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‘COLLINGWOOD’S COLONS’ DEFECATE ON CITY STREETS, BUT THE BIG ENCHILADA IS THE COUNCIL’s UPCOMING DECISION ON $130MM THS BOONDOGGLE

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, FEB. 23, 2015) — There has been speculation culminating in a warning about the recent uproar over poor performance by Pittsfield’s Public Services Department led by commissioner Bruce “Colon” Collingwood and Highway Division head Kevin Swail (rhymes with “fail.”).

The line of thinking warns citizens not to be distracted by the noise over handling of snow removal and to concentrate, rather, on The Big One looming up ahead in a few weeks, namely, the council’s vote on funding the proposed $130 million Taconic High School project. The implication is that The Suits want people to vent over the roads and forget about the school proposal, knowing that spring will soon take care of what Collingwood’s Colons did not. Collingwood’s Colons, not to be confused with Darby’s Rangers or Merrill’s Marauders, are the poor chaps who have to sacrifice their capabilities to obey orders from public-service dunces such as Colon, Fail, and mayor Daniel Bumstead.

THE PLANET doesn’t place much stock in the speculation. First, The Bumstead Administration isn’t smart enough to be so devious. It relies on a fatal combination of hubris, arrogance, and stupidity to achieve the desired effect. Second, Mother Nature decides her own course, immunized as she is from the manipulations of petty politicians and beggarly bureaucrats. Third, as The Suits lead citizens and taxpayers closer to the financial guillotine so that a select few among The Special Interests might be rewarded with lucrative contracts (we would never suggest bribes and kickbacks, of course, unless or until we see hard evidence), you can be sure THE PLANET shall be raising whatever dull roar we can manage.

That Being Said, the Road Work Is Still Megaflopping

Meanwhile, we share several more observations about the exiguous abilities of Colon and Fail.

(1) THE PLANET has confirmed with city sources the report that as of the beginning of June 2014, Pittsfield had 1,500 tons of magnesium-treated salt in its pile. That is salt that works when temperatures fall below 12 degrees F. It will melt snow and ice to -35 degrees F. Guess Bumstead didn’t know about this product. He stated that the reason the city hasn’t salted the streets is because of the below-12 temperatures. Right.

(2) We know that from June to the middle of January, the city had no need to use treated salt. Yet, when the temperatures dipped from the Polar Vortex, Pittsfield did not apply treated salt to the roads. Why? Was there no salt left? Where did it go? Did someone steal it? Was there an inside job? Will the mayor, Collingwood, or Swail swear on their Davy Crockett iron-ons that there was no such scandal? If so, can they explain where the missing salt went? These are questions for the city council on Tuesday, when they have Colon and Fail in the docks for questioning.

(3) In addition to a grade of F- on the handling of snow and ice, Colon and Fail also have let down citizens and taxpayers by creating other road hazards. The most prevalent is potholes. Nearly four years of improper maintenance has created a pothole situation we can dub Operation Green Cheese because of roads turning into an uncanny resemblance to the surface of the moon. Moreover, the mismanagement of the Highway Department has resulted in preventable hazards such as this:

Open manhole in the center of Willis Street, near the Girls’ Club. The city left the hole exposed for three days. (Photo by Andy Poncherello)

This exposed manhole is located on Willis Street, near the Girls’ Club, in the center of the road. Lots of people, including children and youths, cross there or thereabouts.

This hole was left coverless for several days. When management finally got around to directing a remedy, it did not place a proper metal cover.

Rather, it moved the orange-and-white “hazard barrel” over the hole, where it can be easily knocked over by a a driver, a kid creating mischief, or even a strong wind.

As of the weekend, the hole still lacked a proper cover. THE PLANET doesn’t know what the status of the situation is today. If anyone drives by there, perhaps they can leave us an update comment.

Such conditions are totally unacceptable and preventable. There’s no way the hole should have been left like that. The situation never should have come up in the first place. THE PLANET must also add that we have requested comment from Collingwood, seeking whatever explanations he has, but our good friend did not return our call.

Citizens Must Pressure Council To Do the Right Thing on THS $$$ Vote

Getting back to the Taconic school decision, it will come down to our Right Honorable Good Friends on the city council. The vote will require a supermajority of 8 or more to pass. If 4 or more councilors find the  courage of righteous conviction, the project shall be defeated, winning for the city a great battle. You know, of course, that —

— The school population is for the first time in the city’s history below 6,000.

— That number continues to dwindle as folks move out of the city and parents remove their kids from Pittsfield schools via school choice.

— The city can barely support, sustain, and justify one high school, let alone two.

What can you do? Two things: First, contact your city councilor, telling him or her of your views. Second,  pack the council chambers when the crucial vote comes. You can be sure The Suits will try to stack the room with their stooges, plants, and shills. You, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, must meet their one with two, their two with three, their three with four.

It is in your hands.

———————————————————————————————–

Al di la means you are far above me, very far / Al di la, as distant as the lovely evening star. / Where you walk flowers bloom. / When you smile the gloom turns to sunshine / and my heart opens wide. / When you’re gone it fades inside and seems to have died.”Connie Francis, “Al Di La,” (1962).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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dusty
dusty
9 years ago

The roads were neglected for many years during the Ruberto reign. So it is not totally Bianchis fault as he did inherit a city with roads that had been poorly maintained for years before he took over.

i don’t see how the highway dept can possibly keep up with these roads will surely become in another month.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  dusty
9 years ago

Dusty, time to roll out magic pot hole machine. I thought it was Bush’s fault for Pittsfield’s poor roads?

Remington Steele
Remington Steele
Reply to  joetaxpayer
9 years ago

It’s Bush’s fault, Clinton’s fault, Obamsa fault, Rubertos fault, Valenti’s fault, Barrett’s fault, Sean Connerys fault..its everyone’s fault except Mayor Bianchi-Bumsted.

spagirl
spagirl
9 years ago

Hubbard Avenue already has deep crater potholes. The kind you break a tie rod in. Dan Valenti…Councilor Krol and Melissa Mazzeo have set a clear tone that there will be no influence or Citizen input….much less a Citizen right to Vote….regarding Taconic. The City Charter puts “them in charge”. Citizens need a damn good Lawyer to challenge the arrogance of this pack.

The eagle has landed
The eagle has landed
9 years ago

All the potholes are busting up the brand new shiny school buses that the city won’t maintain. Maybe in just a few short years after they turn to shit, the city can just buy a whole new fleet again. Why not? They can do whatever they damn well please with your money and there’s nothing you can do about it. As per the new city charter.

Spider
Spider
9 years ago

The city owned part of Dalton Ave. is deplorable. The left lane from Benedict Rd. to Plastics Ave. is the worse I have ever seen with pot holes. What a contrast when you continue along onto the state owned portion.

Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s City Council meeting.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Spider
9 years ago

And we have all the new school buses and countless other city vehicles driving these roads every day.. so factor in a few more bucks for extra maintenance due to lunar surfacing of the roadways

at least the permit people got new state of the art offices

DowagerHat
DowagerHat
Reply to  dusty
9 years ago

dusty

I was thinking the same thing. And what’s worse yet is that they drive these buses up and down these side streets. Yikes!

Spider
Spider
Reply to  DowagerHat
9 years ago

Good point, Dusty. I hadn’t thought about that. That would be a good question for one of our CC members to ask……”has money been set aside to pay for all the major repairs to city vehicles as a result of our poorly maintained roads?”

Still wondering
Still wondering
9 years ago

One of the big problems with the Pittsfield voter is that they care way more about potholes than blowing millions on a new school.

brick wall
brick wall
Reply to  Still wondering
9 years ago

I don’t know about that.

The new school is off in the near future and they will forcefully railroad it through. The mayor’s retirement fund will get a huge increase.

The pot holes are immediate. Busting a tie rod, pitman arm, front end alignment and new tires are of immediate out of pocket expenses.

People care about both and in an honest city government neither would be a problem.

The whole purpose of city government is to provide safe and sound roads, clean water, sanitary trash pickup and adequate education for “the children”.

Bianchi would rather give your hard earned tax money to his friends like Monteroso and his buddies in new offices. Remodeled office for himself and new buses sweetheart deal. Rather than spend money on decent roads. He doesn’t care about you or damage to your car. He only cares that you pay your taxes and he knows he’s got you by the balls.

The new high school is the holy grail. He will stop at nothing to get this done. Nothing. Meantime just keep busting up your car on Pittsfield’s crappy roads. The mayor and city council just don’t care.

Tourtière
Tourtière
9 years ago

They are two separate Issues that need to dealt with. They are both important issues. Now,Will we ever get to vote on the school issue? I don’t think it will ever get anywhere. I think it has been shoved up are you know what to Far, Maybe so far up Bruce couldn’t even get it out.Do the people of Pittsfield really care?I think we act like we care, but when it come’s down to it. No one will ever take the bull by the horns to get it where it needs to.

Chuck Vincelette
Chuck Vincelette
9 years ago

I had a fine working relationship with Bruce Collingwood when I was on the council. He is extremely intelligent and was very responsive to councillors. Tom Foody was in charge of road maintenance and snow removal back then and did an excellent job. I did not understand his demotion.

Mike Ward
Mike Ward
Reply to  Chuck Vincelette
9 years ago

Agreed, Chuck.

Watch Dog
Watch Dog
Reply to  Chuck Vincelette
8 years ago

Foody…..extremely intelligent??? Who takes a city plow truck to his home in another state (New York} and plows his own driveway……..while my street is still cluttered with snow? I can certainly understand the demotion.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
9 years ago

Pittsfield politics raises taxes and spends money in excess, while thousands of people have fled the Pittsfield area. Those middle class families that remain in Pittsfield use school choice to send their children to neighboring communities. The people in Pittsfield are politically suppressed from participating in their state and local government by the Good Old Boy network of Democratic Party political hacks who blacklist anyone who exposes their insider politics and blatant corruption. If a Pittsfield resident spoke out about the sad realities Pittsfield politics is facing, he or she would lose their job and never work in Pittsfield again. When my dad was a Pittsfield area politician in the late-1990’s, Pittsfield politicians filed “ethics” complaints against him to try to get him fired from his job at the Pittsfield courthouse. Pittsfield politicians, in this case Nuciforo, tried to jail me by making false accusations against me to the Pittsfield police Department during the Spring and Summer of 1998 when I was 22 years old. When I was 27 years old starting in late-May 2002, I looked for a job in Pittsfield for over one year of my life and no one offered me employment. I was blacklisted. The reason why I write about my experiences in Pittsfield politics is to illustrate why the people are afraid to speak out against the China-communist-like one party system that dominates Pittsfield politics. In 2014, not one Pittsfield politician faced political opposition in the state and federal election. From the Congressman from Springfield, Richie Neal, to the Pittsfield State Senator, Ben Downing, to the Berkshire District Attorney, David Capeless, to the Pittsfield State Representative, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, they all ran unopposed in 2014. There is no democracy in Pittsfield politics. The Good Old Boy network in Pittsfield politics consists of multigenerational, interrelated, low gene pool families. Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. is the son of a Pittsfield State Senator and Judge, the nephew of a Pittsfield Mayor, and the nephew of a Pittsfield State Representative. Ben Downing is the son of a Berkshire County District Attorney. Jimmy Ruberto’s late-brother was a Berkshire District Attorney and Judge. Smitty Pignatelli’s dad was a Berkshire County Commissioner. David Capeless’ dad was a Pittsfield Mayor. If you are not part of the Good Old Boy network in Pittsfield politics, you will have a tough time succeeding in Pittsfield depressed economy, meaning you will not find a full time, living wage job in Pittsfield. I am happy I moved away from my native hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, over a decade ago. It does not surprise me to continue to read about Pittsfield politics’ downward spiral.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
9 years ago

“I am happy I moved away from my native hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, over a decade ago.” It’s good that you are happy.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
9 years ago

How many times will you copy and paste this same story? Let go of the past and look towards the future.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Joe Blow
9 years ago

How many times will Pittsfield politics get worse and worse? How many more people will move away from Pittsfield?
How many more times will Pittsfield raise taxes and spend money?
It is not just me!

Tito
Tito
9 years ago

amen,,,

Remington Steele
Remington Steele
Reply to  Tito
9 years ago

amen to ‘amen’ … .

Tourtière
Tourtière
9 years ago

Foody still is in charge of Contracted Snow plowing. As for his demotion it was a long time coming. He drives a Pickup truck with a plow on it,back and forth from NY state every day at the tax payers expense.

Aloha Snackbar!
Aloha Snackbar!
9 years ago

@ Tourtière
Sometimes the cost is worth benefit. I’d import talent rather than pull from your tepid gene pool any day.