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MAYORAL MUSICAL CHAIRS: WHO MIGHT BE IN FOR THE 2015 RACE — A DOZEN NAMES FOR CONSIDERATION

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2015) — The campaign season is scarce upon us with ever-growing speculation about the fate of the corner office. As you all know only too well, since January 2010  the mayor’s office has been in the hands of a former Ward 6 councilor known for being a thorn in the side of Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto. Sara Hathaway got a break from the “6er” for being progeny of the same political tribe.

He first ran for mayor in 2009 and lost by 100 or so votes to a distracted Ruberto. He came back again in 2011, winning by 100 votes or so over Peter Marchetti. As mayor, he  forgot We The People and went back on his biggest campaign promise to be transparent. His version of transparency turned into the Dark Side of the Moon.

Now comes the question of 2015. Let’s look at some of the names being tossed about, noting that there may be others not mentioned here who might later come into play. The designation “I” and “O” indicate “Insider” or “Outsider.” Keep in mind that this is an early analysis wildly subject to amendment.

DAN BIANCHI (I) — He had his chance and blew it.

PETER MARCHETTI (I) — Will he run for mayor? No. If Marchetti is happy at the Co-Op and with life outside the ring, he should stay away. If he runs, it had better be on passion, something he didn’t show in 2011.

MELISSA MAZZEO (I) — The scenario was given early on. (a) The current mayor would make 2013 his last campaign, having boosted his pension into the stratosphere, to go back full-time selling energy contracts. (b) He would anoint Melissa Mazzeo as his successor. (c) Mazzeo would run for mayor in 2015. (d) The present mayor would continue to run the office through Mazzeo. Only one problem in this, “the perfect murder.” Mazzeo is unelectable as mayor. By aligning herself so closely with the mayor, she has lost credibility. For example, she was the only councilor vote who voted against sending a petition to the mayor asking that he withdraw his order reshuffling Public Services. Her blind loyalty to the mayor has come with a heavy political price.

KEVIN SHERMAN & MIKE WARD (I) — These two former councilors have growing families and wives that want their men around doing the Ward Cleaver thing. Odds of either guy make a run for mayor: Sherman, 1%; Ward .001%. But if the rumors pan out and General Dynamics pulls out of Pittsfield, that may change Ward’s thinking.

JOHN KROL (I) — It would seem inevitable that at some point the telegenic Krol would take a shot at the corner office. Why would he stay on the council for this long? He too has a growing family. Why would he keep doing the thankless morning GMP show if not to keep his name and his mug before the people? And yet, why would he leave his marketing business if the business is thriving? Why would he become an absentee dad? It doesn’t add up. THE PLANET says he doesn’t run.

JONATHAN LOTHROP (I) — Forget it. He’d make a strong candidate but won’t risk his state job.

MARY McGINNIS (O) — Part of the street talk is that the mayor’s former director of administrative services would love nothing more than to rub his face in it. They did not leave on friendly terms. If the mayor doesn’t run again, that can’t happen. McGinnis, though, has political ambitions. She promised headlines with a formal complaint she filed against the mayor with the Attorney General’s office. Nothing has come of it.  What’s that saying about “a woman scorned?”

CRAIG GAETANI (O)The Water Wizard has upped his profile considerably in the past year. He was part of the Milos Krofta-Dr. Lawrence K. Wang design team that built Pittsfield’s two water plants. Gaetani has a brusque, direct manner that cuts to the chase, consequences be damned. He’s reported to be independently wealthy, so money wouldn’t be a factor in a run for office. Observers say Gaetani is not electable, but who knows how riled voters will be later this year, after the FY16 budget and the Done Deal for Taconic High (about $150 million apiece, total $300 million) send them closer to financial ruin? Gaetani would be fun to watch on the campaign trail.

DONNA WALTO (O) — An intriguing name. She has run a couple of times for mayor, each campaign being of the token variety: No money, little organization. If Walto commits again and can organize and raise enough dough, she might surprise a lot of folks. Her brother Kenny is town manager in Dalton and a good one, and public service is in her lineage. She has refreshing ideas and the wide, strategic perspective only an outsider can have.

TERRY KINNAS (O) — This Supercitizen and former school committee member is dogged in his preparation, and no one researches policy better than he save the redoubtable Ken Ramsdell. A Kinnas bid has moved out of the “long shot” category but still hasn’t entered the land of “likely.” Prediction: If the present mayor runs again, Kinnas is in for sure.

JOHN BARRETT (I-O)THE PLANET added der Wunderbarret‘s name here as a “test balloon” to judge the reaction. Wouldn’t you just love it, though, simply to see what would happen?

——– 000 ——–

Nomination papers become available May 1. Between now and then, a lot of jockeying will occur. The important factor will be turnout. If the city gets the usual apathy, The Suits will win again and within five Pittsfield shall be in receivership. If, however, there is a strong turnout, all bets are off. New voters shall break overwhelmingly to “anyone but.”

——————————————————————————————–

“Hey bugaloo, I really love you. Look what you’ve done to my head. / You take all my wine. You take all my time. But most of all you take all my bread.”Steve Marriott and Humble Pie, “Do You Get the Message,’ from the Smokin’ album, (1972).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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B
B
6 years ago

I think our city clerk Linda should run for mayor. She seems to know more about protocol than Melissa. Linda is a very smart woman and knows what goes on in the city. I say Linda for Mayor.

nostrodumbass
nostrodumbass
Reply to  B
6 years ago

I second a vote for Linda Tyer. She would make a great mayor.
She should consider it. She knows more about the city of Pittsfield than all the city councilors combined.

I bet if she threw her hat in the ring she would be surprised at the support.

Dan, I noticed you didn’t put your name out there. You would make an excellent mayor but I also think you spend the next four years fighting with thoses who would seek to control you. Much the same as Jessie Ventura. Although he was a great Governor of Minnesota, he spent his entire time in office fighting with the entrenched insiders.

Your list above does show how screwed Pittsfield is with the names of many insiders who would keep the corruption going along with high taxes and spending.

dusty
dusty
6 years ago

I would not even consider voting for Bianchi, sidekick Mazzeo, self serving arrogant Lothrup, GOB candidate Marchetti or any other GOB supported flavor of the day. Barrett might do a decent job but is he not as GOB as one can get?

I would consider any of the others but would need much more info on them. My guess is if you are not an insider and somehow get elected, you will get no cooperation or support from the suits that are the substructure of our city government.

spagirl
spagirl
6 years ago

I absolutely would not vote for Melissa Mazzeo. Mayor dumbass is going to get his hat handed to him, if he even thinks of running. There really needs to be a house cleaning in the Pittsfield City Government.

Nota
Nota
6 years ago

The idea of increasing the mayor salary was to attract best qualified candidates. This is what you come up with? Tes might run and win by default.

Tourtière
Tourtière
6 years ago

It would be a disastrous task to take on the corner office. THINK about what they will inherit. A new multi million dollar School building Debt. A top heavy School Dept. An infrastructure that has been neglected for well over 20 years. The Highway Dept. Still needs a building to house their equipment (they are still renting space off Wahconah St. at over $76,000 a year) NEW fire trucks That are desperately needed. Multi million dollar upgrades to the Waste Water and Water dept. treatment plants. A dwindling school population. These are REAL issues that will need to be addressed sooner than later.

Are We Dreaming?
Are We Dreaming?
Reply to  Tourtière
6 years ago

Yes to say nothing of the unfunded liabilities with pensions and health care owed to city workers when they retire. Close to $400 million, add that to the $300 million cited in DVs column. Youre talking $700 million. Put out the lights the party’s over.

Ed McClelland
Ed McClelland
Reply to  Are We Dreaming?
6 years ago

All of the above and many more, including he replacement of an antiquated police station that is not ADA compliant, with asbestos, prisoner,and parking accessiblility isssues and a condemned firing range. It is a community disgrace.

Sparkie
Sparkie
Reply to  Tourtière
6 years ago

T. You forgot to mention the huge amount of unqualified Department Heads & Mangers Bianchi & Mazzeo has appointed.

McConkey
McConkey
6 years ago

Walto, really? Doesn’t anyone remember this http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_18832403

Joey
Joey
6 years ago

Not only does Pittsfield need to give Mayor Bumstead the bums rush out the door, we need an entirely new city council.

Vote every single one of these bums out. You may not get much better but you certainly cannot get any worse.

“I’ve got admit its getting better (It can’t get no worse)”.
– The Beatles

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
6 years ago

Most of the problems with Pittsfield politics was caused by the Good Old Boys network during the terrible tenures of Gerry Doyle and Jimmy Ruberto. Doyle bankrupted Pittsfield with millions of taxpayer dollars still unaccounted for to this day. What happened with all that money? No one knows! Doyle sent Pittsfield into state government receivership. Doyle and then GE CEO Jack Welch signed the flawed Consent Decree that left Pittsfield as a dump filled with cancer causing PCBs. Jimmy Ruberto was the King of the Good Old Boy network that has ran Pittsfield politics into the ground. Jimmy Ruberto spent tens of millions of dollars on downtown Pittsfield revitalization. Most people still avoid downtown Pittsfield, especially after hours. Downtown Pittsfield is known as “Social Services Alley” and is full of people who have social and financial problems or disadvantages. Jimmy Ruberto raised taxes above the rate of inflation every single year, and he called his excessive spending “sacrifices”. Dan Bianchi was right to speak out against the Doyle debacle and Ruberto regime! I feel sorry for Dan Bianchi because he inherited all of Pittsfield’s problems.
—–
“Dangerous Downtown Pittsfield”
PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT!
Stay off of:
North st.
Tyler st.
Lincoln st.
First st.
Second st.
Linden st.
Dewey ave
Cherry st.
Burbank st.
Kent ave
Madison ave
And Seymour st.
And you might survive.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
6 years ago

You feel sorry for Dan Bianchi? That’s the humdinger of the day!!

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  spagirl
6 years ago

I do not think that a miracle worker could change Pittsfield politics for the better. Pittsfield politics is at its lowest point to date!
* Thousands of people have moved out of Pittsfield
* Thousands of jobs have been lost in Pittsfield (and they aint comin’ back, Jack Welch)
* Pittsfield’s finances are nearly insolvent
* Pittsfield politics is totally corrupt
* Pittsfield’s public schools are among the worst performing in the state and nation
* Hundreds of Pittsfield students are choicing out of Pittsfield’s public schools
* PCBs still pollute Pittsfield’s air, water, and land
* Pittsfield’s taxes are very high with a diminishing tax base
* Downtown Pittsfield is dangerous and a place most people still avoid, especially after hours
* There is no opposition in state and federal elections in Pittsfield (Congressman Richie Neal, District Attorney David Capeless, State Senator Ben Downing, State Representative Tricia Farley Bouvier, all ran unopposed in 2014)
* Teen pregnancies and per capita welfare caseloads double the state average in Pittsfield
* No rational middle class family or small business would move to Pittsfield due to all of Pittsfield’s problems

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
6 years ago

Don’t forget get Bush, its all his fault too. Please Mayor Dan has spent money like a drunken sailor.

dusty
dusty
6 years ago

Just for shits and giggles let’s all start naming the positives of living in Pittsfield.

I will start.

We survived the Ebola scare.

spagirl
spagirl
6 years ago

The Silver Lake Ribbon Cutting. Yes, for sure…It’s such a site to see. Mayor Bumstead’s Special Project

Count Les Sinobancs
Count Les Sinobancs
6 years ago

I think they’re filming an episode of Gold Rush over ar West Little League.

B. Clairmont
B. Clairmont
6 years ago

I feel left out.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  B. Clairmont
6 years ago

I thought you maybe wanted to stay in the shadows for a bit longer. But if you were to run I would certainly give you a strong look, especially if you promised to create an advisory position for Terry Kinnas.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  B. Clairmont
6 years ago

Barry..you and you alone hold this administration’s feet to the fire, Thankyou. The rest of this Council conforms. Cotton and Caccamo are dead on arrival.
I really cannot believe the embarrassment of the City Solicitor to the City of Pittsfield. Send in the Clowns.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
6 years ago

Barry, you had your dinner handed to you by Mazzeo last night.

B. Clairmont
B. Clairmont
Reply to  Discreet Cat
6 years ago

It wasn’t a hill worth dying on. I know when I’m being baited.

Barry

amandaWell
amandaWell
6 years ago

J Mel..you forgot Columbus Ave.

Tony
Tony
6 years ago

I think Lisa Tully would be a good Mayor. After all she got a good restful nap at the council meeting last night.

Guess what?
Guess what?
Reply to  Tony
6 years ago

She’s a waste of time. They just used her to bump out C. Yon. Bring Yon back.

amandaWell
amandaWell
6 years ago

Yeah, but the takes the cake award goes to former councilor Cap. I don’t think that ward has ever had an effective city councilor.

Grog
Grog
6 years ago

My take:

Bianchi-He may run again just to piss everyone off.
Marchetti- Probably would have won if he ran last election but decided not to(his feelings were hurt by losing)…that said, would be the front runner if he can shake it off and run again.
Mazzeo- Self destructed. Blind ambition doomed her.
Sherman- The perfect amount of time away to distance himself from the past and present. Would also be a front runner because he has the connections and network.
Ward- Can’t see him making the commitment.
Krol- Too swarmy and arrogant. Can win Ward 6 but winning over the whole city with his attitude seems unlikely. Others have done it but have been much more subtle and likeable.
Lothrop- It is not the State job, it is the fact he is lucky that Joe Breault chose not to run again after losing by 8 votes in his first run for Ward 5 and he knows it. If he thought he could win he would be the first one taking out papers.
McGinnis- She could dish some insider dirt but everyone who votes knows some of it and it obviously doesn’t matter–unless she has a few bombshells up her sleeve.
Gaetani- If we don’t find the invisible Dr. Wang tied up in his basement he has a shot(just kidding)
Walto-
Kinnas- Too much bad blood between he and the “insiders”. Not enough “outsiders” to get him elected.
Barrett- If he moved to Pittsfield I believe he would win. He is a Krol(swarmy)/Ruberto(will spend,spend,spend to get it done)/Kinnas(likable to the “common folk”)/ and most importantly Gaetani(will tell it like it is whether you want to hear it or not) all rolled into one.

And since Barry felt left out:
Clairmont- Smart enough, dedicated enough, works hard enough, likable not enough.

Only one voter’s opinion with a little bit of humor sprinkled in. No offense intended as I applaud anyone who runs for office, but stop calling it public service. If you are getting paid it is by definition a job, low pay yes, but it was never intended to be a career.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
6 years ago

Dan I’m surprised at your actions. You know the two families will meet and decide and invite both parties in to kiss the rings as a first step. If it is determined that you are stealing too much oxygen your life may be in danger. You come from good stock, however going outside the family is not possible. Be patient and let respected families do their work.

Mr. X
Mr. X
6 years ago

Word from the Prez’s camp is she will not run for Mayor… this time

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
6 years ago

None of the people you mentioned will change the culture of corruption in Pittsfield. I have spent my last winter here and decided to move back out to the south west. Abandon Ship!!!

spagirl
spagirl
6 years ago

The roof is leaking at Taconic High School…. REALLY? LOL

dusty
dusty
Reply to  spagirl
6 years ago

This new school and all its financial baggage is coming like it or not. It is your choice whether you want to be around for the next 30 years to pay for it and the other half billion dollars worth of city debt. Perhaps you would rather use some of that excessive tax money for vacations or retirement. You owe it to yourself and your family to shop your options.

Oxygen Man
Oxygen Man
6 years ago

What is that down at Clapp Park? Sand? And why is it there?

Russell Moody
Russell Moody
6 years ago

Kathy Lloyd for Mayor…

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
6 years ago

Chuck Vincelette

Cosbiesladies
Cosbiesladies
6 years ago

Pete Arlos’s ghost.

Are We Dreaming?
Are We Dreaming?
6 years ago

Chuck Garivaltis for mayor

Larry
Larry
6 years ago

What about Rick Scapin

Nota
Nota
6 years ago

Nah..He’d be talking sports twenty four seven.

Nota
Nota
6 years ago

First in ……dusty for mayor.

Larry
Larry
6 years ago

Ok, what about either councilor Simonelli or Connell?

Oxygen Man
Oxygen Man
6 years ago

Neville Brand for mayor.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
6 years ago

No Mayor, City manager. Time for change,warm up the bullpen.