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CITY EMPLOYING CONTRACTORS @ $90/hr to FILL POTHOLES IN SHODDY MANNER … THE THREE DUDS ‘GIRL DOWN’ INSTEAD OF ‘MAN UP’ … plus … YOUR CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT WMECO RATE HIKES

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, FEB. 27-MARCH 1, 2015) — As we inch ever closer to spring, we approach a time when the snows of yesterday shall be forgotten. Winter, which Mayor Daniel Bumstead thinks happens once every 50 years in The Berkshires, shall be consigned to history.

Then the fun begins, as mad and maddened Pittsfield motorists get to play “Pittsfield Pothole Pot Luck.” In the game, they try as best they can to dodge the cavernous potholes that are even now following the cruelest, coolest months of the year. The wiNners get huge bills for front-end work on their cars. The losers get even bigger bills from more extensive damage.

You think it’s bad now?

Welcome to March, everyone, a month in which Caesar was stabbed by Brutus and Pittsfield roads resemble the lunar surface of Neil Armstrong Way. The Triumphant Trio — Bumstead, Bruce Colonwood, and Kevin Fail (rhymes with “swail”) will duck responsibility for a front-end crises almost entirely of their making. They’ll point out that potholes are a historical Pittsfield problem (not true, at least, not at the apocalyptic level we are seeing this year and saw last). The Dumass Three shall say south county’s potholes are worse (a lie; there is not now nor will there be a single pothole in Stockbridge, because the town’s public services department is, unlike Pittsfield’s, professionally managed). They shall blame Peck’s Bad Boy, Charlie Manson, and Cassius Clay. They’ll do everything but take responsibility.

Oh yeah, and when you contemplate all this while your car is up on a hoist at your mechanic’s garage, remember that for the pleasure, you are paying the Three Highway Heroes about $300,000 a year with another $100,000 for bennies. Consider it a bargain! They just got huge pay raises so (ahem) “other communities wouldn’t lure them away.”

Lure them away? You couldn’t give these three jokers away to a bunch of hungry dogs if you dressed them in matching Roast Beef Long Johns.

Speaking of “other communities,” in many other communities, these three public-service failures would be shark bait. Fired. Long gone. In Pittsfield, they are given phat raises. And it’s all coming out of your wallet, citizens and taxpayers. We hope you keep this in mind at least until Election Day on Nov. 3. That’s approximately 225 days from this weekend, but who’s counting?

Meanwhile, THE PLANET alone continues to dig into the vanished salt heaps of a Public Service and Highway operation in ruin thanks to The Three Dumigos. We’ve come up with more gems:

* THE PLANET has learned Pittsfield has hired two contractors for patching potholes. Price to you? $90 an hour. Sources tell us the hired help is not following the proper procedure for pothole adjudication outlined on yesterday’s PLANET. For example, they are not using tack coat. The contractors are just filling with junk and tamping. The holes will be back to gouged out in days or less. Ninety buck an hour doesn’t buy what it used to, eh?

* One of our Z-Agents also shares some interesting intelligence from the field. We present this report, as received from the front:

——– 000 ——–

“For this entire winter, there has been no pretreating of roads. During one storm, city workers were ordered to pickup the blades, stop plowing, and just go treat side streets with no plowing. The reason? Because, so workers were told, it will warm up. Well, it didn’t warm up, and everything went to shit. The  guys were told by Mr. Fail, The main roads are not important now.

“Contrary to Mr. Fail’s testimony before the council, there was plenty of product to use on the Valentine’s Day snow storm without being in danger of not having enough if they got more snow. Mr. Fail states he needs to ration the salt. Well, then, tell me why they are dumping tons of salt on side streets when it should be saved for the main roads, when they should be using hot mix or sand. All that is doing is wasting salt for no reason.”

——– 000 ——–

This means, ladies and gentlemen, that you have been ripped off this winter. When given the chance to Man Up at the most recent city council meeting, neither of The Three Duds chose to do that. They instead “girled down,” performing the equivalent of either wetting or soiling their pants. We aren’t sure which. THE PLANET shall leave that up to the experts.

Is there a colon cleanser in the house?

———————————————————————————————–

Petition to Attorney General Healey Protests Unconscionable Electric Rate Hikes

Want to do something about the outrageous hikes in your electricity bill? Here’s your chance. THE PLANET presents this online petition to be forwarded to state Attorney General Maura Healey. It asks Healey to review and repeal the approval of Western Mass. Electric Co.’s 2015 rate increase.

The goal is for 2,500 signatures. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/massachusetts-governor-massachusetts-attorney-general-maura-healey-attorney-general-maura-healey-please-review-and-repeal-the-approval-of-wmeco-s-2015-rate-increase-massachusetts-families-can-not-afford-such-a-significant-escalation?recruiter=153558245&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

Taking action now at least gives We The People some small chance of undoing this price increase, which is hitting homeowners and businesses where they can least afford it. Doing nothing will guarantee that the rate hikes remain in place.

——– 000 ——–

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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“What are kings? Are they history’s play things? / Who knows? Can you tell by the clothes? / Are they tall? Are they short? Must they have a court? / Are they near? Are they far? Who can tell me what kings are?”Dan Valenti, “What Are Kings?” (1969).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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dusty
dusty
8 years ago

I do not believe “voting the bums out ” is a viable option for better government in Pittsfield, Mass. The sad truth is that while not all of the people who run for office in Pittsfield are bums, most of them are and are backed by special interests who like to stack the deck when it comes to voting on where taxpayer money goes. Not only is it difficult to overcome the special interest support but it is difficult to tell (ahead of time) which ones are the bums. And you can’t tell which ones are the bums by listening to their campaign speeches because campaign speeches are more often than not pure and unadulterated diarrhea.

It is a set up to fail type of government in Pittsfield. Yes there are some people who do somehow get elected who are honestly intent on doing what is right and truly representing the people who elected them. But they are, have been and probably always will be outnumbered by those who are more concerned with their own ladder climbing.

I would suggest that the people of Pittsfield, who do not have the connections that will grease the wheels for them and their children to get the better insider jobs with great benefits, to start working on a plan B. If you do not you will simply become the food of the parasitic blob that takes so much of your income that you cannot get ahead or save enough to leave for a better place to live.

Do you want what is Pittsfield to be your children’s future? Your own future? You must not rely on this local government to help you along the way for they are too busy helping themselves and will walk up and down your spine to better serve themselves.

poorboy
poorboy
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

Well put dusty. Every single election we always hope for the best. Dan Bianchi promised transparency. Melissa promised to reopen the consent decree and it goes on and on. It always seems to not matter who gets in. If you are honest, they have ways of dealing with you.

You cannot be honest and truly serve the people in Pittsfield. You will not survive. Vote them out never works. Its why people have become apathetic. Many vote with the moving truck. Those who stay, grin and bear it.

Bianchi was our answer to Jimmy Ruberto and ended up being 10 times worse. Even Dan Valenti endorsed him and helped him win. This mayor and this city coucil are thee worst Pittsfield ever had. Yet every election things should be getting better.

It is, in my opinion the best option you have, to move out. It is not in you or your families best interest to live and Pittsfield and be part of Pittsfield’s failed future.

There are many other communities in these here United States where corruption has not set in to the level it has in Pittsfield. There will come a time where you will not be able to sell your home for any price. There is already defaulted property in city owed taxes to the tune of $10 million dollars.

Realtors are telling sellers that there are too many houses on the market already and they must lower their asking prices.

Pittsfield’s best days are behind it. Its not an inviting place to move to. This next year’s budget will come in at over $150 million dollars and will continue rising no matter who gets voted in. Pittsfield was once a great place to live. Its not anymore.

Dio
Dio
8 years ago

What fiscally responsible, honest person would even want to run for mayor in Pittsfield? If even elected – the GOBs would fight them tooth and nail – they’d be inheriting a mess so bad it may be unfixable.

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Dio
8 years ago

Wouldn’t even have the authority now since the school budget it out of the mayor’s control

spagirl
spagirl
8 years ago

Pittsfield is a Fuster Cluck of enormous proportions. Vile, dirty, corrupt.

Ed McClelland
Ed McClelland
Reply to  spagirl
8 years ago

In the Eagle’s Letters to the Editor, today it was opined that referendum at any level of government is ill advised and that elected officials should be entrusted with all public decisions.
The same letter espoused that many years of decisive and astute planning complicit with numerous”advertised” public meetings were inherent to the decision to build a new high school.
Where were the alleged commercial advertisements posted ? Were these meetings outside of the SBNC ? Would a citizen’s poll show the extent that these meetings were generally known about for years ?
This letter was flawed not only grammatiically, but logically.Was it objective, or was it written by a PPS retiree who gets a public pension, who may not be a Pittsfield native, and who shacks up with a current PPS administrator ?
Should the taxpayers of Pittsfield capitulate, as the city’s educators and their unions manipulate and permeate all strata of political clout within this municipality ?
You can’t fight city hall and the little red school house !!!

Granny
Granny
8 years ago

Pittsfield is unfixable. The greedy bastards will never stop until there is no more money to be had.

The corruption is beyond belief. You will never an honest city government that cares about the people.

Sure the names of the occupants in the various seats changes but the raping of the people will never stop.

As Dio stated above, even if you did get an honest mayor, those with the money who really control Pittsfield politics would fight them tooth and nail.

Vote them out only gives you the illusion that you are in control.
Its said in every election.

Ask John F. Kennedy what happens to good politicians.
Oh wait… you can’t.

There is strength in numbers. Look what just happened.
The people rose up and calle their coucilors and demanded something be done about the horrible roads. So the mayor was called on the carpet with his two overpaid henchmen. For their efforts the people got: “It only snows once every 50 years” “we pretreated the roads with invisible magic dust” “our salt shedd is not big enough” “port of Albany – its their fault” cock and bull stories.

If the people that run this city take no accountablity then who will? Instead of these huge raises, their already too high salaries should have been slashed. If you paid them based on performance they would have to be fired.

Not in Pittsfield.

Questions
Questions
8 years ago

OK, the mayor asked the city council for $140,000.00 dollars to move the inspection offices to 100 North St. The council said no. So then the mayor turns around and says oh looky here I found the money to do it. As far as I know, that is not how things work. He took the money from somewhere else.

Could it be that he took that money from the city works department? Why has this not been answered as to where he got the money for this move? This money, being the city taxpayers money, needs to show up on an accounting ledger somewhere. I the money was taken from the city works department, would that not properly explain the incompetence of the road maintenance this winter?

To take money bugeted for snow removal and salting/sanding of the roads for safety of the people at large and give it as a reward to his buddy Scarafoni would be criminal, if indeed that is what happened.

Here is my main question: Can a private citizen request a State or even Federal audit of the city of Pittsfield’s books so that people can see where it goes?

Spider
Spider
8 years ago

New topic….what’s with the story of the woman bitten by dogs while snowshoeing at BCC?

Three women with 3 dogs appeared and at least two of the dogs brutally attacked her and then the women left without offering any help. She is now undergoing rabies shots. The pictures of her wounds on facebook is horrible.

What gives? It shouldn’t be that hard to find them.

What kind of society are we living in?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Spider
8 years ago

It shows the level of humanity of some of the people that live in this area. Really disgusting.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Pat
8 years ago

Three women and not one of them had the moral upbringing to help another human being. Three woman whose parents can be proud. Kind of reminds me of the Nilan situation. Whatever happened to the mothering instinct? What if this woman had been bitten though an artery? Would they have left her for dead? Looks like it.

I wonder if they all went home and hid their dogs and then went out and had a beer and a good laugh.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

They have to be people who live near the BCC campus. It seems to me they could be caught if some effort was put into finding them.

I don’t know how the woman was able to make it home after such an attack.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Pat
8 years ago

Maybe these women are politically connected or from prominent families in the area. It wouldn’t shock me.

B
B
Reply to  Spider
8 years ago

I would think it would not be that hard to find these jobs and women who were at BCC when the lady was a cat. The woman who was attacked should be able to describe the dogs and the women who had their dogs off leash. Since all dogs in Pittsfield are supposed to be registered I would think that the list of dogs that live in that area can be looked at, The dog officer or policemen can go to those homes take pictures of the dogs and pictures of the female owners and show them to the woman who got injured by those dogs. It should not be that hard to find the culprit who did the poor lady all that physical and emotional harm.

B
B
Reply to  B
8 years ago

Not jobs s/b dogs.

B
B
Reply to  B
8 years ago

Not cat s/b attacked.

spagirl
spagirl
8 years ago

In August of last year, I complained about this DPW not painting crosswalks and lines on the City Streets. Merrill Road never got done. Driving out to Allendale, especially when dark is dangerous as hell. Cars are not driving in lanes…there are’nt any…and everyone driving like it’s the Mass Turnpike. What does it take in this City to just do their God damn jobs?

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
8 years ago

Time for a City manager, someone who would run the City with fiscal responsibility.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
8 years ago

Jlo Is on Jeopardy tonight.

PopKornSutton
PopKornSutton
8 years ago

Yeah, I seen it. He finished fourth.

dusty
dusty
8 years ago

Prisoners were used to shovel snow off Allendale school roof. Excellent. Why would anyone complain about that if they are being monitored? They should be doing work like this that benefits the community and they should be encouraged to do it by the mayor and sheriff. Why it does not happen a whole lot more i do not know. but wish I knew. It seems like a no brainer to me and would benefit the city,the taxpayer and the prisoner. I would think there would be many who would volunteer just to get out and get some air for a few hours a day. I know they do pick up some road side garbage but the roadsides in Coltsville are often disgraceful.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

dusty,
Agree..Pittsfield would rather pay outside contractors, and consultants….for every single thing under the sun.
Zero leadership…here….Incompetent Lunkheads. Putting House of Correction inmates to work happens in Communities that are run wisely. Pittsfield ‘s eyesore in the Summer are weed growth all along major inroads….another issue that never gets taken care of by the Lunkheads. Could put inmates out there to spruce things up…because DPW is inept and full of excuses.

Slave Labor
Slave Labor
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

This goes down a slippery slope.

Fine for legitimate criminals I agree.
However, this type of thing can lead to judges putting people in jail JUST to get the free labor.
Hitler put people into forced labor camps many simply because they were jewish.
If you’ve got legitamate prisoners who want to reduce their sentence by working, then fine.
However, forcing all inmates to perform tasks is problematic.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
Reply to  dusty
8 years ago

I lived in Az. For many years and seeing cons working was a everyday thing. We need more of this around here.

PopKornSutton
PopKornSutton
8 years ago

Did anyone not get raises other than the managerS.

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
8 years ago

Are they using cold patch? If so it won’t last very long.

Thomas More
Thomas More
8 years ago

FYO there were two large (Mullen Mayflower) moving trucks removing items from city hall this morning at 8 o’clock.

Guess what
Guess what
8 years ago

That’s the Building Inspector’s Office moving to 100 North Street. Were you expecting them to move everything on their back or walk furniture over? On Saturday; contractors; more expenses while the tax payers break their backs trying to pay high taxes.

Watch Dog
Watch Dog
8 years ago

I recall the mayor………at this recent city council meeting, mentioning something in the manner that all of the nearby towns were in the same position as Pittsfield. That they were having just as much trouble with the snow removal and conditions of their roads……..due to the severity of the winter. Well mayor Bianchi……….Pay close attention here!! I do plowing, sanding, salting, and snow removal for a nearby town. And you are totally incorrect. Our roads are plowed and sanded/salted. They are done so professionally and properly during every storm. The high snow banks around intersections are removed if they pose any sign of danger. We have only a few minimal potholes. That’s because we maintain our roads. Crosswalks and busy intersections are cleared efficiently, professionally, and properly. Snow is removed from these areas as needed. Sanding and salting is done efficiently, professionally, and properly as needed. Any and all potholes are repaired and maintained after the winter season in a effiecient manner. Our roads are continuously inpected and maintained as needed. Mr mayor……..how dare you and your pal Colonwood compare your lousy streets and hazardous road conditions to our town. You can come up with any excuse that you feel is good…………but don’t compare our town to yours. Your streets are dangerous and unsafe. Your managers are incompetent…….and you are irresponsible.

Magic
Magic
Reply to  Watch Dog
8 years ago

thank you

Spider
Spider
8 years ago

I totally agree with B and Pat. If the owners of the dogs are not found…..well, dare I say “cover up”?

It wouldn’t be the first time. It all depends on your name and connection to the community.

PopKornSutton
PopKornSutton
8 years ago

Well, it was an exiting morning today….Watch some jackass going about seventy blowing a red light. nd a Dancing Harry sighting on the corner of North Street and West. May e one of the artsy fartsy people can recruit him for a dance ensemble.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
8 years ago

How much will Pittsfield politics’ next budget cost taxpayers? And, how many more thousands of people are going to move away from Pittsfield next year? Pittsfield politics will raise taxes and hike spending, while its tax base continues to shrink. Pittsfield politics’ finances are unsustainable!

Tempers Flare
Tempers Flare
8 years ago

It’s common practice for leashed- unleashed cats and dogs relieving themselves on sidewalks and public- private property without regard to picking it up. it’s an epidemic.

Cosbiesladies
Cosbiesladies
8 years ago

Watching the Feb 10 chatty council meeting J Lo said to Doug Clark ‘I would like to encourage you to pay attention to details’ end quote. Nice,I like it JLO.

Count Les Sinobancs
Count Les Sinobancs
8 years ago

Yes, it’s time for a J LO mayoral ship.