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JIV, SCHOOL COMMITTEE DO IT AGAIN … HE GETS $1.2 MILLION KISS, TAXPAYERS GET THE BILL … COST OF FAILURE CONTINUES TO RISE

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, SEPT. 17, 2015) — One of the growth industries in Pittsfield is official failure, and the price is rising.

So when THE PLANET learned the Ship of Fools known as the Pittsfield School Committee tore up the superintendent’s four-year contract and replaced it with a six-year deal, we yawned and dove back into our bowl of Fruit Loops.

Four years at $200,000 a year replaced with six years at $200,000. And you marvel our kids can’t do math!

JIV Learns the High Price of Failure

THE PLANET would run out of space if we listed how Jason “Jake” (JIV) McCandless has taken a bad situation in the Pittsfield public schools and made it worse. In the main, that’s a spectacular achievement. It’s also the type of talent Pittsfield cherishes in new department heads: Someone’s who’s “status quo,” unimaginative, and above all, won’t rock the boat. Fired from a previous job? No problem. Axe murdered three people on city hall stapes? A mere technicality. Going to “play ball?” Hired!

In JIV’s case, the six years will cost taxpayers $1.2 million to keep this mother load of talent in the Mercer Building. Of course, JIV feels the pain of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski. To prove it, he has graciously decided to freeze his compensation: $157,000 a year plus benefits adding more than $40,000 a year. JIV was due a 1% pay hike per year, but he has said “Enough!”

“Even a small increase on my salary is money,” JIV said to fanfare and fireworks. “I’m not going to do this while we are laying people off.”

School Superintendent, Committee Think Taxpayers are Cheapskates 

Cute. Not only does he claim sharing in the financial suffering of The Little Guy, but he also brings in “layoffs,” implying the PSD is cutting to the bone because of cheapskate taxpayers skinning the public schools. Fact is the school department is not cutting back but growing, not laying off but hiring. JIV has added millions to the budget.

Why is this man smiling? You’d smile too if the Pittsfield School Committee forced taxpayers to give you $1.2 million over the next six years and you’ve presided over a failing department. (File Photo from The Berkshire Eagle)

It would be one thing if the schools were improving. The opposite is happening. THE PLANET could fell forests on the specifics, but we shall spare the forests primeval for two illustrations. The first is the increasing worthlessness of a high school diploma granted by the city. “Students” who goofed off, partied, and otherwise failed for four years are routinely passed from grade to grade. They leave the PPS without the ability to compete in college or hold a job in the Dreaded Private Sector. The second example is the yearly loss of students to other schools in the county. During JIV’s tenure, the city treasury has lost $3, then $4, then $5 million dollars to school choice.

Yes, the city lost this money. You probably don’t know this, but the money doesn’t come from the school department treasury.  It comes from the city side of the till. This past school year, bedraggled taxpayers had to add $5 million to the city’s operating money simply to hold serve.

JIV’s ‘Pay Freeze’ is a PR Move

With his total compensation frozen at $200,000 a year, How will the poor man put bread on the table? Afford clothes? Keep a roof over his head? With that in mind, THE PLANET is pleased to tell you that JIV’s pay freeze will be back on the table next year. To that we add more “good news” — future raises shall be entirely negotiable.

JIV’s ‘freeze’ is a PR stunt. Prediction: JIV will eventually get the raise, retroactively. Also, to ease the pain, the school committee allowed JIV an additional 10 days of vacation, rolled over from next year. JIV’s new deal allows 25 vacation days and 20 sick days a year, which he can take without question. Under the pact, JIV:

  • Can bank 15 vacation days a year.
  • Get paid for 40 of the 45 days, whether he takes them or not.
  • Can bank up to 100 sick days.

“I appreciate the carryover,” JIV told his enablers on the school committee.

We bet you do.

——————————————————————————————————-

“Is everybody happy?”Ted Lewis

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in any comment section are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI; this website reserves the right to remove any comment which violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service.


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GMHeller
GMHeller
5 years ago

Looks like Trump has won yet another Republican debate.
Hillary has yet to agree to appear at even one.
Obama’s legacy is in free fall.
For whom will Massachusetts Liberals vote?

GMHeller
GMHeller
Reply to  danvalenti
5 years ago

Valenti,

Except the problem now is that Hillary doesn’t want to appear at any of her party’s debates. You readers already know that Hillary would not be appearing at a Republican debate.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  GMHeller
5 years ago

The moon bats of the Berkshire’s will embrace anyone with a (D) by there name. If Hillary gets nomination, she will win by landslide, in sheep country.

MrG8811
MrG8811
Reply to  joetaxpayer
5 years ago

Call me moon bat if you need to denigrate someone else’s political convictions, but I’m voting for Bernie Sanders.

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

It is obscene how corrupt this City is. The deck is stacked, and the Citizens are the biggest losers.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

Greed and nepotism, Me first, cronyism, selfishness. Are the kids paying attention? These are important lessons if you want to survive in Pittsfield, Ma.

Elsewise the important lesson to learn concerns migration, and how to load a moving van.

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

No worries for Pittsfield. The Berkshire Bank foundation has given the Berkshire Innovation Center $40,000.00. Poor people of Pittsfield should rejoice at this news. A new intern program and an interactive website will be paid for by this infusion of cash. All of these feel good moments for the mayor, however, never seem to translate into actual jobs for Pittsfield residents. While salaries for those in city government continue to rise, Pittsfield residents receive no real help to pull them out of poverty.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

and coincidentally just before the election.

Roman Knows
Roman Knows
Reply to  danvalenti
5 years ago

Right on the money!!

EddieP
EddieP
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

I just love how these banks and credit unions donate their depositors money to different causes and, in the case of the credit unions, the members are “owners”. I don’t remember being asked if I want to donate. That money gone could raise the interest rate.

Thomas More
Thomas More
5 years ago

Ho-Hum! Back to the school from a guy who sucks in nearly $14,000 of taxpayer $ for spending one day a week for thirty weeks in front of about 12 students. His boss gets $226,000 of taxpayers hard ones to graduate less than 300 students per year. Her actual salary is a little over $186,000 but I use Dan’s ideas to include the bennies to make it look more than it actually is. This of course will be redacted because we can’t talk about how the state is bleeding us dry.

poorboy
poorboy
5 years ago

$1.2 million dollars in a six year contract is “seemingly” much more than the half million dollars the mayor rakes in, in a 4 year term.

However, and your forgetting, that a mayor who “looks mayoral” and gets elected could possibly get much more in graft and kickbacks from special interests and contractors. Thus, making much more than Jakey. The sky is the limit.

It only depends on how many projects you can shove down the people’s throats. Things like new school buses, new high school, new airport, new police station, new water treatment plants, new city garage. Anything that requires massive amounts of money. Your money.

Remember: “The citizens of Pittsfield have an obligation to pay their taxes”
– Mayor Lockdown

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

The Presidential election is not much better than are local one. That Donald Trump is one big asshole.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Nota
5 years ago

Well Nota, where has electing all these “wonderful people” gotten us? Maybe electing some assholes as you classify them might actually change things.

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

Excuse me. Meant to say one rich big …….

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

And it should be our, sorry.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
5 years ago

PPS Nota?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Dear Dan Valenti,

I want to be an honorary Massachusetts Sheriff so the taxpayers can pay me over $150,000 in salary plus all of the other benefits (health insurance, pension, etc.).

I can parade around Massachusetts on the taxpayer’s dime talking about public safety. After about 25 years, I can retire with a nice cottage on Cape Cod. How does that one sound?

Best regards,
Jonathan Melle

silence dogood
silence dogood
5 years ago

The survivors of the primary will be Gaetani and Tyer. The mayor won’t get enough people to the polls. This is the buzz in rown. Bianchi has flicked up so bad hell have an embarrassing showing.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  silence dogood
5 years ago

The “buzz” usually amounts to 100 or so people you talk to. I call it the Joe Nichols’ syndrome. He talked to hundreds of people who said he should run for Mayor and he did–how did that work out? Even with the declining number of voters each election cycle, hundreds of people who make it a point to seek someone out and probably will vote for you will never get anyone elected. Most people go about their lives without voicing their opinion (thousands not hundreds) that determine the elections in Pittsfield. There is 0% chance that it is not Mayor Bianchi and Linda Tyer after 9/22. I think the biggest question will be if Melissa Mazzeo gets reelected.

silence dogood
silence dogood
5 years ago

Sorry for the typos

Chuck Vincelette
Chuck Vincelette
5 years ago

Silence dogood: your prediction is off target. It will be Bianchi and Tyer. Anything else would be totally shocking!

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

I am not crazy about any of the mayoral candidates. But if I am going to drive all the way to the polls to vote for my ward candidate I might as well vote for mayor. While there are no good choices I am going to roll the dice on Gaetani. I just cannot in good conscience vote for any of the others. I can live with voting Gaetani because no matter how ineffective he may turn out to be I envision the other three being worse.

Irishman
Irishman
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

Gaetani ? Possible. If Lucky Luciano was able to run his empire from Dannemora, then Gaetani can possibly run the city for a while from Tom Bowler’s establishment. The multiple pretrail hearings are going to end ultimately and a verdict rendered. Much unpublicized undercurrents transpiring.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
5 years ago

I will not vote for Bianchi or Tyer. Yes one of those candidates will win. I will not be responsible for the damage they will do to the City.

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

September 22 is the primary. In any healthy City with above board establishment, the Candidates would be daily news. The issues would be hot button topics, and the people would decipher who stands above. The Candidates would be fighting for your vote. The silence and lackluster in Pittsfield is pathetic. Of course, Mayor Lockdown is running on his stellar performance. The less said the better.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

@Dusty as far as driving to the polls to vote for your ward candidate, you’ll have to wait a few weeks till November to see their name on the ballot. Sad isn’t it only ward 1, 2, 5 and 7 being challenged. At Large only 7 candidates seeking 4 seats, School Committee 9 – seeking 6 seats, City Clerk or former city Clerk getting a free ride. So the Mayor’s race is the only show in town. This would have been a good year to run even if it meant getting your name out there to sell used cars like Louie Minnerfa from Carpet World use to do.GOB’s, establishment, apathy and the Kardashians are hard to beat.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
5 years ago

You gotta like Ms. Walto I mean she has links to the Billionaire Alumni at Williams, Zillionaire from Japan and even talks about Marcus Aurelius, wasn’t he a third baseman for the Tigers in the seventies? I tell ya though, the luckiest man on the face of the Earth was the Moderator, for if it wasn’t for these comedians, he got away with one of the most horrendous efforts on could have seen. if the Planet was available, Why wouldn’t you have wanted him to moderate?

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
5 years ago

Bill, what a surprise. It’s 6:15 and you are sitting with 3 sharp, knowledgeable folks on Discussion From The Berkshires. The quote, “I dream things that never were, etc. etc. and you mentioned it was a quote from JFK. I thought for sure the sharpies on your show, including college teachers, were going to correct this mistake. Not a one spoke up. Correct answer is Bobby Kennedy, not John.

Ed Shepardson
Ed Shepardson
Reply to  chuck garivaltis
5 years ago

Too little info Mr. Garivaltis.

Dave Bubriski
Dave Bubriski
Reply to  chuck garivaltis
5 years ago

This is what George Bernard Shaw was dreaming about…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQXAqP6ReqY

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
Reply to  danvalenti
5 years ago

or a a cc meeting

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
5 years ago

Is anyone surprised, Chuck?

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
5 years ago

Chedk out the Planet COOL! move over Johnny Depp, Dan’s gonna play Whitey in the sequel

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

@ Chuck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ADeazX9blw John F. Kennedy in 1963 (June 28th)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NUF835cLgg Edward M. “Teddy” Kennedy’s eulogy to his late brother Robert F. Kennedy after his assassination (8 June 1968)

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

Good one, Ron. But didn’t Bobby say it, too? Maybe during his ’68 campaign.

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

Of course Bianchi is going to do a Planet forum. include Mr. Gaetani.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
5 years ago

Ask yourself, wouldn’t you love to see a Bianchi vs Gaetani Mayoral clash and then a debate hosted by the Planet. Think about it?

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

This isn’t the first time Donna has quoted Marcus Aurelius. Must be a Roman thing?

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
5 years ago

I’d be shocked if 10% of the people with Bianchi signs on their lawns actually vote for him. There was pressure involved with putting those signs where they are.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Silence Dogood
5 years ago

They probably had “acting” in front of their job title.

Guess what
Guess what
Reply to  Silence Dogood
5 years ago

I heard that the signs in the rental units through the city were put up there by the Management Company – Cavalier- not the renters.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

@Chuck Correct, from what I can tell looks like they all said it, must have been a lot harder to be a speech writer back in the day : http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Remarks-of-Robert-F-Kennedy-at-the-University-of-Kansas-March-18-1968.aspx

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

School Contract gives Educators pay increase for this year and next two years. Ka- ching !!

MrG8811
MrG8811
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

The REAL raises are in the steps Spa, they go up a step in pay grade every year and the increases from step to step are substantial!

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  MrG8811
5 years ago

All teachers will be given a Laptop Computer, 15 days of leave overall, and for first time teachers, starting in 2016 a Minimum starting salary will be $40,000. Ka-Ching!!

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

by 2018

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

New Lingo:
“No Teacher left Behind”

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Once again the Social Security checks and retirement savings of the citizens of Pittsfield are plundered by teachers.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Silence Dogood
5 years ago

Teachers lives matter! Not so much the aging and poor population of the city.

and just by another coincidence this was settled just before the election.

hopefully these people will take their money and run. Remember, no one knows who you vote for once you are in the booth people…you don’t need to thank anyone with your vote irregardless of any list of candidates you may have discreetly received

EddieP
EddieP
5 years ago

A lot of those lawn signs are on city property. Didn’t we have a problem with that a while back? It must be legal now.

Gene
Gene
Reply to  EddieP
5 years ago

It is not legal, Eddie. State law says signed must be on private property. Penalty is $50 per violation that is per sign. All it needs is someone to enforce the law.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Gene
5 years ago

Who would enforce it? Certainly no one in an “acting” position is going to tell the mayor his signs are illegal.

But such a situation suggest just why it might be convenient to have “acting” positions.

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

Collingwood is the one who is supposed to enforce it

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

So sad. There is no voice for the poor in the city. The politicians are all looking out for themselves and the union workers are doing the same thing.

Iberkshires just ran an article asking why all the young people continue to leave Berkshire County. The number one answer? Of course lack of jobs is the number one answer which everyone here on Planet Valenti has been saying all along. Its the young people with the most education who are leaving the area.

The choices in this upcoming mayoral election are not good as far as reversing the downward spiral of the poverty issues in the city. Both Tyer and Bianchi are big school spenders. Gaetani would not be, but he has other issues. The GOB’s will win as always while the average citizen loses.

Rotten Robert
Rotten Robert
5 years ago

When mayoral candidate Gaetani stated that he would fire the police chief on his first day in office, I think of the incompetent police officer who arrived at my home on that early summer day after I called the station to report vandalism on my property. When he arrived I led him to one of my arbor vitae trees that was obviously set on fire as the tree was soaked in an excelerent that led to my neighbors property. He asked me if I knew who did it and I said “NO”. He then asked if I suspected anyone and again my answer was a simple “NO”. Because the excelerent trailed onto my neighbors property, he asked me if I suspected that my neighbor did it. Again my simple answer “NO”. Knowing full well that making a simple statement like ” I think….” would open a can of endless worms, I never strayed from the simple answer of “NO”.

When I was finally given a copy of Officer Incompetence’s report after several months, he stated that “after meeting with my neighbor, I agreed to pay for half the cost of a new tree”. The police report further stated that I accused my neighbor of burning the tree.

For the record, I did not speak or meet with my neighbor at the time of the incident nor anytime since and have no intention of meeting or speaking to him anytime in the future. Additionally the officer instructed me to have no communication with my neighbor, not speaking, no letters, no phone calls. He further stated that he would deal with the neighbor. After speaking with my neighbor that very day and explaining that the excelerent led to his property, the neighbor agreed to pay for a new tree. That is, according to Officer Incompetent. He then instructed me to get a quote for a new tree and that he alone would deliver the quote to my neighbor. Now, several months later since delivering the quote, my dead arborvitae tree still stands.

After reading this totally false police report, who in their right mind would call the police to report vandalism on their property and then agree to pay for its replacement?

Maybe I should take the neighbor to court. I’m sure the judge will rule in favor of me and not the police report. Wouldn’t you agree?

.