(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY APRIL 29, 2019) — Thank heaven for supermajorities. Otherwise, another dubious giveaway of taxpayer money would be in the works. You can thank the city council. You can blame the city council.

On Tuesday last, THE PLANET‘s Right Honorable Good Friends defeated mayor Linda Tyer’s proposal to giveaway $250,000 in GE settlement money for “At Home in Pittsfield.” The plan, cooked up with community development diva Deanna Ruffer, would have provided free money primary to West Side and Morningside residents for home repairs. As for the few remaining honest, hard-working taxpayers who struggle to keep their homes in good shape and somehow do, tough luck. The measure would have left them providing a free ride for the others.

That type of selective giveaway from funds intended for all citizens smacked of bias and bordered on illegality. When liberals talk of “inclusion” and “diversity,” that’s what they mean. You “include” an exclusive group, largely for political purposes. West Siders and Morningsiders would receive “enhanced services.” And when the Viet Kong sent the U.S. Army in retreat in Vietnam, generals termed it “protective reaction.” Never — never — believe politicians and bureaucrats when they employ euphemisms.

Fortunately, in a 4-6 vote that required 8 to pass, the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse shot it down. Kevin Morandi (Ward 2), Chris Connell (4), Tony Simonelli (7), and Melissa Mazzeo (at large) handed the mayor her defeat. Council president Peter Marchetti recused himself because of his position at Pittsfield Coop Bank.

The Four agreed that the plan’s fatal flaw was the source of the funding. They argued that the GE bucks were not intended for home siding and roof repair but for “economic development.” Connell, once again rising to the occasion, pointed out that the plan had nothing to do with jobs, the key barometer for economic health. They also won backing of former council president Tom Hickey. THE PLANET obtained a copy of the e-mail:

———- 000 ———-

From: Tom Hickey Jr
Date: Wed, Apr 24, 2019 10:11 AM
To: Mazzeo, Melissa;Connell, Christopher;Simonelli, Anthony;Morandi, Kevin;
Subject:GE Funds

I wish to thank you four for stepping up and opposing the use of the GE Economic Development funds for Mayor Tyer’s housing rehab project. As one of the City’s representatives that negotiated the fund, I can assure that it definitely was not intended to be used for that.
Tom Hickey

———- ooo ———-

Helen Moon (1), Nick Caccamo (3), Donna Todd Rivers (5), John Krol (6), Peter White (at large) and Earl Persip (at large) voted for the plan.

Moon tried to link a community’s housing stock with economic development. She said the city’s poor housing was keeping companies from moving here. Think about that.  Aren’t you glad Moon keeps a seat warm in the D.A.’s office?

White supplied this gem: “We need strong neighborhoods.” True, that. We need a lot of things. Pissing away what’s left of the GE bucks, however, won’t get us there.

The “best” came from the forked tongue of Rivers. During the long discussion, she was against the measure. Then, at the last minute, she flip-flopped more convincingly than Luke Halpin’s pet dolphin. Seeing the plan going down to a probably defeat, Rivers voted to approve. How’s that for your Profiles in Courage?

We conclude with this alternate take from PLANET correspondent MERRY & BRIGHT:

“Can’t stop thinking about the City Council meeting last night. First of all the Mayor should be ashamed of herself for her snarky behavior towards many of the councilors. If she worked in the private sector her behavior last night would be not tolerated and subject to discipline up to dismissal. She also should be ashamed that not one of her department heads was prepared for the meeting. In fact they have never been prepared, always flying by the seat of their pants. Deanna can’t answer questions, McGrath is stuttering over his own words, Turocy stands up there and down right lies, Kerwood is talking in circles and makes no sense, actually admitting to purging files when the project is incomplete. Turocy claims bridge work is safe and claims Czerwinski backs him only to have a professional state it is not safe. Then we have the Springside Park issue with juveniles threatening young mothers and children and we have yet to hear any response from Chief Wynn as to why his officers aren’t doing anything. Where is the Councilor for Springside Park? Oh, she is just sitting drinking her beverage out of a mason jar. Wonder what she is drinking? It is down right sickening and we wonder why our city is in such trouble. They all need to go. I hope someone will come forward and run against Tyer and when they win, they will clean house and bring in some professional responsible department heads.”

Pretty much says it all as far as We The People are concerned.


“Man is weak, and when he makes strength his profession, he is even weaker”Antonio Porchia.



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  1. Johnny99
    April 29, 2019 at 12:09 am #

    Some councilors final grew a pair of gonads, thanks be to God, but it is concerning that many of the no votes support the concept, just not the funding – they would vote for it if it were from another funding source. The very idea that Pittsfield would loan money to someone to fix up their home when a bank wouldn’t is ludicrous.

    And by the way, was any of the GE money ever spent on actual job creation???? And how was the money invested over the years? ROI? And how much would the city have collected in property taxes if they didn’t take the land off GEs hands? Now, you literally can’t give the land away. Hey BB investigative reporters – here’s a story to chase.

  2. doomiedodger
    April 29, 2019 at 1:20 am #

    Why doesn’t Marchetti recuse himself more often? Seems to be in conflict often.

    Why do Moon, Caccamo and White crap all over their oath of office so often? Is it because they are in office for all the wrong reasons? Reasons that reflect why Pittsfield is diving into the abyss?

    Will Mazzeo turn down special interest money donated to her campaign so that we do not see all this catering to the grabby hand supporters that spits in the eyes of the taxpayer?

    • LoneGunMan
      April 30, 2019 at 6:37 am #

      Caccamo is a complete and utter waste as a councilor. He’s too busy furthering his political connections and career since he’s failed at everything else.

      • Spagirl
        April 30, 2019 at 11:43 am #

        He certainly has not represented Ward 3. That is a fact.

  3. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 3:18 am #

    We hopefully find out at the budget meeting who supports a new school vision of safety.Ask those questions and do not accept BS as you always have.Make this school committee tell you in a very simple way how they will remove the intimidation .Can’t believe the Berkshire Eagle sees this as a one day story.Great students are seeking other schools to Finnish out the year. We are losing hundreds of students over the issue of intimidation and verbal violence.

  4. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 3:37 am #

    I agree with Dan.

  5. Auto Phil
    April 29, 2019 at 3:51 am #

    So far, the biggest accomplishment of the GE parcel is the BIC. Which, ironically, to my understanding, is a training and educational facility partly paid for by the GE Developement Fund for advanced jobs that don’t even exist in our Community…

    Good ol’ Pittsfield, always willing to lay down and get rolled over without even breakfast in the morning…

    • Johnny Absurd
      April 29, 2019 at 4:38 am #

      Does the city do anything that does not spin off coins to the grabby hands living under city hall and pulling the puppet strings?

      • Theo
        April 29, 2019 at 7:00 am #

        Yes and the BIC started at $3 million estimate and will come in at $14 million, all public money. “grabby hands” get fuller.

  6. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 3:55 am #

    Tyer,Marchetti,White,Rivers,Moon,Caccamo,Kroll,Yon,Cameron, McCandless allow intimidation in the middle schools.

  7. Mr. Fritz
    April 29, 2019 at 4:08 am #

    “Thank heaven for supermajorities” is right! The six numbskulls who voted for the raid on GE Funds need to be voted out. Thanks Dan for publishing Tom Hickey’s letter.
    Will you be tackling an expose on Ruffer’s involvement in city politics?

  8. Brian C. Marquis
    April 29, 2019 at 5:27 am #

    Shameful vote. Imagine a mayoral candidate (that would be Mazzeo) trying desperately to win votes on either the West Side or Morningside? Shaking hands with a homeowner whose porch roof is caving in as Mazzeo struggles to explain why she led her Bianchi-cabal to torpedo Tyer’s initiative.

    Morandi, Simonelli, Mazzeo, and Connell are Bianchi holdovers; they all need to go!!

    And Tommy “gun” Hickey wouldn’t know a good deal if it either him or Doyle bumped into one; since they spent most of their Boston time negotiating over who’s gonna buy the next pitcher of beer.

    As it turns out: it’s now a feud between the haves (Mazzeo) and the have-nots (the rest of us). My money’s on the latter.

    And that’s the bottom-line!!

    • Johnny99
      April 29, 2019 at 8:57 am #

      Hey, it’s not the governments responsibility to fix people’s homes, nor to lend them the money to do so. If you can’t afford to fix your home sell it, or perhaps work more.

      • Mr. Fritz
        April 29, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

        Spot on Johnny99!

    • Rule 27
      April 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

      Marquis, you put down all the mayoral candidates but Tired. Why don’t you on the newshour at 6 pm Wednesday and talk about it. Bet you’re too chicken to. Bak, bak, bak.

      • Sojourner Truth
        April 29, 2019 at 5:49 pm #

        A solid idea.. Mr. Marquis touts his education, opinions and politics on this and perhaps other keyboard safe blogs. Why not accept Mr.Gaetani’s challenge and showcase these traits to a broader audience on camera.
        Grow some Brian !!! And that’s the bottom-line !!!

        • Rule 27
          April 30, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

          I try to catch the Gaetani show and he is always inviting people on who wish to debate issues.

    • Rule 27
      April 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm #


  9. UAlbany
    April 29, 2019 at 6:14 am #

    Pitts has 17,000 homes. That’s $14 per home. This program (only a good idea b/c it’s free) would have been rife with hidden decisions and favorable grants at Mayor T’s discretion. $250,000 isn’t enough to fix one corner of one street – it’s 1 drop of polluted water in Silver Lake. “We have to do something” translates to, “We have no idea what to do so let’s get some headlines with free stuff” Truly pathetic even for the socialist democrats that pervade and pervert this great state.

    • Johnny Absurd
      April 29, 2019 at 6:26 am #

      Yah, and if history is any indicator family connections would be bumped to the top of the list. That is what makes Pittsfield Pittsfield.

      Seems like a few short years ago some school connected employee got a whole house fixed by vocations students? Anyone remember the details on that one?

  10. Kermit Frog
    April 29, 2019 at 6:27 am #

    I never hear as a suggestion for economic development that the companies pay their employees more and give benefits? Most of the grand hospitality business owners like Cranwell, Canyon Ranch or the other places – do all their employees even get $15 an hour? I think local government should ask more of the employers as those fancy places must be bringing in loads of profit.

    Good local employers that meet milestones could get incentives that go straight to workers. For example, a lot of our hospitality industry workers don’t get benefits and the staff turnover effects the industry. Perks have to be tied to the workers or the businesses will leave with the cash. But imagine economically supporting better wages and benefits to local people — they help the employers invest in the employees. It could help employers with the turnover problem and training as the longer someone stays in a job the more productive they become.

    I’m not even sure this suggestion is fair and some of the local businesses are making loads and it still doesn’t trickle down to them investing in their employees. It’s obvious when there is a well run business as the staff stick around. But giving out cash to specific business directly should be prohibited as its proven a disaster.

  11. Trump Train
    April 29, 2019 at 7:03 am #

    Why not look at these funds to improve long time established manufacturing firms in Pittsfield.

    Let’s give them a tax break for all they have contributed. They continue to invest here and employ people.

    Pittsfield is always chasing the golden unicorn, and getting the horn in the buttocks.

  12. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    How do we stop Tyer,Mccandless,Yon and Marchetti from spending money?How do we remove intimidating students from classrooms with innocent students?

    • Rule 27
      April 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm #

      Of all the declared candidates for mayor, who is the only one who will actually reduce spending?

  13. Auto Phil
    April 29, 2019 at 7:17 am #

    Can we agree that the majority of homes in the Morningside and West Side neighborhoods are rental properties? Or am I mistaken? I’ll certainly stand corrected if so.

    • Brian C. Marquis
      April 29, 2019 at 7:30 am #

      And rentals properties deserve less than your typically homeowner? Since when are rental properties not owned by owners. Owners, I might add, who pay their fair share of property taxes! Owners who probably pay more in taxes than your single-dweller.

      All this is Bianchi holdovers playing politics during an election year. Who really cares where the money comes from so long as it is funneled into neighborhood revitalization.

      What happened Tuesday night is exactly why Dan Bianchi is no longer mayor! It’s just mean-spirited, vengeful politics.

      Dan Bianchi couldn’t clean up his own house (or community), so now he’s trying to clean up Tyer’s. From where I’m seated: he’s way outta his league!!

      And that’s the bottom-line!!!

      • Auto Phil
        April 29, 2019 at 8:35 am #

        Brian Marquis the difference is that landlords are generating an income from their rental properties. Revenue paid by taxpayers renting to live there. Which makes the rental a business investment, not an investment in the neighborhood.

        When you give them free money to fix up their income properties, they now have a prettier property for which they can charge a higher rent. Overall the whole improvement is paid for by the taxpayer, who has no stake in the actual property.

        • Brian C. Marquis
          April 29, 2019 at 9:01 am #

          Renal apartments and rental houses are “not an investment in the neighborhood’? You’re kiddin’, right?

          I’m speechless!!

          Without running afoul of Dan’s new posting protocol, that’s the most idiotic statement anybody has ever put out there.

          Single homeowner pay property taxes as does rental units. To think otherwise is to subscribe to the idiocy of Mazzeo-Simonelli politics.

          • Auto Phil
            April 29, 2019 at 12:55 pm #

            Brian Marquis I am perplexed by your astonishment.

            How does a rental property owner contribute to the neighborhood in which their property is located? Besides adhering to city ordinances (shovel, remove trash, etc) how does a person who does not live in a neighborhood make a contribution?

            Enlighten me.

  14. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 8:58 am #

    You can not allow Ruffer to go near the GE economic fund. Rudder will spend all of our money.Her job of spending money should be abolished.

  15. Jonathan Melle
    April 29, 2019 at 9:46 am #

    There is $3 million dollars left in the GE settlement fund. That means the previous Mayoral administrations and City Councils spent $7 million dollars on projects that did not create one single job!

    It is unfair and myopic to blame the lovely Linda Tyer for Pittsfield’s economic failures!

    – Jonathan Melle

  16. Ron Kitterman
    April 29, 2019 at 10:12 am #

    Oh course rental properties are an investment in a neighborhood, however that is why there are tax advantages to the owner. I’ve got a strong feeling this isn’t over yet. Notice how the proponents complain, smear and shame the opposition. Pretty soon they’ll beating us into submission.

    • Magic
      April 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

      And the tenants of these landlords really don’t care what their houses look like. And the landlords get our money through Section 8 (that might be politically incorrect, sorry)

      • Rudy Baker
        April 29, 2019 at 8:31 pm #

        Tyer gives money to Carver and mom and pop landlords have to compete against Carver and are forced to take crap tenants.

  17. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 10:30 am #

    Museum 500k,Shaker village 500k so we only have 3 million so why do you want Tyer to take it to 2 million.Ruffer spent most of it with Rueberto and Tyer years ago.Thank you Mayor Mazzeo who does not do thinks in the back room.Mayor Mazzeo exposed the sham on PED

  18. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 10:33 am #

    40% ABSENT at Herberg today due to fear of intimidating students in the building

    • Goodbye Krol World
      April 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

      Good job Pittsfield.

    • doomiedodger
      April 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm #

      Perhaps that will draw some outside media attention. A public shaming of our leaders, both school and political, may need to occur in order for them to get off their asses and address the issue in an effective manner.

      A very strict dress code, stay on campus during school hours and no goddamn phones in class for starters. Get a backbone people!

    • Spagirl
      April 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm #


    • Two Cents
      April 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

      Yes, I know several people that have pulled their kids from the school, at least temporarily, with eyes on other districts. The loss to school choice will explode next semester and we know how city officials will respond…They will spend 10 of thousands of dollars on a consultant who will perform an exhaustive survey by sending a few emails and then tell them what they already know. They will then apply for federal and state grants to help them address the youth violence problem and use all of the funding to hire more paraprofessionals and a few new administrators to bolster their political clout and control, unfunded liabilities be damned…The game continues!

      • LoneGunMan
        April 30, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

        You mean Shirley Edgerton hasn’t fixed the issues at $75k+

  19. Reignbow
    April 29, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    Kids NOur schools don’t respect the mayor or the chief. If it’s a woman and a goldigging type,crime will rise.

  20. Cromun
    April 29, 2019 at 1:02 pm #

    Where are the new me beers on the license board? I see Pedro and massimiano, but don’t see either. I do see Randy Stein.

  21. Car Minclub
    April 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm #

    Carmen should be let go on his license-board chairmanship,it’s becoming monotonous.

    • Johnny Absurd
      April 30, 2019 at 2:10 am #

      Is his presents on the board to protect certain licenses in existence or to control who does not get one? But yam, move on already dude.

  22. The school committee
    April 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm #

    Marchetti is going to ok a 2.50 million dollar raise in school budget with 25 new positions.No amount of higher taxes can do a thing for leadership.A honest man would say that the Eberwien model for absentiism would keep punks out of jail is a complete failure.Yon was there,Elias was there,Amuso was there.Just admit it does not make schools safe

  23. Goodbye Krol World
    April 29, 2019 at 8:54 pm #

    Is it true Dina Gueil has taken out papers for ward 6 council?

    • Smokey Davis bears
      April 30, 2019 at 4:58 am #

      Ofcourse she did. After buying a 300k house across the street from Krol. So much for all her love for ward 2 and her krol show interview has not aged well. But hey lose a ward 2 campaign and then help Harrington win da and boom! Cushy job in the da’s office with no qualifications.

  24. The school committee
    April 30, 2019 at 2:46 am #

    McCandless will abolish sped academic reading programs that work in order to pay for behavior programs that dont work.The schools are a very covert department with no oversite.They just want everybody to go away as the cross their fingers for the next 7 weeks Allowing middle school kids to intimidate teachers with no support from administration means the administration is guilty of insubordination.Herberg school is a Eberwien failure.What happened to the 9 million dollar grant given to the sherrifs and the schools.That grant led to the Eberwien and Masimiano experiment on behavior programs going mainstream.

    • Spagirl
      April 30, 2019 at 4:13 am #

      The school committee

      Why is no one listening to what you are saying? State money has taken over the greed of these officials. There is zero competence in the system. Zero!!!

  25. The school committee
    April 30, 2019 at 5:17 am #

    Very few people know how the School work.The state is giving roughly 3 million extra dollars to help Pittsfield with school budgets.Rather than reducing expenses McCandless and Yon started spending this money on extras.They never considered it to help taxpayers reduce their obligation.No amount of money will make that happen.Cut them and teach them a lesson

    • Spagirl
      April 30, 2019 at 5:42 am #

      Absolutely agree!!

    • Mr. Fritz
      April 30, 2019 at 6:05 am #

      Spot on TSC.

      • danvalenti
        April 30, 2019 at 7:52 am #

        MR F ET. AL.
        Starting tomorrow (Wednesday) THE PLANET will publish Part I of the recent outbreak of violence at Reid Middle School and Springside Park.

        • doomiedodger
          April 30, 2019 at 8:13 am #

          Looking forward to it. Will be interesting to see if it jives with the mayors version. I am sure McCandless is hoping the dust will just settle so he can resume his spending spree unfettered.

    • Pat
      April 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm #

      I agree with you for once SC. The extra money from Charlie Baker should have meant a reduction in the school budget for Pittsfield taxpayers. Instead, they very greedily took that and even more from the taxpayers….they are greedy and love their money in this school system. Pools, expensive cars and vacations…not on taxpayer expense.

      Many in the school department mostly the teachers and admins are not rich, but are rich wannabees. They think they are living in the Boston area…hello, this is very poor Pittsfield. The money is needed for so many other things in this city….deteriorating roads and sidewalks, street lights, the city is falling apart.

      • Johnny Absurd
        April 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm #

        Mr. grabby hands is at it again. Gimmee mo money so I can fix the absolutely shitty school system I have been in charge of for years. Money mo money will fix it. I promise.

        • danvalenti
          April 30, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

          Correct. JIV will get millions more, ad two dozen new positions, and preside over a disintegrating district at the bottom academically and falling into daily violence. The school committee will give him the money, an A+ grade, and the mayor will say everything is as it should be. The council will follow suit, and the Special Interests will have won again. THE PLANET has invested in 10,000 pitchforks from Danish Army military surplus to be distributed when We The People, finally having had enough, storm city hall, meaning Businezz.

          • LoneGunMan
            May 2, 2019 at 8:52 am #

            Literally every teacher I know, have met that has changed from PPS to other districts (some commute as far as Westfield, Longmeadow, etc. DAILY rather than work around here, Pittsfield especially) have stated the same things… too many do nothing administrators, too many teachers just waiting for their paychecks and retirement, disenfranchised staff, cliques within schools

            …and no matter how much money you throw at the district… it…will…not…matter

          • danvalenti
            May 2, 2019 at 9:13 am #

            All true. Yet the mayor, the superintendent, the school committee, and the council will add millions more in dollars and dozens more in new positions. The PSD has turned into a dangerous scam, pure and simple. Thanks for staying on message.

  26. The school committee
    April 30, 2019 at 9:16 am #

    People want out of the Pittsfield School System because of safety.That is the number one reason we are losing student and I’m going to say interest to get out will be a record levels right now.They are going to try and make you believe they have new programs new positions.Mayor Mazzeo will ask question about expenses. She will hear about how it cost more money for a jail cell.Parents want intimidation by students to end.Parents want adults to walk their school buildings all day everyday.If you see a principle or vice or councilor sitting down they are not providing safety to kids.

  27. dusty
    April 30, 2019 at 1:07 pm #

    Covanta is selling. I guess our garbage rates will go down now.

  28. Darlene G
    April 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm #

    Dusty, nIce to hear from you,I haven’t posted here in a while but remember reading here from a poster, believe it was nota, who stated that the monies 500g given to them for a their boiler upgrade, should have a clause about the future contract, which Tyer didn’t bother with. Now, here we are.

  29. Sonny
    April 30, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

    The more Marquis babbles it is pretty plain to see why he was dumped from the Cacaviello campaign. You need to research section 8 pal. Section 8 equals there goes the neighborhood. Section 8 landlords are doing the opposite of investing in the neighborhood. Do your research and see how many duplexes or bigger are section 8 then check their condition. You would get a clearer picture. Thats the bottom line!

  30. The school committee
    April 30, 2019 at 3:58 pm #

    Students who intimidate and act out of control are given 15 minutes to cool down before the teacher can ask for assistance. Then school administrators can assist and they can ask the out of control student to pull it together as the kids who have it together sit in fear of the adults who do nothing.Mccandless loves this behavior system,sound dangerous to anybody?There are 11 year olds who don’t understand what is going on.There is a lousy learning enviroment at Herberg and it will not change,they are trying to make summer vacation so they can do it all over again with less student next September and 2.5 million more in cash.They need an audit in the budget department.

  31. Sensor
    April 30, 2019 at 5:43 pm #

    So, GE funds given to Covanta aren’t expired on the give back. So give back the 500g right?