PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, AUG. 15-17, 2014) — Today at 10:30 a.m., the city will fire Rosanne Frieri. It’s not a show-cause hearing, as the city would have you believe. It’s an execution. Mayor Dan Bianchi, who decided long ago that Frieri must go, has loaded his goon squad with real ammo, and today he will order, “Fire!” Based on what the Frieri camp is saying, it could be a move The Empty Suit long regrets.

THE PLANET wrote the preceding words prior to 10:30 a.m. It is now past that hour. Guess what? She wasn’t fired. Frieri told THE PLANET that her attorney, Al Cimini, and the city reached an agreement to postpone the hearing for a week. Frieri says that, subject to change, the new hearing will be held next Friday, Aug. 22. We won’t speculate on the significance of the delay. Other sources said it could help both sides in preparation, “particularly the city if it has to re-create or fabricate a paper trail” in the vet agent’s file, as one attorney put it.

THE PLANET asked: “But wouldn’t that be illegal.”

Perry Mason just smiled and said, “Ain’t politics a bitch.”

——– 000 ——–

‘I Can’t Go Back to a Hostile Work Environment’

We asked Frieri if there was a chance that she could walk away having retained her job.

No chance, she said: “I can’t go back to a hostile work environment.”

That’a an interesting statement, one of our sources told us, and one that could assume great significance in the all-but-certain legal redress Frieri intends to seek for what she says was a violation of her civil rights. If the hearing is held and the city cannot make a sufficient case to fire Frieri or even for its action of suspending her without pay, it “basically hands her an unofficial summary judgment” that would make her future legal moves all that more secure, according to our legal source.

If the hearing ends with Frieri’s termination, that too could very well be in her favor, providing she is correct with her claims about the monstrous conduct of Mayor Dan Bianchi. In the action that the city cited as the cause of her suspension without pay, Frieri refused to meet one-on-one with the mayor. She said she did this because of previous ill treatment she suffered at Bianchi’s hands.

Either way, the mayor has just been handed a giant guano sandwich, and sooner or later, it appears he’s going to have to eat it.

——– 000 ——–

Reports of Mayor’s Monstrous Behavior, but Still He Refuses to Speak to THE PLANET

THE PLANET can share one thing for sure: Frieri has promised that she’s not going to go quietly. HR professionals and legal sources THE PLANET talked to said that one of her possible courses of action will be a civil suit aimed directly at the mayor. The city would not cover Bianchi’s expenses should he be sued personally for civil rights violations.

Frieri is just one of a half a dozen people THE PLANET is aware of who have made similar claims involving the alleged behavior of this Jeckyll-Hyde mayor. Three have gone public — Frieri, Medford businesswoman Doreen Wade and hydro scientist Craig Gaetani. The other three we will not name. We can say that they include one former city employee and two current city workers. All have told THE PLANET about their eerily similar experiences with the mayor “in bully mode.”

It has gotten so bad for The Empty Suit that he had to come out in the press and say that he is “not a bully.” That’s what he told Jim Levulis of WAMC radio: “Anybody that knows me, and I’ve got five decades of history, knows that I am not a bully and knows that I treat people fairly and you can ask anyone in this building.”

This has been Bianchi’s most Nixonian moment to date. It brings to mind Richard Nixon‘s infamous claim, in the middle of his Watergate meltdown, that “I am not a crook.” One gets the feeling that this declaration shall become famous before too long: “I am not a bully.”

When one doth protest that loudly and unprompted, it is a safe assumption that the protest is likely an indication of the opposite. That is known, Mr. Mayor, as hoisting one’s self up on one’s own petard. Check your history books to learn how that turned our for Mr. Nixon.

THE PLANET has repeatedly reached out to the mayor, asking him for comment and his version of these events. He has not returned one of our calls. As for “you can ask anyone in this building,” we have, Your Honor. They tell us otherwise about how you treat people.

Judging by these accounts, in public, TES is an altar boy. In private, according to what person after person is saying, he’s a monster. In private, if you show disagreement with him, they say, he bullies, finger points, yells and screams, intimidates, and invades your personal space.

One incident can be dismissed as a fluke. Even two can give one pause, given the difficulties in determining the facts and, harder still, the truth, when two parties have a disagreement. There are always two sides to every dispute. Six, however, indicates a problem. Six is not a fluke. It suggests a troubling and undeniable pattern.

THE PLANET can also say that we have received word that one of the anonymous three who have told of ill-treatment at Bianchi’s hands may be going public before the month is out. This case could be the most shocking of them all.

There could be a flurry of legal action against the city and against Dan Bianchi personally. In the end, that could go down as Bianchi’s great legacy — the mayor who brought the city’s reputation down with him into a putrid, stinking gutter.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor.


“Listen, do you want to know a scret? Do you promise not to tell?”The Beatles, “Do You Want to Know a Secret,” from the album Meet the Beatles, (1964).




  1. B Scofo
    August 15, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Man, I’m getting sick and tired of seeing Doreen Wade characterized as a “businesswoman.” She is no such thing.

    • levitan
      August 15, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Ditto that.

    • levitan
      August 15, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      Per the IRS on defining ‘business.’
      “In order to make this determination, taxpayers should consider the following factors:

      Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
      Does the taxpayer depend on income from the activity?
      If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
      • Has the taxpayer changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
      • Does the taxpayer or his/her advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
      • Has the taxpayer made a profit in similar activities in the past?
      • Does the activity make a profit in some years?
      • Can the taxpayer expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?

      The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year — at least two of the last seven years for activities that consist primarily of breeding, showing, training or racing horses.”

      I assume every IRS instruction mentions equines, possibly a code inserted by Lerner which has secret meaning. Also, rules change somewhat for non-profits, but I wonder if her activity in Medford constituted a business or a hobby.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    August 15, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Pittsfield should help her Veterans! It shouldn’t be about Dan Bianchi’s power. Some thinks this is about Jack Downing, who is NOT a Veteran, who wants total control over Veterans issues in Pittsfield. Either way, this is wrong. Pittsfield has a duty to help her Veterans!

    • silence dogood
      August 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

      Jack is a political hack

  3. levitan
    August 15, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    This is the first time I have seen C. Gaetani described as a ‘scientist.’ A hydro one at that.

    What is a ‘hydro scientist’ – is it degree in physics, chemistry, physical-chemistry?

    Or is he an engineer? Or is he a peddler of science products?

  4. MrG1188
    August 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    A couple of things: first didn’t the mayor put his passion/anger on display in public at a council meeting recently? Or was that mere passionate discussion. second, Pittsfield is a small town. The mayor IS out in public beyond the council meetings. Why doesn’t Dan V . Put himself in front of Dan B., WITH a microphone! ask a question or two and see what ensues. It would, at the least, make for entertaining TV.

    • levitan
      August 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      That would be a sh&t-bird amount of fun to watch. Like Moore’s movie on GE.

      • MrG1188
        August 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

        Hey…I would consider Dan V. A legitimate member of the Pittsfield press corps. As such, he as as much right to access to any public official as any other reporter. Lol…force the issue!

        • levitan
          August 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

          I was recently called a journalist. Based on my understanding of the profession, I took it as an insult.

          • ed shepardson
            August 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

            Mr. Levitan. Journalists have the courage to sign their work and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I’m sure that for you to be called a journalist was insulting to the hundreds of journalists who read this blog.

          • levitan
            August 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

            Ok, you get a badge for your courage. Wear it proudly and share it with all the other E. Shepardsons.

            Hundreds of journalists, that’s all? Given the prestige of association with the author, I’d think it be thousands.

            How can one insult a journalist? It’s like insulting a prostitute.

          • ed shepardson
            August 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

            Actually, I think you can insult a prostitute. “Worst f**k I ever had.” A journalist…”horrible story, bad information, did you learn from Levitan.”

          • ed shepardson
            August 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

            “Oh yea, and you are way too verbose, like Levitan. That’s usually a sign of someone who likes to hear themselves talk, in this case, write.”

          • ed shepardson
            August 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

            Now we return you to our regularly scheduled programming. Ms. Frieri.

          • levitan
            August 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

            Mr. Shepardson,

            I don’t see any compelling reason to post under my name. I have no relationship with any of the parties and have no inside knowledge. I’m not even a ‘anonymous source’ trying to get back at my employer.

            Thanks for the invitation to share my room with you, but I don’t hang out with emotional guys. I’m a loner, an island, and I don’t consider my beer to be communal property.

          • levitan
            August 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

            Also, feel free to discard my comments – you don’t need my permission.

          • ed shepardson
            August 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

            Yada yada yada. What some won’t do for their 15 seconds of fame. Mr. L, when you stay on the subject presented by PF, we have no issues. It’s when you stray. Can we now get back to the Frieri thing? Please.

          • A Warthog
            August 16, 2014 at 5:54 am #

            LEV is trying to sqeeze out 20

  5. B Lot
    August 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Yeah, maybe Bianchi does not have all of his ducks in a row quite yet.
    Hopefully this will bring him down.

    If he is so proud of his “anti-bullying” nature then why did he deny Ms. Frieri’s request to have a neutral 3rd party in the room?
    He wanted it to be just her and he because that way there are no witnesses.

    With the city hall in full lockdown, it would have only been a he said/she said aftermath. She was wise not to meet with him alone. In fact, the city should require cameras and recording of all meetings in the corner office. There is no national security crap when it comes to city politics.

  6. ed shepardson
    August 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    I find it ironic that Ms. Frieri would claim that City Hall is a hostile work environment.

    “The Veterans’ Service Officer told me that I was not eligible for benefits because my active duty service was for training only. She was rude and combative. ”

    Maybe rude and combative are different than hostile. And aren’t members of the military supposed to be able to deal with hostile environments?

    • Joe Blow
      August 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Ed, my father had the same experience with her.

      • ed shepardson
        August 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

        Joe Blow, you posting this here will not solve anything. Tell the mayor. I’m going to.

    • Voltaire
      August 17, 2014 at 3:17 am #


      I had a similar problem.. Very rude and combative and I am Veteran.

    • Scott
      August 17, 2014 at 5:03 am #

      I agree she should be able to deal with the mayor while sue Santolin (ss???) shoots over her head!

  7. MrG1188
    August 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    And another thing! I read in the Eagle today about some sort of easement…to allow improvements along April Lane. I asked the below question there as well:

    So…just curious, is this public/private collaboration at its best? Or is it another case of the city “helping out” a well-connected private company? I really don’t know the answer…anyone?

    The story is here, and I am really interested in what this type of thing actually is.


    • levitan
      August 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      I understood it to be a Councilman helping out his constituents.

  8. Payroll Patriot
    August 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Dan, TES won’t let you speak to anyone in the building. Oh what irony!!

    • B
      August 16, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      Freedom of speech, maybe the mayor was playing Hooky from school when they were teaching everyone about freedom of speech.

  9. Ron Kitterman
    August 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    This proves that we have a mayor that is strategically and politically clueless

  10. levitan
    August 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    In North Adams, where I once lived, it was considered a mark of honor and credibility to be personally man-handled by the Mayor. This talk of ‘bullying’, albeit a passing fad, is softball.

    What a bunch of crybabies.

    • Scott
      August 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      I agree if people feel bullied it’s because they’re weak cowards and crybabies. Yell back at the f’r he just a pasty flabby old man. It’s not like the guys gonna beat you up. Ms I want a grant for my “business” should have been like listen whitey you keep talking to me like that imma break yo hip! Him and the water wizard should go toe to toe in the octagon.

      • Thomas More
        August 16, 2014 at 5:59 am #

        Put rather crudely Scott but your right. If you think he’s going to verbally abuse you wear a wire and record everything that’s said and how it’s said. Then go from there. He’s not going to hit you. If you won’t talk to or listen to your boss, you’re the one whose breaking down the line of communication. The mayor’s best defense could be that he wanted to tell her she’s doing a great job, but she wouldn’t listen.

        • Scott
          August 17, 2014 at 5:01 am #

          Tom, it was intentionally crude for humor. You get it though.

  11. NJP
    August 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Oh Dan, you are so good at flip flopping….the following is from your column back in 2012 regarding Ro and her inability to be the Veteran’s advocate…..
    Ro Ro Ro Your Boat, Gently Down the Stream — Rosanne Frieri, the woman who masquerades as Pittsfield Veterans’ Agent, says on her website that she spends her time “assisting veterans with benefits and services they have so valiantly earned by serving their Country [sic] in time of need.” How sweet. Truth in advertising would require a slight revision: “Ro Frieri spends her time sucking up to political types who will provide her cover for her lack of ability in service to veterans.” Ro is untouchable. She is Woman, hear her roar, and she is a Lesbian, mainstream’s current flavor of the month. Frieri still has not responded to THE PLANET’s request for comment on the WTBR story.

    • levitan
      August 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      Thank goodness for the elephant in the room. Memories here are fickle.

    • ed shepardson
      August 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      I too, find it interesting, that PV has not mentioned it’s past criticism of Ms. Frieri, if only for background. Again, the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

      • Scott
        August 17, 2014 at 10:49 am #

        Maybe the prior criticism venturing upon insult is just in our heads Ed.

    • MrG1188
      August 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      I don’t think Dan has flip flopped. He hasn’t said, since this latest occurrence, that she is or was great at her job. He hasn’t even elevated her to martyr status as others have. He has simply reported the fact that someone has been, for now, suspended…and soon to be terminated apparently, allegedly, without any of the normal protections of due process or progressive discipline. She may have sucked at her job or she may have excelled. Regardless of whichever it was she is entitled to the appropriate process. I don’t think Dan has said anything else, beyond reporting on the alleged bellicosity of the mayor in his dealings with her. And bear in mind, I have no skin in the game, nor do I even know either of the Dans or Ms. Frieri. I am just an interested reader.

      • Scott
        August 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

        You make a valid point. But DV himself had made a case for her dismissal so how do know what’s going on anyhow considering mayor transparency will most likly just say it’s a personal issue and MYOB stupid tax payer!

    • Scott
      August 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      You left out the “trifecta minority” tag and the reference to affirmative action. Now she’s gonna prove dan right by pulling the descrimination card and suing the city!

    • danvalenti
      August 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      The answer is clear and simple, and if you had read more closely or watched what I said on TV, you would have had your answer. The issue is not about her performance as vet’s agent as evaluated from the outside. From that perspective, Ro has many supporters and some critics. The only thing that matters is from the inside, that is, the CITY’s evaluation. If the city has a problem with her, that’s one thing, but from all the facts available, NO ONE deserves to be treated in such an unprofessional and insulting way. There are ways to handle the discipline of employees, properly. It appears that because of the mayor’s apparent inability to control himself or his anger issues, those ways were not followed. From an ethical standpoint, if what Frieri is saying is reliable (and it agrees with numerous other accounts of how the city operates under this mayor), it could leave the city wide open for a settlement. So you see, there is no inconsistency in my views at all, and no flip-flopping. There is, however, a lack of attention and a display of dull-mindedness from you, who apparently cannot grasp that stories are “living,” that is, they develop over time, and that the proper response to each new development is at present, unfettered (though informed by) the past. Consider yourself educated, my dear.

      • ed shepardson
        August 16, 2014 at 4:46 am #

        This is what it should be about.

        “In addition, Bianchi’s office released to the media this week four letters that were received by the mayor in May 2012 — from American Legion Post 68, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 448, Chapter 65 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Chapter 15 of the Disabled American Veterans, all of Pittsfield. The letters state that the memberships of the individual chapters had voted unanimously on a motion of “no confidence” in Frieri as the veterans service officer.”

        • B
          August 16, 2014 at 8:58 am #

          Maybe we can get that Councilment to do a “no confidence” on the mayor like they did the city solicitor.

      • Scott
        August 16, 2014 at 4:52 am #

        Dan, fair enough. But the fact remains that you treated her in a harsh manner as well and said some disrespecting things. I get it though you’re not an elected politician or her boss so you can handle things differently. It does come off as when you set your sights on someone watch out! Should we expect better if you were mayor? I don’t know who the dull-mindedness was directed at but I would hope your ego would allow constructive criticism not just praise. Readers form an opinion and make observations based on your content. You own it. I don’t watch your show. I like to read so I read the blog I don’t spend more than 20 minutes watching tv unless it’s sports or a movie (and even that doesn’t hold my attention the whole time.)

        • Sigmund Fraud
          August 16, 2014 at 5:50 am #

          Sounds like a classic case of attention defeceit disorder.

          • Scott
            August 17, 2014 at 4:59 am #

            We were mimicking Eddie Murphy “raw” at work the other day fraud “ha, ha, ha very funny mother f’r!”

        • danvalenti
          August 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

          The “dull-mindedness” was directed at NJP, not you. Here’s another example: When Bianchi ran against Marchetti, I supported Bianchi. I thought he was the better candidate, and based on his city council service, it appeared he would do a good job as mayor. My coverage then and for most of his first year in office reflected that. Actual events, however, proved he Bianchi was not a good choice. He turned out to be a lousy mayor. My coverage then reflected the new reality. Some stories have legs, and they are “alive.” They develop over time. Accurate coverage should not be afraid to reflect that. As for “treating … in a harsh manner,” if someone wants to participate in the marketplace of ideas and makes inaccurate, uneducated, and benighted claims, one must expect such treatment. That’s the deal. I don’t have time for jagged lines. In cases like that, but shortest distance is the direct (if “harsh) straight line. THE PLANET thanks you for your participation in this forum.

          • Scott
            August 17, 2014 at 4:56 am #

            So you still don’t support Frieri and think she’s doing a lousy job it’s just the mayor is doing a lousy potentially costly job at getting her off the city payroll, got it!

          • danvalenti
            August 17, 2014 at 8:44 am #

            No, you don’t “got it.” You’re extrapolating what I didn’t say from what I said. Go back and re-read my answer, then read again, and then write a report on it. Then, perhaps, you will have “gotten in.”

          • ed shepardson
            August 17, 2014 at 9:21 am #

            Looks like the Planet is turning into a hostile work environment.

          • danvalenti
            August 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

            No, ED. We get along quite well with ourselves.

          • Scott
            August 17, 2014 at 10:47 am #

            Ok so the trifecta minority is doing a great job! I guess I’ll just stay confused. @Ed no worries my man I don’t feel any hostility. Dan you do realize you have several blog entries stating the current veterans agent is doing a lousy job. I understand that doesn’t give the mayor the right to treat her like garbage. She should be reviewed in accordance to law and dealt with professionally.

          • danvalenti
            August 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

            Now THAT’s exactly the point, my friend. It’s not about the outside evaluation from veterans, which are pro and con. It’s about the inside evaluation of her boss, the mayor. If he has decided she is not doing her job, fine. Take action, but do so as you so well put it: in accordance to law and professionally.

          • ed shepardson
            August 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

            I don’t know, Dan. Levitan compared you (a journalist) to a prostitute. You used the words dull minded to describe one of your posters. Seems pretty hostile to me. Or am I just being dull minded too?

          • danvalenti
            August 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

            Just part of another day of troothin’, ED.

          • ed shepardson
            August 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

            Troothin’ or hunting got the great white whale, at all costs, Captain?

          • ed shepardson
            August 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm #


          • Kathy
            August 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

            True words Dan. I just read this somewhere and it seems to fit our current Mayor: I don’t want a world where every decent thing that one does has to be dictated by law. I say let it crumble, because we are much better off letting the whole system implode than creating a world where there is no inner sense of morality demonstrated by those who are in positions of leadership… and where every good action is dictated by outside pressure. People in power do not truly learn a damn thing this way, except perhaps how to be more stealth. If they could FEEL the full effect and consequences of their poor choices or inactions, not only would they learn from their poor judgment, but so would all of the people watching them. What masquerades as leadership these days is a far cry from it.. in my opinion. Edward Snowden, who the leaders would like to silence and punish, shows vastly more leadership qualities than anyone I can think of in our government.

  12. p
    August 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    TES has been accused of suspending minority Rosanne,and the Wizard (elderly) A woman of color, what’s next the kids?

  13. p
    August 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    he clearly has a Problem!

  14. Ron Kitterman
    August 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    From mayor that promised the transparency card, I never really saw it thrown out there…

  15. Jonathan Melle
    August 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    News Article:

    “Termination Hearing For Pittsfield’s Vet’s Agent Postponed”
    By Jim Levulis, WAMC Northeast Public Radio, August 15, 2014

    A hearing that could determine whether a Pittsfield city employee retains her job has been postponed.

    Speaking at City Hall Friday morning, Mayor Dan Bianchi said the hearing, which had been scheduled for 10:30 a.m., has been pushed to next week at the request of the city’s Veterans’ Agent, Rosanne Frieri, and her lawyer. Bianchi suspended Frieri without pay last week. The mayor spoke with WAMC News earlier this week.

    “There were concerns I had about her performance and when she decided not to meet with me, the decision was pretty easy to put her on administrative leave,” said Bianchi.

    Pittsfield’s veterans’ agent receives an annual salary of nearly $50,000. The mayor’s office says Frieri, a veteran herself, did not provide a fiscal 2015 budget for the veterans department and did not attend a city council meeting in July that she was told to be at to address the office’s budget. The city treasurer prepared the budget instead, according to the mayor’s office. Bianchi’s office also claims Frieri showed up late to work without giving prior notice. Bianchi says Pittsfield’s 130 veterans are being adequately served in Frieri’s absence.

    “We’re fortunate to have another person in that office that does a very good job,” Bianchi said. “I immediately got a call from the Veterans Services Department in Boston, who understood what kind of situation we were dealing with here in the city of Pittsfield and they stepped right up and said any help we can give you. I’ve gotten calls from many, many veterans who’ve offered to help.”

    The department’s other full-time employee had no comment on how the office has been running without Frieri.

    The mayor’s office also provided letters from four area veterans’ organizations that unanimously passed votes of no confidence on Frieri. The votes from Berkshire Chapter 65 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW Post 448, American Legion Post 68 and Disabled Veterans Chapter 15 all took place within a two-week period in May 2012. The Vietnam Veterans of America and Disabled Veterans chapters also rejected the city’s concept of creating a Veteran’s Advisory Board at those same meetings. Those groups said they believed the Berkshire Veterans Coalition was adequately communicating the needs of county veterans with the city. World War II veteran Tony Pastore has been the chaplain for Disabled Veterans Chapter 15 for the past 30 years and treasurer for two. Pastore says the issues some veterans had with Frieri stemmed from the Berkshire Veterans Coalition wanting to manage Pittsfield’s Veterans’ Day parade instead of the city.

    “And they took it out on her,” Pastore said. “They sent all these stupid letters around. Anybody who signed that letter ought to be ashamed.”

    Reached by phone Wednesday, the chairman of the Berkshire Veterans Coalition had no comment on Frieri’s status with the city of Pittsfield. Pastore is one of a handful of veterans who’ve written letters published in The Berkshire Eagle supporting Frieri and her work.

    “I didn’t see anybody in there writing a letter about Mayor Bianchi and what he’s done for them,” Pastore said. “I mean, come on.”

    Pastore says Frieri is an asset to the city’s veterans and hopes any differences on the behalf of both parties can be put aside.

    “This is very important to these veterans,” Pastore said. “We cannot let them lose this lady.”

    Neither Frieri nor her attorney returned several requests for comment. The exact date for Frieri’s termination hearing has not been set.

    • Jonathan Melle
      August 16, 2014 at 9:40 am #


      “Hearing postponed for Pittsfield vets agent Frieri”
      By Jim Therrien, Berkshire Eagle Staff, 8/16/2014

      PITTSFIELD — A job-related hearing Friday for suspended city Veterans Services Officer Rosanne Frieri was postponed at the request of Frieri’s attorney, likely until next week.

      Local veterans, meanwhile, have been weighing in on Frieri’s performance in the office, which she headed from 2007 until her suspension by Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi on Aug. 5.

      The mayor had requested that she attend a meeting in his office related to her job performance, but Frieri said she refused because she had felt bullied and “badgered” during a prior meeting with the mayor, and she was immediately suspended without pay.

      Letters to The Eagle generally have supported Frieri, as have some comments on the newspaper’s Facebook page, but other social media comments were highly critical.

      In addition, Bianchi’s office released to the media this week four letters that were received by the mayor in May 2012 — from American Legion Post 68, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 448, Chapter 65 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Chapter 15 of the Disabled American Veterans, all of Pittsfield. The letters state that the memberships of the individual chapters had voted unanimously on a motion of “no confidence” in Frieri as the veterans service officer.

      City Director of Administrative Services Julia Sabourin said Friday that a number of veterans also have called the mayor’s office to say they favor removing Frieri.

      Bianchi did not list the letters as a reason for suspending the veterans officer, and took no action after the letters were received.

      However, he issued a statement Aug. 8, saying Frieri was suspended for not preparing a department budget for fiscal 2015, not presenting her budget to the City Council when asked to appear, for being uncooperative with a co-worker and arriving late for work without proper notification.

      Reached Friday, Frieri said she was aware of the 2012 letters, but contended that no action was taken against her at the time because the complaints “were not valid.”

      She said believes some older veterans “were not used to having a woman in there,” and she was the first to serve in the position. There have not been similar issues with “the younger [veteran] population,” she said.

      Also serving as a veterans officer on a part-time, independent contractor basis in Lanesborough, Lenox, Dalton, Richmond, Peru and Cheshire, Frieri contended that she is respected in the region for the work she has done over the years.

      In Pittsfield, the position is full time and has paid $49,843 annually, although the amount could rise under a new salary rate schedule for supervisors that recently was approved by the City Council.

      Frieri said that, when she took over the office, there were 14 veteran clients and a budget of $77,000 in the state Department of Veterans Services programs she oversees for city veterans. Today, there are 130 clients and the budget totals more than $803,000, which she said illustrates how she has worked to expand services to veterans.

      In general, the state reimburses communities at the rate of 75 percent for spending related to Department of Veterans Services programs for veterans. Veterans service officers assist vets and can act as an advocate for them in applying for state benefits, as well as for federal benefits through Veterans Administration programs.

      It is also true that inevitably some benefits decisions she made or gave advice on were “not popular” with vets she or the state believed were not eligible for benefits or no longer eligible, Frieri said.

      Concerning the current job-related allegations, Frieri said she did attend a June 7 City Council session on her budget, which received tentative council approval at that time, but not a later session on the overall city budget.

      She contended that she did prepare an operational budget for her office, “which is essentially the same every year.”

      Frieri added that she has never been “written up” by the mayor for employment-related issues.

      She also has said she might consider legal action over the situation, saying she does not want to cost city taxpayers money but believes she has to defend her reputation.

      No new date for the hearing on Frieri’s employment was announced Friday, but it is expected to be held next week.

      Neither Bianchi nor Frieri’s attorney, Albert J. Cimini of Pittsfield, could be reached for comment.

  16. Jonathan Melle
    August 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    With all of the many problems Pittsfield politics faces, Mayor Dan Bianchi chooses to focus on terminating the employment of Rosanne Frieri, who serves as the Veterans’ Director. This is yet another sad example of just how much Pittsfield politics sucks!

    • Teecha teecha
      August 15, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

      Smoke and mirrors probably. Like with any political administration look to the wings to see whats really happening and being covered up.

      • Sparkie
        August 16, 2014 at 6:08 am #

        All one needs to do is look at the dates of those letters from the area vets and ask why Bianchi has not acted on those requests until now. The letters are more than 2 years old and demands that Rapid Roe not be allowed to attend or take part in any of the organizations ceremonies. As a matter of fact shortly after he was elected Bianchi gave Frieri a raise in pay for her work on his campaign.

        Apparently Mellissa & Pam have abandoned there good and loyal friend Ro, and replaced her with Joanie” The Cheerleader” DiMartino thus allowing Dopie Danny to execute Ro and make yet another poor management move that will create the opening of another lawsuit against the C.O.P.

        There is some good news if Frieri file’s a lawsuit. Kathy Degnan will be the defending attorney.

        • Gene
          August 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

          I agree with Sparkie. The letters are two years old. They were signed at the request of the mayor for when he needed to use them.

          For whatever reason it looks like he’s been plotting her ouster for a long time. This wll only make her case stronger when time comes .

  17. tuesdaywRachel
    August 16, 2014 at 5:18 am #

    A paid consultant, ByTES…to give pay scale raises endorsed by Lothrop…Assume the position, it’s only going to get worse! I’m voting for the Planet if he runs for Mayor.

  18. ouch
    August 16, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    He didn’t act before because he had no intention on acting on them all along, what happen this time was that his ego was hurt when she refused to meet with him on his terms.

  19. shilling techniques 101
    August 16, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Allen aka NJP, keeping a low profile while lurking in the shadows, waits to lob in a comment that will throw PV into a tizzy, pitting Dan’s fans against one another. While having seeming success at sharpening his shilling skills, Allen sits behind his computer shaking his fist in glee going yes, yes, yes.

    • Scott
      August 17, 2014 at 5:10 am #

      I doubt Allan from BMM is doing as you say. I called his office and asked him a few years back because someone was slandering me online using the name Allan and saying they were a kick boxer. He denied it and referred me to his lawyer. I did follow the poster and noticed them commenting on market threads about financing however but all the evidence is circumstantial plus he lawyerd up so what’s the point. Trolls be trolls just don’t feed them and the spineless cowards will go away.

      • Trolls have an agenda
        August 17, 2014 at 9:57 am #

        “Slander online” is called libel. It can be and is being done annonymously every day. These people use proxy servers and phoney names. When its discovered who they are, naturally they deny, deny, deny and the next step is to “lawyer up” and threaten legal action to keep their victims at bay.

        Its very easy them to ruin other people’s lives while hiding their own identity. Its quite amazing the damage they can do to a person. Its a way to silence them from social media comments.

        There are some here seeking to discredit Dan Valenti in an attempt sway public opinion away from what he reveals.

        • danvalenti
          August 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

          Excellent post, THAA.

      • larry
        August 17, 2014 at 11:06 am #

        Dan, I can’t believe you are not following up with the relationship between Clairmont and the clerk.

        • danvalenti
          August 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

          There is nothing on which to follow up. I applaud friendships wherever they occur. Viva.

        • Dave
          August 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

          The new Pittsfield power “friends”…. I call it Barrlinda.

          • Gatos
            August 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

            Ahh, keep it simple. Lindrry.

  20. Jonathan Melle
    August 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Re: Open letter to Dan Valenti

    Dear Dan Valenti,

    You write the Dan Bianchi turned out to be a lousy Mayor of Pittsfield. That may be true, given all of Pittsfield politics many problems that have gotten worse during Dan Bianchi’s tenure. But, I wondered, when did Pittsfield politics not have a lousy Mayor? When did Pittsfield politics ever have a good Mayor? Maybe I am too young to remember Pittsfield’s glory days that my parents talk about. I am 39, and I am a child of the 1980’s, who admired the great Boston Celtics with the MVP legend Larry Bird. Many people my age have moved away from Pittsfield because there are no good jobs anymore in Pittsfield. If people my age stayed in Pittsfield, we would either end up in a dead-end, low-income job, or transitioning from jail to welfare. My biggest fear in my young adult life was ending up on North Street as a client to “Social Services Alley”. Anyways, who does Pittsfield politics serve? It is not for people my age or younger who grew up in Pittsfield. It is not for the working class who depend on Social Services to survive. It is not for the over-taxed Senior Citizens who choose between food and medicine. I don’t know who Pittsfield politics serves!

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Melle

  21. tuesdaywRachel
    August 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Jonathan give me twenty right now! Hup two,Hup two three four.