help permitters. Isn’t that why we have an Office of Community Development?

(15) Fortunately, the deal requires council approval. This will be the opportunity for specific answers and stop this deal in its tracks.

(16) Unfortunately, the deal requires council approval. This will be a chance for the mayor’s butt kissers to shove another one between the taxpayer’s gluteus maximus.

In other words, with 15 and 16, taxpayers and citizens will learn where this council stands. Is it a “roll over and play dead” council ready to commit a traitorous compromise or is will it be a co-governor of the city and the local protector of the rights of every citizen? Will the council fight for justice for We The People or will it favor the rights of The Suits and “connected few” among the Special Interests?

——– 000 ——-

 As you know, THE PLANET broke the story of 100 North Street on Friday. On Sunday night just past midnight, we sent the mayor the following e-mail:

“Shit-eating grin: A peculiar movement of the lip muscles to expose front teeth to indicate an emotion not in the slightest felt or meant to be genuine.” (Photo Commonwealth Magazine).

DAN
As you may be aware, THE PLANET has been reporting on your alleged dealings with 100 North Street (along with your actions in other matters). I would welcome any comments you have regarding our reports. I also, again, invite you on my TV show … OR, if you prefer … a “print” interview … OR, if you prefer … a more informal gathering over coffee. On the record, natch. Thanks,
Be well,
DAN

THE PLANET sent it both to his city hall account and where he would most likely see it first, his inbox at Global. Naturally, the mayor did not respond, again taking the coward’s way.

Remember, all of this would have been hidden under cloak of darkness unless …

* civic-minded sources tipped us off …

* THE PLANET investigated …

* we confirmed …

* and we published.

That forced some combination of Bianchi, Scarafoni Associates, and The BB to produce the latter’s work of fiction to try to contain the damage caused by the only free press outlet in the county. THE PLANET’s story, once again, smoked Bianchi out of the woodpile — an apt reference. Bianchi stands accused before the city Human Rights Commission of being a racist.

———————————————————————————

“The future still looks good, and you’ve got time to rectify all the things that you should.”The Beatles, from “Think for Yourself,” Rubber Soul album, (1965).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

46 Responses to “EMPTY SUIT’s PROPOSED DEAL FOR 100 N St. RENTAL LOADED WITH CONFLICT OF INTEREST, WOULD COST TAXPAYERS $126K/YR FOR WHAT IS NOW RENT-FREE”

  1. Ron Kitterman
    July 29, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    Finally, I find myself in agreement with the Mayor ” Bianchi this is not how politics should work ” but wait there’s more …Bianchi finds a way around council block.

    • Sparkie
      July 29, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Wait a minute you expected the city council to block the Mayor. With Melissa Mazzeo leading the charge at the last meeting the city council voted in favor of not allowing the Mayor to follow the city charter.

  2. dusty
    July 29, 2014 at 1:02 am #

    I believe two of Bianchis personal secretaries have abandoned him so far. It is easy to see why. Can Saborin possibly have what it takes to roll with the constant bull shjt that must pass through that office each day?

  3. Contractors hate to walk
    July 29, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    So, the whole “Official” reason to spend $126,000.00 a year is to save the Contractors and Inspectors a few steps right?

    What a crock.

    High School students have complained about having to walk to different classes. We should have all classes taught in one room to save students from having to walk all over the school.

    People have complained about having to go to their insurance companies before going the Registry of Motor Vehicles to register their vehicles. Shouldn’t the insurance companies have an office under the same roof as the Registry?

    I thought for sure the city council would reject the “free house” Cote deal. They didn’t. They approved it. On, this one, I would not be surprised if they don not do the right thing again.

  4. BOC
    July 29, 2014 at 5:18 am #

    If the move of the offices to 100 North goes before the council, it will likely pass. Remember, this is the same council who voted for the mayor’s budget 9-2. Getting them to vote for the move will be no problem for TES.

  5. Shakes His Head
    July 29, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    Taking office space off the tax roll as well. Wouldn’t an empty storefront at Allendale be a better fit for this? More parking, more accessible, larger space……

  6. Davy Jones
    July 29, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Is parking your car and getting to the second floor of 100 North St. so much easier than 70 Allen St.?

    Maybe people and contractors can use the parking garage and then skateboard down North St. to get to 100 North St.
    Oh wait, skateboarding on North St. is illegal. Scratch that idea.

  7. Davy Jones
    July 29, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    Maybe the Mayor can move his office from the corner of City Hall to 100 North St. also. He can combine it with his office at Global Mondello. That way he can save himself steps and get two paychecks from the same desk.

    The black phone will be for Mondello business and red phone with only one center button for city Mayoral business. Middle draw full of razor sharp ribbon cutting scissors. All finger shaking and suppressed press policy can be streamlined into one efficient center hub.

    Its a win-win.

    • dusty
      July 29, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      The city should offer bonuses for idea like this

      Maybe the whole city hall should move there and they could turn the city hall footprint into a much needed parking deck

      maybe that is where this whole thing is going

  8. Spider
    July 29, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    What is the mayor getting in exchange for this deal? Perhaps “free rent” for his own business….at least that and maybe more.

    Don’t know about the rest of you, but if this City Council does not stop this from happening……I will remember this and remind all I know at the next election..

  9. Payroll Patriot
    July 29, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    State Ethics Commission anyone? What would the rent be without the city offices in the building.

  10. Gene
    July 29, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Great expose, DV. Hope the council finds the guts to do the right thing.

  11. Bull Durham
    July 29, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    David Carver is Gary Scarafoni’s brother-in-law, not son-in-law. He is Dick Scarafoni’s son-in-law. Dick is the guy who started the whole real estate venture long ago and also used to own a Ford dealership in North Adams.

  12. outfox
    July 29, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Never thought I’d say this, but the way TES presents this actually sounds good on paper, consolidating all the licensing people in one place. Ok, makes sense, but couldn’t they do that at City Hall by re-arranging a few office spaces?

    • Because
      July 29, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      Rearranging existing space makes too much sense.

      Why do that when you bring over all the offices to your other job?
      Why do that when you can pull $126,000.00 out of thin air?
      Why do that when you can convert the existing space into storage?
      Why use free space when you can fleece. I mean lease.

      Why do that when you can do whatever you damn well please?

    • Because
      July 29, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Who arranged all the city offices to the way they are now?
      Why has it worked so well all these years and now its a problem?

      Why not reassess all the space the people own and make adjustments for effeciency?

      If the Mayor can pull $126,000.00 out of thin air and spend it without approval of the city council, why not use to fill some potholes?

      Lets say a public works employed pothole filler person makes $20.00 per hour.
      Plus benefits plus costs of hot tar.
      Lets just say it costs $50.00 per pothole to fill.
      How many potholes can $126,000.00 fill?

      2,500 or so?
      Are there that many potholes in all of Pittsfield?

      “How many holes does it take to fill the Albert Hall?
      They had to count them all”.

  13. amandaWell
    July 29, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Pittsfield population has shrunk, yet government continues to grow, and grow.

  14. Nota
    July 29, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    This is just another rough shod tactic by TES, seemingly bypass any authority and oversight of the City Council. This might be a great idea, but to not include any Council input is just wrong.

  15. PopKornAsutton
    July 29, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    And they tried to ethicate Squiggy for a lousy World Series ticket.

  16. Two Questions
    July 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Let’s just say for gits and shiggles that this whole plan gets stopped for whatever reason.

    Does the $126,000 go back into the black hole from whence it came?

    How much more money is in deep storage in the city coffers to be spent on frivolous projects without council approval?

    • levitan
      July 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      ‘gits and shiggles’

      I don’t think that means what you think it does.

  17. levitan
    July 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Bianchi stands accused before the city Human Rights Commission of being a racist

    Actually, so far it sounds like he’s accused of wagging his finger and having stood up so as to tower over someone who is seated.

    Nonetheless, a decent Minister of Public Relations can bang that one into good form.

  18. Joe Blow
    July 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Grab your ankles taxpayers because you’re about to get………….
    I believe the fix was in on a new Taconic from the beginning. The voters in Pittsfield need to wake up and pay attention to whats going on.

    http://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/ci_26234207/school-building-needs-commission-votes-16-1-entirely

    • dusty
      July 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      This was a done deal the day Tricia Farley was sent to Boston. The only thing not settled is the cost. They are putting out 120 million now but it will be 200 million before it is done. 75 million will be graft and kickbacks.

  19. Nota
    July 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Yeah but if we don’t do it someone else will….we will be hearing that for the next twenty years. Taconic upkeep over the years was abandoned.

  20. joetaxpayer
    July 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    All I know is Longmeadow High (1,000 students) got 185,000 sq. ft of new school and 52,000 sq. ft of renovated space for 78 million. That included a swimming pool and space for there local access TV station. Thank you Mr.Vincelette for being the voice of reason, Ward 4 misses you.

    • Carolyn Barry
      July 30, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Thank You Mr. Vincelette! You too Terry!

  21. Terry Kinnas
    July 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    On the move of offices,
    1. I do believe a ruling from the state Ethics Commission will be
    needed.
    2. How much in new fee (tax) revenue will be generated?
    Actually, how much is generated now? How many permits
    are we talking about? Why are all these new permits going to
    be needed? Dan V. makes a good point about the need to
    look at the process.
    3. 126k in found money is very questionable when my ward 4
    councilor says there is not enough money to fix pot holes and
    road work. etc.
    On the School Building Needs Commission, it has been a disaster. New will not solve the problems. I will expand upon this in the next few days.

    • levitan
      July 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

      Thanks for lending credibility to this complaint, Mr. Kinnas. Miss you on the School Commission.

  22. amandaWell
    July 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    love is the answer!

  23. Thomas More
    July 30, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    It wasn’t long ago when this site was critical of the city because Ken Ramsdell had to run all over town to get permits for his dog walk. Now the mayor wants to put them all under one roof and he gets railed on for it.

    • levitan
      July 30, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      Yep. A pattern is emerging. Who gets nailed by whom depends upon who is in favor.

    • BCC
      July 30, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      To conclude that Dan Valenti is against consolidating inspection offices is to draw a very incomplete conclusion.

      Its sort of like taking a test at school and you finish, sit back and relax because you think you aced it before anyone else finished.
      Then after a long while, another student points out to you that are 20 more questions on the flip side of the test.

  24. lakeside
    July 30, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    the problem the contractors- homeowners have with the permit process is the length of time it takes to get one, for example if you live in a flood plain you have to appear in front of community development board, conservation commission, etc. these boards meet how often, every three weeks ? the problem lies within the system not the fact that one has to go to multiple offices to get one.

  25. AP
    July 30, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    1) there is less parking here than at City Hall (go figure)

    2) as of now all departments are under the same roof, just not on the same floor.

    3) the departments rarely speak to each other to begin with.

    4) not one person in City Hall knows which department is to be seen first. Even though it’s on a single sheet of paper, I have been told there is a particular order on getting sign offs and even then the information was contradictory.

    5) he is only moving the departments into this particular building because he does more work out of his Global office than he does out of his corner office.

  26. amandaWell
    July 30, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    First there’s tax revenues, then you got, license fee, permit fee, free cash ect. Now there’s….. EXISTING FUNDS? Houdini Bianchi!

  27. Nota
    July 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    But TES the Council needs to approve the move, we haven’t even sent LOW any material concerning this move…..I don’t need no stinking approval!

  28. Dave
    July 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Channel 16 is airing every Berkshire Force U16 Softball World Series game for free. Great thing for Pittsfield with all these teams coming in with their families. They are winning 8-1 in their first game, and the only thing that could make it better was if PCTV (well it is Pittsfield) had an announcer that actually gave a shit and prepared instead of the same old same old rerun. GO FORCE!

    • Dave
      July 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      But if he is volunteering and not on the clock for his job, then thank you. But it is 100 North St so………….

  29. Tito
    July 30, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Dave’s off topic.

    • Dave
      July 30, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      Yes Tito, as I said a great thing for Pittsfield! Which has been “off topic ” for too long of a time. Thank you for recognizing that!

  30. Tito
    July 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Did UNICO’s Cappy and Mikey D threw out the first pitch.

    • Dave
      July 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      I wasn’t watching Tito, who did? I hope whoever it was didn’t pull a BABABOOEY! It should have been a Doyle, being that the announcer kept referring to the name of the field after every 1/2 inning( not a bad thing as he was deserving, but after the first 10 times it gets old). I think Tim would have throw a better pitch than Jr.

  31. PopKornSutton
    July 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    TITO, the Generlissimo would be a fan of the Farce! Err Force. Did anyone see the Big Yellow Water Tower! Who was the announcer? Just curious,Dave?

  32. Tito
    July 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    I think it was Vin Scully.

  33. Kevin
    July 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Let’s get this back on track. The point is there are far easier ways to improve permitting without tearing up half of city hall and relocating into another building just because the mayor wants to work more at his Global job.