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BW-MONTEROSSO MESS, MAYOR’S CREEPY GIFT, BIANCHI’S 40% PAYHIKE FOR HIMSELF, COUNCIL, SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING: ONLY THE PLANET HAS THE STORY OF ALL OF IT

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2014) — Welcome to May Day, everyone, and that would seem to be an appropriate message for taxpayers and ordinary citizens to send as The Suits and Special Interests continue to team up against them. Only one outlet stands for The Little Guy in this unfair fight, and it’s THE PLANET.

We shall cover several issues today and tomorrow. First is the outcome of the meeting yesterday involving state and local job officials, as they gathered in the mayor’s office in a hush-hush over Dan Bianchi’s fair-haired boy, embattled Berkshire Works director William Monterosso. Second will be the unsettling, bizarre gift the mayor made to city council president Melissa Mazzeo at the most recent council meeting. Third will be additional information on the egregious retroactive pay raise Bianchi has put in for himself and his cronies — city department heads, managers, and exempt employees. Finally, we give you exclusive coverage of a procedurally inept joint meeting last night between the city council and the school committee. Subject: The finances. Hold on to your wallets.

Each of these items shall be taken up in greater detail later in the day. Only THE PLANET  is on top of this information. Without us, you wouldn’t have the story on any of these four items.

Berkshire Works Mess — THE PLANET broke this story. You wouldn’t have known about it if not for our coverage. The mayor desperately wanted to keep this quiet. He thinks ducking us prevents us from accessing information. What a dope. Actually, it makes it easier.

Bat Happy — The bullying mayor presented the council president with an inappropriate gift that seems to contain a threat.

Pay Hikes — Truly? The mayor doesn’t realize it, but his blatant grab at a near-40% pay hike for himself  may have planted the seeds of his own political demise.

School Committee and council Meet — You won’t believe the procedural violations that occurred last night. Only THE PLANET will dare tell you about it.

Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen: Under the failure of the worst mayor in city history, the wheels have come off the body politick, stopping the city dead in its claw tracks. These are desperate times. At stake:  the literal survival of the city. The only action that can address the situation will have to exceed the desperation — triggered by the inept mayor — that has the city fighting for its economic life. Citizens unite: You may soon be called upon to roll up your sleeves and take back your government.

Be sure to check back later today as we present more information on each of these four issues.

——- 000 ——-

PLANET BACK AGAIN WITH UPDATES, AS PROMISED, ON THE FOUR ISSUES:

 Monterosso Mess: Just as THE PLANET told you, the mayor met with local and state jobs officials. They concluded their deliberations without a disposal. As of this writing, the embattled William Monterosso is still drawing his $94,000+bennies per-annum salary while on “administrative leave.” Notable and new from yesterday, though, is the presence in the meeting of Tim Dooling, state general council to the Department of Career Services. Having the lawyer there could mean any number of things, but his presence, along with that of Career Services chief Alice Sweeney, is notable. State officials hate having to travel west of Route 128 if there isn’t a free junket to Tanglewood involved.

Meanwhile, our moles at Berkshire tells us the office is “in a of suspended animation. Silence from city hall on William Monterosso. The Boston contingent (Sweeney, Dooling) apparently came and went with no outcome announced.” Sources tells us that the fear and uncertainty has all but crippled the local jobs office — just what the many out-of-work folks need.

You can thank Dan Bianchi for that one.

Bianchi Goes Bats for Melissa. This has to be one of the weirdest, creepiest actions performed publicly by any Pittsfield mayor. (Photo: Screen shot, courtesy of PCTV)

Bianchi Goes Bats for MM: No, “MM” isn’t Maris and Mantle. It’s Melissa Mazzeo. At the most recent city council meeting, the mayor presented a customized baseball bat to the council president, joking around that it would help her keep the council in line. That’s pretty funny, considering the controversy and chills generated by credible allegations that Mazzeo’s husband Tony threatened at least one councilor (John Krol).

THE PLANET has heard from several sources who were more than upset at this tacit threat by Bianchi to councilors, a threat to “play ball or else.” As one source put it, “The mayor gave [Mazzeo] a baseball bat with her campaign emblem on it and insinuated strongly that it was to keep the council in line, you know, if case some kneecaps need to be busted.”

“It was weird and creepy,” said a council insider, “but what’s clear is Bianchi’s mentality regarding the council and the relationship. This is strange, because he’s supposed to have seven of them in his pocket. Clearly, some (Amuso, Connell, and Cotton in particular) seem to be getting sick of this pathetic mayor.”

That’s all for now, folks. That leaves two topic with which to deal: (a) The 40% pay hike Bianchi wants for himself and (b) the procedural disaster that was last night’s joint meeting of the city council and the school committee. THE PLANET shall be dealing with these in detail on tomorrow’s post, because they are related. Only we, apparently, among all local media, have spotted the connection.

In the meantime, be seriously thinking: Recall. Specifically, the initiation of a recall of Mayor Daniel Bianchi for Podunk’s version of high crimes and misdemeanors. Who’s up for the recall effort? Who’s willing to “got to bat” for The Little Guy?

————————————————————————-

“Ah wella everybody’s heard about the Bird, ba ba ba bird bird bird, bird is the word.” — “The Trashmen,” (1963).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

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dusty
dusty
8 years ago

I think one of the first things we need is a pro bono lawyer to help us understand the recall process. And if this process begins will we see the council rally behind the mayor out of fear for their own vulnerability?

And though it is hard to believe we could be worse off who might take his place?

B
B
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

Mazzeo would take his place, she is next in line.

Spider
Spider
8 years ago

I voted for the mayor each time….what a mistake! You bet I want a RECALL!

Gene
Gene
8 years ago

I will work hard for any recall effort.

DowagerHat
DowagerHat
Reply to  Gene
8 years ago

I’m in.

MrG1188
MrG1188
8 years ago

“Well don’t YOU know about the bird? Everybody knows that the bird is the word! Paaaaaaaaaaa papapapapapapapa oooo mau mau pa pa ooo mau mau mau. ”

One of my all time favorites…great covers by the Ramones, the Cramps and many others!!

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
8 years ago

I was listening to WBEC 1420 this morning and heard that Tom Conklin is going to do a call in show of some sort tomorrow at 11:30, also you can email questions to: WUPE.COM , The Honorable Mayor Dan Bianchi is going to be a guest tomorrow. When I heard this my car was driving from a pot hole to a space of smooth road the big red machine didn’t have a chance to get to yet, but maybe some questions could be made to the program to see if it is just a rumor concerning the pay raise issue or if in fact the Mayor intends to seek another term of office for example.

Pothole
Pothole
8 years ago

He presented her with a bat??? I’m sure it was his idea of humor, but in the current state of affairs with this administration, I don’t think the time is appropriate for his humor. He should be a professional. His lack of self control when things don’t go his way is a gleaming example of how under qualified he is for this position. I remember one comment he made to a councilor about how he wouldn’t trust him with his accounting after the councilor questioned his measure. He is a vindictive, unprofessional, manipulative mayor who is an embarrassment to our city. There seems to be no end to his ego.
On a brighter note… some of the potholes that were “patched” lasted a couple weeks. I wish we could have predicted rain would happen here and foreseen them being washed away after not being at least rolled flat and compacted with a water drum.
Disgusted and embarrassed by our reality.

Gatos
Gatos
Reply to  Pothole
8 years ago

Was that bat worth more than $50? If so, she can’t keep it.

Rafael
Rafael
8 years ago

It was completely inappropriate for the mayor to be giving any gift at all to anyone on the council. And completely inappropriate for Mazzeo to accept it. Quid pro quo.

Rafael
Rafael
8 years ago

In regards to potholes, saw some public works employees doing a terrible job patching some last week. Just whipping the blacktop in the hole, and doing such a bad job stamping it down there were loose stones flying all over the place. Where was the famous pothole machine when they needed it? And the street they were doing – Dorchester – did not have any large potholes and should not have been that high on the priority list.

Spider
Spider
8 years ago

Because he wasn’t challenged the last time, the mayor believes he is invincible. Being a part time mayor is working well with his business and add to that a sizeable increase in his salary (if the council approves the raises)…..well, all that adds up to his running again. Hey, why not….he’s got everything going for him including a council he controls.

matt
matt
8 years ago

You have my support

Scott
Scott
8 years ago

I’m in. Recall mayor photo shoot I refuse to roll up my sleeves though cause I wanna get shit done not just impose the illusion something is getting done. The biggest obstacle is the lop sided voting pool. By the time unions and other public employees are done voting. Maybe it’s time to walk around the city pleading with people to vote and get involved. Even the lazy entitlement crowd should want better for thier kids in PPS. They just need to be educated on the importance of thier involvement in our communities and exposed to what’s really going on.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago

I never thought I would agree with something like that but if there is a serious move to recall this mayor, I’m also in.

dusty
dusty
8 years ago

Perhaps the city lawyer could go over the recall procedure at the next council meeting, on TV. Does she work for the people or the mayor?

Still wondering
Still wondering
8 years ago

The entire neighborhood where I live has not seen one pothole fixed. One street has a punctured water main that has been flowing down the street for MONTHS (Clarendon St.) I have given up on our city to fix anything.

Rafael
Rafael
8 years ago

Whereas I’d be happy to vote to recall this mayor, there is zero chance of that ever happening. He has too much support. Both from his cronies and all the uninformed voters in this sad, sad city.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
8 years ago

How can Dan Valenti write that Dan Bianchi is “the worst mayor in city history”?
Mayor Dan Bianchi has been Mayor of Pittsfield for about 2 years and 4 months. That is less than a 3 year car loan. How can Mayor Dan Bianchi change Pittsfield politics is such a short period of time?

Mayor Dan Bianchi deserves to be given a fair shot at running Pittsfield politics. Dan Valenti has every right to dissent and criticize Mayor Dan Bianchi. I just wish my native hometown of Pittsfield would change for the better for once in my life.

Scott
Scott
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
8 years ago

That’s the point JM though he’s inherited the mess he’s not doing anything to make it better just like Obama isn’t doing nothing to make anything better.

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
8 years ago

JM.

Don’t you recall his speeches? He was going to make things better ASAP? Hell, Roberto and Doyle never cut so many ribbons combined!

Donald
Donald
Reply to  Johnny2Shoes
8 years ago

Atleast they were cutting their own ribbons. The only ribbons Bianchi is cutting are for things Ruberto initiated. Is anyone really surprised that this mayor has produce nothing? Even as a councilor he never proposed ANYTHING. His whole schitck was being a pessimist. Guess that doesn’t work so well when you’re the one “calling the shots” and have no one else blame. Aside from ribbon cuttings, has Bianchi done anything? Seriously, what has he done? I can’t think of a single thing aside from defending his own. It’s blunder after blunder. Unreal.

Pemetina
Pemetina
8 years ago

Don’t blame me, I voted for Dan Valenti. I’m in.

Jamie
Jamie
Reply to  Pemetina
8 years ago

Me too, Jamie. I voted for Dan V. If there’s a recall effort, I will participate. I disagree with the comment above that says a recall would for sure fail. That the type of defeatest thinking that has put the city in this jam.

Let’s try it. See what happens. There’s a ton of anger and upset with the mayor.

Deb S
Deb S
8 years ago

I am in, whatever it takes.

Scott
Scott
8 years ago

The planet must have a letter from suzie q by now stating him and the three people who read his blog will never overcome a man as charming and good at posing for photos as the mayor…

ed shepardson
ed shepardson
8 years ago

A recall petition for a short term mayor is nothing more than an angry mob. Besides, you all would have to use your real names on that recall petition. And that petition would be delivered to the city clerk’s office. Don’t see that happening. But maybe I’m wrong. Start using your real names here. No bullshit about fearing retribution this time if you’re will to sign a recall petition.

ed shepardson
ed shepardson
Reply to  danvalenti
8 years ago

I’m not sure, Dan, but I think if you look at the time it would take to initiate and execute a recall petition, the time frame would narrow considerably. And then, if the recall vote was successful…the process of choosing a successor? In 20 months, the democratic process will be put to the challenge again.

ed shepardson
ed shepardson
Reply to  danvalenti
8 years ago

Dan, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending the mayor but, the democratic process, the same process that elected the Mayor not long ago, will, once again, decide who will be mayor in November of 2015. That’s just a heartbeat away. Opponents of Mayor Bianchi would be better served using this time finding a suitable candidate to run against him. If you could get the 6,000 signatures, and that’s a big if, it would cripple our already limping city government.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  ed shepardson
8 years ago

Bottom line is that the voters need to at the very least send a strong message that they are paying attention and have had enough. A rouge mayor can do a lot of damage in 20 months and this guy seems to be going rogue to me. If it does fail at least we have greased the wheels and will be able to get it up and running quicker the next time. The recall was put into the charter for a reason and the mayor pushed for this charter.

(I am sure the Eagle will have a big article very soon on why this is such a bad idea. They still feel that they can influence the ignorant among us. Will it be written by the shadowy figure in the clock tower or will it originate at city hall?)

BerkshireSwami
BerkshireSwami
8 years ago

Hiring update: Swami says the Mayor again chose a person for a position, this time Director of Cultural Development, before the job announcement went out, and is only pretending to consider others. Initials S.E.M. And the word is that the same is true for the Director of RSVP…

Spider
Spider
8 years ago

Ed: Ii don’t know how a RECALL could hurt our “already crippling city government” any more than it already is. Not to mention the lowest morale among our citizens in ages! Doing nothing only encourages more of the same.

Pat
Pat
8 years ago

The RSVP agency is extremely political. I attempted to get just a regular office job there once and the woman who was the director at the time went on and on about how she was real close with Dan Bianchi. Obviously that was how she got the job. “Oh, he listens to everything I say”, she kept repeating throughout the interview that is when she wasn’t trying to talk me out of the job. It was like she and Bianchi already had somone in mind for the position and they were just going through the motions.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
8 years ago

Ed Shepardson brings up a good point about the recall. I’ve been getting signatures since I was 13 for various candidates and can speak with some experience. The 500 wouldn’t be a too much of a problem. The 6,000 in 28 days would be a lot more difficult. Dan Bianchi isn’t Rob Ford or Chris Christie, but then again he didn’t exactly impress us like JFK or FDR either. The 6,000 number would have to grow to at least 7,500, you would have to minus off all city employees, Police, Fire, city hall workers, teachers, bus drivers, unions, and their families add to that senior citizens that have tax abatements. That doesn’t exactly leave a very large pool to work from. Is it impossible NO, probable, I just don’t see an angry mob with pitch forks out there yet, but that’s just me. What a country huh?

Evian
Evian
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
8 years ago

ron, you raise good points, but I am in favor of at least trying. As long as it isnt impossible, it should be done. The difficulty will only get us to work harder.

B
B
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
8 years ago

Maybe we should just get a crowd in front of city hall and march with pitch forks, maybe he will get the hint.

Nota
Nota
8 years ago

Yes Ron, we would have to have a leader for the start up for this initiative. The powers to be bank on apathy to get their agendas confirmed, the lazy voter will say wait for the next election. Gee, wasn’t there a councilor who always said he wasn’t in it for the money? And also stated one shouldn’t be in politics as a catalyst to make money,hmmm!

amandaWell
amandaWell
8 years ago

Hey,Silver Lake is about to have fishing (catch and release) um, it’s a no brainier….release.

DowagerHat
DowagerHat
8 years ago

It was done with the Civic Authority, so there is hope. More hope than “we the people” have under the Bianchi administration.

pothole
pothole
8 years ago

Although the mayor couldn’t possibly be doing full time work as his position outlines it must in the original city charter, a detail suspiciously removed from the actual charter that was approved, removing him from office would put our city in a more auspicious position. The citizens of the city voted him in, we should live with it for now and hopefully have a more skilled leader in the future. Not venting your dissatisfaction to the council members who represent you about the current request to give him and many others a pay raise in the challenging times would be another mistake. Please tell your friends about the raise request and encourage them to voice their comments to the appropriate people of power.

Scott
Scott
Reply to  pothole
8 years ago

Thanks pot hole I’ve emailed every council member on this. You can tell the ones who are in and the ones who are out. It doesn’t look promising I would hope it is at least amended and not made retroactive and doesn’t include the mayor. Raises should be justified and earned. The finanxial state of tax payers should be considered.

Ben Weldon
Ben Weldon
8 years ago

Just remember this: The next mayor will be elected to a four year term. If we get a dog, what then?

Ben