Article

OPEB OBLIGATIONS: NOT SEXY, NOT ‘NIPPLEGATE,’ NOT THE PATRIOTS, BUT FAR MORE IMPORTANT

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We were hoping for the “market” to self-regulate through common sense, but we see now that Big Brother has to come in for the Lecture. To wit: The pointless back-and-forth bickering lately on this site has grown more than tiresome, amounting to an abuse of the granted privilege to freely comment — privilege, not right. Vacuity has too often taken the place of substance. We welcome all discussion, but lately too much has not been discussion, just infantile, time-wasting jabbering. The offenders know who they are. They include Art Seller with endless hyping of G-Man, which does not help Mr. G at all; the poster who comments under several names and uses the word “Tiso” in the e-mail address; Mr. Fritz; Johnny Absurd; the Wangs; nd others. Look fellas and ladies, THE PLANET wants to keep this going, and so we issue a final warning. Tone down the nonsense and make your contributions just that — contributions that interest and inform the readers as opposed to boring or nauseating them. THE PLANET also requests that as much as possible, commentators REMAIN ON TOPIC. Please, no more references to the Dow being up or down, Trump-scump except with assertions of substance, and topics of that order. The endless, self-aggrandizing, and inane banter has run its course. Some is inevitable in cyberspace, we realize, but, again, we don’t have to allow it in such abundance or at all. For that matter, we don’t have to continue with this board in the present form … or any form.  We do it because it has been fun, and because it a public service.  We have many other projects that demand our attention, and rather than more warnings, our bouncers shall be running wild. Forewarned is the preparation for prevention. Thank y’all.]

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY FEB. 4, 2019) — It’s not the sexiest topic. It’s not another account of the infighting in the D.A.’s office that reads like a lost act from McBeth.  It’s not the world champion New England Patriots (sixth time), making Boston the first ever have a World Series and Super Bowl winner in the same “year.” It’s not a daring rescue or a melodramatic heist. It’s none of that.

It’s OPEB.

OPEB stand for “Other Post-Employment Benefits.” These are the bennies taxpayers owe to public employees other than pensions. In Pittsfield, they represent an Everest of accumulating debt from onerous contracts “negotiated” by bought politicians with the municipal unions. In 2011, the OPEB debt stood at about $232 million. In 2014, the accrued liability jumped to $250 million. Extrapolating state numbers from 2017 (source: hcg-ma.org), Pittsfield faces an OPEB bill of approximately $300 million. Add pensions, and we talking maybe half-a-billion (with a “b”) dollars. Statewide, in 2017, the liability was $16.7 billion owed to state employees, plus the cities-and-towns share of $46.7 billion. Do the math: That’s $63.4 billion owed.

These obligations will never be met. That’s the part politicians won’t admit. Each contract, they have no problem settling with the unions at ruinous terms to taxpayers, never worrying about the day when, you know, the bills come due. This leaves three options:

  1. Default.
  2. Renegotiate for pennies on the dollar.
  3. We’re still looking for the third possibility. Perhaps something to do with the courts. Perhaps revolution. Maybe anarchy.

To appease union bosses, the politicians and the consultants they hire at beaucoup bucks claim the obligations are “irrevocable.” Actually, they will have to be revoked, unless they are defaulted.

Following an “Emerging Issues Forum” put together by one of those consultants (The Abrahams Group), the state tried to get cities and towns to sign a “declaration of trust.” This would be a promise to pay every cent owed. Pittsfield wisely did not sign. THE PLANET, on behalf of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, hopes it never will.

The parties will keep postponing a looming reality that at some point will become unavoidable. In the meantime, everything will be painted as “roses in poses” and “moons in June.” You know, hip … healthy … vibrant … dynamic. They will ignore investing periods such as the fourth quarter of 2018, when global equity lost more than $10 trillion (with a “t”) in value. Much of that was lost in pension funds, which were heavily invested in stocks. Those funds were too late moving into domestic bonds.

Ouch.

Our prediction will be Option 2. As some point, both sides will have to deal the problem. Realizing the money’s not there — it just won’t be — and also that taking some of the money as opposed to none of the money (Option 1) is the better deal, they will renegotiate. And after they take care of OPEB, guess what? There will be still that little matter called pensions.

We do, thank Confucius, “live in interesting times.”

——————————————————————————————————————–

“Nearly every house that’s become a home has had the kitchen as its heart”Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

165 Responses to “OPEB OBLIGATIONS: NOT SEXY, NOT ‘NIPPLEGATE,’ NOT THE PATRIOTS, BUT FAR MORE IMPORTANT”

  1. AgentSmith
    February 3, 2019 at 9:06 pm #

    OPEB is exactly why Tyler and Kufflinks should be saving every penny they can instead of using it to buy PR.

    They should stop doing short term borrowing immediately and take a long hard look at the school pay system.

    • Art Seller
      February 3, 2019 at 9:50 pm #

      Mr Valenti: In the 2015 election the gman made opeb the center piece of his mayoral election and always mentions it on his TV program. He states that the recent deficit is 415 million dollars. He has brought it up at many city council meetings and it always falls on deaf ears. He also states that the city should reduce the city budget by 7% per year for 4 consecutive years and put the savings against the Opeb account. He knows They the council and mayor won’t do it and that is why he always also mentions on his show that the city is being run by buffoons. He also has a 18 to 21 million dollar solution to the sewer project that you and very few others on this board take seriously. It is ironic that you single me out for criticism and I more so than many try to bring relative information to this board. Some of the individuals who who you credit for their content I find very lacking of any importance. I like to post but I also like to be treated equally. The Gman is my friend and I post to keep people up to date on what he is doing. He is a very important person in this city and no one can match his contributions to this city. He is always out there fighting for the taxpayer as you are and will not be deterred by anyone. In the past few days I also tried to lighten up on my posts but the same morons who continue to throw stones and add nothing to the conversation are on this board day in and day out. Have you overlooked their nonsense posts?? You rightly state that the political structure here in the city is woefully inept and I would have thought you would applaud the Gman actions of Always trying to help the taxpayer. I hope you take my post as constructive criticism because we all need that at times. I look forward to meaningful posts because I like to add to the conversation and hope that all others would also. This could become the site to break the gobsigs back in the November election but I see no one other than the Gman on this site who could carry this out. We need to start to think about the November election yesterday. I hope this post finds you in good health. As always the Gman sends his best regards.

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        February 4, 2019 at 7:15 am #

        Art, most of the nonsense posts are in response to your ridiculous ilmannered posts.

      • danvalenti
        February 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

        ART
        Give my best regards to the Gman. No one appreciates his exercise of citizenship more than THE PLANET.

    • Flogging Molly
      February 4, 2019 at 10:28 am #

      Funny thing is the recent audit shows this administration has done an admirable job with finances. Stop bashing and stick to facts.

      • Art Seller
        February 4, 2019 at 11:23 am #

        FM please explain!!!¡!! Are you talking about your 2 cents a day savings on your property taxes??? When your close to the cap your just one step away from disaster. This city needs clean sweep at city hall. Like a 7% reduction in the city budget for 4 consecutive years. Do you think that will occur by the seat warmers at city hall. This is what the Gman says is absolutely necessary. But you stick with the present group. They will force you out of town sooner than latter. But you stick with them. That’s why we have the mess we have. Too many I’ll informed voters is the major problem here. Will this ever change?????? I know the answer but I’m more interested in what others think!!!!

  2. Jonathan Melle
    February 3, 2019 at 9:24 pm #

    The politically-connected big wheels in Pittsfield politics will always be well taken care of by Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski. That is why people love our country, but distrust our government.

    I wonder how much debt Pittsfield has? In today’s dollars, it is hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and liabilities. In future dollars, it will cross the billion dollar mark.

    The most valuable asset to any community is its people. Pittsfield has been losing thousands of its residents to population loss. There are no living wage jobs, except for the incestuous Good Old Boys clique.

    – Jonathan Melle

    • Art Seller
      February 3, 2019 at 10:00 pm #

      Mr melle Mary Jane and Joe dont vote for the politically connected. The gobsigs do. I dont understand your posts. One day you praise a clueless mayor and the next day you have posts such as this one today. Yes we are in terrible shape here in pittsfield and we have liabilities far in excess of what you mention. We know this. What we need is solutions for the problem. Do you have any????

  3. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 4, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    Art, it’s a systemic problem. All of these City Councilors and former Mayors never ever addressed this, like it doesn’t exist.. Years ago,a citizen came to the podium and addressed it,fell on deaf ears.
    The current city budget like it or not is the largest increase in the history of the city, No one addresses the Opeb other than sending it off to the next tax hike by the new mayor or city council,so you are correct, I’d like to hear some solutions,there aren’t any.

    • dusty
      February 4, 2019 at 6:08 am #

      Can anyone name one mayor or city councilor in the last 5 years who really cares what happens after they leave city politics?

      NO you can’t because they do not exist. While almost all politicians say they want to serve their community the truth is that their personal welfare is the primary reason they step forward. And most of them step forward because special interests behind the scenes have prodded them and promised “rewards”

      Do you really think Pittsfield’s roads would have gotten in such deplorable condition if the community was front and center on politicians list? My guess is that the tax breaks for the Beacon theater were a bigger concern than truly needed infrastructure.

      Tyler street will be reinvented only because special interests will benefit from the barrels of money that will be dispersed.

      • AgentSmith
        February 4, 2019 at 9:15 am #

        I think Mazzeo actually cares. I don’t think she’s in it “for herself” except maybe tangentially as in what’s good for every taxpayer is good for her as a tax payer.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 11:48 am #

      Harlan. Just about everyone who posts on this board is keenly aware as to how dire the situation is here for everyone other than the special interest groups. If sane minded people like the majority of people on this board would stick together and make it a point to try to convince three or four of their friends and family to take city government seriously and these new people do the same with their family and friends we could have a sizable group to come to the polls to vote out the failures who are destroying our city. Consider just one CC decision to go forward with a ,74 million dollar sewer update knowing that a city resident and inventor designer and builder of our two water plants says he can do the project for between 18 to 21 million dollars. One would have to be insane not to look into this option but the idiots on the council have done just this because only one person is out there trying to save our asses. With out support these idiotic decisions will occur time and time again. This is why I say we need to band together and act and put an end to this city insanity. When you have a tooth ache you seek out a dentist not a secretary and her 8 assistants. We need to get real and start acting because if we dont it will be detrimental to your health and pocketbook. Believe me. This is the truth.

  4. Halo
    February 4, 2019 at 5:40 am #

    People are the most important asset in a community, outside of the crooks and special interests that run it.

  5. Spagirl
    February 4, 2019 at 5:54 am #

    Dan Valenti
    Addressing the immaturity is a great moment on your site. It has been ugly and has served no purpose whatsoever, other than to distance some who would otherwise contribute to topics.
    Thankyou.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

      Thanks, SPAGIRL. Keeping internet comments sane is like pulling weeds from the garden. It never ends. We shall be more vigilant in bouncing stupid comments, and we have instructed our webmaster with an in-house style sheet. We won’t get them all, because we still want to err on the side of free speech, but we will make it better.

      • Brian C. Marquis
        February 5, 2019 at 6:07 am #

        Dan . . . let’s begin the process of filtering non-free speech by requiring all to post under their true identities.

        In case some are unfamiliar with this; The Berkshire Eagle permitted posted comments using pseudonyms under their daily online articles, many years ago; since that proved unworkable because of insults and overall nastiness – they later required all comments be associated with a true identity.

        There’s your solution, Dan. If you stop permitting comments under silly and destructive pseudonyms; you might be shocked at how civil people can be; especially when they’re held accountable.

        If you choose to criticize Linda Tyer, or Andrea Harrington on this Planet, show yourselves; be accountable. I am!!!

        Be real – post your comments using your true identities.

        And that’s the bottom-line, Dan Valenti!!!

        • danvalenti
          February 5, 2019 at 9:58 am #

          BRIAN
          Yeah, in theory it’s a good idea. However, the reality is that in Pittsfield, with its fearful environment and tribalism, retaliation is a reality. Many of the posters on this site are connected somehow with the city or state. The only way to encourage a free flow of views is to allow pseudonyms. That said, posting under actual names is the best, which we encourage.

          • Brian C. Marquis
            February 5, 2019 at 11:40 am #

            Duly noted, Dan Valenti.

  6. Johnny Absurd
    February 4, 2019 at 6:25 am #

    I had no idea Johnny was bringing negativity to your site Dan. But I assure you he is now on report and will not be allowed near a social media device for the rest of this week.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Johnnies Mother

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

      MOM
      You are a great mother!

  7. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 4, 2019 at 6:37 am #

    Ok,it’s over, don’t dismiss posters,keep on topic on here, or go against the Planet, got it. I’ve never ever gone against him by the way.

    I respect him because he lets me tear up pols who have their hand in my back pocket, that’s why I support the G mans expose of the water sewer, whatever you think of his approach to it.

    That’s why I’m against gobsigs getting tifs and dismissing debt, those are only two of my pet peeves. Where is the uproar on the..C P A tax? Zero uproar on the water rates. G Man is the only one fighting it? No one will care until they get the new rate. I’d support anyone other than G Man, but he’s the only one who cares? I don’t understand.

  8. X-Lachs Lounge
    February 4, 2019 at 7:05 am #

    What’s real nonsense is the DA getting cosmetic surgery or changing her hair color in an attempt to make up for her lack of skill.

  9. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 4, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    One more, thank you…….Candidates should not receive donations from constituents who donate to their campaign,Constituents who can benefit from a candidates vote. A couple three that come to mind,Nuciforo,Van,over at the Museum,Stanley, could name twenty others,you get the gist.

    School Committee should rebuke the stipend Lothrop wanted to increase at City Council, yes, he not only wanted to increase the stipend they get now, but also wanted to increase City Council pay,was he serious or grandstanding as he was leaving?

    • X-Lachs Lounge
      February 4, 2019 at 7:17 am #

      I believe that many on the city council are there for the health insurance. It’s become a racket.

      • dusty
        February 4, 2019 at 9:37 am #

        Sure nuff that is true. For them and their families mind you. I have asked 10 times over the last few years for one of them to come on here and explain how it all works and who receives it. It must be VERY good because nobody wants to talk about it.

        So could just one brave councilor reading this who is not embarrassed by the magnitude of the benefit, illuminate the public taxpayers just how much their councilors and families health insurance is worth?

        Melissa? Mr Krol??? Mr Caccamo?

        No??? Not today?

        • X-Lachs Lounge
          February 4, 2019 at 10:15 am #

          keep going

        • Art Seller
          February 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

          Dusty If we had just one good investigative reporter who worked for the Eagle who isn’t controlled by the clowns who run the Eagle things could be very different here in pittsfield. If you watch the goings on at a city council meeting and then read an account of that meeting by city reporter Amanda Crane in the Eagle the following day you would have to ask yourself did she see and hear what I saw on the TV???? And that happens over and over and over again. You get only what the Eagle wants you to know and this practice is deadly for the taxpayer. We have an ill informed electorate because of the Eagle and that is the way they like it.. Does anyone have any idea how to change this????? Please explain!!!

          • danvalenti
            February 4, 2019 at 12:33 pm #

            ART
            The good ones (the veterans, that is) either get frustrated and leave (Jack Dew, Andy Amelnyx [sp]) or “resign” or get fired (Conor Berry). The young “good ones” get in their year or two then move on to better gigs. The BB can’t keep it’s good talent, and those who are capable know that if they actually cover the city, warts and all, they will be in hot editorial water. The BB demise had made this the area’s “go to” site.

          • X-Lachs Lounge
            February 4, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

            There may be some news coming from iBerk or Berk E but it mainly fake news and opinion. Drane and McKeever are both GOB mouthpieces.

          • Shakes
            February 4, 2019 at 2:10 pm #

            You may not like what the mainstream media outlets in Berkshire County report, but they are not “fake” at all.

          • h
            February 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm #

            Art,what are you doing with your two cents,lol..

          • H
            February 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm #

            Peeps come here for investigative reporting,don’t need the Eagle. Look at the City Council coverage at the meetings by Lois Crane, her story of the year thus far last Year was the marriage of the Colonel to L L That was her best piece.

  10. Long Wang
    February 4, 2019 at 7:41 am #

    After Dan’s Editors Note things will get better for a little while but posters will just resort to their usual behavior all over again.
    Dan, I recommend you keep your Editor’s Note in a safe place because you’ll have to regularly repost it till the end of time.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 1:10 pm #

      Dan you’ve got that right. The Gman is looking to get in the news paper business. He will name the paper the Pittsfield Buffoon Cryer The aim of the paper will be to destroy Gobsigs. . After a few editions the remaining gobsigs will be seeking cover and soon no more Gobsigs. Pittsfield will become paradise. Contact the Gman to negotiate your salary. Your hours will be every hour of the day and all the lobster and caviar you can eat but you have to provide your own beverages.

  11. U
    February 4, 2019 at 7:43 am #

    We’ll go around the table, they certainly could afford at least a higher co pay.

  12. Milt Plum
    February 4, 2019 at 7:50 am #

    Many people thought yesterday’s was boring because it was a defensive struggle. Call me crazy but I like a game like this. Congradulations to to Brady and Belichick. The greatest of all time. May Art sing their praises.

    P.S. Scump duo Eli and Tom are 2 and 0 against the greatest of all time on the Earth in the Universe and the Cosmos.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

      We too LOVED that game, a good, old-fashioned defensive struggle against two jet-powered offenses. The PATRIOTS won the game when they adjusted in the 4th quarter and went to the retro “jumbo” package — two tight ends (Allen and Gronk), a FB (Develin), an their “big” RB (Burkhead). This baffled the Rams D, and the PATRIOTS zoomed down the field for the game’s only TD. As you say, Belichick and Brady at the GOATS. It was a “Back to the Future” win.

      • Milt Plum
        February 4, 2019 at 12:55 pm #

        Both Ds wore down.the rams more than the pats.

        • danvalenti
          February 4, 2019 at 9:53 pm #

          PATRIOTS “D” was in better condition as their play in the fourth quarter illustrated.

      • Johnny2Shoes
        February 5, 2019 at 6:14 pm #

        I heard someone say they should change the name of the game from the Super Bowl to the Patriots Invitational.

  13. Truthsayer
    February 4, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    The growing liability for Pittsfield as well as other municipalities is truly out of control. Those of us in the private sector, who work for a living or run a small business, will never enjoy the benefit of these freebies given public sector employees. However, we will continue to work, some of us until the day we die, simply to enjoy a modicum of a life, all while paying ever-increasing taxes to pay OPEB.

    How can we as taxpayers be heard and actually bring these practices to an end? I am all for it if possible.

    • Mr. Fritz
      February 4, 2019 at 11:32 am #

      I agree with your comments Truthsayer.
      The CC needs to grow spines and start chopping the school budget. Due to declining enrollment, 1-2 elementary schools should be shuttered. Administrative positions within the school dept and city government need to be pared back. Iberkshires reports the OPEB at 367 mil – outrageous – so employment in these 2 areas needs to be curtailed. Strong negotiation skills are needed to deal with union and healthcare/insurance contracts – something sorely lacking in previous administrations.
      The Snoozer Bowl was the most boring football game I have ever watched. Congrats to the Pats on their win. The only highlight of the whole event was Gladys Knight’s anthem performance. Bravo!

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

      Truth. You go to Every CC meeting and speak for 3 minutes. While your talking no one will be listening and before your done they will remind you that your time is short and then they throw you out. There appears there is nothing else you can do well you could send a letter to the mayor or councilors. They have to respond in 10:days but they are not aware of it. Net result:: you have been had my friend. Sometimes they even have you arrested and you have your picture on the front page of the Eagle. Soon they realize they made a mistake and drop the case but no mention of that in the eagle when they do. Best advise:: wear a flak jacket and cry for three minutes. At least after your done crying you will feel better but you will not have accomplished anything. Oh Wait. Bring ten of your friends to do the same and perhaps you will be taken seriously. There is a message in this last sentence.

  14. Truthsayer
    February 4, 2019 at 9:02 am #

    BTW Dan,, it would be nice if we all stayed on the topic of the day, expressed our opinion or provide some factoid that we’ve heard related to the topic. We can bring these other practices to an end by staying on topic and either respectfully commenting, agreeing, or disagreeing with each other within the topic. The other solution is to have an open comment day once a month where we all get whatever is bugging us out of our systems.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

      Well said. We agree.

  15. Hell Toupee
    February 4, 2019 at 9:23 am #

    Many of the nonsense posts are quite funny and pretty good satire. To put it in simple terms, If someone acts like Yosemite Sam Buggs Bunny will step up.

  16. Kate Dempsey
    February 4, 2019 at 9:33 am #

    Dan,

    How about for option (C), if the city/town goes into receivership, doesn’t (by state law) make all union contracts null and void? If this is the case, Pittsfield is on the right collision course. Just a thought?

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 11:09 am #

      Kate yes but there could be ways around it. If you have been listening to the Gman show he has talked about this at Least a dozen times. He has also at many CC meetings talked about pension caps and has fought all by himself for body cams and boots on the ground but there has been no support from other tan a few on these topics also. Take the gman out of the picture and the taxpayer has no one looking out for them and that is the absolute truth. So far with one exception the board is informative.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

      KATE
      THE PLANET should had been clearer on Option A. Default would mean bankruptcy, which would have the effect of voided ALL municipal contracts. In that case, negotiations would give way to court arbitration. Taxpayers would have a chance.

      • Kate Dempsey
        February 4, 2019 at 3:32 pm #

        Thanks Dan. I thought I read that on here, who knows, maybe from the G-Man himself? Either way, Pittsfield is one recession away from receivership. It amazes me how this city can right off over $20 million in debt, all that borrowed unaccounted for money, and that’s just the BeaCON.

        It would keep most awake at night, with the trash and scourge the feds and state must dump in the Pittsfield area, in order for Pittsfield to “make things right,” with them.

        I guess we can hope for receivership to bail us out.

        • Art Seller
          February 4, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

          Kate. Receivership is the best thing that could happen. However it will take a vote by the council to proceed. Take a guess as to what the odds are of this happening??????? Yup your correct!!!!!!! Slim to none!!!!!

  17. The school committee
    February 4, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    No retirement in state or municiple employment should accede 50,000.00 per year.Your Welcome,that will take care of the problem. Leave those at the bottom alone.Why should people get 80% of 100,000 you earned while working,just max out bennies fairly in retirement

    • Hell Toupee
      February 4, 2019 at 10:13 am #

      You need 80k to pay Pittsfield tax and fees.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

      Agree with capped pensions. As THE PLANET has covered before, up until the early 80s, the city had pensions capped at $35,000 a year. Then, they snuck in a home-rule petition to uncap the pensions and come up with 80% of a person’s highest paid years. Disaster. Capping pensions would go a long way to restoring at least a chance of recovery.

    • Truthsayer
      February 4, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

      What kills me is the multiple pensions many state retirees get. As I recall, in 2017 or 2018, a man from Agawam/Springfield was going to run for an office which would have given him a third or fourth state pension. As it was his pension from the state was pushing $140,000 a year. The revelation embarrassed him and he withdrew.

      This is a problem. A state employee works to the point they qualify for a pension. Take another job with the state, work to qualify for a second pension. It’s essentially layering pensions.

      I hate to use this example, but the former long-term mayor of North Adams certainly qualified for a pension for his time as mayor. It was well-known that he then went back to his former job as a teacher, and only worked long enough to qualify for a pension. Now, as a state representative, will he qualify for another pension should he leave office? While he may certainly be qualified, there should be a cap placed on the amount any single individual can receive from the state pension fund.

      It’s really insane and certainly not available to those of us in the private sector.

  18. Mr. G
    February 4, 2019 at 11:03 am #

    2 things:

    First, I assume you know the difference, but in your chiding preamble you mentioned Mr. G. It seems like you were talking about Mr. Gaetani, not me, but I do not want to be conflated with Mr. Gaetani in the minds of your readers!

    Second, I think something along the lines of option C are the inevitable conclusion of this OPEB debacle, especially if Options A or B occur in any large scale. Revolution, revolt, probably not anarchy as those union members are retired, old, essentially powerless and no longer represented by the union itself. There are a LOT of government worker retirees though, and in most cases you need to include teachers in there as public employees as well, and they will be PISSED and in many cases desperate if their pensions are messed with. That will be ugly.

    • danvalenti
      February 4, 2019 at 12:35 pm #

      Yes, your “Mr. G” is not the other “MrG”. Option C is the truly scary one.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

      mr g. I assure you no one gets you mixed up with the Gman. Your post is definitely proof that you aren’t the gman. Can you please repost in English. Some of your post is good but some I can’t understand.

      • Mr. G
        February 5, 2019 at 6:47 am #

        Art, I appreciate your editorial comment. My apologies for using big boy words and grown up syntax. Perhaps a primer in English composition with the old professor would help as I do not plan to dumb it down and type in all caps to placate you.

  19. H
    February 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

    Look at a couple of Md.Harrington’s appointments, doesn’t get any more gobsig than that,come on group? I-cant. Believe the uptick in-overdoses since January,I don’t lie. We are becoming J Mel’s worst nightmare, a-boiler plate social service city with 100 percent care,you watch. Part of the situation will be no more prisons,you watch. Costs of running prisons are skyrocketing. In prison news, the power went out and prisoners had to sleep in freezing temps, outside the next day there was a rally, one of the machers signs said ‘Abolish Prisons’ because she thought it was inhuman,what it should have read was abolish prisoners,to make room for funding what’s coming. We are now officially back in the sixties.

    Peace, Love and all that stuff, but make sure you keep the Manson types in prison,no help for them,,after all they had a drug problem also,didn’t they? Just sayin….

  20. Magic
    February 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

    Certainly off topic but if someone could answer me.

    Two questions.

    First who does one call to find information about metered water. I live alone and am tired of paying what families are paying.

    Second, does the city not borrow money each year to fix the roads. If so, why would we need to take money for the marijuana taxes to pay for the roads.

    • Magic
      February 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

      By the way also want to know where the monies that we are borrowing are going, because they certainly are not taking care of the roads.

      • h
        February 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm #

        Smoke and mirrors on the last one Magic…..got my water rate bill today, extremely unhappy Councilors.

    • AgentSmith
      February 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm #

      They do short term borrowing, that comes with an interest rate. So above paying back the loan, you pay interest. Often they are interest only loans until maturity. In practice the city or town will have the revenue it time to pay off the “note”. RANs, FAANs, SAANs all short term borrowing vehicles mostly interest only until maturity date (typically one to two years).
      In Pittsfield they keep borrowing and in some cases reissuing so it because a quasi-long term debt. If you are short term borrowing every year for the same thing, it really is a long term debt.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

      Magic. You could call the DPW commissioner tutocy but if you ever watched a CC meeting you would know that he is incapable of answering any question. Or you could call the secretary in the mayors office. No not the real secretary but the one masquerading as the mayor. Dont expect much there from that idiot. So that leaves you to go to the DPW secretaries. They are competent.

      • Magic
        February 5, 2019 at 4:15 am #

        Thank you I’ll make the call

  21. AgentSmith
    February 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm #

    In other news Kufflinks Kerwood is at it again.
    The most recent audit letter from Scanlon proves Kerwood is manipulating behind the scenes.
    Sources inside the office say that Kufflinks “negotiated” a better letter with his buddies at Scanlon. They say that there are a number of emails back and forth with draft versions getting edited by Kerwood himself, then sent back to Scanlon to be signed and delivered as requested.

    It seems this is nothing new as he has done this in EVERY municipality he’s worked in, municipalities where Scanlon has been the auditor. A FOIA request for emails between the auditors and Kerwood in Pittsfield, Richmond, and Blanford will quickly illuminate this trend (if the emails haven’t been deleted)

    The first thing Pittsfield city council should do is FIRE Scanlon and hire a new company. They’ve been the auditor in Pittsfield for 10 years. They’ve been associated with Kufflinks for nearly 20.

    The town of Blanford would do well to do a forensic audit of Blanford as there were a number of issues swept under the rug regarding the fuel and sales tax accounts from the gas station on the pike.

    • 12 Gauge
      February 4, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

      Actually there are 2 mass pike gas stations on the pike…..east and west.

      • AgentSmith
        February 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm #

        The suggestion is to fire Scanlon and hire a different firm and let them do the audits. Allow them to do forensic audits of prior years, see if they come up with the same conclusions

    • Shakes
      February 4, 2019 at 2:26 pm #

      Are you alleging that Scanlon broke the law?

      Every public agency and private company gets management notes and they all discuss ways to discuss the findings before the letter becomes final.

      • Hondurans for Trump
        February 4, 2019 at 2:41 pm #

        Blanford lost its library during that tenure,I believe. So much for public learning. You’ll never see a forensic anthropologist to do incestrial hires here,let alone a forensic audit.

        I must say Dan has a way of putting humor in when he’s not being funny….The Wangs? Still chuckling…

        I hope Dan continues this blog for another ten years, he’s sorta like Tom Brady to me, one more year Tom. And Tom keeps obliging. No Body does it better than Dan.

  22. Dave
    February 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

    Last couple of days in the BB front page stories of the hardships of women who get arrested. They have to be incarcerated further away while the men are luckier and get to be housed at the BCHC in Cheshire Rd. I saw the bold faced headline “Money on the line” and wasn’t thinking it would be about how hard it was for women incarcerated to make a phone call! Just wondering why the BB is so invested in this storyline? Does this have to with the new DA’s progressive style?

    • Paul
      February 4, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

      Dave, the women could solve that problem by not committing crimes.

  23. The school committee
    February 4, 2019 at 2:57 pm #

    A college president should not get 80% of 400k,why the heck are people making 30k paying for the retired college president at 30 k per month…..cap it

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

      Boy talk about a racket. These Gobsigs got us coming and going. Them and their friends draining us of everything we got. This is criminal. When Jesse James was robing you he had a gun to your head but but these buffoons are robing us with a smile on their face. Where is the taxpayers friend???????

  24. The school committee
    February 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

    Herberg Middle School is in caos.Kids have no right to disrupt the building.Yon,Taylor,Tyer,Marchetti,Curtis need to demand McCandless report to work at Herberg School and he needs to remove kids 1 at a time using any leverage he can.We are paying for a school that is being run by the 14,13,12 year olds…It been 4 straight months.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm #

      Dan Today’s board very informative and good give and take. I only saw one idiot spewing unfounded allegations. I for one like the new format very much. Let’s hope truth and facts will rule the order of the day. 98% compliance is very good. Maybe 99% tomorrow. Jeest saeeing

      • danvalenti
        February 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm #

        Appreciate it, ART. Let’s hope the new tone sticks.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 6:25 pm #

      TSC Your Barking up the wrong tree. These administrators are useless. This is why we have the problems that we have. Get a good admin who demand accountability and things will change overnight. With a good mayor he or she could demand accountability but look what we have for a mayor!!!! A secretary with no management skills what so ever. You reap what you sow. Its not rocket sciejce. The cure is the ballot box but many are not aware of it. But. They will let’s hope it is not too late

  25. AgentSmith
    February 4, 2019 at 3:55 pm #

    ADA Dohoney blows his first “big case”.
    Dohoney was handed this case because it was a “slam dunk”
    Body cam evidence, statements by police, multiple shots fired against a fleeing suspect.

    Jury returned not guilty verdicts on the charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (driving towards police/at police with his car)

    So the new ADA who spent a large portion of his career NOT doing criminal law and who was turned down twice for being a judge can’t secure a guilty verdict of assault with a deadly weapon (the vehicle) even with bodycam footage, officer testimony, and after clearing the police for the shooting? If it was a “clean shoot” then the police had to be in fear for their lives and the lives of others.

    DAAH
    “The top priority of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is to keep the public safe and protect the police officers who safeguard our communities,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

    Well Andrea you aren’t meeting your priorities if your staff can’t secure convictions for cases handed to you on a silver platter.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 4:15 pm #

      Boy what a racket city employees getting 80% of the average of their highest three years of employment. In the school dept if you have “played ball,” they send you to mercer for three years and you retire with a pension that is 40% higher than if you retired as a teacher. The Gman has 6 petitions for next Tuesday CC meeting. One asking that no city employee get any more than 40 000 in retirement benefits regardless of how much they made. They are overpaid to begin with and these salzries should give them plenty to live on and save for retirement. These pensions are absurd especially considering we have many residents in this city who live on 22000 dollars a year or less. The Gman will push hard on this because it is flat out wrong.

      • Mr. Fritz
        February 4, 2019 at 5:15 pm #

        The teachers pensions are fully funded by the teachers.

        • Shakes
          February 4, 2019 at 5:27 pm #

          Can someone explain inflation to Art?

        • Long Wang
          February 5, 2019 at 6:24 am #

          That’s an outright lie. Teachers don’t contribute nearly enough money to cover their pensions. The taxpayer foots most of the bill. And who do you think pays for their healthcare once they retire?

          • Mr. Fritz
            February 5, 2019 at 11:43 am #

            Ask a teacher, Long. Teachers are on the city’s healthcare program. Retired teachers stay on the healthcare program which is a great deal.

      • Gigi
        February 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm #

        Art,
        What gives you the right to set a cap for retirement benefits for city employees? You have no authority to make such a determination. Did you just pull this number out of the air?

        • Art Seller
          February 4, 2019 at 5:53 pm #

          Gigi a cap is necessary because the employees pay fa less into the system than the take out . a recipe for disaste.start thinking of opeb these retirement benefits will sink you but you are not aware of it yet. Your always far behind the 8 ball

          • Gigi
            February 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm #

            Art,
            Please explain your calculations for settling on the figure of $40,000 as the cap for retirement benefits in your proposal. Why not $30,000? Why not $60,000?
            How many city employees will this affect? Will your proposal to cap benefits affect only new hires or all city employees? Is your ward councilor going to sponsor your petition? What retirement benefits are included in your calculations? What if employee contributions exceed your $40,000 figure?

      • Mr. Fritz
        February 5, 2019 at 3:55 am #

        Art,
        Tell us how many of your petitions have been approved and adopted by the City Council over the past year?

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm #

      Agent I understand the suspect had a witness who clearly stated the police testimony was false. Also. I am under the impression that police in pittsfield do not use body cams. The Gman has pushed for these cams for three years. Please respond. If body cams in use means good for all citizens. The two officers in this case are two of the worst on the force and if they lied in this case they should be fired. No one should ever have to come up against these two. They are evil.

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        February 4, 2019 at 6:53 pm #

        What’s evil is speeding through town and trying to mow people down with a motor vehicle.

    • Cicero
      February 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

      Judy,

      What body cam evidence would that be, exactly? As for your other slam dunk evidence – “statements by police, multiple shots fired against a fleeing suspect” – I have only one word: Wow. You have no business ever representing a criminal defendant, ever again.

      Most people are completely ignorant as to the unilateral authority of law enforcement. Cops, DA’s, etc. are virtually unchallengeable, and never accountable to any serious degree thanks to immunity laws that are not even rooted in the Constitution. These laws need to change. Yesterday.

      Anyway, Judy, you have become an unhinged disaster. Many of your “scoops” are transparently false, which calls into question every single claim you make. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself why you hate AH so much, and if maybe there isn’t a better way to exorcise that demon.

      • Brian C. Marquis
        February 5, 2019 at 8:42 am #

        Cicero . . . take a deep breath, and hold it until told to release it. Please don’t play lawyer until you possess a bar card.

        Reveal yourself, you coward.

        You have no idea what the hell you’re even writing about. You lack any such working knowledge about crim. law, trial law, or any cognizable understanding of Judy’s premises.

        If anyone’s an ‘unhinged disaster” is you and your ridiculously stupid substantive-less comments.

        Justice, 1; DDA Dohoney, 0.

        And that’s the bottom-line!!

        • SHakes
          February 5, 2019 at 9:48 am #

          Maybe if your writing improved you would have earned the A and had a better GPA than that tragedy of a transcript.

        • Cicero
          February 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

          Brian,

          Judy’s “premise” is that the man was guilty of multiple assault charges and Dohoney blew it by not winning convictions on those charges. To support her position, she mentioned non-existent “body cam footage” and officer testimony – which is ridiculous, especially coming from a defense attorney.

          You appear to disagree with her and believe the acquittal on the assault charges was justice. Which makes your above screed really, really confusing.

          Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

    • Kermit Frog
      February 5, 2019 at 8:48 am #

      I don’t know Agent Smith, you rea always well informed but this all sounds fishy to me. .My first impression on reading the news of this last year was not flattering to the police and same upon reading of the cops testimony in this instance. Previous DA let the cops off for wrong doing almost immediately – was it less than 10 days for him so come up with that conclusion?
      What stuck me as weird from the beginning – 1) why not shoot the tires? 2) Did main shooter cop have more than one civilian shooting already? 3) Was this shooting in a public park? Didn’t they have the license plate?
      Testimony sounded fishy – ‘I could see his white knuckles as he clasped the steering wheel’. I bet you couldn’t even see the steering wheel from the front – you can’t on most cars/suvs – so it sounds like a patent lie from the person testifying.
      The police locally are generally low quality people that do dumb stuff that people of the common public would never do. They fall into my category of people in jobs that assure things will never get better if they continue to be employed . Same for the Pittsfield teachers. Life will never get better unless there is a better caliber of people in these jobs.

      • Long Wang
        February 5, 2019 at 9:49 am #

        1) Like that’s going to stop an oncoming car. 2) Good question. 3) There is a photo of the car on iberkshires and it’s in the middle of the park. If the perp was trying to surrender and pull over that’s a pretty odd place to do it.
        I can see the steering wheel in most cars/truck/suvs very easily.
        The police are not generally low quality people. There are some bad apples and their union protects them to no end. That’s the real problem.

        • Kermit Frog
          February 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm #

          I could be remembering wrong but I thought the Boston police in Bomber case shot tires not drivers.
          You are correct, it’s unfair to paint generalizations. And it must stink to be a decent cop in this city. But the State Police stealing and the dummies loosing their guns to their lady friends or whatever goes on in Pittsfield is not a good mirror.
          If the guy in this situation ran the plate and saw the guy lived in Dalton they had no need for a public shoot out. The police force needs to get rid of exactly this kind of idiot.

  26. AgentSmith
    February 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm #

    My understanding was there was police provided DVD/CD video as evidence. When it says that typically it’s body cam evidence.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm #

      Agent I dont think so. There is no body cams on pittsfield police officers. Perhaps dash cam !!! We will know soon. Maybe!!!!

    • Cicero
      February 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm #

      Your “understanding”???

      Your entire campaign was a subterfuge to try to defeat AH. But she kicked your butt twice so now you are lashing out and spreading false information willy nilly, about very serious matters.

      Stop. Re-evaluate things. Choose another direction.

      • Brian C. Marquis
        February 5, 2019 at 6:31 am #

        Cicero . . . don’t get your ego too pumped up. Your left-handed clown was elected DA through a political process, not a merit-based one.

        Harrington’s a hack and a less than adequate lawyer; eventually she’s going down under G. L. c. 211, sec. 4.

        And that’s the bottom-line!!

        • James
          February 5, 2019 at 7:17 am #

          Maybe Cicero could explain how his personal experience as a defendant clouds his judgement of criminal matters.

          • Cicero
            February 6, 2019 at 11:59 am #

            James,

            Instead of making flippant comments, maybe you should read the book “Just Mercy.” It’s well written and only about 300 pages, a quick and easy read.

            Here’s a TED talk by the author, Bryan Stevenson: https://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_stevenson_we_need_to_talk_about_an_injustice?language=en

            Injustice is real and happens all the time. And when it does, victims – whether they be the falsely accused or real crime victims who are denied justice by a corrupt system – have approximately ZERO recourse. Even in the face of law enforcement behavior so awful that it’s difficult to believe, only if they are wealthy do they stand any chance of fighting back. And even if their fight is successful, immunity laws protect dishonest cops and corrupt DA’s from ever being accountable for their actions – no matter how egregious.

  27. H
    February 4, 2019 at 7:01 pm #

    No where does it say He was speedy no through town,how about it honest at least.

  28. H
    February 4, 2019 at 7:03 pm #

    Try that again. No where does it say he was speeding through town. Show me.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

      H you are correct. Disregard the I’ll informed. They are loud and generally wrong. Just saeing!!!

      • Art Seller
        February 4, 2019 at 7:59 pm #

        We had a good day today without much nonsense. The key to changing anything here in the city politically is the ballot box We can complain and holler and scream but we will accomplish nothing unless we get the numbers up in the ballot box to defeat the clowns who have held us hostage for too long. Every one needs to recruit 5 people daily and beg them to come out and vote the gobsigs out. It is the only way to take back the city and put the power back into the hands where it belongs and that is the taxpayer. I’m sure everyone sane agrees!!!!!!

        • Art Seller
          February 4, 2019 at 8:09 pm #

          Wp, WSJ, USA Today Blomberg Asia Squall, NPR. Say Trump works less than an hour a day. Rarely in the office before 11:30. 57% say they think he needs to be voted out of office. He says he knows more than the Intel agencies. He knows more than anyone about climate change. These are factually reported statements from very reliable media outlets. Any opinions???????

          • Fake News
            February 5, 2019 at 6:18 am #

            Fake News obt ained from un named sources.

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        February 4, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

        I agree about the uninformed. Don’t listen to Art nothing he says actually happens.

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        February 5, 2019 at 6:19 am #

        Very self descriptive.

    • X-Lachs Lounge
      February 4, 2019 at 8:01 pm #

      Marauszwski in his sports-utility vehicle on Bartlett Avenue in Pittsfield. The defendant then drove off, leading police on a pursuit through the city that involved multiple collisions before it ended in Springside Park.

      I suppose he followed all laws as he drove from Bartlett to the Park.

      • Art Seller
        February 4, 2019 at 8:17 pm #

        Lounge. That is not the disputed evidence. Please where do you get your info??? Breitbart and Fox??? Not looking good today lounge but I’ve seen you have worse days. Remember truth and facts. That is all we need!!!!

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        February 5, 2019 at 6:15 am #

        Court transcript

  29. X-Lachs Lounge
    February 4, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

    Why hasn’t there been any mention of the infanticide loving racist governor or his sexual assaulting lt governor? Could it be that the fake news ignores Democrat shanagins?

    • Long Wang
      February 5, 2019 at 6:29 am #

      There’s been plenty of mention of both on liberal news. I find the timing of the sexual assault charge highly questionable, just like when Ford falsely accused Kavanaugh.

  30. X-Lachs Lounge
    February 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    Why haven’t the dems assembled one of their mobs to rally against the Virginia gov and lt gov?

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 8:39 pm #

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news but word is letiasha is on the move in the southern district of NY. This is not associated with Mueller. Uh Oh. Fasten your seat belts. She wants Trump for the same charge she hung Cohen on’ could be fire works soon. Just saeing.

  31. mi
    February 4, 2019 at 8:36 pm #

    What I heard was that Marauszwski was driving quite slowly,no where did I hear he was colliding with other vehicles. Maybe Agent Smith can settle this. Yes he was on Bartlett, yes he was pulled over, and again nowhere before entering the a-park was he speeding. You said speeding.

    • Art Seller
      February 4, 2019 at 8:46 pm #

      Mi see my post to H. You are correct but as I stated above that isn’t the contested evidence. The UPS driver was the key and what he said was key. The two cops were lying and they should be prosecuted for doing so. Do you think that they will be prosecuted?????

      • Art Seller
        February 4, 2019 at 9:04 pm #

        Warren and Cortez plan to tax wealth gaining traction. Could bring in hundreds upon hundreds of billions of much needed government revenue. Need to see specifics but sounds interesting.

        • Gigi
          February 5, 2019 at 5:37 am #

          This is a flawed idea. Millionaires tax is not going to help the economy. One only has to observe what is happening in New York state, one of the most heavily taxed states in the union;

          https://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/state-budget-revenue-decline-1.26892647

          • Shakes
            February 5, 2019 at 6:12 am #

            you link has a paywall. What is happening in NY state?

            NY isn’t even in the Top 5, based on personal income tax rates.

            #fakenews

          • Lenny
            February 5, 2019 at 7:52 am #

            Shakes, I was able to read it. Not a paywall; hit x when the newsletter page pops up. You will be sent back to the article.
            Gigi I agree, this issue is a nobrainer. When states start disproportionately taxing the rich – the millionaires leave the state. Who wants to be punished for success?
            The rich have been leaving NY for years.
            Interesting that Art who complains about taxes and claims he is a gazillionnaire, wants more taxes on the rich. Hypocrisy.

          • shakes
            February 5, 2019 at 9:43 am #

            The wall is different on IE, I was opening it in Chrome.

            The shortfall is a very small % of New York’s state budget. Really, a non-event. I’m not sure why Cuomo is even talking about it.

          • Kermit Frog
            February 5, 2019 at 9:38 am #

            I don’t like Trump but his comment suggesting Upstate homeowners just abandon this properties due to high taxes and move to Texas is terribly funny. NYS taxes are out of control. It doesn’t matter if you have a Republican governor or a Democratic one they are coming for your paycheck. Don’t ask the state to economize! When I see stuff like this I think the US is doomed to be the next Venezuela.

          • Lenny
            February 5, 2019 at 11:35 am #

            What is not talked about in Fugi’s article, but is included in Gigi’s article at the very END, is that NYS has decided to continue the millionaires tax which was instituted in 2009. Why stay in NY & get slammed for taxes when there’s no state income tax in FL. Fugi’s article states that NY has lost the most residents with IL right behind. Great posts guys.

        • Mr. Fritz
          February 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm #

          Art, Lowering taxes results in higher revenues. You & AOC are on the wrong track.

      • Aerin
        February 5, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

        I think the police department will be sued now, which should make for real swell relations between the new DA’s office and PPD. Way to go, this is what happens when you run your campaign and office on no criminal experience and it gets real.

  32. The school committee
    February 5, 2019 at 3:32 am #

    The teachers at Herberg School are not being backed by Yon,Mccandless….We are hiring administrators that Allow violent language and street talk in a public school.
    Yon ,Elias,Cutler and Taylor have put together a failed school system.They are responsible for the bad behavior flourishing at the Herberg School.Curtis and McCandless are their puppets who demand bad kids behave verbally violent towards their teachers.The mayor is afraid of the kids and McCandless is afraid of Yon and they keep telling Pittsfield it goes away with more money….Schools hide all facts from taxpayers.Yon is Queen of the dog and pony show on TV…..they need to talk about school verbal violence of staff on their TV produced school system show……Herberg is where the City is losing all their good student to other system….Wahconah and Lenox are available….They will not address the millions we are giving to other towns to teach our best students.They won’t talk about Herberg because the are not willing to acknowledge this problem violent out of control school

    • Spagirl
      February 5, 2019 at 4:56 am #

      The school committee
      Why is this not an outrage and made known to the public? Citizens should make this a priority and demand that this be addressed by McCandless and the School Committee.

    • doomiedodger
      February 5, 2019 at 5:23 am #

      High violent crime, bad schools and poor roads and a cliquey government run by special interests are not the stride I would look for in choosing a place to live. But the mayor seems happy with it so perhaps we should all play the game.

  33. H
    February 5, 2019 at 6:41 am #

    We’ve hit stride.

  34. Spider
    February 5, 2019 at 9:11 am #

    The frugal taxpayers of this city will be punished no matter what we do.

    Those of us who went to water meters in hopes of saving some money are being screwed. And we all thought we were so clever. But the mayor will have none of that.

    The drastic increase in my recent bill is for ‘sewer” not water usage.

    The mayor will get her way for money for the new sewer no matter what!

    • Benigno Numine
      February 5, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

      Will the official city moto be Buffoono Numine?

      • danvalenti
        February 5, 2019 at 4:28 pm #

        Now THAT’s funny!!

    • Art Seller
      February 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm #

      Spider When the Gman was trying to save your hide you were throwing stones at him Dont you wish now that you and others did
      Iisten. He is going to buy up all the homes that citizens will abandon because of sky high water and sewer rates and he will get them for pennies on the dollar.

      • Dennis Pow Wow
        February 5, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

        Resting on the Housatonic Riviara is more like it.

  35. The school committee
    February 5, 2019 at 9:44 am #

    McCandless Tyer and Yon are raising taxes to run a School System that wont deal with Herberg School verbal violence to staff and to students.Im told that many student want teachers to teach but Yon,Tyer,McCandless want the staff to not report incidents.Remove students from the building so kids can learn.School Teacher rep also does not want the truth out.There is a world of secrets in that building.This is where the Mayor must take control of her Department head…..its costing this taxpayer and you an extra 7 million to replace what goes to Lenox and Wahconah

  36. H
    February 5, 2019 at 10:15 am #

    That is probably why Trish sent her kid out of town, didn’t want deal with it first hand.

  37. Mr. Fritz
    February 5, 2019 at 11:50 am #

    Check into Obama’s Promise Program, which offers school systems funding in exchange for not reporting incidents involving minority students, “hence reducing the school to prison pipeline.” Brilliant. Not sure if this program has been adopted by the state ed board or individual school systems. Due to Pittsfield’s demographics it spells chaos.

    • Long Wang
      February 5, 2019 at 11:58 am #

      Some blame the Parkland School shooting on this program, which is nothing short of racism.

      • Mr. Fritz
        February 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

        You’re right, Long, it is absolutely racist!

        • doomiedodger
          February 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm #

          News flash…Obama is no longer president. Guy named Donald Trump has been running the country for two years now. Get a clue dude.

          • Mr. Fritz
            February 5, 2019 at 3:50 pm #

            It’s an program developed during the Obama admin and as far as I know is still in effect.

    • The school committee
      February 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

      School choice brought this on,attendance for MCAS testing standing also credits keeping kids in school everyday inspite of behaviors.Silence is to protect your paycheck as a administrator.They won’t leverage the kids parents.Teachers Union wont fight back because they want fresh money contract….They need to do a work stoppage in Pittsfield to bring attention to the issue.Many kids should be removed without a tutor. Bad behavior should not cost a Senior Citizen 1 penny

      • Spagirl
        February 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm #

        The school committee
        This is as corrupt as it gets from the inside out. Top to bottom. Outrageous!

  38. X-Lachs Lounge
    February 5, 2019 at 2:03 pm #

    From 95.5 live’s facebook page.

    A man who fled from police during a traffic stop and endangered the lives of officers and the public during a dangerous motor vehicle pursuit through Pittsfield was sentenced to 1 ½ years in jail on Monday by Central Berkshire District Court Judge Mark Pasquariello.

    A jury on Monday morning found the defendant, Mark Marauszwski, 58, of Pittsfield, guilty of three charges: reckless operation of a motor vehicle, operating a vehicle with a suspended license and failure to stop for a police officer. On Monday afternoon, the judge sentenced Marauszwski to one year in the House of Correction for reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and a concurrent sentence of six months for driving with a suspended license. The judge also issued Marauszwski a $100 fine for failure to stop for a police officer.

    The jury did not make guilty findings on the charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

    Deputy District Attorney Richard Dohoney argued in court that Marauszwski’s attempted escape from police posed serious safety risks to the community.

    “The top priority of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is to keep the public safe and protect the police officers who safeguard our communities,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

    The charges stem from Jan. 25, 2017, when Pittsfield police officers stopped Marauszwski in his sports-utility vehicle on Bartlett Avenue in Pittsfield. The defendant then drove off, leading police on a pursuit through the city that involved multiple collisions before it ended in Springside Park.

    Categories: Articles
    Comments

    • doomiedodger
      February 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm #

      but if he had some real connections he would have walked totally free. Just ask people on the city council how that part works.

    • Spider
      February 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm #

      This is nothing more than a slap in the face to all our police officers.

      Can this city get any worse?

  39. AgentSmith
    February 5, 2019 at 3:02 pm #

    The Al Sharpton of Pittsfield is getting an award from Hinds as part of a Black History month program.

    • Lokel Yokel
      February 5, 2019 at 3:13 pm #

      Yeah, you know why, her sibling works at Berkshire works near flip flop, where do you think flip flops job funding came from? HINDS

    • Ham Anex
      February 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

      She should have been given an award from an all you can eat buffet.

  40. Dilly Dally
    February 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

    I think that be catagoried as fake news. Believe he rooster tailed in the turn in the park but did nothing before that, that violated speed limits or hitting anything. Anyway that’s what I heard. The cops pursued him but nothing happened until he hit the park. And that’s the bottom line !

    • mi
      February 5, 2019 at 3:21 pm #

      There is a groundswell of support for Mrs. Mazzeo. Her honesty is not in question and that’s what taxpayers want. She Will,listen, to all people. I think she has served her usefulness on the Council,time to make a difference.

      • Ted
        February 5, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

        Melissa could run on crime and water bills as issues. At least she’d run a real campaign with signs and stuff and not getting arrested.

  41. amandaWell
    February 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm #

    It will be a Tyred like Trump speech tonight with fluff like proclamations and really good feel good stories, I’m sure. Hopefully, he be sincere on rewarding our heroes, but I doubt it. Mel Maz if you’re out there,run for Mayor,you’ll get it!

  42. u
    February 5, 2019 at 3:47 pm #

    Water rate first wave up 280 for year. Screw you Pittsfield.

  43. The school committee
    February 5, 2019 at 4:54 pm #

    Water up 34% in 2years,I will vote for Mazzeo as Mayor of Pittsfield .She understands money and I believe she will cut millions from schools and make them safer and better .Consolidate Schools and save million and take controll so we can teach our kids again.Taxes with water up 400 bucks this year.

    • Wilson
      February 5, 2019 at 5:05 pm #

      once she has those hundreds of thousands pouring into her bank account for doing nothing, she won’t care. Anyway the power to cut the school budget was stripped from the mayor so that your vote won’t matter

      • Art Seller
        February 5, 2019 at 6:52 pm #

        The next president of the united states has not yet announced his or her candidacy yet. Any guesses???? Answer tomorrow if the lord gets me thru the night.

  44. Mr. Fritz
    February 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm #

    Long live President Trump!

    • Art Seller
      February 5, 2019 at 8:43 pm #

      What we learned tonight is that scump can read off a teleprompter. Nothing else!!!!