Article

MAYOR’S SECRETIVE STRATEGY ON WATER BORROWING REVEALS MUCH

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

Part Two of a Series

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY FEB. 7, 2018) — In considering the Administration’s request to further plunge the city’s indebtedness by a mere $80 million, it’s important to note how mayor Linda Tyer first attempted to scuttle a proper procedural process.

Prior to the negative recommendation of the city council’s finance committee —  our Right Honorable Goods Friends wisely voting 3-2 that the full council reject the plan — Tyer asked that her co-governors waive the required hearing. Council rules require — REQUIRE — a referral to committee on any Administration request to spend $75,000 or more, a measure installed after mayor Gerry Doyle rammed through, and his stacked council approved, a $250,000, 11th-hour request for EV Worldwide. You remember the blaring headlines in The BoringBroadsheet boasting the 1,000 jobs that never materialized, and while we’re at it, just how many electric vehicles did the company produce? THE PLANET lost count.

Tyer wanted the council to skip the referral. In her calculus, what’s borrowing almost $80 million more, a sum that will increase Pittsfield’s indebtedness to a staggering $425 million, not counting a nearly equal amount for post-employment benefits bedraggled taxpayers owe for city retirees. That the mayor sought to violate due process put in place to help ensure a more reasonable deliberation on large expenditures reveals much about the intentions behind this poorly explained plan. She sought to shush deliberation. Not good. Why? Because she knows the plan is flawed.

The mayor didn’t want proper debate, deliberation, or discussion, revealing her defensiveness and ultimate lack of belief in the ill-conceived plan to upgrade the city’s water and sewer treatment plant. Instead, she asked the council to waive the mandatory referral and take immediate action. This strongly suggest an even more odious probability, that the council’s votes for this wasteful expenditure have been worked out in advance. That would be in violation of the law, not that criminal activity has ever stopped action desired by The Suits.

Could that explain the council’s unanimous decision to ignore the mayor’s request to waive the referral — that is, she knows in advance how the ultimate votewill turn out. The mayor’s friendly enablers on the council led by Peter Marchetti, the ones she thinks she has in her skirt pockets, would then get to enjoy the window dressing of democracy, safe in the knowledge that even a negative vote from the subcommittee won’t ultimately make a difference.

This might have been the rumored sneaky “compromise” (echoing in city hall) reached by Tyer and Marchetti, who chairs the finance committee and was worried about “how it would look” if his colleagues didn’t refer the mayor’s measure to committee. Under this scenario, the “friendly” councilors would have “known” that the committee decision would be split and close — 3-2 to recommend rejecting the plan, with Chris Connell, Kevin Morandi, and Melissa Morandi on the “3,” Marchetti and Earl Persip on the “2.” Simply put, both the mayor and her council chums would rest easy, knowing that while they could enjoy the technicality of committee review, they could and most likely will pass the foolish measure. So much for transparency.

Politics can be so reptilian, especially when it compromises the very people who have a constitutional responsibility to act wisely in their fiduciary roles on behalf of ordinary citizens.

So does Tyer have the votes on the full council to ram this bad idea through, one that would vault Pittsfield’s indebtedness to nearly $900 million at a time when the tax base is shrinking and administration after administration keeps increasing spending, most of it going for pay and benefit hikes for the 1,200+ employees in the city’s failing public schools? The answer will go a long way in determining the city’s prospects both in the short and long term.

This series continues tomorrow.

————————————————–

“MRS. KANE: “But Charles, people will think. … — / KANE — “… what I tell them to think.” — Dialog from Citizen Kane starring Orson Wells.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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75 Responses to “MAYOR’S SECRETIVE STRATEGY ON WATER BORROWING REVEALS MUCH”

  1. dusty
    February 7, 2018 at 1:37 am #

    I think Mueller should investigate the mayor. I think she is colluding with somebody.

  2. The school committee
    February 7, 2018 at 4:34 am #

    We need to start by cutting school budget by 4 million and a teacher contract freeze of wages till this is done also a hiring freeze for 3 years.Find out why a Crosby school coordinator does not work in the summer or vacations…..hes paid 1500 per week to be there…make people do their job….dam it…Show up to work

  3. The school committee
    February 7, 2018 at 4:41 am #

    McCandless needs to tell the school committee why the Crosby community coordinator does not work during summer vacations or any other vacation….February’s vacation is coming and he needs to show up to work.Why does Behnke allow no show jobs in the school department…we want answers

    • Still Wondering
      February 8, 2018 at 11:33 am #

      Dang, sometimes you sound like a conservative!

  4. Trumped Up
    February 7, 2018 at 4:57 am #

    Why isn’t Clarence writing about this?

  5. h
    February 7, 2018 at 5:06 am #

    He”s a paid informant.

  6. Cos
    February 7, 2018 at 5:39 am #

    It looked like Krol Show had a look a like Mayor on. But it’s not the Mayor, it’s someone just as Lovely Though.

  7. Spagirl
    February 7, 2018 at 5:53 am #

    Finance Director Matt Kerwood expects costs for employees insurance to rise 11%. It is time to push back on this,and put more percentage on the employees, like,the rest of the Country. As for input on plastic bag ban, this should be a State Law, not individual towns. IMO.

    • Spagirl
      February 7, 2018 at 10:05 am #

      If you go to Market 32 in Lenox, they ask you if you brought a bag. The Public should not have to keep track of which towns have an ordinance.

    • Kakistocracy
      February 7, 2018 at 10:09 am #

      Don’t worry. Kerwood says our homes are worth more.

      • UAlbany
        February 8, 2018 at 7:57 am #

        right…that’s why his fat house on Commonwealth Ave dropped 40k in value since ’04….

    • Wilson
      February 7, 2018 at 10:57 am #

      How many non-employees do the taxpayers support? Spouses who opt out of they benefits they actually earned from their job to get on the city Cadillac plan

  8. Halo
    February 7, 2018 at 6:04 am #

    FDMK is a professional.

  9. gocometti
    February 7, 2018 at 9:00 am #

    Elderly and handicapped residents of south county need plastic grocery bags to shop and dispose of garbage…They are not strong enough to use large plastic garbage bags. They ask me every day to save them a bag from my shopping trips. To ban these bags is shameful because they hurt the lower class. Make it a choice to use not a ban to use. Think of the way your decisions hurt others.
    The elderly and handicapped will be the ones hurt by such a ban.
    Just because you are not elderly or handicapped gives you no right
    to punish those who are elderly or handicapped. Someday you may
    be low income, elderly or handicapped. In time it happens to us all.

    • Shakes His Head
      February 8, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

      What about paper bags?

      • Dustin
        February 9, 2018 at 6:42 am #

        Again a pointless ignorant comment by you

    • 12 Gauge
      February 10, 2018 at 7:05 pm #

      Shakes try wearing a paper bag over your head.

      • Shakes His Head
        February 12, 2018 at 7:50 am #

        you mom has an endless supply she cuts eye holes in for you to leave the house each day. Stop being such losers.

  10. Jonathan Melle
    February 7, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    I am going to write and publish a textbook on how not to manage a municipality’s public finances. Its title will be called: “Pittsfield politics”!

    • dusty
      February 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

      Or you could title it HOW NOT TO MANAGE A CITY BUDGET.

      Or…SKATING ON THE TAX PAYER DIME.

  11. Bowlee and Lebo
    February 7, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    This water story get “interested and interestinger” by the second. Hope the council is taking in this information. Great job Dan and planet. this is kind of investigative work eagle should be doing.

  12. Edward R. Murrow
    February 7, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    From the letter prefacing the Grassley (less redacted) memo (Senate Judiciary Committee)

    “Dear Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and [FBI] Director Wray:”

    “Attached please find a classified memorandum related to certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets regarding the so-called “Trump dossier” that Mr.Steele compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS for the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee and also provided to the FBI.

    “Based on the information contained therein, we are respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, for statements the Committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.”

    Tell ya what, just start indicting people on this, another special prosecutor or not.

    • Edward R. Murrow
      February 7, 2018 at 11:03 am #

      Grassley memo found here, dated 2/06/18:

      https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/file-library

      • Edward R. Murrow
        February 7, 2018 at 11:08 am #

        We’ve got an alleged crime related to the 2016 election and Russia–on the Clinton [Obama] side.

        What you got, Bob?

        18 U.S. Code § 1001 – Statements or entries generally

        (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

        (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

        (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

        (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

        shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

        • Edward R. Murrow
          February 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

          It is called “transference.”

          You accuse others of doing exactly what you do yourself, in spades.

      • The school committee
        February 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

        Hannity is great.

    • Gigi
      February 7, 2018 at 11:05 am #

      So Ed – since Mr. Steele is a Brit – do you believe that the British government had any involvement with this fake dossier attack against Trump?

      • Edward R. Murrow
        February 7, 2018 at 11:13 am #

        No idea. But Judge Nepolitano said the Brits are hacked off because the Nunes memo says that Steele was a “longtime FBI source.”

        US and UK supposedly have an agreement not to do this sort of thing.

        • dusty
          February 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm #

          Well, whatever happened Trump had nuttin to do with it. He believes in God ya know.

          • Edward R. Murrow
            February 7, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

            You can read about what happened if you want to.

            I’ve given you links to the Nunes memo and now the Grassley memo.

      • The school committee
        February 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

        Fox news wants you to say dossier fake dossier,fake fox dossier…..Mueller is doing a investigation on Russian involvement in our election….Hillary,Trump Regressives,Democrats….does not matter who is involved hes going to find out,……dossier,keep saying it…..Nobody knows what Mueller knows,, Hows Trumps Wall Street?

  13. Gigi
    February 7, 2018 at 11:02 am #

    Opinion piece on McDaniels backing out of Indy – from USA Today.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnists/gregg-doyel/2018/02/06/doyel-josh-mcdaniels-selfish-little-jerk-but-did-colts-indy-favor/304619002/

    • Spagirl
      February 7, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

      Bitch Session
      Why do businesses close when we have a snowstorm now? This is a normal snowstorm in the Berkshires on a business day.

      • Edward R. Murrow
        February 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

        Going the way of the Lenox Public Library, where apparently the employees take a school bus to work. If the schools close, the buses don’t run, and the library doesn’t open.

      • Kakistocracy
        February 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm #

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6zaVYWLTkU

      • Pothole
        February 8, 2018 at 5:42 am #

        For some their employees have children that they do not have a daycare backup in place for them and the business may not have the staff to cover. Another reason may be the safety of the employees and the customers. No business owner wants the close the business down but some value safety over profit. It is their business and their call, I don’t see how another can judge when they do not know the exact position the business owner is in. Hopefully you were not inconvenienced too much and will return to the business again.

    • Spagirl
      February 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

      I believe he stayed with the promise of grooming for Belichik’s job, and stability of his family. Not money.

      • Edward R. Murrow
        February 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

        NFL coaches do nothing for the stability of their family.

        But your first part could be right–Bill might have dropped him a hint.

  14. CosbiesLadies
    February 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

    So, pay any amount to the consultant and quadriple our water rates. Stay tuned at the Public Works Meeting Monday Night, it should get interesting on the hees of ge Planet’s piexe todayand just as important is the City Council and Gaetani’s expertise at what seems to be free of charge, why not have hi on board? hope the former Builder of the Plant speaks for more than three Minutes at Public Works the man has so much knowledge, we should utilize his expertise, or do we let Tyer and Marchetti run roughshod over ways to minmize cost and find ways to to reduce cost and Government regulations and requirements, when there doesn’t seem to be a need for a drastic changeover.

  15. CosbiesLadies
    February 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

    Or something like that, beware of fear at the next few meetings.

  16. Flogging Molly
    February 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

    Wonder if Michael Armitage is out of the federal pen yet??? He got caught but Gerry Doyle continues to play the game ,

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/energy_entrepreneur_michael_ar.html

  17. h
    February 7, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    I want Valenti Investigating with prose, the nonsense of this project,and we need the expertise of Connell, Gaetani and maybe a Lawyer going forward. Who wouldn’t utilize an attorney or the Bulider of the Plant! We have at least five people on the Council who seem to know something about rush jobs and greasing squeaky wheels.

  18. Madame Du Barry
    February 7, 2018 at 5:01 pm #

    Gaetani is out to prove all the naysayers wrong by giving the taxpayer free info and knowledge that he has in his brain for the last 40 plus years,let’s get on board. It really will be like Popcorn (Tyred Team) against the Battleship (Gaetani)

    • miS i
      February 7, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

      The freelance Fiancé Committee is on now, Gaetani is putting On a good presentation despite Marxchetti Interuptions.

    • Still Wondering
      February 8, 2018 at 11:37 am #

      The G-man blew what credibility he might have had, a long time ago. He’s just another nut on North Street.

      • Madame Du Barry
        February 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm #

        You should go on his show, you know everything.

        • Still Wondering
          February 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

          A nut with a police record…

  19. Halo
    February 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    The consultant said he wasn’t clear on one of is opinions? How much was this man paid?

  20. Madame Du Barry
    February 7, 2018 at 7:10 pm #

    Pittsfielld has been interacting on a regular basis with the EPA? This Plant upgrade is like someone Buying a Home without a down payment,bad credit and no loan, good luck.Who hired Turocy anyway, he knows as much about water as I do.

  21. The school committee
    February 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm #

    School employee make 75k and does not work .I believe community school coordinators shoud go to work…..this guy get away with money for nothing …..behnke is a friend and it ok…….all involved should be fired…..yon needs to publicly ask why he does not work all day during summer…..he works another job and get paid from both for the same 8 hoursj

    • AlaskanBushClowns
      February 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

      I remember Camp Russell had a little store where we could buy candy and stuff, they also sold some weird kind of rubber string that you could make a necklace out of, anyone remember what they called it? Gimp, Gemp?Something like that.

      • danvalenti
        February 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm #

        It was called gimp, an elastomeric plastic that could be woven into decorative items.

        • 12 Gauge
          February 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

          When Tyer was at camp she wove her gimp into a TIF.

  22. Bill Q
    February 7, 2018 at 9:05 pm #

    Shovel your snow otherwise num nuts over at the health department will ticket you.

    • dusty
      February 8, 2018 at 1:05 am #

      This snow and ice on the sidewalk problem is a good opportunity for the city to hammer down on those elderly folk…who have been getting away with far too much in this city. They need to be paying their taxes and getting out and chopping that ice off the sidewalks. While it may be a bit harder to do if you are supported with a walker it can be done with a bit of patience and determination. If elderly people want to live in a fine community like Pittsfield, Ma they need to step it up or move on down the road.

      • Tricksie
        February 8, 2018 at 8:33 am #

        right then they drag a 50lb tote to the curb –

    • NIB
      February 8, 2018 at 6:16 am #

      Are they going to ticket the snow plow drivers who push all that snow on your sidewalk and driveway because they are driving too fast?

      • Mannix
        February 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

        Good point NIB.

        I was told by someone who used to drive a city plow many years ago, that they weren’t to plow over a certain MPH so as not to push snow / slush onto sidewalks, etc. They were also instructed to lift the blade slightly to avoid pushing snow onto hydrants. Sidewalks, driveways, and a hydrant on my street were covered with slush overnight…that was froze this morning.

  23. Madame Du Barry
    February 8, 2018 at 4:48 am #

    Not to cool whey they fine you and there sidewalks around City Hall are ice up? Jaywalking on Femn to Vity Hall is the norm now.

    • dusty
      February 8, 2018 at 6:15 am #

      Kind of the “Do as I say, not as I do” ordinance.

  24. Trumped Up
    February 8, 2018 at 8:18 am #

    Check out the questioning by Connell tearing Kufflinks to shreds, as usual he is conveniently not prepared.

  25. h
    February 8, 2018 at 8:19 am #

    Why does the Eagle Reporter not write that the goings on at the City Council is primarily Fake News?

    • LoneGunMan
      February 8, 2018 at 8:30 am #

      If you’re talking about Drane, it’s because she’s hob knobbing the Khrolies. If you’r speaking of Dunn, he’s out behind the woodshed with Caccamo and White

  26. Trumped Up
    February 8, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    I fell on my ass over at St..Marks the other day, shovel the Church Monseignor. Where the num nuts Blaze over at heath Depot.

  27. Babylon Berlin
    February 8, 2018 at 10:08 am #

    Procedure going forward should be retracted on all phases of the current ongoings, the water project should, or be driven by fear and shame on C C,who appropriate the initial money for the consultantants.The other night we heard problems before now and after, we should proceed with savings on the minds of the taxpayers, keeping them in MIND.The former Builder and inventor of his own design said we can save millions. Let’s not let the current Mayor or anyone else in this Administration have the last say, let the taxpayer have it. Find solutions with the current players involved for and only for the taxpayer, NOT VOTER, use all Professional Help we can get, including the knowledge of of the Builder, the City Councilors, that understand what this mega project will do to the Citizens and any other resource we can reach out to, including our Congress,an Neal. As Dan has printed here, there’s something rotten in Denmark.

    • Shakes His Head
      February 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      How many fake accounts does G post under?

      • Mr. Fritz
        February 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

        Too many to count.

      • Garbage Gestapo
        February 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

        37

      • H
        February 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

        Accounts? Last time he spoke he was closing a 230 mil deal overseas.

      • Dustin
        February 9, 2018 at 6:43 am #

        if that isnt the pot calling the kettle black. You have posted under Dennise O’Keefe, Andrew Stevens, Mr. G and a dozen others.

        • Shakes His Head
          February 12, 2018 at 7:52 am #

          Nope Dustin, you can verify with the planet, I’ve only posted under this account and “still not Matt”.

  28. dusty
    February 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    I see the city sent out the census….with a return envelope…but no return postage. My guess is that at LEAST 25% of the people who were iffy about sending it back in the first place are not going to do a stamp.
    So what projected accuracy were they shooting for when they decided to save money on the postage? If I remember what happens is that if you do not reply they send someone to your home to re check. So is that cost effective? I doubt it.

  29. Babylon Berlin
    February 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    It seem that the mad scientist has all of the players at the Finance and soon to be Public Works Committee by the financial lemons, amd political careers in the balance,the Mayor looks foolish, the City Council, looks foolish, but is coming around, the former Commisioner and current one look foolish, and of course this time around the taxpayers will be looking foolish.I know zero about water and have been watching the water expert, it is very interesting to note that the four times the current bill cost was actually not brought up into real dollars the other night, so we’ll take Councilor Connell’s word on it. Going forward, let’s hope that presentations, especially the ones with math and numbers on them can be seen by the naked eye, do you really want to believe everything they tell us instead of visually eye it, and don’t leave info in the car.

  30. The school committee
    February 8, 2018 at 6:06 pm #

    School employees must go to work,must not double dip and some need auditing like the Crosby school administrator….75k….lets find out whats going on with him…Mrs Yon needs to speak with Mccandless about him

  31. Harry Merkin
    February 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

    That’s Jake’s point man at Dunkin.

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