Article

WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY? PITTSFIELD, THE BEACON, AND CARVER’S ST. MARY’S PROJECT TELL US

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY DEC. 5, 2018) — “I was not on the council when this project was done” — Barry Clairmont, on the Beacon Cinema fiasco.

We don’t blame our good friend BC for reminding one and all that he had no fingerprints on this unholy deal. THE PLANET, too, would be quick to distance ourselves. However, mayor Linda Tyer cannot say the same. Tyer laid out a financially disastrous, morally bankrupt plan that in its convolutions she likely didn’t understand. Probably no one did, except Melissa Mazzeo, Kevin Morandi, and the architects at the rotten core of the $22+million scheme. Mazzeo and Morandi knew that with so many answers missing, the only reasonable vote was “nein.” 

That leads to the bottom-line question: Where did the nearly $23 million go? Perhaps that’s why Richard Stanley called Deanna “Retread” Ruffer and “unsung hero,” those few million little green reasons? Was Ruffer’s return a coincidence. Was her relationship with Stanley strictly professional? None of these questions were fully vetted.

Some of the wasted dough can be accounted for in purchasing the Kresge Building, fixing it, and furnishing it. But where does that leave the other $X million in leftover gravy? Where did it go? Ask the principals in this deal —  the developer, the contractors, the politicians, the consultants.

This Beacon has been a disaster for the city — for everyone but Stanley and a few hand-picked beneficiaries. Give them credit for taking the long view. More than a decade out, they planned the perfect murder: $23 million; public money; no habeus corpus; a city that lacks honest accounting; no accountability; “private sector” vultures; a beaten-down, apathetic public.

What could go wrong?

———- 000 ———-

The Phoenix chain’s “sudden interest” in the money-losing Beacon was never sufficiently explained, nor was its previous and conflicting role as Beacon “consultant.” What was Stanley’s business history with the Phoenix?

Phoenix told the city council that it was not interested in the Beacon business, just the building and the fixtures. This suggests that it has no intention of operating as a movie house but will ship the fancy Lay-Z-Boys, digital projection equipment, sound system, and the carpet tacks to Michigan, another state destroyed by politicians and unions. It will pay about two cents on $23 million for the building and fixtures — the amount that Two Cents Tyer will “lower” the taxes of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.

In addition, there has never been an adequate, independent examination of the books. The serpentine financials had all the earmarks of a Ponzi operation, not the least of which was an alleged attendance scam that inflated the numbers five times.

Neither Barry C. nor anyone else properly explained why the project wasn’t subject to bidding laws. They argued that if the city didn’t go along with the sale, the banks wouldn’t either. Pittsfield held a mortage on the Beacon, yet they claimed the property was privately owned, exempt from bidding requirements. These two statements cannot be honestly reconciled. And if this was a private sale, why did the council have to vote? Funny how quickly the Suits can get quiet.

The problematic positions of council president Peter Marchetti and Ward 4’s Chris Connell were never explained. Marchetti recused himself from the vote because his bank, Pittsfield Co-Op, has a piece of the mortage. Question: Did Marchetti vote on ANY part of the Beacon going back 10 years? If so, we have a huge CONFLICT problem, perhaps enough to get him tossed should anyone care to explore it. And how could Connell vote this time around when he recused himself on the earlier vote to give Stanley his TIFs (and taxpayers their FITs)? Connell recused himself previously because he had done business with Stanley. What changed this time?

There are 1,001 other questions that were never properly answered. We lay out these lessons for that object in the rear-view mirror: developer David Carver and the St. Mary’s project on Tyler Street.

What’s the definition of insanity? Deja vu all over again?

tRASH cANS.

———————————————————————————————————

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up” — Pablo Picasso.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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101 Responses to “WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY? PITTSFIELD, THE BEACON, AND CARVER’S ST. MARY’S PROJECT TELL US”

  1. H
    December 4, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

    I don’t know how these a City Councilors get voted in. Moon in particular,why wouldn’t any constituent of any councilor in any ward,not want to be explore ways to drop the cost for the project-taxpayers. Moon didn’t say a peep tonight,zero. Ward One, you need to take a look at this dud. A clay pidgeon could be more effective for your Ward.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 5, 2018 at 1:02 am #

      The United States put a man on the moon in 1969. They decided it was a barren wasteland and did not want to waste much more time or money going back because there was little of value there. While surely not all moons are alike, some are.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    December 4, 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    The only economic growth in Pittsfield is in its underclass! All of the failed economic development projects, such as 20-year-old PEDA, are costly taxpayer flops. Jimmy Ruberto spent millions of dollars from GE’s settlement fund on downtown Pittsfield’s so-called “renaissance”. Pittsfield is #5 in Massachusetts for violent crime! Over 600 students choice out of Pittsfield’s public schools to neighboring communities. Pittsfield’s taxes and debts are at record levels with upcoming increases in water and sewer fees. The lovely Linda Tyer supports every project that Pittsfield’s taxpayers cannot afford. Richard Stanley is an out of town wealthy businessman who received a number of tax breaks. He is from Donald Trump’s school of business shakedowns and bankruptcies. It cannot get any worse! BUT, wait until next year of 2019!
    – Jonathan Melle

  3. Jonathan Melle
    December 4, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

    The Berkshire Eagle’s Kevin Moran is hosting a Conversation Series forum featuring Mayors Linda Tyer and Tom Bernard on Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 7:30 pm, at the [375] Church Street Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. Admission: $10 for subscribers to The Eagle, $12 for non-subscribers. Tickets: Visit conversationseries.eventbrite.com or call 800-254-0254.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 5, 2018 at 3:25 am #

      Who gets the money? Does the mayor get the money or the Berkshire Eagle? After expenses of course.

    • Stacey Elin Rossi
      December 7, 2018 at 5:12 am #

      No one should have to pay a fee to speak with or hear from the mayor of any municipality.

  4. Art Seller
    December 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm #

    Dan many of your planet posters on the last board were criticizing the Gman’s approach to nailing down this sewer project. Many say he has no people skills and I have to laugh when I see remarks like these. The wiz is the easiest going individual I have ever met and can get along with just about anyone. The one thing he is not is an ass licker. He can spot a phony a million miles away. In the 80s he convinced a mayor the entire city council and the public that they were being robed by Metcalf and Eddy engineers and then dpw commissioner Gerald Doyle sr. When dealing with ass holes he is keenly aware as to how to deal with them. If you watched the CC meeting tonight you would see who the Gman’s opponents will be on Dec 10th. Marchetti came right out and pretty much said the Gman’s presentation will not change anything.We will see if the Eagle reports that statement in tomorrows news paper. Five other councilors without saying a word telegraphed without saying a word that they felt the same. I believe that if only four councilors vote to proceed with the Gman’s proposal and because the opposition will have only seven votes and would need a 8 to 3 super majority to kill the Gman’s proposal these four votes will advance the Gman’s proposal. I am not certain about this super majority but maybe some one is and can reply. The Gman has vast experience in dealing with consulting engineering firms and has done battle with many and never lost to any of them. Same goes with incompetent DPW commissioners. He has not changed his marketing approach one iota. Why would he he has it down to the tee. He will be there Dec 10th with one goal and that will be to save the residents of this city a mega fortune. What he is wondering what will be the goal of the mayor and six of those councilors on that night?? We will all see on dec10th. If the administration chooses to go forward with this 74 million dollar pink elephant they will have a lot of explaining to do to the city’s tax and fate payers. These are the ones the Gman is trying to please. The mayor and six of the council are just after thoughts to the Gman. If he loses it will give him plenty of time to get ready to run for mayor.See how smart the Gman is. He is and has always been one step ahead of everyone. Long live the wizard.

    • Still wondering
      December 5, 2018 at 6:35 am #

      I’m still wondering how long before the G-man is arrested again.

      • Art Seller
        December 5, 2018 at 7:00 am #

        He was arrested once because he was sticking up for the taxpayers. You can’t be more noble than that. You should know by now that he is no coward and fears no one and most importantly he is the champion of the taxpayer. what have you done for the taxpayer, The Gman holds the record of being the biggest benefactor to the. City of pittsfield when he saved that 116 million in that water deal in the 80s. And yes he was a catechism teacher at St Marks for many years so you see how diverse his interests are. He can crucify those that try to pull the wool over the taxpayers eyes but then can go pray for them at St Marks. All of n a days work for the Gman

        • Mr. G
          December 5, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

          I believe he was arrested for threatening the lives of several city of Pittsfield employees, wasn’t he? LOL

  5. Johnny Absurd
    December 5, 2018 at 1:04 am #

    Rhetorical question…..if I wanted to launder some money what would be a good way to do it?

    • Ed Check
      December 5, 2018 at 3:30 am #

      Through the Vatican bank, just like the long term relationship the CIA has been doing with their operations and drug money over the decades.

      • Johnny Absurd
        December 5, 2018 at 3:59 am #

        Thanks. Need to see if my passport is up to date.

        • Ed Check
          December 5, 2018 at 4:41 am #

          Forgot to include the link…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEouw6M9deA

          Get informed.

          • Art Seller
            December 5, 2018 at 6:41 am #

            I left out a important fact that occurred at the city council meeting last night. When Mr. Gaetani was identifying the five councilors who voted to not even give him a chance to give his proposal he forgot to mention cacamo but cacamo wanted to make sure he was mentioned so he started waving his arm wildly in the air. The Gman asked what he was doing because he found his actions condescending. The coward cacamo didnt respond. The Gman pressed him for a reply and at that point another ass hole Marchetti tried to shut the Gman down but the Gman pressed ahead. We will see how these two will vote on the Gman’s proposal on Dec10 th. This is the rot the Gman is up against and all he is trying to do is save the taxpayer from being slaughtered by this bunch of ass holes. That Dec10th presentation looms bigger and bigger every day.You might say this is the most important presentation ever as it will determine who will stay in pittsfield and those who will have to leave because of the exorbitant cost of life Bing here created by incompetent city government. Watch how every councilor votes on this presentation and that will determine who should remain on the council and who should go in the next city election

          • Mr. G
            December 5, 2018 at 6:49 am #

            Not a lot of credibility there Ed. That’s a real tinfoil hat post if there ever was one.

          • Ed Check
            December 5, 2018 at 9:20 am #

            Art,

            Some people are just more comfortable living in “The Matrix” of misinformation created by the media and the CIA, than seeing the truth.

            Do some searches online about the CIA and operation Mockingbird (infiltration of the media, i.e. Anderson Cooper, the most prominent outed CIA operative in the news media). Sorry, I diverge.

            Your comment about tinfoil reminds me of the following verse…Deuteronomy 29:4 KJV

            “Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.”

    • Fugimoto Hockalugi
      December 5, 2018 at 10:48 am #

      Launder your money in Tide. It’s too cold out Tide.

  6. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 6:19 am #

    Tyer just raised my sewar tax 50% or 250 bucks,seniors cant afford their homes and spent the past year selling them.Pittsfield is draining peoples wallets.Barry do you have any idea when this will stop.Is there light at the end of the tunnel……a 400 k house in Lenox pays less realestate tax than a 190k house in Pittsfield…..Something wrong with Kroll,White,Moon RiverMarchetti Caccamo…do they all live at home,WW2 and Viet Nam vets are screwed in Pittsfield.We need a tax break…are you people so well off you don’t get blue collar people….You all voted Trump as you pretend to represent the people but really represent the banks,and the elite.

    • doomiedoger
      December 5, 2018 at 7:29 am #

      But at least Stanley came out of it ok and that’s what really counts, taking care of wealthy friends who might just return the favor.

    • Art Seller
      December 5, 2018 at 7:34 am #

      Tsc. That 50% rase is only the beginning. You haven’t seen anything yet. I suggest you stream last nights CC meeting and listen carefully to the wizard. Its amazing how few people know what’s really about to happen with these two monster projects. But, I am not surprised because I am very well aware that there are 21000 registered voters in this city who dont vote. It appears the only people who vote are the four special interest groups and their friends and family and they always deliver the garbage to city hall that we all see and hear who try to pick the taxpayers pockets clean. Will this ever end? I dont know but thank god we have this site and one thing all of us who post are trying to do the best we can but the odds are so stacked against us that it gets depressing at times but we must keep moving forward. I hope that I live long enough to see a city manager type govt. because what we have now is the worst city administration in the city’s history. If we can wake up those ,21000 registered voters who dont vote we could clean this city up in one fell swoop at election time. Let’s pray that we can teach them

      • doomiedoger
        December 5, 2018 at 12:15 pm #

        Art, you are never going to get enough councilors elected who are not connected to the power, to change anything or reign in a rogue mayor. With a seemly bottomless bucket of money the special interests literally buy Pittsfield elections. While you may get one or two councilors who truly represent the taxpayers you will never have enough votes to change anything.

        I have the same dream you do. Honest government for the deserving public. But I am also a realist. Changing Pittsfield is a mountain too high. It will always be run by the cabal

  7. B. clairmont
    December 5, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    Dan,

    If I did a poor job explaining, i’m Sorry. Let me try again…

    The theatre was and still will be privately owned.

    The city loaned the project 2.55 million dollars. 1,000,000 was a grant received by the city from the state. In any economic development project, other than one that has tax credits tied to it, that $1,000,000 would have been a grant to the project at the time was money was given to them. In this case the money was loaned because of the credits.

    Here is how a tax credit deal works. The project is awarded tax credits by the Feds and may include state credits as well. The project then sells the credits to the highest bidder for cash. That cash is used to develop the project.

    The company buying the credits becomes the 99.99% owner of the project. The company buying the credits makes their return on investment in two ways. The first is they get to use the credits on their tax returns dollar for dollar against any tax they may have. The second way is the project will benerate losses due to depreciation expense. They get to use these losses to also offset their taxable income. They don’t want the project to be profitable in the first 7 years because they don’t ever see the money. They want the deductible tax losses. After 7 years, the investor exits and the managing member becomes the 100% owner.

    So, if the state grant money was granted to the project, it would have generated taxable income, which the investor doesn’t want. Therefore, they will only allow the funds needed for the development to come in as a loan.

    Then the city loaned another $1,500,000 from the GE economic development funds to the project to meet a funding gap. Had this not been a tax credit deal, those funds would have been forgiven when certain milestones were met. This is how all these funds have been structured since 2006.

    Again, because the investors didn’t want any taxable income, they insisted that the funds be loaned, not forgiven, hence the two loans on the books.

    Now, the council is required by MA law to be involved when forgiving loans, which is why they had to vote on the forgiveness of the debt.

    Bidding laws only apply to public ally owned property. The city didn’t own the property. They were a lender, just like the banks. Does the bank own your home, no. The bank and the city don’t own the beacon. No bidding laws apply.

    Does the bank tell you how much you sell your house for? No! Same here for the banks and the city. The banks needed to be willing to forgive their debt because the project was under water. Same for the city, but the city was behind the banks position wise. So unless the city was willing to buy out the bank debt for full face value, the bank calls the shots.

    If I were still on the council, I would have voted to forgive the debt, because the city got to keep $1,500,000 of the debt in place and now has the first mortgage. If Phoenix doesn’t keep it a theatre for 10 years, they either have to pay the city back, or we can for close on the building and take it back. A no vote would have caused the banks to foreclose, the debt to the city would have been discharged immediately and the banks would have auctioned the building off to the highest bidder. No control for the city at all.

    Hope this helps explain it. Glad to try and answer any reasonable questions.

    Barry

    • The school committee
      December 5, 2018 at 8:38 am #

      The taxpayer wants to know how much Stanely walk away with.The Berkshire Museum took 400k and now has 55 million and will Mayor Tyer ask for the money back as it turns out to be a complete fabrication that it was going to make the museum succeed.

      • B. clairmont
        December 5, 2018 at 11:10 am #

        There are no grounds to ask for the money back.

        There wasn’t anything in that grant that said if you sell art 9 years later you have to pay it back.

        I believe the money was supplied for air conditioning, which they installed. Grant conditions satisfied. Period.

        Barry

    • danvalenti
      December 5, 2018 at 9:26 am #

      BARRY
      Many thanks. This sort of information adds to the discussion, moves it forward, and adds to our knowledge. Always helpful.

    • Brian C. Marquis
      December 6, 2018 at 6:27 am #

      Barry, your response reads like a Michael Milken elocution statement.

      You remember Mikey, king of high-yield junk bonds (because of their higher default risk in relation to investment-grade bonds)?

      And then there’s Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi Scheme.

      Which is it Barry, junk bonds or Ponzi Scheme?

      You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.

    • H
      December 6, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

      Nowhere in any of Barry’s posts do you see the criteria for getting the tax credits to begin with. Going forward for the next,Gimoke. there-in lies the hostility that the taxpayers have for the crooks that administrate these types of private – public investments. I wouldn’t give Stiffly a dime,and would make the next howdy doody taking over to do their business with the note holders.

    • Charles Trzcinka
      December 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

      I don’t think it works quite the way that Barry describes. But it would be helpful if he gave a reference to the details he described above. The loans the city gave need to be paid back like any loans. Why does selling tax credits doesn’t mean the buyer of the credits have an equity position in the seller’s enterprise? Depreciation doesn’t result in losses unless gross margins are less than the depreciation expense.

      • B. Clairmont
        December 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

        Charles,

        It is more complicated than I outlined here. These deals are very complex. Yes, the buyers of the credits are usually 99.99% owners. They always are owners, that is a fact.

        You are correct about depreciation on its face. It’s things like a deferred $2,000,000 developers fee (that was never paid in this case) that gets capitalized and depreciated that usually causes the loss. No cash out the door, but a tax deduction is generated.

        Look up new market tax credits and i’m Sure you will find examples of how these deals work. No two deals are exactly the same, but they are similar.

        Barry

  8. Johnny99
    December 5, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Barry,

    What were the terms of the loans and how many payments were made and how much of the loans were paid down?

    If the loans were only loans on paper, and no payments were required, then why weren’t we Kapanskis told of this handout back when the whole kit and kaboodale was put before the council?

    And thanks for explaining this tax credit thing, especially since it has heretofore never been properly explained.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 5, 2018 at 7:34 am #

      I wish someone would explain why Marchetti voted for the project in the first place. Especially since his bank was involved? Is it not his job to look after the taxpayers first and then millionaire business men secondarily? Is he even commenting?

      • B. clairmont
        December 5, 2018 at 11:03 am #

        I don’t know whether Marchetti voted or not back in 2008. If he did, it probably would have been because he wasn’t as high up in the bank as he is now. I do know he was smart enough then to ask ethics for an opinion. I’m confident he followed the rules.

        Now Connell voting on the Beacon this time around, but not two years ago because of a conflict around an ancient land sale…that one perplexes me.

        Barry

        • Chris Connell
          December 5, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

          I followed what the ethics lawyer advised in both cases. End of discussion.

          • He can’t win
            December 5, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

            Councilor can you explain why you thought you needed a new opinion? Seems to me the land deal was like over a decade ago. Does it get better with age? Why did you sell out on us? Your excuse didn’t seem right the first time around. I bet you never got no ethics opinion. If you did you should produce both of them. Your no better than the rest of the sellouts.

          • Mike Ward
            December 6, 2018 at 5:32 am #

            You can call the State Ethics Commission twice in one day, talk to two different lawyers, and get two different opinions on the same issue. It’s pretty random. Unless something is clearly wrong I think they tend to respond to what your gut feeling is and just reflect that opinion back to you.

    • acheshirecat
      December 5, 2018 at 8:33 am #

      Johnny99, here is a link from the Pittsfield Gazette from May 2008 with details of some the funding and some councilors comments. The councilors expected the Beacon was going to be around for 30 years. The majority of the loan was to be paid over 20 years AFTER the cinema is open for10 years according to the article.

      http://pittsfieldgazette.com/city-will-boost-cinema-funding-p1342-95.htm

      • Kermit Frog
        December 5, 2018 at 9:01 am #

        “At-large councilor Matt Kerwood is confident with the analysis based on the “firm belief that people much smarter than I in the world of finance have looked at this six ways to Sunday.””

        Isn’t this guy the city treasurer keeping an eye on all investments? Did he get an MBA in the last 10 years. Holy cow.

        • Acute Angina
          December 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm #

          Smarter than Kerwood?

    • B. clairmont
      December 5, 2018 at 9:04 am #

      The city never received any payments. The banks received around $1,000,000 of their principal back, from what I’ve heard.

      I don’t know the specific terms of each loan.

      There is an article posted below by Cheshire Cat.

      Barry

  9. Kermit Frog
    December 5, 2018 at 8:16 am #

    All commercial deals have a credit officer review in my experience- So my question please – what did the revenue stream looking like when the loans were approved? Did a credit officer approve the financials – if so who? Where was the support that they could pay back?
    Another question – the 20 odd million already from public money that was down the drain when they came begging the city? Was that spending required to be explained when the city decided to give out the 1.5 million?
    The US attorney in the southern district my has just settled a case under False Claims Act – is that possible to use in this caseto claw back the obviously invested building construction bills with public money?
    Comment – not question- 20 million dollars is about 100-500 Pittsfield houses. That is a lot of gentrification that could be done – imagine entire bad blocks being taken over.
    How much does it cost to dredge the Housatonic? How much does a water filtration system cost? Would 20 million dollars help?

  10. Kermit Frog
    December 5, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    Sorry – invested should be inflated. Inflated construction bills etc.

    If the banks and city foreclosed it would require and auction – which would have been public bidding. If the news is accurate Stanley was in default more than 90 days which meant all lenders could have started foreclosure and put it into a receivership, collecting the rents. I suspect the rents would at least cover what the Phoenix paid.

  11. Kermit Frog
    December 5, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/attorney-generals-false-claims-division

    Cute little fact here: I believe this means public citizens have standing to file a claim? Anyone with more knowledge want to comment on that?

    I will wait for the tirade of exasperation of how I really don’t understand this big complicated issue. 🙂

    • Stacey Elin Rossi
      December 7, 2018 at 5:06 am #

      Kermit Frog, You ask some extremely important questions about the original deal. I would be very interested in hearing answers to them.

      About complaints to the AG, yes, citizens do have standing to file a complaint.

  12. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 8:47 am #

    Barry do you believe the St Mary’s developer was really surprised that a sewar upgrade was needed,if you believe this stuff and the Mayor really believes he was …SURPRISED …that a sewar upgrade was needed…6 more councilors will oddly believe a sewar upgrade was a ….SURPRISE,…..The word is out she has the votes and MoonRiversKrollWhiteCaccamo…will all come to the same conclusion that this poor developer never expected problem…..tell him to watch a flipping home show on tv

  13. Ed Check
    December 5, 2018 at 9:35 am #

    If the sewer upgrade is beyond the property, such as a larger pipe, etc., that is the type of money that a city should be spending to assist developers in Pittsfield. Infrastructure improvements such as water, sewer, road, street lights, traffic lights, etc up to the property are justified.

    However money for their project to replace a roof, or anything on their site…NO! NO! NO!

    If the city followed those guidelines, it would weed out these unviable projects. If a company or a development does not make economic sense, no amount of city support will make it a viable, long term development.

    • Art Seller
      December 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

      Ed check. It couldn’t be stated any simpler than that.

  14. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 10:52 am #

    Upgrades are great for Beverly Hill but not in a City that is only succeeding at poverty and crime that goes with it.Developers with margins at zero should not be developing properties.Where are all the right wing capitalist.

    • Ed Check
      December 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

      What economic sense would it make for any development if the city sewer line cannot handle the new outflow. If the city wants to truly help developers…infrastructure (in my opinion), is truly the correct use of funds.

      It not only helps that project but probably that whole area of the ward as well.

      • Wilson
        December 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

        It’s a water upgrade for the sprinkler system, of no value to the rest of the neighborhood. If a development is not economically viable, why should it go forward? If it is just a matter of funding then the city should get a percentage of the profit like any investor, paid in cash, not in dreams aka lies.

        • Ed Check
          December 5, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

          I assume you mean fire sprinkler system. That water line improvement will help the neighborhood.

          It would eliminate low water pressure in the ward. Also any fire in a development could impact the nearby houses. Again, infrastructure improvements are legitimate city assistance for development, in my opinion.

  15. Ben Weldon
    December 5, 2018 at 11:21 am #

    IMO you will see many more homes for sale in Pittsfield come this spring than you have seen in quite a while. Besides the Beacon give-away there is going to be a substantial increase in water and sewer charges. Working families may be able to hang on, not so for many seniors.

    • Hondurans for Trump
      December 5, 2018 at 11:55 am #

      Not to worry Ben, and Barry will agree, homes are selling like hot cakes here.

  16. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

    Including water and sewar most homes at 185k assesment are punching 5 k a year in taxes…WTF…not 1 politician in town will mention cutting taxes…they always wait for the emergency….we have to cut taxes….budget must go down by 8 million at least and then a second round…….i look at the current council and see alot of stupid piticiasns who are in it for themselves their EGO

  17. h
    December 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    The Beacon T I F did not clearly live up to the criteria for what it received. Even the Phonyix group said they were short staffed, for one,filthy carpets,seats leased by it’s owner?. Lovely Limda and Queen Dianna should be In Jail, as well as whomever gave the order to corral the dumbell City Councilors to voted on this.

  18. dusty
    December 5, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

    So Barry, is it your personal opinion, one you would stake your reputation on, that this whole Beacon project and associated add ons, was 100% on the up and up and that no one involved acted in bad faith?

    • dusty
      December 6, 2018 at 7:29 am #

      tic tock

  19. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 3:24 pm #

    22million and 9 years later they need to replace the hvac…bs,never spent money on upkeep,offices never rented,rugs filthy means bacteria everywhere,bathrooms ? We were punked….Barry is it your view that 22 million went into that building…..dont answer……former councilors know they was alot of waste….none bigger than Hancock Shaker where they repurposed our money…..Lie after Lie as the cocktail elite came out for that…..bottom line it was a Lie

  20. tom
    December 5, 2018 at 3:53 pm #

    How long will this charade go on with do nothing tyer speaking through barry????????????

  21. Auto Phil
    December 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

    What people don’t realize here is that this business was actually given $5million dollars in grants, disguised as loans from the city.
    The second 2.5 million was a credit/grant package from the state, once again packaged up as a loan from some public agency called the Pittsfield Downtown Initiative or something.
    They didn’t really talk much about it in the city council discussions.
    But that too was wrapped up in the deal. Except there’s no getting that money back. Whether Phoenix stays or goes, that money is vanished.

  22. Hondurans for Trump
    December 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

    Look, Mr. Silverstein was was true Patriot and Adrianna Rutherford a unsung hero. You will work two jobs to pay for it and stop bellyaching. Maybe leasing his own seats was needed for spot cash.

  23. Kermit Frog
    December 5, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    I think Autophil has a point – this council vote wouldn’t bring the money back.
    But – their is something regarding the grant/loan/whatever money outgoing that needs investigation. The Pittsfield Downtown Initiative is perhaps gone but there is a Tyler Street Initiative now. I guess a few searches can find those cookie monsters.
    If any one can get a grant/loan/whatever money and there are no obligations to pay it back or actually do anything with the money how can the rest of us sign up for this windfall? My house does t have air conditioning. Or electric lazy boys. 400k would cut it provided there are no surprises and I might be more productive and therefore expand the workforce.

  24. The school committee
    December 5, 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    Pittsfield has a desire for a leader and only one person has show the ability to lead a be a good mayor.I don’t like Our city much anymore not because of drugs poverty and total bad culture in town as that can change it the uncaring 6 councilors not having compassion for the poor.

  25. Johnny99
    December 5, 2018 at 8:41 pm #

    Barry, thank you for your answers regarding the Beacon loans, and Cheshire Cat, thank you for this link from The Pittsfield Gazette, 10.5 years ago:

    http://pittsfieldgazette.com/city-will-boost-cinema-funding-p1342-95.htm

    Wow, what an eyeopener. Payments being after 20 years, and at 2% interest, but maybe $600,000 would be paid back quickly, but of course not a single red cent was ever paid back. Ruberto, above all, should be ashamed of himself for selling this Beacon Bomber. Around and around and around we go, and where it stops nobody knows. Let’s give some more money away for another private project why don’t we???

    Here are some word for word snippets from the Gazette aritcle, 10.5 years ago, and note Stanley bragging how he will sell 1.5 million seats per year, and they will be STADIUM – STYLE SEATS, which was a lie.

    “Community development director Deanna Ruffer – who has been coordinating the public side of funding effort for the project – said that the city would be paid back the majority of the loan over 20 years after the cinema is open for ten years. The city’s principal would be paid back with two percent annual interest.

    Six hundred thousand dollars of the new loan would be “bridge” financing and likely paid back sooner but probably without interest, said Ruffer.

    “This is a privately owned project,” she said. “We’re giving a business loan.”

    Lothrop said many residents want to know “what happens if the project fails.” He determined that “we are a secured creditor but not in the first or second position.”

    Ward 6 councilor Dan Bianchi joined colleagues supporting the proposed allocation but questioned specifics about the feasibility of the cinema business. He also wondered about why the city must wait so long for its loan to be repaid while other funding providers get quicker repayment.
    “Is this really feasible?” he asked.

    Stanley said that he has projected $1.5 million of annual ticket revenues, compared to $1.2 million at a four-screen Great Barrington facility he owns.

    Stanley said his revenue projections are conservative because his theater will be a big draw due to the inclusion of stadium-style seats.

    Regarding the proposed additional loan, Bianchi reiterated concerns about “the disparity between how our portion is being treated [vs.] the banks or other investors.”.

    • Wilson
      December 5, 2018 at 10:54 pm #

      “joined colleagues supporting the proposed allocation but questioned specifics”

      describes every council vote on spending

  26. Johnny Absurd
    December 6, 2018 at 1:19 am #

    It seems like some of the people who put this deal together and then voted on it had serious reservations but for whatever reason put it through anyway. I assume they were influenced or coerced.
    The current administration seems to want the whole thing to be forgotten so they can move on and not get caught up in fingering their associates who may in turn finger them back.

    But nobody is saying that there will be stricter guidelines in the future to ensure this will not happen again. You might expect this from a real mayor AND a city council president who seems knee deep in the Beacon mess.

  27. The school committee
    December 6, 2018 at 3:05 am #

    The city of Pittsfield, Ma. Keeps getting run over by the same bus.Begging that 1 of the 6 team Tyer votes become an independent representative of the people at the bottom.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 6, 2018 at 3:51 am #

      great thought but if one already has dirty hands it can be difficult to flip

  28. Nota
    December 6, 2018 at 5:21 am #

    Morandi…Mayor. Kevin never flinched.

  29. Edward R. Murrow
    December 6, 2018 at 6:23 am #

    Caught on a hot mic at the Bush 41 funeral yesterday:

    DONALD: Knock, knock.

    HILLARY: Who’s there?

    DONALD: Not you.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 6, 2018 at 7:32 am #

      and Mueller is knocking on Trumps door? I wunner if Donnie is in. Well, not mentally…

      • Edward R. Murrow
        December 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

        Knock, knock, knocking on Donnie door.

        What you got, Robert?

        I ain’t got dick on Donnie. No pun intend–. . . whatever.

        As Dershowitz likes to say, you can indict a ham sandwich (but apparently not Hillary).

        So they’ll sit down to a pile of baloney samitches.

  30. u
    December 6, 2018 at 6:23 am #

    I was watching a hostile argument from my car at the red light across from Zenners. Is that place being watched, or overlooked by PPD. It looked pretty serious. One was a three pound plus man and in other car,two perps,they weren’t arguing politics.

    • Johnny Absurd
      December 6, 2018 at 7:34 am #

      rumor of a shooting the other night…nuttin in da paper tho

      so either it did not happen or we are going to pretend it did not happen

      • Trumped Up
        December 6, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

        We should change the City name to Dodge. Aside,Mulleur big day Tommorrow. And of course Dow sinking into the abyss.

  31. doomiedoger
    December 6, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    so howse yer 401K doin taday people??/

  32. dusty
    December 6, 2018 at 11:39 am #

    Not sure I would want China mad at me I sure hope Trump knows what he is doing.

  33. Edward R. Murrow
    December 6, 2018 at 3:19 pm #

    Just a stupid idea to close USPS yesterday–and close the NYSE.

    Let’s reserve that kind of thing for POTUS death in office and such.

    Still ain’t got no mail here after dark.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    “Wouldn’t be prudent. Not at this juncture.”

    • Art Seller
      December 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

      What is a trump sandwich? Two pieces of white bread filled with a lot of balony topped with a pickle.

      • Art Seller
        December 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm #

        Scump has illegal immigrants working at Bedminister golf course. Does this surprise anyone? Pat Fritz 12 other scumpsters??

        • Art Seller
          December 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

          Uh Oh. Scump has an illegal house keeper. No problem for scumpetts I guess. Rules dont apply to scump. Let’s hear from pat and fritz. I have missed you lately.

        • Ed Check
          December 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

          If true, which I doubt, probably a contractor. Either way, he is doing more for immigrants than you.

          Why don’t you hire a few and put them up at the mansion house that water treatment built.

          • Art Seller
            December 6, 2018 at 5:45 pm #

            Ed I am not the Gman. By your comments you appear to be jealous of the Gman. What do you mean by his mansion paid for by water treatment? That’s what he does. Do you have any idea how much work it is for him and his group to build these mega facilities?? I was at the Gman’s house Sunday and in just about every room in the house were filled with engineering drawings He and one of his engineers were going from room to room looking individual details in the drawings with the greatest of ease sometimes agreeing with ea h other and sometimes not. I was lost but it seemed to keep them energized. The public has no idea how much the Gman does for them but everyone will see on dec10. Its amazing how the Gman finds the time to represent the taxpayers the way he does. Now I know what that term. If you need something done ask a busy person. Like I have said many times. The Gman is this city’s most important person. He won that title in the 80s when he saved the cityb116 million dollars and he can onlybenhance that record if the city listens to him on Monday.. If the wiz ever runs again for mayor he would be the greatest mayor of all time because he is competent. The present mayor and several on the council are incompetent and stupid. You can fix the incompetence but you can’t fix stupid, that is why we are in the dire shape we are in today Put competence into every city position and pittsfield becomes paradise. Ed do you think the Gman should work for free as he approaches wining this project?? No No No. Competence has to be compensated. The Gman is super competent and that is why he has the mansion you mentioned. If you want to visit the Gman and offer some help you are welcome but make sure you aren’t an illegal. Just ssying

          • Luke Scump
            December 6, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

            Art Seller = Art Liar. No doubt about it.

          • Mr. Fritz
            December 6, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

            Nuttier than Grandma’s fruitcake.

  34. U
    December 6, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

    Mayor,Read my lips,no new TIFS..where did the useuum get the money from for the copper roof years ago,just curious.

    • Art Seller
      December 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

      Sean Hannity. Dont talk to the FBI if you have any information. This is the GU Ru of the scump disciples. You can’t make this stuff up!!!

      • Ed Check
        December 6, 2018 at 4:43 pm #

        Art,

        He doesn’t have to make anything up, unlike the fake news mainstream media.

        Don’t worry, the military tribunals are coming. Justice will be served on the traitors to the USA. Wake up, get your head out of your false reality, or your paradigm will be shattered.

        Sleep well, my pretty…

        • Art Seller
          December 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

          Ed sometimes you make sense and sometimes you dont. Let me ask you one question. How do you justify overb6500 confirmed lies. I like the truth. Do you????

          • Ed Check
            December 6, 2018 at 10:18 pm #

            And the truth shall set you free.

            When President Trump declassifies the files, the facts of high treason by former President Obama and Hillary Clinton, and others will be evident. It will make watergate look like a misdemeanor.

            Also, a judge ruled today against Hillary and state department on judicial watch court case regarding FOIA to emails. Could get interesting. Lot of speculation about key politicos all of a sudden wearing “medical boots “ to camouflage ankle tracking bracelets. John McCain’s was previously photographed on different feet prior to his plea deal/execution.

            We are moving towards disclosure, military tribunals, etc. Many surprises for the treasonous deep state traitors is coming.

            By the way, what is the name of the G mans engineering company? Are their any licensed PE civil engineers among “The Three Faces of G”?

    • acheshirecat
      December 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

      U, this is from an article in 2005 that was about the new copper roof.
      “the Trustees of the Berkshire Museum and Director Stuart A. Chase proudly announce the commencement of reconstruction efforts to replace the Museums roof, some of which is as old as the museum itself! The project, totaling just over $500,000, is being funded through capital improvement funds from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts secured through the efforts of former State Representative Peter Larkin and matched with funds secured by the hard work of Congressman John Olver from the IMLS (Institute for Museum and Library Services).”

  35. Art Seller
    December 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

    My friends do you think there should be penalties for politicians who lie?? Scump has only told 6512 big ones what do you think his penalty should be??? He thinks he is above the law but what do you think???

    • Art Seller
      December 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

      Paul Ryan the bigest failure as house speaker in the history of our country. He was supposedly a rising republican star but being with scump for two years he created record debt for the country. Everyone who sides with scump ends up on the heap of disaster. Scump himself will end up there very soon. The day of scumps reckoning is at hand.He will resign or be impeached.

  36. Bill Q
    December 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    Ryan accomplished one thing,massive tax cuts for rich people. Lets hope the country wasn’t done in by this. G M is the current example of a Bad Idea and those companies invest in the business and benefit the worker, this tax cut could bust our Nation. Latest Stall Street trending has all but 3 percent growth and lately that is dwindling fast.

  37. May Hemm
    December 6, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m assuming that everything that Stiff put into the separate operations like condos or office space were out of his own wallet. Is Stiff walking away with anything other than the 22 plus million that was invested in the property.

  38. mi
    December 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    There’s a smoking gun in those seats. Question, did Stanley purchase or lease seats with City money or his own? The office and condos obviously were paid for (work) by a Stanley. Where are the receipt monies from the Theatre Revenue alone,and where is the transaction of money for leasing seats as it pertains to the tif also, where is the paper trail of the work done on the offices, condos?

  39. Unwanted Carl
    December 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

    mi, you have me a great idea for a business…..laundry@the Bea-Con…just sayin.

  40. mi
    December 6, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

    I think paying 500 g to Covanta for a Boiler was stupid.

  41. mi
    December 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    Trump hired undocumented workers at his house.You can’t make it up.

    • Ed Check
      December 6, 2018 at 10:21 pm #

      My water and sewer guy has lots of aliases on this site. Is he trying to hide his immigration status?

  42. The school committee
    December 9, 2018 at 4:31 am #

    The FBI has investigate Hillary Clinton since 1993,where have you been?For 25 years Hillary has been found clean If anyone is guilty on Bengazi it will be on the Republicans who cut the security budgets for embassy.Those embassy where vulnerable for years as right wingers would not

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