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MORE INFORMATION SURFACES IN COCO CASE; MAYOR CONTINUES ‘LOCKDOWN’ ON INFORMATION, ACCOUNTABILITY

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Tune into Channel 16, PC-TV at 7 p.m. tonight on Pittsfield cable for the showing of Dan Valenti‘s new film, Kentucky Fried Pittsfield … or … Where Have You Gone, Col. SandersThe film premiered last week, but since that airing, THE PLANET added more post-production work. You will love it. We are also planning our next movie, Sanity Made Simple. Filming will take place early next week. You’ve never seen Pittsfield the way our cameras are showing it. Lights! Camera! Action! 

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2015) — THE PLANET has heard from sources with additional information on the case Pittsfield police officer Jeff Coco, head of IBPO Local 447, who has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation by the Pittsfield Police Department‘s internal affairs division and state troopers assigned to the D.A.‘s office. Investigators are looking into possible irregularities into bank accounts controlled by the union. THE PLANET has requested information from the mayor, police chief, and district attorney in an effort to provide the most  accurate coverage.

Banking on It

Sources tell THE PLANET the case came to the attention of authorities not because of internal oversight but because of the union’s bank. Sources say that after the bank discovered what appeared to be discrepancies in the union accounts, management immediately notified the bank’s board of directors. The board notified public officials.

That’s how it works with leaders in the Dreaded Private Sector. They monitor, provide oversight, insist on accountability, and act. How novel. Would that citizens could rely on such assiduousness from its public servants.

We have also heard from sources within and connected to the PPD. Sources say most of the officers “are quite pissed” at their union president. The popular sentiment within the ranks seems to be that if the probe uncovers wrongdoing, there “should [be] some jail time as well as paying back every dime.”  Another source claiming knowledge of the situation says “all is true about pain killers” and confirmed the amount of money in question as “six figures.”

With that, THE PLANET reminds everyone that no charges have been filed against Coco. As of this writing, he is innocent, still on the force, and drawing a paycheck.

Where’s the Mainstream Media? 

THE PLANET also wonders where the mainstream media is on this story? Why haven’t they been at the forefront to pry information loose for a public that has the right to know?

If the concerns of investigators proved to be warranted, does that not amount to the destruction of public trust? Is this, then, not a most serious story? Where are they? This is the police department, prime guardian of public safety. What are we to think if, and we only say if, an officer put in a fiduciary position by and on behalf of his brother and sister officers as guardian of their funds betrays them? What is that officer likely to do to an ordinary citizen?

Are you feeling any safer?

Mayor Continues Cowardly ‘Lockdown’

THE PLANET understands officials cannot comment at length on a case such as this, but we do not understand why the mayor continues to run away from departmental activities that, ultimately, are his responsibility. A responsible mayor appears before the press and outlines concerns investigators have. He would assure members of IBPO Local 447 that if investigators discover discrepancies in their funds, they will be rectified — and not by taxpayers. A caring mayor would also assure citizens the case will be vigorously handled. That mayor would also offer support for the chief and the department.

Instead, Dan Bianchi continues of his “Lockdown” strategy of keeping citizens out of the loop and in the dark. This marks the low road favored by cowards. You don’t want to go there.

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“Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: Later on, there are no more worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions.”Friedrich Nietzsche, from Twilight of the Idols, Sec. 38, (1888).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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dusty downer
dusty downer
7 years ago

Mr Bianchi s “lockdown” mentality should be taken into consideration when one pulls the lever at the voting booth. Ask yourself, “has this man shown any indication that he cares about the average citizen in Pittsfield?” Once you have answered this question it will be easy to move on to other choices.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  dusty downer
7 years ago

Mayor Bianchi is responsible for running the City as it is funded and directed by Council. Making him personally responsible for all that happened in the 01201 is as silly as Obama being responsible for gas prices. Of course he cares about the citizens of Pittsfield.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Shakes His Head
7 years ago

Mayor Bianchi sits at the top. He is incompetent and has Zero Leadership skills. The City Council enables and rubber stamps. Pittsfield treads on a downward spiral every single day that this Government makes a stroke.

dusty downer
dusty downer
Reply to  Shakes His Head
7 years ago

Some citizens yes. Not so much the average guy though huh?

Demetrius T. Gladiator
Demetrius T. Gladiator
Reply to  Shakes His Head
7 years ago

No wonder why you are shaking your head, Shakes. Im shakin mine too after reading your comment. All the council does is legislate, it did so leaving the mayors budget intact.

the mayor is the exectuvie. Executive sets policies, calls for actions, sees it through and takes responsibility. Mayor Bianchi has done precious little except to run from his responsibilities and reward his friends and himselfd (remember his big pay raise and pay raises for all other managers?).

craig
craig
Reply to  Shakes His Head
7 years ago

shakes-contrary to your lack of under standing the mayor is the top elected official and is responsible for everything that he has control of. the only thing that he is not responsible for are things no one can predict such as the shootings on july 4th. that said–his and the police chiefs handling of the situation is comparable to a chicken running around with its head cut off. the chief out on vacation directly after shooting– he should have been orderd back by the mayor as I would have done. police investigation to present day?results? grade of f-. begging people to come forward–they wont come forward because they don’t trust the police–fact. I told wynn and bianchi to put police on foot patrol in the west side and morningside areas. this was the consenses of my thorough investigation of people I talked to on the west side. I asked many people at the gather in at pitt park last Saturday if I were mayor and I assigned cops on foot patrol in the west side might you be more cooperative in coming forward with information? they’re response–lets see the cops and lets see what happens. people on the west side know the gaetani’s we have been in same house on robbins ave for 62 years and I know the people there very well and this will be a great asset when I am mayor. the majority of the brothers are elated I am running for mayor and I have a group of them out in the west side spreading the word that one of us brothers on the west side is running for mayor. what is the value of me being mayor with the support I have on the west side? to be honest with you– if I become the mayor I may not even need the police to clean out the scum balls and hoodlums. a few meetings with my brothers and we will clean out the scum ourselves. any one who grew up on the west side knows what I mean. we take care of things ourselves. at present people are fearful because the cops are perceived as being useless in the west side. I told everybody down there that they must work with the police and that they must come forward but from what I know– they have no intention of cooperating with police until I am the mayor. this is the situation on the west side. these 4th shootings may never be solved. simply– the people do not trust the police but I know things will be different when I am mayor and maybe we can solve these shootings of 4th of july——craig

Henry
Henry
Reply to  craig
7 years ago

I’m with you Craig some good old fasion smack down …

Maybe you ask Tony”the goon” Maz or Glen ”the mouth” Gluck to a sit down with you and the brothers too.

You know take care of things.

craig
craig
Reply to  Henry
7 years ago

Henery– we don’t need the goon smaz or glenor 0r gluk– the west side brothers are very sophisticated and want the west side cleaned up. with the’re help it wont take long and we will all do it legally. looking at the west side brothers– many have a bad impression– that is very wrong. they are wonderful people trying to survive and they now know that I will be there to assist them to clean out the scum drug dealers hoodlums and other bad apples. the west side people want this trash out of they”re neighborhoods and I plan to be right along side of them to clean the scum out. do you think bianchi or tyer would stand a prayer of correcting problems down there? not a snow balls chance and every one knows this–bring on the debates–I cant wait. I think whoever hosts debates should put questions in a pail and draw out questions to ask the candidate. when the candidate that is asked the question is threw giving the answer –other candidates should also be given the chance to answer that question. this makes the debates fair and prevents soft ball questions to a candidate the moderator may like I plan to show up fully prepared and I don’t want any one to ask me soft ball questions because we have to see who is the most fully prepared to step into the mayors office and turn this city around and fast–does any one agree with my idea as to how the debates should be run?? I love feed back because I learn from it and will use it if I agree—craig

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  dusty downer
7 years ago

What or who is an average citizen?

Donny
Donny
Reply to  Thomas More
7 years ago

Hopefully that pail doesn’t have a question about forming a complete sentence. Question to Craig: why, all of a sudden, would your westside “brothers” start to care about their neighborhood if you’re mayor? If they don’t care enough now to report crimes what makes you think they’ll do it when you’re mayor and focused on making side money installing your new water filtration system. I mean, let’s be honest, that’s why your I’m this thing.

craig
craig
Reply to  dusty downer
7 years ago

well said dusty———pv posters–I do agree with everyone regarding the biased reporting by the Berkshire eagle news dept and especially the city news reporter jim therein. he is more responsible than anyone else at the Berkshire eagle for keeping the residents of this city -especially senior citizens who are not computer savy—in the dark as to what really is going on in this city. I visit the senior center regularly and for the most part they haven’t a clue with what is going on here and I believe that this non reporting of the real facts border on criminality. I can tell you that I have not found but one or two who agree with the building of the new THS. they have no idea what it is going to cost them for this not essential new school. they are fed up with taxes going up and up with no end in site.. when I first visited the center only 1 in10 or 15 new who I was . thru my many visits there– they now know me and I have spent a lot of time telling them who I am. most said to me why haven’t we read about you in the news paper and there-in lies a huge problem. these people are purposely being kept in the dark because the eagle is also part of the gob network. this is a very very serious problem and I suggest everyone write a letter to the editor registering your disgust with the berk eagle news dept. the reason I say write a letter to the editor is because there is a very fair individual there named bill everheart he is the director of letters to the editor. mr.everheart has been very accommodating to me in allowing me to get coverage whenever I requested via letter to the editor or commentary. mr everheart and I do not see eye to eye on many topics but we agree to disagree with each other and still be very objective. I like him an awful lot and if it weren’t for him I would be a virtual unknown even though I have been campaigning for over 14 months. i have known mr everheart for many many years —too many years– I am giving away his and my age. he followed my every move in the 80’s when I built the water plants. he knows me very well and he told me he never was in the plants and I promised him– if I am elected mayor- he will be the first guest I take there, when I become mayor..He wrote extensively about how I pulled that project off and it is only fiting that I bring him there and show him the result even though it is 32 years latter. thank you mr. everheart if I become mayor you can feel free to call me anytime and I hope you can return the eagle back to the proud news paper it once was. I think everyone wants the eagle to succeed– but it cant if the news people keep the citizens in the dark. people are pulling for the eagle because we do not want to lose a city institution. the eagle can play a big role in getting the city back on its feet and reporting accurate information—–craig

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

He is without question an arrogant coward. It will be the “Greatest” Defeat Pittsfield has ever had the pleasure to see. I cannot wait. This case also sharpens the eye on the Berkshire Eagle. Dispicable!

dusty downer
dusty downer
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

Most hometown newspapers would have been on the side of its citizens, its customer base, in keeping politicians in line. The Eagle has done the opposite in becoming an ally of bad Pittsfield government for years. One wonders why they would do such a thing. How does it benefit them to alienate their own customers? Go figger.

craig
craig
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

spa girl–relax bianchi is on my radar. you say you cant wait for elections. are you saying that tyer or me is going to be the one to dismantle him? truth is– bianchi will make minced meat of tyer. on the other hand who will make minced meat of the other between me and bianchi? shall I deliver whats left of him after I totally eviscerate him to your house address?– you can spit on him for what he das done to this city with his tax-tax tax policy with no concern for the little people. when you are done with him throw him out with the rest of your trash for the garbage man to take to the dump. who do you think dislkes bianchi less you or me? a very good day is coming for you on jan3rd. are you going to come to my innaugeration on jan 3rd? start watching my tv show. you will be very pleased–mayor gaetani

Donny
Donny
Reply to  craig
7 years ago

Is this troll job or is this moron for real? I don’t care if this guy is the next Einstein, he’s a total liability. Any money he cuts from budgets will be negated by lawsuits the city pays for his antics. Bianchi sucks but Craig sucks more. Good luck Pittsfield.

Mr. X
Mr. X
7 years ago

Craig G. is the only choice!

Henry
Henry
7 years ago

Sorry Dan I have to disagree with you regarding Mayor Bianchi’s lock down of information about the many current investigations that are going on in the city right now. I had a conversation with the Mayor the other day and he simply explained that he has been too busy working on his energy job to devote any time to these meaningless matters.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Henry
7 years ago

Can you imagine looking in the Mirror every morning, when you are Dan Bianchi? I am the greatest! Can’t Touch This.
Horses’s Ass!!!!

Edconnect
Edconnect
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

All he sees is a bespectacled, balding, little wimp.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Dan, Mr. Gaetani publically stated on “Craig Gaetani Political Hour”that he would assure that all media was invited to attend the court session on “July 30th” (today) where he filed charges against the mayor, chief of police, and others.
Are you planning on attending ? An objective coverage would be appreciated.

Pat
Pat
7 years ago

All of these issues are simply “unpleasant” for Mayor Bianchi and he just can’t be bothered to communicate with the public.

The main mission of the BB is and always has been getting the progressives in office and keeping them there. If they have to look the other way when their people act badly they will do so because the main mission is to keep progressive candidates in office. God forbid an independent candidate might run for mayor or in the worse case a Republican, but the local media has kept a tight control over ridding the Berkshires of THOSE type of candidates by continually promoting progressive ideas so we can be guaranteed of getting only Democrats and now only Progressive Democrats as the Democratic party has been transformed into a more far left ideology than ever before. The days of moderate Democrats are gone. Now we are left with the tax and spend progressives.

The national press does the same thing at the federal level. We have a Progressive Democrat president and the press adores everything he does, worships him even. The press should never be too cozy with those in positions of power. It’s bad for the general public since the press is supposed to be the watchdog for the general public to root out any corruption of those in power. Here in Massachusetts there has always been this love affair between the Democrats and the media, but this was never a healthy type of relationship more like co-dependent.

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

Dan Valenti
In reality, the only thing that matters in this latest City Black Eye is the end result. It will not be any different than Paul Capitanio or Joe Buffis. We can wait for it.

eddiep
eddiep
7 years ago

Bets are on that Craigs case will be continued and thus buried.

Who owns it
Who owns it
Reply to  eddiep
7 years ago

Perhaps the gob will use this as a vehicle to get him out of the mayoral picture

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
Reply to  eddiep
7 years ago

Court’s now adjourned. Any word from Gaetani or the invited media ?

Ed McClelland
Ed McClelland
Reply to  Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Another delusion ? Believe what I say, because I don’t do what I say. Amazing.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

Spagirl – in regards to street sweeping. Strong Ave. was also swept Tuesday @ 9pm. They have to pay someone OT to sweep @
night???

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  danvalenti
7 years ago

Can you just imagine what these two get paid to do this to We the People. Speaking of Collingwood… How many of you have turned right from the outer Merrill Road Bridge onto East Street., with the Weed slapping the right side of your door I’d like to slap him up the side of his head.

Steve V
Steve V
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

Your very classy Spagirl!

Donny
Donny
Reply to  danvalenti
7 years ago

yeah, I’m pretty sure there is a night shift to handle that. Much more efficient to sweep when you’re not dodging cars and fairly certain there isn’t OT involved. Just sayin but not sayin since everything is a conspiracy in this town.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

And they just swept Strong Ave.again.

Nota
Nota
7 years ago

PLAINET..last week you wanted to know the name of the plant at Saliva Lake In Latin, it’s runco or (weed) in English.

craig
craig
Reply to  Nota
7 years ago

dan–saw the show again tonight. we have to get your video out to u-tube or to a national feed–you under the water falls waving and smiling would be a instant success. perhaps you could have a comedy show doing political satire. I believe you under that water fall will go viral-I haven’t seen anything funnier then that in many years. some times– I am too serious but I got my laughs last week with it and again tonight thanks for loosening me up—super job—–craig

amandawell
amandawell
7 years ago

The ultimate compliment was a family member mentioning it was actually an entering show! Good job Dan!

Also Shaking
Also Shaking
7 years ago

If the current Mayor is responsible for all that’s wrong in this city,does he get credit for any of what’s going right. I think I already know what kind of response I will get on this site.

Who owns it
Who owns it
Reply to  Also Shaking
7 years ago

Yes, please list in alphabetical and chronological odor his accomplishments for this fiscal year.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Also Shaking
7 years ago

What’s going right is …The Citizens recognize him for exactly what he is, and are ready for Election Day.

Also Shaking
Also Shaking
7 years ago

Exactly the response I expected. So nothing positive has happened? For starters there has been a significant amount of new construction (economic development) during the past several years. Nearly 2000 building permits are issued each year. City employees (real people) have finally been moved out of an unsafe work environment in the City Hall basement. If you each can’t list at least one good thing that has happened during this Mayor’s term then you are not paying attention. I haven’t decided who I’m voting for yet but I’m not fooled by the promises of task forces and community centers and the sudden ease of cleaning up blight from one candidate and firing the lot of city employees by another.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  Also Shaking
7 years ago

Alot of what we see could be considered optics. I am sure that much positive has happened, but often – no matter who is Mayor, it is destined to happen anyway. Unlike many on this blog, I am pleased to see HON – despite the TIF, since it is a reuse of a nice building and its continued blight does help the City. But building a new school and preserving a two school model? Just a waste – and we now will live with that for 40 years.

I think that where Bianchi has fallen shorter than expected is on two fronts: first, he always held himself out as a fiscal conservative. we have not seen any real attempts to right-size the City’s government – mostly the schools for the realities of the current population and enrollment. As I have stated before, the cuts in and of themselves would not be a huge percentage, but they would at least stem the growth.

Second, transparency has been completely done away with. I expect that some folks are more influential than I am. in every community this is the case. But what has happened here is that even the most routine information is blocked from the public. Typically, the further from the source the less specific and less accurate it is. so simple information about basic public services all need to flow through the mayor’s office – and he doesn’t talk much unless he controls the venue. so when we don’t hear something, we suspect malfeasance. and when we do hear something, we are suspicious of its veracity. I am not certain we needed to move to 100 North either – I think we could have either fixed City hall or moved to Mercer and downsized the Schools’ space. Note to all: neither of those two options would have cost less, but again it’s optics: neither of those options enriched a private landlord with ties to the Mayor.

the lack of fiscal attention and the lack of transparency together cause people to generally be mistrustful of the person behind the curtain – and even if the reasons for higher spending are valid, we now are unsympathetic. and even though there may not be much to report on something such as a shooting we’ll say, now we choose to believe facebook postings rather than those we trust to protect us.

even if Mayor Bianchi has done some good – these two things alone have made it difficult to trust him to continue on the job, especially for four years.

And I thoroughly agree that we can’t just fire workers who have union or other protections available to him. I just want incremental change for now. we have what wee have because so few people vote – and when I see a Town Meeting in Lenox or Dalton with 37 people deciding huge issues, I know that those people also are getting the short end of a big stick too – but I live here and not there.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Southeast
7 years ago

Intelligent Logic, Southeast. Agree wholeheartedly with you.

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

The DPW cleaned up the weeds coming off the outer Merrill Road Bridge turning right onto East Street, and the Newell Street Bridge across from Parkside Avenue on Friday. Thankyou for both.