Article

METERS OR NOT? PARKING PROBLEMS STILL BAFFLE PITTSFIELD OFFICIALS

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY MAY 22, 2019) — One of THE PLANET‘s favorite writing gigs was a stint with comedian Henny Youngman. We helped the “King of the One Liners” with books, produced one of his shows, and even wrote a few jokes. We cannot claim credit for this one: “I figured out what to do about the parking problem. I bought a parked car.”

That joke might well have come from Pittsfield, which, for generations, have never been able to get its parking situation in order. It’s 2019. Parking once again has city officials with the meter expired. The suspension with pay of DPW supt. Dan Ostrander for reasons no one in the know will share certainly doesn’t help the parking problems. THE PLANET, by the way, is in the middle of investigating the strange situation. DPW chief David Turocy has handed in his resignation effective in October, conveniently before the November election. Is it a gettin’ out while the gettin’ is good? We hope to have a report next week.

The most recent parking dilemma began after the city tore down the Columbus Avenue parking garage and deck. Being the sentimental type, THE PLANET has to wipe away a tear from our 28 years of using the deck as parking for our offices and employees. How fondly we recall the stairway, with its smell of urine and the fresh bouquet of cooled-off bumplops. Who wouldn’t feel a bit wistful at the loss of graffiti, the drug deals, and the ever-present danger. Danger? When The Old Professor taught composition classes at BCC’s satellite campus in the Intermodal, we had to have security available to walk students from the building to the parking garage.

All that is gone. In its place, a paved parking lot. Hey, at least they didn’t tear down a classic theater (where have you gone, Palace? Our city turns its lonely eyes to you). Question is, should the city install parking meters at the Columbus-Summer Street lot or keep it free? The owner of Berkshire Nautilus wants free parking. The city wants to install meters. When the city council took up the matter, it got mired in the paving tar. Some councilors (Mazzeo, Morandi, Connell, Krol, Simonelli) want to use the issue to engage in a discussion of metered parking throughout the city. Others (Moon, White, Marchetti) want to restrict the discussion to the Columbus Avenue lot.

The matter was ultimately referred to the council’s Ordinance and Rules Committee. Peter White, O&R chair, took up the administration’s position, arguing the discussion should be restricted to the Columbus lot. His efforts to stop a debate over citywide meters reflects an administrative reluctance to examine the issue too deeply. That’s too bad, because the metered parking has been a failure.

———- ooo ———-

For the installation of 45 parking meters, the council approved mayor Linda Tyer’s request to borrow $500,000. The administration says the meters have made money, but even the city admits it’s not as much as first claimed. At that, once you add in the installation costs, maintenance fees, repairs for malfunctioning meters, software issues, and managerial oversight, the devices have cost the city, although the exact loss is difficult to figure. A reasonable guess would be a yearly loss of $500 per year per meter.

At the council meeting, meter advocates point to the city’s First Street lot, which they say is usually full. Kevin Morandi countered with the McKay Street open lot. That went from free and full to meters and empty. THE PLANET has long advocated free parking city wide, which would make it easier, not more difficult, to park downtown, an area distressed enough as it is.

If you want up-to-date information on parking in Pittsfield, don’t bother with the city’s website. It still lists Denis Guyer as director of facilities and maintenance. It also has this charming quote from mayor Tyer: “Downtown Pittsfield is a thriving downtown … [M]etered parking … is now in high demand.” Not  peep in all this from Frank Anello Jr., listed on the city’s website as “parking superintendent.”

The most trenchant comment belong to Morandi: “Maybe [the city] shouldn’t be in the parking meter business.”

There’s no maybe about it, Kev.

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

Many times man lives and dies / Between his two eternities, / That of race and that of soul” — William Butler Yeats, from “Under Ben Bulban.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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90 Responses to “METERS OR NOT? PARKING PROBLEMS STILL BAFFLE PITTSFIELD OFFICIALS”

  1. Jonathan Melle
    May 21, 2019 at 9:04 pm #

    I am disappointed with the lovely Linda Tyer for presenting a bloated municipal budget. It makes no sense to me because Pittsfield politics’ distressed and constrained tax base is shrinking due to losses in population and jobs. There is no sense of reality to Pittsfield politics’ financial management! I think Melissa Mazzeo should speak out against her mayoral opponent’s budget proposal.

    – Jonathan Melle

    “Mayor Tyer presents $175.5M operating budget to Pittsfield City Council”
    By Amanda Drane , The Berkshire Eagle, May 21, 2019

    Pittsfield — Mayor Linda Tyer presented her $175.5 million operating budget to city councilors on Tuesday in the first budget hearing of the season.

    The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes $63.5 million for city schools, $25.4 million in health insurance for municipal employees and $19.3 million for police and fire services.

    It reflects an increase of 3 percent over the current fiscal year.

    Tyer’s spending plan would maintain level services, she said, and in some cases restores cuts made in previous budget rounds.

    Making a budget entails tough decisions, she told councilors.

    “Many of these are not easy issues,” she said. “But I’m proud of the service we provide to our citizens.”

    Councilors will pick apart the proposed budget through a series of hearings over the coming weeks. Councilors must approve a municipal spending plan next month.

    Councilors also preliminarily approved Tyer’s five-year $10.8 million capital improvement plan, which includes $2 million for a reconstruction of Tyler Street, as well as a separate $1.2 million for construction at the troublesome intersection of Dalton and Woodlawn avenues and Tyler Street.

    Tyer said the city’s financial outlook looks significantly better than it did when she took control of the ship in 2016. “Those were very difficult, dark days,” she said.

    Now, she said, “our successes are accumulating.” To that point, she cited $2 million in new tax revenue that is boosting city coffers.

    Still, she said “we must be conscious stewards of our finite resources.”

    Tyer said she began the budget process in January by working with department heads on her team’s priorities.

    “This evening is the culmination of all that work,” she said.

    Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

      “Level services” is not the same as level funding. The first perpetuates waste and fat. The second engenders trimming and shedding fat.

  2. Johnny Absurdo
    May 22, 2019 at 1:40 am #

    Nothing should be free in Pittsfield. If you have ever been to Las Vegas you know that the theme is to gouge every last dime out of the visitor. With all Pittsfield has to offer as a northeast cultural landing point I do not see why they should not do the same. And I would like to commend the mayor for nailing the taxpayers to the wall once again as it takes courage to bilk an aging population while at the same time shorting them on basic services.

    MPGA

  3. The school committee
    May 22, 2019 at 3:35 am #

    New tax revenue is called raising taxes on poor people.Tough choices sounds like a college student getting 3% mor cash from mommy and daddy struggling over where to spend it.Dan is right,free parking everywhere and just deal with the problems of free parking.Consoldate and simplify Ex Mayor will wish she stopped spending daddy’s money and simplified her goverment.The new Mayor Mazzeo will tacking this problem.Mazzeo is smart and she asks questions.

  4. Drew Itz
    May 22, 2019 at 4:03 am #

    Mazzeo cannot do anything unless she can REDUCE. And that isn’t possible. The four year plan was insane. We need to have discussion for a City Manager,immediately,or elect a Lone Wolf candidate which would be the right thing to do, to REDUCE.

    The current BUDGET trend is unsustainable, and if great services include a pot hole on every corner, then you are fooling yourself.

    The old dude shouted incompetency with both DPW Commissioners and many others. He was right.

  5. B. Clairmont
    May 22, 2019 at 4:07 am #

    Dan,

    I would like to correct some of the information presented.

    I was on the Council when the $500,000 was approved for the meters. So it wasn’t Mayor Tyer that requested the money. The money was requested by Mayor Bianchi.

    Bianchi purchased the meters in 2015 and let them sit in a warehouse for over a year. It was an election year and he didn’t have the guts to implement the parking plan that was designed by his administration.

    The projections were prepared by Bruce Collingwood. I’m not surprised that they were off. He is no longer with the City.

    There is a separate fund that the parking revenue goes into. All the expenses are paid from that fund. The meters are NOT losing money. However, they are not making the money projected, which doesn’t surprise me given the administration that made those projections.

    Barry

    • Mr. Fritz
      May 22, 2019 at 5:15 am #

      Barry,
      You approved the meters, Linda installed them ….. this is your baby!
      Is Dan close to being correct about each meter losing $500 per year?

      • B. Clairmont
        May 22, 2019 at 7:07 am #

        Fritz,

        The meters either had to be approved, or NEVER receive a cent from the state again for garages. That was the deal struck by then Mayor Ruberto. The state insisted we have metered parking in exchange for the McKay street garage grant.

        So yes, I voted for the meters, just like the rest of the Council did. Did I like it? No. But I did the responsible thing, whether you like it or not.

        Dan is wrong about the meters losing money. They are making money, just not as much as the Bianchi administration sold to the public.

        And yes, my wife was the one left to implement the plan. Bianchi didn’t have the guts to install them in an election year. He should have waited and bought them a year later and save the taxpayers money if he wasn’t going to install them when he bought them.

        Barry

        • danvalenti
          May 22, 2019 at 9:36 am #

          BC
          Thanks for the input. My sources in “parking” ( no name, natch!) say the meters have lost, and continue to lose, money, once ALL of the costs are entered into the equation. The only way to know either way is to make the true books available. You know, I know, and Judge Carter knows though that THAT will never happen. THE PLANET recalls too well the days of recent yore, where skimming off the parking money was part of the job. Why should anyone trust official assurances that the meters are “making money?”

          • B. Clairmont
            May 22, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

            Dan,

            There is no way I can counter innuendo, so I won’t even try.

            The great thing about these meters is they can see how the meters are doing as they produce reports on how much cash is in them and the credit card receipts, by meter.

            The old days of opening a meter and pocketing some of the cash before you turned it in are over. This isn’t the 50’s. Whether one wants to admit it, or not, we are in the 21st century.

            You could do a public records request to see for yourself that they are making money.

            Barry

          • danvalenti
            May 22, 2019 at 8:04 pm #

            BC
            Most of the factors for overall cost (not all, especially costs of bonding half a million dollars) can be unearthed. When all is said an done, the meters cost the city about $25K a year. Now, as to the revenues, yes — it’s not the old days, where skimming off the top was seen as a protected divine right. The skimming these days would have to be much more high tech. One question that anyone connected with these meters turns white when I ask: Who is harvesting all the data? Is it being sold? If so, to whom and by whom? You point out that it was Mayor Bianchi who initiated the meters. Fair enough, but recall that it was supposed to be a three-year experiment. We are now in the third year. Will there be a definitive report on the financials. One more point: Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan, at the end of the three years, to yank the meters, sell them, and do three years of COMPLETELY FREE parking. One would measure the success of that with the reports from downtown businesses. Today, those businesses are for the most part struggling, and many have given up the ghost.

      • Flogging Molly
        May 23, 2019 at 7:51 am #

        What the hell kind of logic is that????

    • Spider
      May 22, 2019 at 6:00 am #

      Barry – Regardless of whether the meters are making or losing money, the fact remains that businesses are LEAVING North St. and people are refusing to go to North St. because of them.

      PERIOD

    • Hell Toupee
      May 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

      Are we considering the salaries and benefits for all city employees associated parking enforcement? What about the money paid yearly to maintain the system and the app? The cost of vehicles and fuel? If all of this is factored in I doubt we are making much if anything. Dan maybe you can get all the numbers. As for Bianchi’s part in all of this….I don’t give a crap. If it’s wasting money. Bad tyeranchi idea.

      • Gobsig
        May 22, 2019 at 5:53 pm #

        Tyer just likes to blame Bianchi. She says it’s his fault that we got ripped of by the sewer upgrades and she didn’t do one damn thing to try to find a cheaper system even though a cheaper superior system was laid at her feet. How stupid. She doesn’t give a FLICK about taxpayers. She’s a phony.

      • danvalenti
        May 22, 2019 at 7:55 pm #

        HT
        I got as much hard info I could on ALL of the factors involved in installing and maintaining the meters. The parking czar and most anyone in the know get tight lipped when THE PLANET comes around. It doesn’t stop us, as we get info on the sly. I will stick by the figure of a $500 yearly loss, per meter, per year. It’s around $25,000 a year. That does not include the cost of bonding half a million bucks.

    • UAlbany
      May 23, 2019 at 10:10 am #

      I’m surprised Barry and Linda don’t blame Bianchi for their grades in high school.

      • B. Clairmont
        May 23, 2019 at 11:40 am #

        My grades were good. I’ll take credit. ;-))

        Facts are facts.

        • Edward R. Murrow
          May 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm #

          Grades might have been good, but is the hair still real? 😉

    • ProxyDate
      May 28, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

      Ohhh Barry is quite the teller of tall tales… quite the liar of lies

      The meter money goes into a fund but that fund doesn’t nearly cover the costs of administration, repairs, contracts, long term sustainability, software…. and there are a number of things that were added by the Tyer administration that has INCREASED the costs and those increases are hidden in other budgets.
      The other hidden cost, the cost of the loan and how Cufflinks Kerwood (a Tyer lap dog) structured the refi on the bond. Kerwood structured the bond financing to hit higher (4x higher) after the next election. That little move alone added $80k to the cost of the loan. Look it up, run the amortization.
      Anything Tyer touches is a failure.

      Where the meters are making money is in the ticket department.

  6. Mr. Fritz
    May 22, 2019 at 4:28 am #

    Great column, Dan.
    This city has done a great job over the years in working against its small business owners. C’mon city officials – throw the citizens a bone and make the Columbus lot a free parking zone. Metered parking may work in bustling cities, but not here where the downtown businesses are struggling and the city population wrestles with making ends meet. Perhaps the next administration should audit the parking meter books and decide whether or not the program should be discontinued.

    And citizens of Pittsfield – unless you vote out the communists running your city, schools and DA’s office – a Pittsfield renaissance will never occur.

    • The school committee
      May 22, 2019 at 6:34 am #

      Yes ,install everyone from the regressives.Lets just use common sense when spending poor people of povertys cash.Republicans use to be SLOW to spend.Now they raid the economy every 8 years and Demcrats will put it back together for the next heist…the ex mayor needs to respond to how much of my neighbors 1600 a month check she needs.Right now hes giving 500 to Tyer this year every month.Ex Mayor Tyer has no compassion for the poor.

  7. Don Chopard
    May 22, 2019 at 5:07 am #

    Rumor in day was that previous administration used to collect free m the old meters unaccounted, and there was no accounting, period. Talking many years ago when the disgraced City Finance Director was here.

  8. CC The Maze Sun
    May 22, 2019 at 5:25 am #

    Well when Pittsfield made the change from horse and buggy to automobiles, the guy that cleaned up all the horseshit in the roads lost his job. Only now with automobiles the horseshit is still in the roads.

    • Herb Pease
      May 22, 2019 at 5:46 pm #

      Let me correct you. He used all the horse shit to enter politics.

  9. Brian C. Marquis
    May 22, 2019 at 5:41 am #

    If you don’t like Mayor Tyer’s service-oriented budget, perhaps you should consider moving up north to Lanesborough.

    A town where its main hub, town hall, in open less than 20-hours per week. A town where’s there’s no economic activity other than a police department brow-beating elected officials into spending over a quarter million dollars on a senseless feasibility study, to build a million cop shop we don’t need (and most don’t want); a mall that’s falling into disarray as each days passes by; no viable economic activity to brag about; a volunteer fire department; a million dollar police department we don’t need; property owned septic; property owners responsible for garbage pickups. And that’s just the short list.

    So, again, if you don’t like Mayor Tyer’s service-oriented budget, pack your bags, buy a house in Lanesborough, so you can pay the town all that tax money you now pay Pittsfield – to a town that offers diddly-squat.

    I know how hard tax increases are to balance against stagnant wages; especially when there’s no corresponding service add-ons to balance the equation. In 1999, I paid a little under $1,900.in property taxes, now I pay in excess of $6,000. (Showing the same cracks on the same damn sidewalks)!

    We in Lanesborough should be as fortunate as you folks in Pittsfield.

    And that’s the bottom-line!!!!

    • EddieP
      May 22, 2019 at 7:14 am #

      The real bottom line is..if you don’t pay, they take your house.

    • Lenny
      May 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm #

      So the question that begs to be asked, Brian, is why don’t you move?

      • Herb Pease
        May 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm #

        I think the guy just likes to complain. If you paid all his bills he still wouldn’t be happy.

    • Blare
      May 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm #

      The feasibility study is costing $25k. Where on earth did you hear $250k?

  10. Van Dussen Charm
    May 22, 2019 at 6:16 am #

    The Lanesborough median income is fifty g. Lanesboro should have volunteers fix new police station. It wasn’t to long ago Pittsfield taxpayers got water regularly from the Lanesborough spring. Why would you compare a small town to Pittsfield?

    Why don’t you compare it to n y, that would be a better narrative,nway our rates are going up. School tax in NY is thousands, tax is way more than us. But that’s still not being fiduciarily responsible with needless spending during our current economic climate.We are a poor Community.

  11. Truthsayer
    May 22, 2019 at 7:08 am #

    Parking meters? Take a trip north to Adams. Good luck finding a working electronic meter that isn’t jammed. North Adams? The revenue comes from ticketing people behind 85 Main for crossing the imaginary line between short and long-term permit parking. Side note, the imaginary line is set by a sign on a pole. Amazingly, the parking spaces straddle said line, so are you simply mid-term parking?!

    The only municipality that really has it’s act together with regard to parking seems to be Northampton. Working meters. A parking lot wherein you buy a ticket to leave on your dash along with a municipal parking garage that is well kept. Strict ticketing and enforcement. Whenever we go to shop or eat in Northampton, we’re very well aware of making sure we have enough time or are prepared to pay a ticket.

    Pittsfield’s solution seems to be wasteful. Do any public officials actually call their counterparts in other municipalities to get info and get ideas as to what works?

    Berkshire County needs it’s own political party reflective of our leaders skills. Berkshire Bumpkins sounds good.

    • Paul
      May 22, 2019 at 7:12 pm #

      Truthsayer, in Northampton no credit card needed for meters and it is not necessary to give them your license plate number. They collect no information about you.
      I have not used the meters in Pittsfield and never will.

      • danvalenti
        May 22, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

        PAUL
        And I have never received a straight answer from any official as to who ends up with all the data being collected each time a person uses one of Pittsfield’s meters. Big Data companies pay a premium. Who harvests to info. Where does it go? What are the terms? The other point, one to which you allude, is the invasion of privacy that occurs when one uses the Pittsfield meters. It gets your credit card number, your license plate, your location and time, and takes your picture. Who wants to give that stuff away?

      • Spagirl
        May 23, 2019 at 2:45 am #

        Paul,
        I have never used the meters and never will either. Never.

  12. Shakes
    May 22, 2019 at 7:50 am #

    The City should remove the parking decks. They are corporate welfare that encourage commuting rather than reinvestment in the City.

    Crying about the meters is a drop in the bucket compared to the parking deck debacles.

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 9:32 am #

      SHAKES
      Excellent point about the “deck debacles.”

  13. Loucy Goucy
    May 22, 2019 at 8:00 am #

    Corporate welfare is in nowadays.

  14. Barbados
    May 22, 2019 at 8:05 am #

    Great column DV. I hope the city keeps the Columbus lot free but doesn’t stop there. Free up all parking as stimulus to downtown business. Ive contacted my councilor and hope the mayor reads this.

  15. Trump Train
    May 22, 2019 at 8:09 am #

    Regarding the budget…while it is interesting to see the total amount the city spends on health insurance….

    The health insurance should be part of the school budget total, ditto for police & fire. After all, this is going to the compensation packages, and employee payroll costs are a huge part of these organizations.

    Doing it this way, understates the budget impact of the school department operations.

    If the mayor wanted to highlight this cost, that could be a factoid…within the total for each department’s budget, health insurance represents a grand total of $$$.

    Just another way to watch the slippery way budgets are portrayed.

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

      Correct. For the true cost of the schools, add the cost of health insurance and OPEBs for all school employees, add the cost of busing, nd add the costs of duplicating business and maintenance. There is absolutely no need for two maintenance and two business departments.

  16. Trump Train
    May 22, 2019 at 8:15 am #

    I agree, cancel the parking meters. Pittsfield probably already received any grants from the state for a garage(s). So nothing should be in jeopardy. Never heard of the state recalling funds.

    Just say the meter program did not work out. Sell off the meters on eBay to some other city that can use them, recover some investment.

    Also, by allowing free parking, no need for a parking supt’d, meter maids, little cars running around with tickets, etc. This would be additional savings.

    If downtown merchants are too foolish to park on North Street (or their employees are as well without being fired), then they get what they deserve…no customers.

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 9:32 am #

      TT
      Yes, to do the meters because of grant money was the wrong call. Grant money has NEVER helped the city. It only further increases dependence on state aid. Nearly all the studies and data show that accepting grants discourages private investment and actually sets cities backward.

  17. Auto Phil
    May 22, 2019 at 8:53 am #

    The smartest people in this city are the ones who realize that it doesn’t matter if there is paid parking or free parking.

    NORTH STREET IS DEAD.

    Yes, free parking would certainly be a step in the right direction to further itself from its demise, but it won’t bring anyone back. Although along that same vein, paid parking certainly deters interest.

    Pittsfield needs to step out of the 20th century and get with the times. This city is trapped in the past.

    North Street is a lost cause without an infusion of serious money/investment. And no one wants to invest in a city that is crumbling. The roads are awful. The government can’t get out of its own way. Taxes are high for zero return.

    And while we’re at it, if the recent announcement of the closure of the Tyler and Pine Bakery is any indication, any attempts at gentrification of the Morningside neighborhood is also a waste of time/money. It is a working class neighborhood. It needs a Walmart and a Chipotle, not $3 donuts…

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 9:30 am #

      PHIL
      You’re right about the lack of investment, the roads, and the state of “government.” Funny how, in the recent Downtown Pittsfield hoedown, where the Players patted themselves on the back at how great everything is and the mayor mentioned all the new businesses flocking to come downtown (no new ones named), she didn’t mention the rash of recent closing, including the bakery. Doesn’t fit the script, you see.

      • Johnny Absurdo
        May 22, 2019 at 10:26 am #

        Million of dollars were spent fixing up North street partly to make the business there happy. We even have bumpouts. Bumpouts are a value added cost that few people have a clue as to why. I am one of them but the contractors probably enjoyed the extra work and funding. Someone who watches over the North street economy could probably tell you how many business s were there before the spice up and how many are there now. but they would rather you do not ask or even broach the subject.

        And for clarification before everybody gets all worked up, there were NO kickbacks before during or after the consultation, engineering and actual construction of North street. None that I know of anyway.

        • danvalenti
          May 22, 2019 at 12:42 pm #

          Bumpouts serve no good purpose, aesthetically, practically, or otherwise. The hamper snow removal, street sweeping, and added to construction costs. As for kickbacks, no one (or few, and they ain’t talking) ever “know of” them. That’s the whole point. Cash in envelopes leave no trace. And it DOES happen, more than one realizes in the Pitts.

    • Pat
      May 22, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

      We wanted a Super Walmart so badly for Tyler Street, but Mazzeo and fellow progressives hate Walmarts so they killed that deal. Instead they keep bringing in these little high price shops like we are Northampton Main Street and they inevitably fail because, yes, Tyler Street is a working class neighborhood. Until local politicians recognize that fact, things will never change in that area or in this city. We are a working class city.

      The high paid school personnel are not enough to keep these pricey stores in business. We know that Pittsfield school employees want to believe that they are living in Boston.

      • Acute Angina
        May 22, 2019 at 8:08 pm #

        They don’t live in Boston but many of them don’t live in Pittsfield either.

        • Thomas More
          May 23, 2019 at 12:09 am #

          When all else fails blame the teachers.

  18. Reignbow
    May 22, 2019 at 10:28 am #

    I agree with two above posts,great column Dan. One is the meters jamming in N A. How much money is transferred on the built in cost for fixing meter glitches? You don’t know….hell you could create a glitch……

    The other is candidates for Mayor. Dump White, Moon and Rivers, for starters. For Mayor, ask yourself, who is really for the taxpayer,not the Voter.

  19. Brian C. Marquis
    May 22, 2019 at 10:29 am #

    I’m told Pittsfield is searching for a Parking Control Officer. Any takers?

    Good luck!!

    • JoePesci
      May 22, 2019 at 11:58 am #

      Perhaps you should apply.

      You speak highly of the mayor on here and I hear you are a Williams grad and city likes to hire Williams grads. You could move up, learn the ropes, and perhaps even be mayor one day.

  20. The school committee
    May 22, 2019 at 11:28 am #

    Pittsfield has a problem called consolidation to save multimillions of dollars.We in Pittsfield get free lunches for students based on poverty. Lanesbourogh does not have poverty.As taxes and fees go up ex mayor Tyer is creating more poverty.This mayor has a crumbling school philosophy that is removing student from our system.School choice must go.It does not work.Pittsfield wants to charge you to go to North street.I don’t go,it just to hard to spend money downtown.With all the stores closing at the mall why wont ex Mayor Tyer call old navy,Xmas tree store,to see if the will go down town.

    • Pat
      May 22, 2019 at 2:01 pm #

      Progressives are creating more poverty. Since they took over in this area, the local economy is the worst I have ever seen it.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      May 22, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

      Because stores are leaving North street for a reason and Old Navy and the rest of them want no part of the mayors North street for obvious reasons. When Stanley left he left a message behind, and that was “Get out while you can” (and hope the city compensates you for your losses) Nobody wants North street any more than they want the PEDA site. Millions of dollars of bright red lipstick and the place still is haunted by the ghosts of political malfeasance.

  21. The school committee
    May 22, 2019 at 11:31 am #

    North street needs better lighting by business and street lights ,light it up.

    • danvalenti
      May 22, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

      The lighting is horrible. Dim and dangerous. Does that explain the majority of accidents twixt vehicles and pedestrians?

  22. Jonathan Melle
    May 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm #

    If someone offered me one million dollars to walk up and down North Street at night, I would respectfully decline their generous offer for my personal safety. If I took the money, I would poop my pants in fear and anxiety!

    The point is that North Street in not a nice place, especially after hours. One of my biggest fears in my life would be me ending up on or near North Street due to me being jobless or in trouble. Thankfully, after years of anxiety, I did not end up on or near North Street. My parents retired in 2002 and 2003, and then my family relocated to Southern New Hampshire.

    Pittsfield politics is ran by the Good Old Boys, and they disliked me for speaking out against them. If one wants to be taken care of in Pittsfield, then you have to kiss the Good Old Boys’ dirty behinds, or else you lose your job, reputation, and feeling of being accepted. I still believe the Good Old Boys ran Pittsfield’s distressed economy into the proverbial ditch.

    It should NOT be this way in Pittsfield! Instead of the Good Old Boys running the show, Pittsfield should be investing in its people, living wage jobs, and small businesses. However, Pittsfield uses “perverse incentives” where they put federal dollars over living wage jobs. To be clear, the more poverty, job loss, population loss, social services, poorly performing public schools, county jail inmates, and economic inequality, means more federal dollars to the community.

    In closing, Pittsfield will never change! The Good Old Boys will always run the show. Pittsfield will always use “perverse incentives” to put federal dollars for social services programs over living wage jobs. And, Pittsfield will remain one of the most economically unequal communities in the state and nation.

    – Jonathan Melle

  23. Merry & Bright
    May 22, 2019 at 3:41 pm #

    Jonathan you don’t have to worry about pooping your pants on North Street because most of the people that hang on North Street poop their pants every day. Wondering why the Dynamic Vibrant Mayor and Bowtie Kerwood can’t seem to give the taxpayers a straight answer on what the City is taking in from the meters. Also, the Dynamic Vibrant Mayor’s meter maids do nothing but bottleneck traffic on North Street. They are also very rude but of course they were most likely taught by our very rude Mayor. Anyone know why the Mayor’s friend is selling her bakery on the great Tyer Tyler Street?

    • Pat
      May 23, 2019 at 3:57 am #

      The bakery is too expensive for working class Tyler Street.

  24. The school committee
    May 22, 2019 at 5:01 pm #

    Turn on the lights,install lights. Its as if people never understand what lighting does.The downtown ink must have this conversation.

  25. Ann Dromoduss
    May 22, 2019 at 6:03 pm #

    Wayfair.

  26. Ron Kitterman
    May 22, 2019 at 6:17 pm #

    Valet parking for the Columbus lot. We should be looking for problem solvers not problem creators with these elected positions, mayor, councilors, School Committee etc. to my knowledge we’re not sh**tin on the sidewalks like San Francisco yet but the downtown has a lot of potential yet. If we could just get a grant for a new deck doesn’t seem to be working out.

  27. Kerry Mathusen
    May 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm #

    News hour on pct tonight was pretty good show,many laudits to the Planet.

  28. doomiedodger
    May 23, 2019 at 2:10 am #

    In a post way above Barry says one could do a public records request for information regarding parking meter receipts etc. So I am wondering if that is a viable option as to finding out what business s are now or have in the past received tax breaks, waivers or reductions. It would be great if the mayor would just put that info on the city website as it seems like something the public should be entitled to without having to get legal on it. Hoping Barry would give his thoughts on this.

  29. The school committee
    May 23, 2019 at 2:49 am #

    Why are Poor Pittsfield taxpayers giving the School department head 3 million more dollars when his philosophy wont protect teachers and other students from student verbal violence?Why will Marchetti OK this philosophy. Why do we keep electing councilors who ok this abuse of teachers?We are losing hundreds of students to this philosophy of keeping abusers in school for MCAS reasons,for testing.The student know this.

  30. The school committee
    May 23, 2019 at 2:54 am #

    The ex mayor Tyer does not support safe schools.Yon and Marchetti do not support safe working conditions for teachers.The CC supports verbal abuse of City employees.Pittsfield schools are a unsafe work enviroment for teachers.Who will stand up to the kids?

  31. Lenny
    May 23, 2019 at 4:25 am #

    Almost everyone at City Hall is getting a raise – check out the facts at iberkshires.com!

    • doomiedodger
      May 23, 2019 at 6:37 am #

      Will they be getting the huge increase that those of us on social Security got? I am sure she takes into consideration that not everyone in her city have big bucks.

      ha ha

  32. Lenny
    May 23, 2019 at 4:31 am #

    Of course, this being an election year – the school budget will be increased over last year, despite extra state aid!
    Every other school district is CONSOLIDATING!
    Enrollment continues to DECLINE!

  33. Con Sequints
    May 23, 2019 at 4:40 am #

    Yes Lenny, the Stooge has wheels in motion with Candy and some other guest this morning on his propaganda hour. No,I wasn’t watching or flipping channels. Stooges preamble,beside illegal commercials on the taxpayer funded tbr- school sponsored show,go figure, mentioned the great Paul Dowd, calling him great.

    Wasn’t Dowd the one who put a choke hold on the Planets neck years ago.

  34. doomiedodger
    May 23, 2019 at 6:32 am #

    If you have any loose change in your pocket ya better be hiding it. The mayor is upping the ante…again.

  35. Shaun
    May 23, 2019 at 6:47 am #

    In regards to the Columbus lot. I have known Gym Ramondetta for over 30 years, and I can tell you the man has more integrity in his pinky then most do in the their entire body. All he is asking for is that the 25 or so “free” spaces remain in the new lot. It does not sound like a big deal to me nor should it be questioned. For the mayor’s office to make a statement that conversations took place with Gym Ramondetta and he was aware of the plans moving forward(metered lot) are simply false. She either is lying or has surrounded herself with people that do not tell the truth, either way I find it troubling moving forward with the current administration.

    • Juicy Lucy
      May 23, 2019 at 7:15 am #

      Laissez-faire Leadership.

    • Sutter
      May 23, 2019 at 10:23 am #

      Mayor was only being fair.

  36. The school committee
    May 23, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    So if you take care of teacher raises Teacher Union President She ran will not stand up for his membership.Again,where are the leaders in a city the treads water.WHat Jobs has Coakly brought to Pittsfield?Dont say Wayfair as that was a agreement to put low wages somewhere in the commonwealth.

  37. Johnny Absurdo
    May 23, 2019 at 11:53 am #

    house fire on Tyler..problem with water cut off to hyrants

    • Acute Angina
      May 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

      Looks good on Tyer resume

  38. Edward R. Murrow
    May 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm #

    Parking is one thing, but how about the people/things that are moving, such as in or not or around or nowhere near a crosswalk downtown?

    Let me understand, the green light means that the cars go and the pedestrians stop?

    Do I have that right?

    If so, am I the only one?

    • doomiedodger
      May 23, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

      If you are paying attention to the color of the traffic lights in Pittsfield you are one of just a few. Most people just look straight ahead and go for it. If you file a public information request you might be able to find out how many traffic accidents there have been in Pittsfield at intersections where people ignored the pretty green, red and yellow lights. Not sure why they are even there. Maybe left over from the Christmas decorations?

  39. The school committee
    May 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm #

    The Schools department head wags the city .Mccandless ,Yon ,Marchetti are abusing the cities poorest home owners.Who will emerge to stop this irresponsible use of realestate tax cash……show some disipline.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      May 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm #

      show some compassion

  40. Merry & Bright
    May 23, 2019 at 3:18 pm #

    Bad fire on Tyler Street. PFD showed up only to find that hydrants were out of service. Fire and Police had to run up streets carrying hoses to try to find working hydrants. How many other hydrants in Pittsfield are not working? The Mayor’s office is saying they were aware of the broken hydrants and they are working on it!? Little late! What will be the Mayor’s and Turocy’s latest excuse? Animals were killed in this fire, which is very sad, luckily no people were killed. Why are hydrants not marked if they are not working? Why did the City Water Department not make the Pittsfield Fire & Police departments aware of this dangerous situation? As a taxpayer I would like to know if the hydrant on my street is working. This City is really in a pathetic state of affairs under this administration!

    • Gobsig
      May 23, 2019 at 5:51 pm #

      Tyer rhymes with fire.

    • danvalenti
      May 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm #

      M&B
      If the information about the fire hydrants known to be malfunctioning, and the administration did nothing about it … well, might be a game changer.

  41. Jonathan Melle
    May 23, 2019 at 6:38 pm #

    I scanned through the lovely Linda Tyer’s budget proposal.

    https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/finance_and_treasurer/uploads/Pittsfield%20FY2020%20Budget%20FINAL-web%20version.pdf

    Mayor Linda Tyer’s budget will go up by 3.9 percent!