Article

AMAZON IN PITTSFIELD? IMPOSSIBLE, BUT GE BACK IN TOWN? IT COULDA HAPPENED, BUT CITY ‘LEADERS’ CAVED INTO FEAR

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION NOV. 10-12, 2017) — There’s been feverish talk about Pittsfield being on the list within Massachusetts as a location for Amazon‘s new satellite facility. The fever has to be above a Kramden-like 111oF to produce pitiable delusions of such magnitude. Amazon requires 100 acres for its campus (PEDA has 52 available) and will need a huge supply of intelligent, tech-savvy, young, and upwardly mobile workers (exactly the opposite the work-force demographics in Pittsfield [aging, computer illiterate, and going nowhere], or haven’t you noticed those perpetually unfilled “1,200 jobs” Mayor Trashcan loves to cite?).

Massachusetts, let alone Pittsfield? Not a chance.

While the Commonwealth’s politics may be of Amazon’s liking, it wants no part of the state’s anti-business government and its punishing high taxes. The philosophically insightful among us may see the contradiction in such a company policy, but when you’re Amazon, contradictions supply the company’s unique way of articulation to its suitors. Like Walmart, it will sleep where it wants, because it’s the biggest S.O.B. in the room. Thus, you can rule out Boston or any part of the Northeast for that matter. An aside: Wouldn’t it be fun, though, if both Walmart and Amazon wanted to fight for the PEDA space? It would be 10 times better than Godzilla v. Rodan and quintuple the entertainment value of Ghidra v. Mothra.

THE PLANET‘s point in these observations serve to issue a further pronouncement, one that hits close to home because of a honest-to-God, real, live, actual, golden opportunity Pittsfield lost (as opposed to almost 20 years of PEDA lies about  “several hot leads that we can’t mention because of proprietary agreements.” Phantoms, all). When corporate giants relocate a HQ or build a satellite, the business world takes notice and localities dress up like a nervous interviewee. The golden opportunity lost? Let us articulate.

——– ooo ——–

When soon-to-be-departed (from GE) Jeff Immelt and his board decided to abandon Fairfield, Conn., Boston won the sweepstakes. We could write prose poems about the less obvious and public reasons for the move, but we shan’t.  Suffice it to say, though, that Pittsfield figured into the calculus of GE’s move, which is why the company selected Boston and Amazon won’t.

That, of course, is not letting out any Deep Secrets. The company had its origins in Pittsfield with Edison, Stanley, Steinmetz, and other great scientists of a bygone age. For a hundred years, Pittsfield remained one of the company’s prized locations for its assets in plastics, transformers, and defense, although the end game for that century concerned more the pedigree that had by then worn off. For GE, Pittsfield became that once-proud family that only had a royal name to false-front a legacy marred by ruinous debt. GE got out and let Pittsfield holding the bag … full of PCBs and other industrial toxins.

Coming full circle, when GE decided on Boston, it presented Pittsfield with a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Think the company isn’t worried that one day a rogue politician might actually force a reopening of the Consent Decree?  That gave the city leverage, an edge, of course, that a generation of pols and a generation more have been and will be too compromised to push.

GE owns large tracts of city real estate, prime among them the former world headquarters of GE Plastics at One Plastics Avenue. It would have made the perfect location for a laboratory, satellite office, manufacturing, warehousing, and a variety of other uses.  The city had great leverage with GE, although its alleged “leaders” — particularly mayor  Trashcan, council president “Fly Boy” Marchetti, and state rep. Tricia Faraway Booboobear (D-Country Buffet) — were scared to utilize. Good politics would have set up a meeting among Gov. Charlie Baker, the city, state reps, house and senate leaders, Boston mayor Marty Walsh, and Immelt, to make the city’s pitch that Immelt, who earned his stripes in Pittsfield, make One Plastics Avenue part of the move.

The meeting never happened. You might argue that no way would GE have agreed, to which THE PLANET counters with a couple points:

  • A small chance of success is better than no chance. The New England Patriots trailed the Atlanta Falcons in this year’s Super Bowl 28-3 with under three minutes left in the third quarter, giving them a 0.004% chance of winning. How did that one turn out?
  • Folks like to portray GE as a big, bad company, but there is no evil there. The corporation consists of human beings, and, believe it or not, there are some with solid moral and ethical perspectives. There would be a chance the company would want to help “make things right” for Pittsfield in taking over One Plastics Avenue.
  • Finally, as we mentioned, the threat of a Consent Decree re-opener might have been played if all else failed. Hardball, too, is a game GE understands.

Alas and alack, though. Boston will host GE HQ within two years and PEDA remains a polluted ghost town.

————————————————————————

“No noose is bad news”Judge Roy Bean.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The Usual Disclaimer.

 

50 Responses to “AMAZON IN PITTSFIELD? IMPOSSIBLE, BUT GE BACK IN TOWN? IT COULDA HAPPENED, BUT CITY ‘LEADERS’ CAVED INTO FEAR”

  1. dusty
    November 10, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    Maybe we could talk the Patriots into moving to Pittsfield. Lots of sports stadiums are built on toxic waste dumps. But I would stipulate in any contract that if any player kneels down even for a second we throw the team the hell out of town and the taxpayers get to divide up all the hot dogs left in the concession stand.

    And as someone who once bought a book from Amazon I feel that I can speak for them as to them locating in Pittsfield. When my people talked to the people at Amazon we were told that the school system locally is way below the standards they would want for their employees and that they would not insult them in such a way. Besides, he said, we need a literate employee pool to be able to draw from and we would rather not have to bus people in from out of town.

    p.s. you can finally put the gad damn lawn mower away…can’t remember mowing in November before

  2. The school committee
    November 10, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    The state of ma.goal is to build out Boston as the world headquarters city to ad as many companies as our local reps will vote to fund .Bouvier is selling Rockwell at the museum.

  3. Gigi
    November 10, 2017 at 4:49 am #

    Excellent article, Dan. With GE stock down 30% ytd, shareholders screaming at Immelt over the past several years, and the new CEO prepping to release his restructuring plan next week – Pittsfield missed a huge opportunity to hold GE’s feet to the fire in regards to their Pittsfield properties. Various news sources have reported that construction plans for part of their new Boston headquarters have been put on hold, their corporate fleet of jets have been grounded, and the company plans to spinoff $20 billion in assets. I agree, a HUGE missed opportunity! Our leaders need to read Trump’s “The Art of the Deal!” There are no known negotiators among our city leaders.

    • dusty
      November 10, 2017 at 5:23 am #

      ….somebody negotiated a new city charter….no small potatoes

      actually more of a coup than anything

  4. Pat
    November 10, 2017 at 5:48 am #

    Progressives hate malls and Walmart, but offer no alternatives except pricey local shops that benefit the wealthy.

    Wealthy Progressives live very well with climate controlled houses with heated floors, electric cars to save the environment, and believe me they never rewash their plastic wrap to save money. Cash strapped struggling middle class just gets higher taxes from Progressives, but they accuse Republicans of helping the wealthy and ignoring the poor. Again, more hypocrisy.

    • War Pigs
      November 10, 2017 at 6:32 am #

      Both parties are for the wealthy, just different types of wealthy.

    • Cos
      November 10, 2017 at 6:33 am #

      Pat, quite a concept, rewash plastic wrap, ingenious I might add.

    • Harrison
      November 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

      Pat has it backwards. Those progressive people that have money have it because they have saved, and that might include reusing plastic wrap, recycling and being environmentally conscience. Seems like the less fortunate cruise through D&D for their lattes, buy BMWs that they can’t afford and shop at Walmart for crap that they really don’t need.

      • Pat
        November 10, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

        That was advice I read in a Progressive article about how the poor and struggling middle class can save money. Since Progressives do nothing to create jobs and just keep piling on the taxation, they expect people to go to extremes to save money. It’s also part of the socialist agenda that everyone is so poor they are forced to do crazy things like wash their plastic wrap. Progressives are taking us backwards not forward. They are creating a two class system of rich and poor. Big government can only survive if lots of people are poor and dependent on the government for their survival. This gives government power.

        Also, i think that washing plastic wrap is disgusting!!

    • The school committee
      November 11, 2017 at 2:58 am #

      The one percent have 40% of everything and your man Trump wants to give them more.Go Trump…we cant even Google the facts

      • Pat
        November 11, 2017 at 6:57 am #

        Sorry School Committee most people don’t work for the Pittsfifeld School Dept and get huge raises every year so the high taxation from Progressives is really felt here in Taxachusetts. I thought Progressives cared about the lower income people?

    • Pretenulikeme
      November 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      I love thePlanet!

  5. War Pigs
    November 10, 2017 at 6:31 am #

    My sources tell me that Pittsfield is indeed on Amazon’s list – one notch below Chernobyl.

  6. War Pigs
    November 10, 2017 at 6:35 am #

    My sources, and I have many, tell me that Mayor Tyer did have a meeting set up with GE… but she cancelled as she instead met with the connected artists who made the Tyler St. trashcans. Priorities, you know.

  7. Still wondering
    November 10, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    Any talk of GE in Pittsfield is literally beating a dead horse. But I suppose it might be filler on a slow news day.

  8. missedboat
    November 10, 2017 at 8:48 am #

    We missed an opportunity that would have been perfect for Pittsfield. Dan said it best above when he mentioned that we don’t have the workforce for “tech savvy” jobs. However, I have 5 words for you that would have been something we should have gone after. Silver Lake Resort and Casino. Bellagio type fountains in the lake, and rail service that could drop people at the casino/hotel door from all over the northeast. Why didn’t we push harder for the coveted “casino license”? Jobs would have been created that our workforce could raise families on. I guess its more appropriate to say we rolled craps as usual. Also, for the record, amazon coming to Pittsfield is honestly laugh out loud funny. We don’t even have an interstate close by for the trucks. Cmon now!! what a joke!!

    • Still Not Matt
      November 13, 2017 at 6:20 am #

      Lack of Interstate connectivity and the abandoned Berkshire spur is the single most important contributing factor to Pittsfield’s industry vacuum.

      • Dustin M
        November 14, 2017 at 6:28 am #

        Matt that is incredibly ignorant and simplistic, but i expect nothing less from you

  9. Dilly Dally
    November 10, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    I’m waiting for Godot.

  10. Roberto Del Halitoso
    November 10, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    No GE or Amazon but;

    Carolyn Valli, executive director of Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, and her team accept a $425,000 MassWorks grant Thursday at City Hall in Pittsfield for a condominium project that the organization plans to build on Elm Street, between Deming and Gordon streets.

    Lucky Elm Street.

    • Dave
      November 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

      Elm St between Deming and Gordon is a Doctor’s building and what used to be part of Nuclea. There is a parcel on the corner of Deming and Gordon that is vacant, but I fail to see where you can consider that Elm Street. Was this a misprint or are there other issues?

  11. h
    November 10, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    Cool, a ward hipster place to be, sooooohipster!

  12. Len X Abhorant
    November 10, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Thank you to the Rockwell Family for giving Palookaville millions worth of Art for display, unfortunately It doesn’t look like I’ll be there in time to see it at you’re Museum of donated choice. Them Rascals. May we will do a drive by and check out the trash cans on Tyler St. I heard one the things holding up a Super Wal Mart is a City Councilor wants it to look like the neighborhood? Really?

  13. H
    November 10, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    No donated Art should be sold. If the art isn’t on display it should go back to the donators. It sets a really bad president. This wasn’t intended for the Louv’re or The Metropolitan Museum, it was for us,awful.

    • tom
      November 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

      Kroll’s A-team of Guriel, Serre, and Wright look more like F-Troop . So sad Johnny

      • Roberto Del Halitoso
        November 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

        Don’t forget about the other phoney, Keane. Krol should be ashamed to show his phoney face.

  14. gocometti
    November 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Well it now looks like John Kroll is out for the next City Council President with the loss of his cronies…Serre, Guriel and Wright… Now it’s back to WTBR radio for him…more of a sure thing. ” Good Morning Pittsfield ! “

  15. Jonathan Melle
    November 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Jack Welch takes brisk morning swims in Silver Lake. Then, he eats 3 Teo’s hot dogs for lunch. Then, he fishes in the Housatonic River for his dinner. Then, he settles down in his two bedroom apartment on North Street.

  16. Jonathan Melle
    November 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    Does Jimmy Ruberto’s “rolodex” include GE and Amazon corporate executives?

    • Roberto Del Halitoso
      November 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      No, but he knows the CEO from preparation H.

  17. mi
    November 10, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    I couldn’t believe the way Krol dressed down Pete White the other day, anyone hear that? He literally criticized White like a little baby, for his stance on the the Landlord that rents out a building downtown

    • H
      November 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      He was trying to flex his muscles in front of Ms. Guiel,who was also a guest on the show. It did sound childish.The power is shifting on the council, you now have to acknowledge Caccamo as well as White who collected a lot of votes this term.

      • Arial Black
        November 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

        and you two were lapping it up SAD!

    • dusty
      November 12, 2017 at 2:41 am #

      He is practicing for his mayorship. Imagine what he thinks of lowly taxpayers.

  18. Unwanted Carl
    November 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Can’t we all just get along?

  19. Madame Du Barry
    November 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

    Wonder what the salt budget will be this semester? When we get the Rockwell Millions,there should be a grand banquet where every citizen will get fed, not just board members. I’ll take filet mignon with sautéed lobster and beignet biscuits downed in hollindaise sauce. And the best Chamagne, maybe Dom Perignon

    • NoThisSpagirl
      November 10, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

      There never has been an explanation on the overun of the winter budget. $1 million dollars. That’s a crock.

  20. Madame Du Barry
    November 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    Sham pain.

  21. The school committee
    November 10, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    The Berkshire museum has no right to sell these gifts to the people of the Berkshires and beyond The museum is simply where the donations are housed.These people are ignorant and amature.Say goodbye to a original Rockwell Americas artist of the highest ideals.Our generation of 50 and overs are dumb

    • The school committee
      November 11, 2017 at 3:01 am #

      Hello….Eberwien and Bouvier are doing the sale to get some cash.

  22. Madame Du Barry
    November 10, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

    Laughing stock.

  23. Spider
    November 11, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    I finally got to see the trash cans on Tyler St. Is this suppose to be a joke? They look like cheap tin cans. Are they suppose to beautify Tyler St.? And what was the cost again?

    • danvalenti
      November 11, 2017 at 9:16 am #

      SPIDEY
      Those tin cans cost $6,000. The mayor even held a ribbon cutting. She provided the city with the definitive moment to adequately symbolize the decay that has been in the works for a generation now and over which she so ineptly presides.

  24. Madame Du Barry
    November 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Here’s a stat for the Planet,, you can’t make it up. Mount Greylock High Football team has been outscored in the last two games against Hoosac Valley and Taconic High last night,111- O

  25. mi
    November 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Technically you’re correct. Mounties were leading Hoosac 14 to 0 them Hoosac scored 55 straight and last. Ight the Braves won 46 to O. Maybe the Mounties should get into another Division.

  26. The school committee
    November 12, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    What will Stockbridge do whem tourist find nothing there.

  27. Thomas More
    November 12, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    Where are ‘Dustin’ and ‘I’m Not Matt?’

    • Dick Flimsy
      November 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

      Competing in alcoholic Olympics

  28. Still Not Matt
    November 13, 2017 at 6:41 am #

    Not Matt worked all weekend and planned for his trip to Mexico, that is his Christmas gift to his family.

    • Dustin M
      November 14, 2017 at 6:30 am #

      Again matt you add nothing to the conversation. Nothing