Article

9 RED FLAGS: CLOSER LOOK AT WAYFAIR CONFETTI TURNS UP FAMILIAR PLAYERS & STRATEGY, MANY QUESTIONS

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY DEC. 17, 2018) — Bring on the dancing girls. Sit John Kiley behind the Wurlitzer for his stirring rendition of “The Night They Invented Champagne.” Open bar, everyone, on us!

Stop the presses! Call the roller of fat cigars! Crown the Emperor of Ice Cream!!!!

Pittsfield is getting Wayfair, an ecommerce furniture company. To hear city officials tell it, it’s the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Peace and understanding. Harmony and love abound.

[AFTER FANFARE, CUE AUDIENCE TO CALM DOWN]

Foist things foist, THE PLANET congratulates the online furniture company for selecting Shire City for a branch location that will bring, so they say, 300 jobs to the city. One of the coolest aspects is that a Pittsfield lad is a partner in this enterprise. That’s welcome news, certainly, especially in a city with no functioning economy. But in our role in-house “realist” — a diagnostician called on in cases where the patient refuses to acknowledge her illness — let’s remind one and all not to lose our heads in the laughing gas being spewed by the politicians, officials, and bureaucrats who have turned into Gumby patting themselves on the back.

On closer inspection, this deal gets more and more, uh, “interesting.” These are the Imps that reside in the fine print of the details, the ones the back-patting Suits won’t mention.

———- ooo ———-

The 300 jobs, if they materialize, cannot of themselves make a dent in this past lost generation, 30 years where 20,000 manufacturing jobs vanished without trace in the Bermuda Triangle caused by successive administrations in love with reckless spending and not too fussy about accountability. Best case scenario is that Wayfair comes in, does well, and begins the building of a critical mass of new business involving other companies who want to move in as well. Worst case scenario is that the deal implodes in a case of turf wars, sham promises, and unsupported commercial optimism. The truth shall likely reside somewhere in between those points.

Speaking of points, here are a few that may escaped you during the throwing of rice, the release of 100,000 colorful balloons, and the confetti raining down in the bouncy house:

  • Officials were initially secretive about the Pittsfield location of the new branch. Red flag #1.
  • They said that a new facility would be built and that a developer had been chosen, BUT, and it’s a big one considering the city’s recent history with developers, they refused to identify who it was.
  • Probing reveals the developer appears to be David Carver, the very David Carver who expressed surprise that the infrastructure of the St. Mary’s campus on Tyler Street was showing its age. The very David Carver who since then been pressuring city officials for millions in taxpayer money to fund his enterprise. Red flag #2.
  • Wayfair received the largest tax break in state history, $31.4 million to grace Boston and Pittsfield. Officials wouldn’t clarify what part, if any, that Pittsfield is expected to swallow of that amount. In other words, this is again a form of the dreaded public-private partnership. Red flag #3.
  • The jobs, advertised as 300, will be 188 in the first year, about 90 percent of them barely over minimum wage ($16/hour) — about $33,000/yr. Wayfair said if things go well, 74 positions would be added the second year (2020) and 42 the third (2021). If.
  • Consider the evidential changing nature, already this early in the story, of the Pittsfield location. As part of its agreement with the state, Wayfair promised to build a new facility in Pittsfield, cost $2.87 million. Now, with the cat out of the bag, city officials are talking leasing, not building. Red flag #5.
  • Leasing where? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Clock Tower building, home of The Boring Broadsheet, still half empty, and — in another of those Pittsfield coincidences — managed by David Carver. Yes, THAT David Carver. Red flag #6.
  • Leasing would give the Wayfair move all the permanence of a ball of cotton candy in a carnival kid’s mouth. Remember the Alamo and the lost list of other businesses that came into town on huge fanfare — EV Worldwide, 1,000 jobs; WorkshopLive, hundreds of jobs; Nuclea, too many jobs to mention; Spice, the Renaissance personified; the Beacon, 250,000 fannies a year. We could go on. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
  • Another slip of the tongue that got beyond everyone is how officials are now saying “Berkshire County,” not Pittsfield, in the move. Could Wayfair build, buy, or lease elsewhere? One official told THE PLANET he heard the former Country Curtains complex on Rt. 102 in South Lee as a possible site. The facility house a sophisticated facility perfectly suited for online work and warehousing.
  • As we said earlier, the vast majority of the new jobs would be minimum wage rangeA handful of managerial position would pay $55,000 a year, or half of what numerous city employees receive. Ah, thou art cruel, Dreaded Private Sector.
  • It seems the only reason Pittsfield got included in the discussion was the accident of birth. One of the company’s cofounders was born here and is a 1991 PHS grad. That’s serendipitous, certainly, but a fluke is hardly a substitute for genuine planning and an authentic plan for meaningful economic development. Red flag #7 because how many more virgin births can be expected to come out of the Bethlehem that is Pittsfield.
  • The website Nasdaq.com lists the number of Wayfair employees as 2,104, not the 10,000 officials cited in their announcement. Red flag #8.
  • What are the financials? The website smarteranalyst.com reports a 3rd quarter loss for Wayside of $152 million. For the most recent fiscal year, on revenues of $574,144,000, Wayside had a net income of -$51,401,000. As in minus. Red flag #9. It lost money.

———- 000 ———-

We offer our realism without the churl, again, agreeing that if all this is on the up-and-up, it’s a small step in what may be a positive direction. Keep in mind, though, that this deal does nothing to address the decades of overspending by the city, as well as the flood of debt that at some point must be addressed.

Predictably, officials wore themselves out slapping themselves on the back at the Wayfair announcement. We heard words like “dynamic,” “comprehensive,” “strategic,” “collaborative,” and many other typhus-inducing verbiage too bacterial to mention. The state reps, the mayor, and other such rah-rah types had a field day.

THE PLANET wishes everyone well in this enterprise, but we’ve heard enough inside rumblings to be concerned. Our advice to Pittsfield taxpayers: Be scared. Be very scared.

No offense to Wayfair, but next time we need to replace the credenza, we’re heading to the Dumpster Behind Paul Rich.

———————————————————————————————————————

“Bald heads [are] forgetful of their sins” — first line of “The Scholars,” a lovely poem by W.B. Yeats.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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160 Responses to “9 RED FLAGS: CLOSER LOOK AT WAYFAIR CONFETTI TURNS UP FAMILIAR PLAYERS & STRATEGY, MANY QUESTIONS”

  1. mi
    December 18, 2018 at 3:35 pm #

    You clowns don’t get it. G E moved Corporate to Boston,on Celtic Jerseys.They are all in. One of the deal breakers was to get something here to forget about the PCb’s and laving it a Ghost Town

  2. H
    December 18, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    Sad Sack Sarah will be the most disliked person in thE U.S when trump goes down.

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

      I’m thinking Gaetani should be able to surpass her in say 3 Council meetings one more presentation 2 phone calls to city hall and 1 more junk car removal from his property. Being its not campaign season there will be no forums.

      Just sayin

  3. Putins Punk Beatch
    December 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm #

    Please leave my good friend, the Teflon Don,alone.

  4. The school committee
    December 18, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    The Allendale school property is the dump that GE created and Toxic swamp was deemed safe for education of children of Pittsfield.Yon,Amuso,Eberwien, Ruberto,Massimiano. Curtis and McCandless all agree its a great spot for kids……Complete denial allows them to sleep well like Tyer,Moon,Rivers Taylor and Chris Connell

  5. Trump Fellas
    December 18, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    Trumps tax deducted charity is now under Scrutin,yes,screw tiny,the little guy. Trump ski,,ed again.

    • Art Seller
      December 18, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

      Ed check pin head same same

      • Art Seller
        December 18, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

        Letitishia James. Keep that name in mind. Scump will know her soon.

        • Art Seller
          December 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

          Sanders Limbaugh hanity Carlson Pero:: Flynn ambushed. Flynn:: I was not ambushed your honor. This is FACT. These goons and the ones from breitbart are outright liars just like scump.liars stick together like glue but their bond is starting to fail. Liars and goons all.

  6. u
    December 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

    You don’t think Weisselberg isn’t going to sing? Watch.

  7. Ed Check
    December 18, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

    Art,

    I don’t know that Sarah Sanders will be the least liked person in the USA, however, in the Berkshires that title will still be maintained by the King of Poo a/k/a G-man, and all his aliases on this blog.

    All of his rants just show either the senility, or the mental instability of this multi-personality being. Get some help.

    The King of Poo has soiled his Pittsfield market, and his pants. Put on your Depends when you attend the next council meeting.

    Art, maybe you can wipe the drool from G-man’s mouth after he speaks his vitriol and nasty speech. It still amazes me how he has deceived himself into thinking that after three years of denigrating Pitttsfield public officials…that he thinks they now will want to work with him. Let him in a plant? I wouldn’t do that without proof of workman’s comp and liability insurance that has named City of Pittsfield as a co-insured.

    Justin Lis…Run from the G-man, get as far away from him as you can. Being linked to him will only bring your great product DOWN.

    Agree with previous poster, G-man does not even use a smart phone on his show. He cannot even master basic 21st century business tools, how can we expect him to do anything current.

    I am convinced Dan protects (maybe even subsidizes) G-man and all his multi-personalities to increase apparent blog traffic. His anger and crude speech (gutter mouth) is getting old.

    I no longer care. Bye.

    Ed Check signing off this blog. Other than Art (& his multi-personalities), thank you all for some great responses.

    Good night and Good-Bye

    • Art Seller
      December 18, 2018 at 7:16 pm #

      Ed check and pin head Good bye and good ridance. Go kiss the city official’s asses as you always have. The Gman doesn’t even post on this board. He is not an ass kisser like you and never will be an ass kisser. I do not know dan Valenti and he does not know me. I post under one name and one name only art seller and have never ever posted under any other name. You seem to li e to s negrate the Gman but I never allowed you to post trash without responding to you. Gaetani is the voice of pittsfield and the only true champion of the taxpayer. He has to come on verybstrong because many of the people he has to deal with are brainless ass holes like the mayor and some on the council.He is notntryingnto save the city a few dollars he is tryingnto save more than 25 million dollars. Say that ten times. All projects he is involved in are mega million dollar projects and he knows this business inside and out. He has a thankless job representing the taxpayer and even if He rescues them there will be no thank your from the public. He could care less about that. He is 71 years old and can do anything that his heart desires because he is a gazillion aire and can afford anything but he is spending his final years trying to help the residents of the city of pittsfield. That’s all he is trying to do and ass holes like you and others are throwing stones at him. Look in the mirror and what do you see. I will tell you. An A hole.

      • Joe Pinhead
        December 18, 2018 at 8:30 pm #

        Other than that Mrs Lincoln how was the play?

  8. Bill Q
    December 18, 2018 at 7:08 pm #

    I love the G Man Ed,sorry to see you check out,Dan at this point probably doesn’t care if you leave because he is the most popular read in the Berkshires, and everyone,pro or con, the Planet comes calling everyday to speak the truth,whole truth and nothing but the truth. The G Man is an expert in water, that’s a fact. He’s old school, so what he doesn’t use a smart phone. How many people take the time to go to meetings amd fight for the right of citizens who can’t fight for themselves. Ask yourself Ed,is G Man less obnoxious than Trump,yes,is G Man all for himself,no,is Trump,hell yes,is G Man going to be impeached,no, is Trump,hell yes. Is G Man Bill Q,hell no,is Trump the biggest liar,you tell me?

    • Art Seller
      December 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm #

      Bill Q Thanks for a few good words about the Gman. He is trying to help every single person in this city and these goons are throwing stones at him. I just dont understand the goals of these nuts. Perhaps if he were trying to stuff the 74 million dollar project down the taxpayers throats like the administration is, These nuts would love him The Gman makes it very clear that he loves the truth and hates liars. Some have chastised the Gman for calling tyer a liar He called her a liar because she told a bald face lie right in front of the Gman and he did the public a favor by pointing out she is a liar. What should have he done? Give her a box of girl scout cookies?? What this city needs are more Gman’s. If we had 15 or 20 Gman’s we could turn pittsfield into paradise but without him the city will fall deeper and deeper into the abyss. Everybody knows this and those that dont can’t do anything to save pittsfield anyhow. Think about it

  9. Halo
    December 18, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

    Trump gave 7 dollars to the Boys Scouts From his foundation. Gaetani saved over one hundred millions for the taxpayers in the eighties,but he probably also saved rate payers mega bucks in lower rates over the years also,until now. We owe this guy. And don’t worry, Check will be on here as someone else if he isn’t already,that’s why he’s under an assumed named to begin with.

    • The school committee
      December 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm #

      The state of by wants to prevent all trumps from serving on any non profit boards,tells you everything

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm #

      Is Halo a real name? Asking for a friend Or is this Gaetani using an assumed name to begin with? Asking for a different friend

      Just sayin

  10. CosbiesLadies
    December 18, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

    I also disagree with pecker checker……just sayin.Never take it out on the Planet,we get this free,I’d pay to have this read everyday,Planet works hard to give us this gem. Nobody is better. I’ve been behind Gaetani since day one with the crazy consultants trying to take us for a bath and the lack of knowledge with the city administration and some a City Councils rubber stamping everything for the Millionaires and political pablum pukers in this City. I would like to hear Dr. Trzcinkas take on the Wayfair deal. One question would be for him, or Agent Smith to explain a company that loses 150 million dollars with its stock increasing? I would answer it but he seems to be well respected on here and Agent Smith also.

  11. H
    December 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

    G Man doesn’t use a smart phone, so that !ist mean Alexander Graham Bell must have been a real dummy. Get a clue Ed, the phone call In system at pctv sucks,ask Valenti. Ed, why don’t you go on the G mans show tomorrow night and bring your smart phone with you….and a diaper……just sayin, also

    • Bill DeWahl
      December 18, 2018 at 8:05 pm #

      Art Seller is a delusional buffoon. A real DELFOON.

      • Art Seller
        December 18, 2018 at 9:07 pm #

        Bill dewhal are you capable of putting together a post that has any validity??? Please try to add to the conversation. Your grade for significant content is F— jest swing. Loser.

        • Bill DeWahl
          December 18, 2018 at 9:41 pm #

          You are a delfoon.

          • Art Seller
            December 18, 2018 at 9:44 pm #

            Now your responding with a piece of a sentence. You must be a real half wit

          • Joe Pinhead
            December 18, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

            Art, Interesting when you cant refute turn to sentence structure. on a Blog seriously? ok you win on the structure point he gets two points for word construction. When the word gets put in the dictionary you can add to your Gazillions from the royalties from your picture usage. Win Win awesome

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm #

      H, U, Art, Cosbiesladies et al and all the voices in that snoggin, everyone knows that Alexander Graham Bell was a real dummy. well its not that he was a dummy per se but both he Socrates, Galileo the three wise men etc. could have been so much more had they been born in a time when they could have studied under Gaetani oh the loss to humanity. Ask Gaetani he will tell you. oh no need to ask he will tell you.
      Just sayin

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

      According to the charges filed he simply doesn’t use a phone smartly either
      Just sayin

  12. Unwanted Carl
    December 18, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

    Being a leader and being elected takes at least these two things to get re-elected to political office here,The first, never go back on a campaign promise. Two, never lie to the public,ever.

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

      Oh I’m going to lay better than even odds on not having the last name Gaetani is a big boost too
      Just sayin

  13. Delfoon
    December 18, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

    Art, imbeciles like you and me have to stick together.

    • Joe Pinhead
      December 18, 2018 at 9:52 pm #

      Umm I think they call that lock up
      Just sayin

  14. May Hemm
    December 18, 2018 at 9:23 pm #

    Or General Flynn.lock him up…just sayin