THINGS HEAT UP ON THE PLANET … OUR DIGGING UNCOVERS MESS AFTER MESS … HRC TAKES UP WADE, and LOOMING CONFRONTATION TODAY, 10 A.M., AT PITTSFIELD WATER PLANT
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014) — Things are getting hot, and THE PLANET is on the case. No, we don’t refer to the 90-degree weather. THE PLANET refers to Doreen Wade‘s charges of racism and water maverick Craig Gaetani‘s indictment of Mayor Dan Bianchi.
Bianchi’s public unraveling ties these two stories together. There are also a couple of other hot stories brewing, both involving the mayor. THE PLANET is digging, and we expect pay dirt soon.
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She appeared last night before the Human Rights Commission. Wade and Gaetani, an unlikely pairing, have been brought together by circumstances. Each of their stories with respect to the mayor are eerily similar. Both have testified to Bianchi’s threatening behavior, his finger-pointing, his screaming, and his invasion of personal space. Now it appears Gaetani has offered his support to Wade. He supported Wade at last night’s HRC meeting. Wade and Gaetani strike THE PLANET as the wrong people to wrong. They don’t back down and meekly go away when they perceive themselves to be victims of bullying.
Gaetani has called a press conference for 10 a.m. today at Pittsfield’s Cleveland water treatment plant in Hinsdale. Sources say former mayor Charlie Smith will be speaking as well. Gaetani and Dr. Lawrence Wang designed the Krofta flotation technology at the Cleveland plant, which uses air to purify water.
The meat of the story regarding the press conference, however, involves the letter Gaetani received from Pittsfield DPU chief Bruce Collingwood on April 7, 2014.
THE PLANET has obtained a copy. It is published here for the first time.
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OFFICIAL DPU LETTERHEAD
Dear Mr. Gaetoni [note Collingwood spells the last name incorrectly]:
Several years ago we met in my office at City Hall along with the water superintendent and former mayor Charles Smith. You represented yourself as a consultant to the water industry. The city recognizes your accomplishments with the design and construction of the water plants in your capacity as an employee of Krofta. During this meeting you requested permission to visit the City’s water treatment plants and you stated you were aware of possible water treatment improvement to be considered for our plants. I requested from you the following information ahead of any visit: the name and address of your company, the purpose of your visit, an insurance certificate naming the City of Pittsfield as additional insured, and a written summary of water data you needed. You have never provided any information. You have now submitted a petition to the City Council requesting once again access to the plants.
You recently contacted at least two City Councilors and, according to the Councilors [Collingwood does not name them], you verbally threatened them. You also have a history of the same towards me. Although you may have good intentions, your abusive nature will not be tolerated. There are other municipal Krofta water plants that you may approach to facilitate your professional goals. Please stop your efforts to gain access to the City’s water plants. Please be aware that any contionued effort will be subject to serving you with a Trespass Notice.
Bruce I. Collingwood, P.E.
Commissioner of Public Works & Utilities
cc: Daniel Bianchi, Mayor[;] City Councilors[;] Brian Stack, Water Superintendent
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The letter raises several questions. Given that Gaetani over the years has escorted countless engineers on tours of the Cleveland plant, why would he be treated in such a manner? Collingwood cites Gaetani’s threats, but where is the substantiation? Gaetani has attributed that very behavior to the mayor — indirectly substantiated by similar claims against the mayor not only by Wade but by other sources who have testified to THE PLANET about the mayor’s intimidation tactics.
Collingwood doesn’t name the two councilors. Why? Wouldn’t you name the accusers even a with only a basic understanding and loose interpretation of justice and fair play?
Next is the “insurance certificate.” That is unheard of and sets up an unreasonable condition that the mayor and Collingwood would know would not be met. This would ensure that either Gaetani doesn’t challenge it by visiting the plant or that if he does, sans insurance, he can be arrested.
And what of the arrest threat? Even for Bianchi — and make no mistake, Collingwood wouldn’t dare sniffle unless the mayor said to hawk — this “secret police” tactic is outstanding.
Bottom line is that today, Gaetani and Mayor Smith will be at the Cleveland plant. Gaetani is calling the city’s bluff. Sources tell us that he intends to go inside and escort attending press on a tour. Will he be arrested? Will the city violate the professional and civil rights of this man? THE PLANET shall be on hand to report what happens.
We shall act as your eyes and ears.
“Shimmy shimmy coco-bop, shimmy shimmy bop.” — Ancient words of wisdom from the 1950s.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLE.”
LOVE TO ALL.