PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

Tonight, for the first Thursday in the past nine, there will be no new Planet Valenti Television episode. All of the equipment is out of the studio and ready for the 4th parade. PV-TV will be back on Thursday, July 10. You won’t believe your eyes and ears. Relentless, pedal to the metal. 

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, INTO THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND, JULY 3-6, 2014) — No use crying about spilled milk, but for Abbey Farm between Holmes Road and the Pittsfield water treatment plant and environs, there’s likely plenty of crying over a massive amount of spilled sewage. Area residents are also (and rightfully) concerned about possible health concerns stemming from a spill that could have easily been prevented and should not have occurred at all. THE PLANET broke the story yesterday, and in little time the inquiries of the state EPA and other parties were under way.

We are having our effect.

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Today, we update this Pittsfield classic story, quintessential in its exemplification the city’s lack of leadership, lack of accountability, institutional dysfunction, and its preference for dealings in the dark when it comes to We The People‘s business.

Yesterday, water man Carl Shaw, the presumptive head of a department that is perhaps the city’s most  inefficient, sent underlings to Carr Hardware to buy rakes and lime. Later, personnel were seen at work trying to tender the land affected when a large amount of raw sewage geysered into the Housatonic River, onto the adjacent farmland, and “who knows” where else. Its not known how much sewage and waste poured out. It appears that 400 sq-ft. of property was affected. Of course, that doesn’t include the mainlining of raw sewage into the river for who knows how long.

This monumental lapse of stewardship by waste-water personnel occurred  because of a profound miscommunication that led to three catch basins being shut when a predicted, expected rain of torrential proportion moved through the area overnight on June 26 and into June 27. In this day of satellite technology, sophisticated radar, precise prediction of weather fronts, the storm caught the city officials  unprepared and clueless.

Sources tell us that, as the beginning of its ongoing investigation, the state Department of Environmental Protection contacted the water department yesterday, which THE PLANET confirmed. Ed Coletta from the DEP told THE PLANET that his agency had begun its own investigation into the incident.

Coletta said the city called the DEP on Friday of last week (the 27th), as it is required by law to do. There’s a however, of course. In Pittsfield, there always is a “however.”

Coletta said that when the department worker called Friday morning, he reached the office of a DEP official who was out of the office that day. The department worker then left a voice mail. Incredibly, the person who left the voice mail, and we don’t have that name, left the message but didn’t think the matter urgent enough to speak to an actual, living person!  It wasn’t until the following Monday (this week) that the EPA learned of the leakage of raw sewage.

We then asked Coletta if the caller had reported both the raw-sewage leakage in the river (yes) and the pollution of the farmland. On the latter point, Coletta said that he was “not aware” that the caller had mentioned the farmland poisoning. Deliberately withhold information of the land spillage, if that occurred, could play a significant factor in the DEP’s assignation of penalties.

This would lend support to THE PLANET’s news shared yesterday that, according to our sources, the water department reported leakage into the river (because the monitoring would have revealed it anyway) but not the pollution of the farmland. If that is so, the question becomes: Who made the decision to withhold that information and why? It’s a question that could have millions of dollars in monetary consequences as well as potentially dramatic consequences on current city office holders.

THE PLANET yesterday put in requests for comment to Pittsfield mayor Dan Bianchi and the city’s DPW commissioner Bruce Collingwood. Neither Bianchi nor Collingwood returned our inquiries. We are shocked. Shocked.

Coletta said the DEP has begun its investigation into the incident and that, depending on what the probe reveals, the option of fining the city for any uncovered negligence “would certainly be available to us.” Sources say fines for pollution of this sort could be heavy, perhaps into the millions, depending on what the investigation reveals. Coletta said “it’s too early to tell” about any penalty, adding “there’s no time frame” at this point on how long the agency’s investigation will take. This suggests that the EPA is taking this matter seriously and will investigate with due deliberation.

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Sources familiar with water department procedures yesterday contacted THE PLANET, telling us of “the incredible amount of incompetence and waste” that is considered business-as-usual there. Is that the case? If not, then how could an incident like the recent spillage occur? It also brings the obvious question to mind: What responsibility if any does Bruce Collingwood bear for the blundering on the 26th-27th last month that led to a major environmental insult not just to Mother Nature but also to every citizen, especially taxpaying citizen, of the city?

And what does this all say about the tenure of Bianchi as the city’s CEO? The matter speaks for itself.

Finally, THE PLANET saw with our own eyes the affected area after the manhole cover blew and the major trunkline was violated. Sewage was everywhere — human waste, condoms, feminine napkins, and other assorted goodies. In the interests of a modicum good taste, we shall not proceed further with our descriptions. The water shooting out of the blown manhole looked like a geyser. Let’s call it Old Faithless.

Be sure. The last word on this has not been spoken. Also, it points out the futility of the ill-thought-out mayoral “press policy.” If THE PLANET had abided by policy, Berkshire County would still be in the dark about this environmental sin. Julia Sabourin, the green adminstrative aide for The Empty Suit, would have relayed a request for comment to TES, and he would have gone silent.

Press policy? THE PLANET doesn’t need no stinking press policy! We’d rather work our sources.

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In case you missed it, The Berkshire Eagle ran an editorial on the mayor’s media policy. Here’s what it said:

Our opinion: Transparency is best media policy

POSTED:   07/02/2014 12:11:25 AM EDT

It is difficult to see how the new Pittsfield City Hall policy regarding employee contacts with the media, and by extension, the public, will make communication more efficient, as asserted by Mayor Daniel Bianchi and Director of Administrative Services Julia Sabourin. The policy is more likely to have an inhibiting effect, and the reason for the emergence of this policy raises concerns as well.

The two-page policy statement, dated June 24, was distributed to department heads last week and found its way to local blogger [and TV host] Dan Valenti, who decried it as an attack on the press’ access to city employees. In instituting what the mayor described as a “more formal press protocol within City Hall,” employees were advised to contact Ms. Sabourin if “they do not feel comfortable with a reporter” or would like her input on an issue, to contact her for advice when “a new or unresolved topic” is brought up, and to notify her after they have spoken to a reporter.

Ms. Sabourin told The Eagle’s Jim Therrien (July 1) that the policy was developed because many employees had questions about how to handle the media. It isn’t clear why employees are now having these questions in the mayor’s second term unless they believe dealing with the media is potentially problematic for them. If they felt intimidated before they will feel more intimidated now given the rules mandated by the memo, which are unlikely to bring about better communication between City Hall and the press and public.

These kinds of regulations are common in the private sector, but the public sector, which is financed by taxpayers, must encourage contact with the press, not discourage it. The local media’s constituency consists of more than the residents who voted for the mayor; it includes those who voted against him, those who sit out elections and those not old enough to vote. They all have a vested interest in what goes on in City Hall and should expect City Hall to provide access to their representatives in the media.

To her credit, Ms. Sabourin, who is new to the job, acknowledged to The Eagle that the memo should have been released publicly, chalking up the failure to do so as a “learning experience.” The larger learning experience would be for City Hall to acknowledge the importance of transparency and openness about its activities on behalf of the city. Taxpayers should expect nothing less.

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THE PLANET reviews The Berkshire Theatre Group‘s full-tilt production of Charles Ludlam‘s The Mystery of Irma Vep, starring Bill Bowers and Tom Hewitt.

New York Times’ Summer Stages Pick
by Charles Ludlam
directed by Aaron Mark
featuring Bill Bowers and Tom Hewitt

at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage, Stockbridge
Previews June 24-June 27
Press Opening/Opening Night: June 28
Talkback: June 30
Closing: July 19
Tickets: Preview: $42
A: $62 B: $52 C: $42

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(STOCKBRIDGE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2014) — What happens when Farce meets Theater of the Absurd meets Theater of the Ridiculous? And what occurs when you take this amalgam, throw in cross dressing, gender bending, a spooky dark mansion, a trio of monsters that would make the old Universal Studios proud, and give the nearly panicky script to a director and actors who “get” (no, “Get”) the heart of the play?

ANSWER: THE BTG’s current production of Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep — A Penny Dreadful, as pleasant a look at the oft-unpleasant of personal Identity as you will want to meet … or howl for.

The fun begins with the odd show title. “Irma Vep” is an anagram for “vampire,” while “a penny dreadful” refers to a kind of sensationalistic periodical fiction sold for a penny on cheap paper, popular in 19th century England.

We are already breathless. There’s a vampire, to be sure, plus a mummy (and the inevitable “mummy/mommy” puns) and a werewolf. There’s a lot of deliberately (and creatively) cheap camp that takes “penny dreadful” sensationalism, mainlines it with pure adrenaline, and feeds it coffee for the show’s 90 or so minutes.

BOWERS & HEWITT: All “Vep,” all the time. (Photos, Berkshire Theatre Group)

Director Mark Lane takes Ludlam’s precisely wild script and put his all, and the production’s all, into what we can best term “pace.” To act out this two-man exhale, Lane gives reign to two of the best, Tom Hewitt (playing Lady EnidNicodemus, and Alcazar) and actor/mime Bill Bowers (Lord EdgarJane, and An Intruder). Hewitt and Bowers pull off Ludlam-cum-Lane’s conception brilliantly. The pair play adeptly with Ludlam’s feverish dialogue, both actors suitably over-the-top — where they find the rim of the glass always rising just beyond their grasp (otherwise, what is a “reach” for?!)

Costumes (Wade Laboissonniere), lighting (Alan Edwards), and sound (Brendan Doyle) enhance the frenetic and fraught pacing, literally pulled off (and on) by Hewitt and Bowers with the flash-drive costume changes, near-perfect handling of the machine-gun dialogue, and tizzied body language (particularly Bowers).

Set designer Randall Parsons takes a literal approach, rendering the interior of Mandacrest with a cartoonish believability. Perfect touch, as is his stylized renderings of “various places in Egypt.”

The only down side to this romp is that it ended.


“Don’t be blind. You’ve got a thinking mind. Stop the bells that ring so loud. Don’t hang your head you’ll draw a crowd. Just think of everything you’ve worked so hard to bring. The lemon sings my song. He’s known it all along.”The Bee Gees, “Lemon Song,” from the album, “Horizontal,” (1964).




  1. Donna Walto
    July 3, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Oh Danny Boy you got it right, “lack of leadership, lack of accountability, and institutional dysfunction”. Is it a “miracle”? It seems that you and the Berkshire Eagle are on the same page. In the shadows of October Mountain, what would Herman Melville say now?

  2. Corner Office Spin
    July 3, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    We have not approved of Dan Valenti’s reporting of this incidence.
    He did not clear this information through the mayor’s office.

    We think that raw sewage is good for the river. Yes, good because it helps things grow and the fish love it.

    As for as lying to the EPA and DEP goes, well they have to prove it. Even if the city is found guilty and fined heavily, it does not matter. The city will just pass these costs onto the taxpayers by means of a tax increase and we go on.

    We do not encourage anyone at this time to take pictures or document any of this without the express permission of the corner office.

    Please have a nice 4th of July.

    • danvalenti
      July 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      THE PLANET thanks the corner office for this wisdom.

  3. Sean
    July 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Don’t you mean wastewater department

    • danvalenti
      July 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      Yes. We will go back in and correct it.

  4. dusty
    July 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Shit happens.

    And this proves it.

  5. Payroll Patriot
    July 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Breaking News !!!!!!!!

    The Planet has identified The Elected Stranger’s(TES) magic economic development plan. The PEDA board executive committee is meeting Monday, July 7 at 8 a.m. It must be true because it is on the City’s web site. The plan is to sell organically grown vegetables to all the tourists and any locals that like the tax hikes. Additionally, this same organic garden spot will help that “Grown in the Berkshires” slogan have a new meaning, and that the vegetables will compete with foreign imports. The city is projected to make millions with this new economic development engine. It is rumored that the money will be used to pay for the projected 130 million dollar new high school.

    • danvalenti
      July 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

      Brilliant. So that’s the reason for the sewage leak. The city will go into the Organic Produce business, Another of TES’ “economic engines,” just like the $130 million new school will be.

  6. amandaWell
    July 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    L O A M….it fits.

    • Payroll Patriot
      July 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Lots Of Animal Manure and human are mammals. Nice.

  7. Jonathan Melle
    July 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Pittsfield politics =
    – Shrinking tax base
    – Thousands of people moving away from Pittsfield
    – Hundreds of lost jobs in Pittsfield
    – corrupt Pittsfield politicians
    – the Good Old Boy network
    – a Mayor named Dan Bianchi in denial
    – high welfare caseloads
    – teen pregnancy rates that double the statewide average
    – high taxes and fees
    – a lot of Senior Citizens living off of their fixed incomes waiting for death and more taxes
    – a poorly performing public school system that is overpriced
    – a dangerous downtown area that has consumed many tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, but is plagued by crime, violence, drugs, and gangs
    – POOP

  8. Chuck Garivaltis
    July 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    and like the Babe, Joe, and Ted who did things first or last their memories will be eternal. Louis Zamperini is not in this list of world beaters. But he could have been. And it nice to see a movie being made to honor this man who did not break world sporting records only because he chose to serve his country. Great July 4 story. I know anyone reading this will agree with me.

    • Roman Knows
      July 4, 2014 at 4:33 am #

      Great book I read it last year. As a 75 year old avid reader and sports nut I could not believe that I had never heard of him until I read a review of the book in the Sunday AJC. i highly recommend the book to readers, sportsfans, and all Americans.

  9. Chuck Garivaltis
    July 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Oh my, what happened to the rest of my story? Dan, can we salvage this?

    • danvalenti
      July 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      I don’t think we can, CHUCK, but I’ll check with my IT manager, though.

      • Chuck Garivaltis
        July 4, 2014 at 5:29 am #

        I’ll try to piece it together best I can. I noticed 97 year old Louis Zamperini died and the name jarred a memory. A book titled “Unbroken” was about a typical kid who had great natural running ability and was a member of the 1936 Olympic team. He did not win a gold medal but was so impressive in running the last lap of the 5000 meter race Hitler himself wanted to shake his hand. He continued to improve and impress but World War 2 started and Zamperini joined the Air Force. His plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean and he spent 74 days in a raft before being rescued and captured by the Japanese. He was tortured and beaten by his captors over a 2 year period in captivity but he never broke and never gave them information they requested. He returned home, to Calif. I think, a shell of the physical specimen he once was. His athletic career was over and he was pretty much forgotten until the book Unbroken was written. Now here’s my point. You have heard of Roger Bannister. He’s the Englishman who broke the 4 minute mile and is remembered as a great one for that feat. Well, before the war Zamperini was on schedule to be the first man to break the 4 minute mile. It could have been Zamperini but he joined the Air Force to fight for his country. So he is not remembered as an athletic great like the Babe and Bannister and others. But he is certainly remembered as a great man. I’m looking forward to a movie this fall about his life story.

        • Gene
          July 4, 2014 at 9:19 am #

          Thanks Chuck for sharing this great story. I loved the show you did with DV!

          • Chuck Garivaltis
            July 5, 2014 at 5:07 am #

            Thanks certainly is a great story. I mentioned 74 days on a raft. It was 47 days. I enjoyed doing the show with Dan and I’m pleased you found it interesting.

  10. Scott
    July 4, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    Does anyone here even drink Pittsfield water? I find I get a mild stomach cramp when I do. We fill our water at the inlaws from thier well or buy water.

  11. amandaWell
    July 4, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    All three lights on my filtrated water system were on simultaneously the other day, kid you not!

    • C.J.
      July 4, 2014 at 6:31 am #

      Is the Water Treatment plant a Krofta sand float system ? It was designed in Lenox and they still have an office in Dalton, me thinks. Time for a tune up.

  12. PopKornSutton
    July 4, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    got Mummers?

  13. Bill Sturgeon
    July 4, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    When Tom Landry was the boss at the wastewater plant things like this didn’t happen. Perhaps the mayor should ask Tom to come back as a consultant and help get things back in working order.

    FYI Tom has worked at the WWP for years – My nickname for Tom was “Tommy Toilet” Tom is Air Force Vet. and another WWP who has retired (A Silver Star) winner Joe Mack – My nickname for him was “The Flusher”! These two guys could straighten things out.

    • Silence Dogood
      July 4, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      why do we need two people to do the job one person could do in the past one of them must not be needed

    • Mad Trapper
      July 4, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      I beg to differ. There was TP and Tampoons in the trees along the river in the 1960-90s for sure.

      That manhole should be called FOUL FAITHFUL, it is foul, and it is faithful!!!

  14. Matt Foley
    July 4, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    The mayor’s office can stay silent all it wants to. They can withhold information from the EPA and the story can be kept out of the papers like it didn’t happen.
    I know it happened. Know why?

    Oh sure, you all flush and watch it all just swirl around and away it goes, like magic. Well Frickin LA DEE DA.

    You try working on a motivational speech while breathing in all that stench while you LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!

    • Mad Trapper
      July 4, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      I sent a complaint to the EPA

      • danvalenti
        July 4, 2014 at 11:22 am #

        THE PLANET applauds your act of citizenship.

    • levitan
      July 11, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Awesome memory of one of SNL’s best skits.

  15. Mad Trapper
    July 4, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    This problem with the same manhole, and release of THOUSANDS of gallons of sewage is chronic.

    I am over fifty years old, and remember this as a child.

    $#!tsfield has been polluting the river/land the same way for decades, maybe centuries? I’m not that old, but older than me.

    How does the HRA feel about the sewage?

    Been out in your canoe on the river? Maybe have some sort of sickness since?

    Maybe $#!tsfield should have let the public know about their environmental poisoning of the WHOLE COUNTY SOUTH OF $#!TSFIELD???

    No, TES, Water Dept., Councilors, Collingwood, are having a holiday weekend………

    • Mad Trapper
      July 4, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      And nothing about this in THE LEFT WINGED PARROT either.

      • Mad Trapper
        July 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

        Well in retrospect , the LEFT WINGED PARROT has spoken, the “PARTY” line.

        $#!tsfield is fine.

        Got Human manure? ORGANIC!!!!

  16. Silence Dogood
    July 4, 2014 at 8:33 am #

  17. Gene
    July 4, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    The sewer/pollution issue is disgraceful. The mayor, collingwood, and waste-water manager have placed the city in jeopardy of a hefty DEP fine. Disgraceful. I thank this website for again keeping us citizens informed.

  18. Spider
    July 4, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    It’s not IF we get a hefty DEP fine….it’s HOW MUCH!

    Be prepared at next year’s budget session for a whopper of a tax increase. They sure as hell won’t cut any spending to pay for it…’s on the taxpayers backs!

    Just remember!

  19. Payroll Patriot
    July 4, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Mr. Landry was in charge of the waste water treatment plant in the late 80’s to a few years ago.. He and the city won awards for the best run treatment plant of its size in the northeast and some for national operations. Mr. Landry was one of the best. In the sixties/early seventies served with the U.S. Army, in a special unit that was involved with highly sensitive operations. I visited his office a few times on environmental business. He did have a sign on his desk “The shit stops here” . He remove it for political reasons and replaced it with “Chief turd herder”. An intelligent person with a sense of humor. The city misses him,
    but they would not let him help out with their present problems.

    • Mad Trapper
      July 6, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      The trees along the river were filled with TP and Tampoons in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. 1990s, and into this century.

      Were the awards for
      ‘decorations” along the river?

      $#!tsfield wastewater treatment is/was/has been a disgrace.

  20. B
    July 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    You need to do a recall on the mayor.

    • danvalenti
      July 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Our sources tell us that option is currently being explored. We hear it’s a serious exploration.

  21. dusty
    July 5, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    Whose ward is this in? Surely that councilor is on top of things and is not holding info from his or her ward folk. No one expects much from the mayor but perhaps an upstanding ward rep might over ride any gag order and leak the truth. It is really truly sad if this person fears the mayor.

    • downtown dweller
      July 5, 2014 at 6:31 am #

      I could be mistaken but isn’t that part of Ward 4?

  22. Bill Sturgeon
    July 5, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    Dan: The mayor need to pick-up the telephone and call Tom Landry
    “ask” him if he would jump (back in the crap) and help out the City? The City does not need any further U.S. Gov’t investigations into its practices, in my opinion!!

    • downtown dweller
      July 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      But how will they undo all those cut ribbons?

    • Sparkie
      July 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      But Melissa Mazzeo said she read the charter and it is perfect.

  23. Chuck Garivaltis
    July 5, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    An important discussion is going on here but I’m sure folks won’t mind a little trivia. Did you Know? America’s hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut has Pittsfield roots. His grandparents and father lived on Pond Street in the Mt. Carmel neighborhood area. Joey has relatives in Pittsfield and remains in contact with his aunt Beverly Chestnut Morelli. Beverly is a former Pond Street resident who now resides in Housatonic.

    • Silence Dogood
      July 5, 2014 at 7:54 am #

      was he in town after the last contest? when the sewer plant was overloaded?

  24. PopKornSutton
    July 5, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Hot Dog!

  25. PopKornSutton
    July 5, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    If you bring Landry back,then you should also ask Chuck Howley and D D Lewis to come with him.

    • Dave
      July 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      And Too Tall Jones, Roger Staubach, Randy White, Preston and Drew Pearson, Tony Dorsett, ….oh and the Cheerleaders too.

      • Sugar Ray
        July 6, 2014 at 10:51 am #

        No need to bring back any of the old crony’s……….most of them are just as bad. How bout firing all of these under qualified bosses and hiring some decent people that don’t mind putting in an honest days work.

  26. Bill Sturgeon
    July 5, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    How about bringing them all back and Joe Mack too. This “crap” is getting out of hand. Sorry, the devil made me do it.

  27. billy
    July 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    they need new blood not ones coming out of reretirement

  28. Hurdygurdy Man
    July 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Is it too much to ask that city managers from the mayor on down just do a decent job on the jobs they are supposed to be “doing”?

    • Nebulous
      July 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      The people the mayor has put in charge don’t qualify. Prime example: Monteroso.
      Mayor’s official stance on that – “its a private matter”.
      If the mayor owed you a favor and gave you a drivers license, does that mean you know how to drive?
      Take a look at the mayor’s new press nazis; she’s clueless.

      This happens in companies sometimes. A relative will get a high paying job and not know what he’s doing; simply got the job because he’s a brother in law or something. If the people under him don’t bail him out every time because they don’t like him, the company suffers huge losses. Bad management has bankrupted a lot of companies. Seen any A&P supermarkets lately?

      Its impossible to dump 1000’s of gallons of raw sewage into the Hoosey and claim they were qualified for that job. The mayor simply put the wrong guy in charge.

  29. Lady in Red
    July 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Dan are you stuck at CLT?

    • danvalenti
      July 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      No. We haven’t been at the Charlotte Airport in a month!

  30. eddiep
    July 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    And the voters put the wrong guy in charge.

  31. Luke
    July 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    This is an example of the Peter Principle of Diminishing Competence which says scared people always hire people less competent than they are.

    The list of clearly incompetent people appointed by this Mayor is a who’s who of why the city is unable to transcend its challenges.

    And what is so particularly sad is that these people are poisoning their future job chances with demonstrable failure at jobs for which they are not competent. Hiring incompetents does no one the favor it appears.

    Time to establish a “blue ribbon” panel to consider applicants for city jobs.. create adequate time frames to do honest and aggressive recruitment of highly competent people, and take the destructive political and personal agenda out of city appointments. Repost the Berkshire Works job and this time do an honest recruitment for the month it takes to broadcast the job and develop a strong pool of candidates from which to choose.

    Otherwise it’s time to recall the Hack in Chief who occupies the mayor’s office. We can’t afford the sewer system he is creating of Pittsfiled.

    In other words, clean up your act or get out!

  32. Nota
    July 6, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    For the Water Department, it’s Mel Renfro for me! Safety valve experience is key!

  33. C.J.
    July 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    TES has praised, endorsed, and lauded his future achievement of potentially building a Life Science or Business Innovation center on the PEDA site.
    It indeed makes sense : Headline in today’s Eagle is”Discarded syringes littering Berkshires”. A good source of raw material for the medical plastics firms which TES states are committed to this state funded venture. And it will make the streets greener, too.

  34. amandaWell
    July 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    If they do bring Mr. Landry back and all the others, don’t forget to add Walt Garrison.

  35. PopKornSutton
    July 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    I’ll talk to Tex Schrammand and see if we can get Charlie Waters, also.

  36. PopKornSutton
    July 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    And of course…..Jethro Pugh.

  37. Russell Moody
    July 7, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    If it is a manhole issue, Kevin Swail might have a suggestion or two– highway dept. head?

  38. Sugar Ray
    July 8, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    I had the pleasure of working at the Pittsfield Wastewater plant for a few years before moving on to another municipality. The City maintains a large scale operation with minimal staff. It is a 24/7 operation. The operations staff should be applauded for the awards that this plant has received. All while working for Mexican wages while watching the upper managers receive hefty pay raises and writing themselves in for countless overtime. But it all starts at the top……..from Mayor Bianchi………to Bruce Collingwood, right down to the superintendents and assistants. Not one of these bosses would stand a chance or last in the town that I work in. The City of Pittsfield needs manager’s, not cronies.