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DEBT-RIDDEN PITTSFIELD GETS $100 MILLION MORE IN DEBT

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, MARCH 10-12, 2017) — You may have missed it, so THE PLANET will fill you in on recent news that has implications for financial Pittsfield.

Here is the story, as reported by WWLP-TV news of Springfield:

The Municipal Finance Oversight Board (MFOB) approved two bond issue requests from western Massachusetts cities on Thursday. The cities of Pittsfield and Springfield want to take advantage of the state’s “exceptional” bond rating to borrow millions of dollars to pay for local projects.

One, from the city of Springfield, authorizes nearly $53 million in bonds for the Union Station redevelopment project and to pay off the city’s existing debt. Pittsfield also secured more than $100 million in qualified bonds to upgrade parking lots and school buildings around the city.

The Municipal Finance Oversight Board reviews applications from cities and towns that want to borrow money through bond issues to pay for emergency repairs and large-scale projects.

The state Auditor’s Office told 22News that, by using the state’s strong bond rating, cities and towns are able to save millions of dollars in interest for these projects. Massachusetts’ bond rating is just one notch below the highest possible rating of AAA.

——– 000 ——–

On Facebook, Pittsfield attorney Kermit Goodman commented on this story:

How will the City of Pittsfield pay for this with 1) decreasing population, 2) some of the lowest hourly wages and income in the Commonwealth, 3) jobs leaving the city faster than they can be counted, 4) nearly the highest commercial property tax rate in the Commonmwealth, 5) reduced home ownership numbers, 6) No economy, 7) a NIMBY attitude that is suffocating, and a few other things. Who will pay for this?

These are pertinent questions. Who will pay? What’s left of Pittsfield’s nearly depleted middle- and lower-middle class. This has the makings of a disastrous scenario. Another question: Who would want to buy Pittsfield’s muni bonds? Will they be “junk?”

More observations:

  • Where was The Boring Broadsheet? Why did it take a FB posting by a respected attorney to get word of this to city residents?
  • The city’s deb load is already dangerously high. How does adding $100 million improve this?
  • The MFOB (formerly the Emergency Finance Board) approves funds for emergency repair, capital improvement projects, and land acquisition. In Pittsfield’s case, there is no land acquisition. Not even a stretch would call improvement of parking lots or school buildings “an emergency.” But this is Pittsfield, remember? — the city that refuses to maintain public assets, including buildings. It lets them fall into states of disrepair.
  • The city is already $23 million in debt because of previous school repair, $121 million in debt for Taconic High School, and now this new $100 million. Without counting any other obligation, taxpayers are on the hook for $244 million. Add to that an addition $17.8 million in “unmet water system spending needs” and you’re talking almost $262 million. Put in OPEB debt of about that much, and your topping half a billion (B) dollars.
  • These are not general obligation (GO) bonds, but revenue bonds (RB) backed by the state auditor’s office. They are not approved by voters nor are they subject to constitutional limits.
  • RBs are secured by the state, but they must be paid back by the city, full amount plus interest. How will Pittsfield finance the debt? Unlike GO bonds, the RBs will be financed by future receipts from things such as taxes, fees, lease payments, federal grants, and lottery earnings. In other words, the new $100 million bond will be paid for with future receipts! It’s spend what you don’t have now. That’s all well and good, except that it turns future revenue into mountains of debt.
  • All you have to do is read a couple issues of The Bond Buyer, a trade publication, to see how this “innovative finance” is “helping officials put their jurisdictions into further debt.” (Cato Institute, Tax & Budget Bulletin, No. 37). That’s  one thing for a municipality in good economic shape. For a city without an economy, such indebtedness spells disaster.
  • Why did the state approve the bonds? Politics, baby. The MFOB is headed by state auditor Suzanne Bump of Great Barrington. Bump ran for the open office when Joe DeNucci stepped down. In 2010, she ran again two others, Smith physics professor Nat Fortune, and Republican Mary Connaughton, winning narrowly. Bump has said she’s going to run for re-election in 2018. To do that, she’s going to need all the help she can get, including from The Suits in Berkshire County.

What’s bad for Pittsfield residents is usually good for Suits such as Bump.

And with that, o brothers and sisters, we open The Comment Line. Have a great weekend, everybody.

—————————————————————————

“I invested all my money in debt.” — Hamish Linklater

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI. This website reserves the right to remove any comment that violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment, written word, or information from any source other than PLANET VALENTI as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service. All users of the services of PLANET VALENTI agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice.

 

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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Pittsfield’s use of the state’s credit rating to secure a $100 million bond sounds like a huge cash advance that a gambling or drug addict would take from their credit card before he or she declares personal bankruptcy.
Pittsfield’s financial liabilities or debts are over $1/2-billion and compounding exponentially higher every year. Pittsfield will never pay off its debts. Not in our lifetime! The lovely Linda Tyer, Barry Clairmont, and Matt Kerwood all know this full well!
Pittsfield has raised its operational budget by 5% each and every year for decades. Due to Prop. 2.5 levy ceiling, Pittsfield won’t be able to pay its obligations within the next 5 years.
Pittsfield is hiking fees in its new budget proposal. Pittsfield will raise taxes by 5%, including the use of “free cash”. Pittsfield will increase its liabilities or debts, too.
Even a wealthy community full of million dollar homes and corporate executive incomes could not run its municipal finances like Pittsfield!
Pittsfield politics is fraudulent when it comes to its municipal finances!
The Suits and vested interests like to count their money, while the people and small businesses have to pay for the G.O.B.’s political corruption!
– Jonathan Melle

VillageKnight
VillageKnight
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Reply to Jonathan Melle:
Bravo! Nicely said!

Luce Ball
Luce Ball
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Don’t tell Linda and the Boy’s but we already know this, the Planet brought this out months ago. The budget will be crafted by limiting the cuts, that’s the first priority, how they do it, who knows. You’re going to be taxed upwards 5 percent minimum, we know that.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

I have been talking with Elon Musk about using the PEDA site to launch his rockets in to space. He is willing to discuss it further as long as he does not have to deal with city officials or the PEDA folk. It might help if PEDA got one of our local astronauts on their board. I am going to open discussions by offering a TIF for reclining rocket seats.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

If we can see where this going why canot Tyer Kroll Marchetti White Caccamo….Why can’t Yon Taylor Elias Mccandless Curtis Behnke……im convinced they will ride this horse till it dies.Amuso could lead the way to cutting 5 million dollars from schools because we have to do it.We will learn all we need to know about Marchetti and his ability to do budgets.Mazzeo can be the next mayor with strong budget reductions over the next 2 years.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

It’s Council Marchetti s city from now till June 31st.He needs to spank Mccandless opening night of budget talks if Mccandless disrespect what Marchetti told him last year.
I fully expect Mccandless to completely disrespect this council with his budget.All new dean of students gone…community school coordinator s gone..4 school adjustment councilors will save 300k.
Mccandless won’t get serious until he fully understands where this city will be in 5 years financially. Kroll and White have absolutely no feel for how people struggle.White and Kroll will spend money that has not been printed….who the heck can’t do that….grow up councilors…Caccamo it’s time you show you can do a budget.

Spagirlfrommass
Spagirlfrommass
4 years ago

Its amazing to watch the smaller Towns prioritize Budget restraints responsibly. Doing their jobs!! Closing Cheshire Elementary School and consolidating to Plunkett School in Adams. Richmond, Lenox, and Lee all have their eye on future needs. Pittsfield is a train wreck and every School Committeeman, School Superintendant, City Council Member, and the Mayor need to be held accountable . It is irresponsible to continue to ignore the hard facts within the School Department.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Spagirlfrommass
4 years ago

Great comments. But no one has ever tried to slow this snowball headed to hell and it is not going to happen now. the mayor or city council could put pressure but why would they? Representing the people had nothing to do with their running for election.

May Hemm
May Hemm
4 years ago

Don’t even need to cut anything, one cut will save millions, and it’s not a cut, the Insurance, City employees need to take responsibility and more of the burden. Will save millions.

Spagirlfrommass
Spagirlfrommass
Reply to  May Hemm
4 years ago

This also true. The whole Country is suffering to keep up. The State employees need to pay more for their insurance, like the rest of Society.

Richard Backer
Richard Backer
Reply to  May Hemm
4 years ago

No tax non profits why is everyone afraid to tackle this issue leave insurance alone until we see the Trump skunk need to respect people’s medical needs

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

This city believes in education and always has and always will.I don’t want to hear one politician say we dont.Kids can deal with anything so it’s really about the Adults in schools dealing.I assure you that every teacher feels over worked and underpaid just like everyone else.We pay school teachers very well and nobody walks away from teaching jobs.Yon and Mccandless and Sheran know every year it cost 1.7 million just to pay raises.Sheran added 3 steps to longjevity raises which add a raise on top of the raise you read about.Sherans job is to suck every penny out of pittsfield he can.Yon has to ok it and Marchetti has to fund it……Stop funding it…just cut the budget by 3 million and have yon and mccandless implement the budget.

Bill Q
Bill Q
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Read Hemm S C there’s you’re temporary fix. Reduces
Millions, you just said it they are well compensated, they can afford the adjustment, private sector does.

Ghidora
Ghidora
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

When someone whose avg. salary is 64k plus incredible bennies, works only 183 days a year, and is required to work only 6.5 or 7 hours a day feels overworked and under payed it just shows you how broken our education system is and what a negative effect the teachers union is having on the whole system.

LoneGunMan
LoneGunMan
Reply to  Ghidora
4 years ago

I hope I get crucified for this.

You want to fix the school systems? GET RID OF THE UNIONS AND STATE OVERSIGHT!

Let the teachers teach, let the administrations weed out the crappy teachers and you will see things improved. Financially and otherwise

The insurance cut for teachers is absurd. And the plan we switched to *see forced by Sheran and Bianchi despite teachers voting against it TWICE* saves us diddly squat. Put them all on HMO deductible plans

Ghidora
Ghidora
Reply to  LoneGunMan
4 years ago

I am all for abolishing all unions in the public sector. They just collude with the politicians to rip off the taxpayer and get their members to work as little as possible for as much as possible. There is still a need for unions in the private sector, but in the public sector they are a major part of the problem. It won’t ever happen but one can dream.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Ghidora
4 years ago

These school and other public unions are parasitic. They eat the city from the inside out. Unsustainable. But it will not top until they have picked the bones clean.

Spider
Spider
4 years ago

The 5 term mayor of Rutland, VT has been ousted. And all because of the secretive way he handled the refugee situation. Citizens were not involved as to their input and this was the result.

Mayor Tyer and our CC should take heed!

Ghidora
Ghidora
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

Why? This isn’t Rutland, VT.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Ghidora
4 years ago

Are you not aware that we will be getting at least 50 Syrian refugees?

The attitude in Pittsfield could be the same as that in Rutland. Now do you get it?

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

We are getting Syrian refugees who we will feed and cloth and house and get jobs for and as we speak American marines are landing in Syria to fight their war for them. There seems to be a total disconnect in the logic to me.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

I agree. The refugees should be fighting their own war.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

I will have to check out that article about Rutland, Vermont. The people are finally waking up.

Ghidora
Ghidora
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

What happened in Rutland will not happen here. The far left progressives will always rule here, whether it’s the Ruberto/Tyer faction or the Bianchi/Mazzeo one. They probably have the refugees already lined up to vote for them.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

50 refugees or 50 refugee families. Are there any men with multiple wives and 10 or 20 kids?

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
4 years ago

Why aren’t speed detector machines been put out on the roads, speeding is rampant throughout the county and seems the more speeding the less citations for. This is a no brainer? This would make the kiosk revenuelowell be a dot compared to therevenue from speeding alone.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Mazzeo would be a disaster as mayor. She is doing everything she can now to stop the Super Walmart project from happening here. Progressives do not believe in big box stores and Mazzeo doesn’t care about the revitalization that would happen in the Tyler Street area from a Super Walmart. She is promoting this fantasy that crime rates would rise from having a Super Walmart. Crimes rates are skyrocketing right now in the Tyler Street area due to poverty and a lack of jobs so her theory doesn’t hold water.

Ghidora
Ghidora
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

She’s just part of the other far left progressive political faction in Pittsfield and she’s only fighting it to go against the Tyer/Ruberto faction. If Bianchi had been all for it, then she would have fallen in line and been for it too.
It’s just silly political infighting.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Ghidora
4 years ago

Silly except that Mazzeo may prevent a Super Walmart from coming here.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Ghidora
4 years ago

Even I am for the Super Walmart and I am against almost everything.

Mazzeo does not use the local crappy schools and she does not have to use the local crappy Walmart. But she should not screw it up for others who like the idea.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

I just had to travel to North Adams yesterday to go to their Super Walmart because our local one doesn’t have enough of the items I need. There is a much better selection of everything in the North Adams Super Walmart. This city is losing money to the North Adams Super Walmart. This isn’t that complicated of a situation. We need a Super Walmart here in Pittsfield.

Koz
Koz
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Unacceptable. We must not allow a Walmart gap!

P Hewton
P Hewton
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Mel Maz is trying to re-open the Consent Decree. Wal Mart is The only one to come forward with a proposal for the Property. Mainly because Thurston Howell is content with doing nothing. You don’t get anyone worth their salt over at P E D A because they don’t want to fight G E, would cost a fortune, but more importantly don’t want to reopen old good Ol boys connections. The Consent Decree might be the Rawest Deal in the History of Pittsfield Politics, but G E had help.

h
h
4 years ago

Skyrocketing everywhere Pat.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  h
4 years ago

Poverty and drugs produce crime. Pittsfield has plenty of both.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Very dramatic about walmart.Many people believe Walmart is about giving up a vision.It’s the easy thing to do.Big box store are going down the tubes. Pat ,not every thing is regressive or progressive and sometimes it’s deciding what’s best.You think Walmart is best Melissa does not agree end of story.Trump will save pittsfield Pat so don’t give up.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Big box stores are thriving. Not going down the tubes. You wish they were going down the tubes.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Big box stores are going down the tubes. The smart play is in logistics- consumers demand fast delivery.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

The poor are not going to order everything on line. Shipping costs alone would make that out of their reach. Ordering everything on line is a trend being driven by those who can afford it and that leaves a lot of people out of the equation. There will always be the need for actual stores.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

There will
Always be a need for some online stores, but since you obviously don’t shop online, much of the shipping is free. I just got a fantastic deal on bathroom linens from Neiman Marcus.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Trump should have told his following that the reason they are not doing well is their IPhone another little Trumpism states that men should not kick in for pregnancy.Trump has split the country.There are those with iPhone s and babies.And there are those born to rich dads

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Time for your trumProzac

Tricksie
Tricksie
4 years ago

cutting the budget means political fortitude and needs to come from someone outside the process. Mayor Tyer and the City Council (& MCCandless) cannot cut the budget because that would mean hurting the very people that put them into office – it’s a vicious cycle, and it happens in every municipality in the nation – the $100m in debt is troubling and the unfunded pension costs will be unbearable in 10-15 years – but that’s the next guy’s problem

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
Reply to  Tricksie
4 years ago

Is that your professional name? S G H ….Barry would come prepared that’s for sure.

H
H
4 years ago

Ten to fifteen from now they won’t be around, it’s the here and now and they are beholden every year…Beholden.

Wilson
Wilson
4 years ago

Sounds like how they used to bundle junk mortgages with a few real ones and sell them to suckers. Bankruptcy is now inevitable for Pittsfield, so loading up on debt that won’t be repaid is an interesting strategy, but of course it will all be siphoned off into a few people’s out-of-state accounts

Spagirlfrommass
Spagirlfrommass
Reply to  Wilson
4 years ago

Bold reality. But the buck is going to stop eventually, and the Officials attached to the mess will forever be accountable.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Walmart is closing 270 stores and laying off 16,000 people.You cant say fake stuff Pat.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

That was a year ago that Walmart closed those stores. They are still the giant of retail. Everybody except progressives loves Walmart.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

The retards love Walmart. The van drops Pat and his crew off for 3 hours twice a week and they shuffle around the aisles.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Sorry, but Walmart fills the needs of lots of people not just the elderly although I know progressives have nothing but kind thoughts for the elderly.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

In my 5 years in Pittsfield I think I went to Walmart less than 10 times.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Obviously it’s just not your preference to shop at Walmart.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Correct.

I don’t understand how you can love America yet but alll the cheap foreign crap that Walmart peddles.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

I know Walmart sells a lot of quality merchandise. I have many of them that have lasted for years in great condition. People believe they have to go out and spend lots of money to get the best, but in truth you only need to pay top dollar for very few items. You still have to shop smart. If you go to Walmart do some research on the more expensive items and you will often find that you save a lot of money buying it from Walmart. I have had this happen many times. It’s not just Walmart either. Many lower price local stores sell products that you would pay 2 or 3 times as much in another store.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

So loving America is only convenient when you think it’s cheap or a good value. Glad we cleared that up.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Name a few stores that don’t sell stuff made in China

Tito
Tito
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

You’re a dinc.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

You pick on developmental disabilities while trying to insult posters and you wonder why so many people can’t stand you…..Grow a brain.

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

SHH: Best place to buy Made In America these days is Goodwill. What does Walmart have to do with it?

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Don’t think for 1 minute pittsfield is not going to get its well deserved residential Walmart. Tyer wants 600 k in taxes which we will never get

Miss Vito
Miss Vito
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

yhat’s called being lazy and Settling.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

Does the Mayor want it?

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
4 years ago

Let me explain what is happening.

The City is using the states bond rating, which is better than the city’s to obtain better interest rates. Why wouldn’t anyone in their right minds borrow money for less.

As to the amount and what it’s for, this is the FY 2017 capital budget items and a large chunk of the Taconic High School project.

State law requires the City to bond the entire project. The state will reimburse the city for the majority of the cost. The “real” borrowings the city will be on the hook for will be significantly less.

Also, this is just an authorization, and not the actual borrowing. You need their permission before you actually need the money. This was a smart move on the Treasurers part.

This is not borrowing for anything that has not been openly discussed.

Barry

Local Yokel
Local Yokel
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Mayor should have Kristen do the Budget.

Don t
Don t
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Everything you said is technically correct,except one little hiccup. And is it really a successful budget because we get a good interest rate or because we borrow for mega projects. This City certainly is driven by debt, can’t wait to see the Budget and the banter that goes with it.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

@BarryClairmont:

Is it true that Pittsfield liabilities or debts exceed $1/2-billion?

Will Pittsfield politics ever pay off its liabilities or debts in our lifetime?

Will Pittsfield become financially insolvent within the next 5 years?

Will Pittsfield have to declare bankruptcy within the next decade?

Why does Pittsfield’s operational municipal budget increase by 5% each and every fiscal year?

What is Pittsfield’s credit rating? What is Massachusetts’ credit rating? What is the difference in borrowing costs? In other words, how much money is Pittsfield saving by borrowing money via the state government’s credit rating?

Why hasn’t Pittsfield bonded the entire new Taconic High School project yet? What if there are cost overruns? Will that mean new borrowing?

Is it true that Massachusetts is the highest per capital debtor state government in the nation? Doesn’t Massachusetts have an structural or annual budget deficit of over $1 billion? Doesn’t that mean the Pittsfield cannot rely on Beacon Hill for its financial security?

In closing, Pittsfield politics’ municipal finances are in the danger zone! Pittsfield’s financial system has not changed in decades. It is the same thing every fiscal year, which is a 5% tax hike compounded by millions of dollars in new liabilities and debts. Pittsfield politics’ municipal finances are unsustainable and heading towards fiscal insolvency. Even wealthy communities with high median incomes could not run its municipal finances like Pittsfield!

– Jonathan Melle

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

B C something was said the other night that was interesting, the Treasurer said that there is a number of 41 to 46 million on the cost to the taxpayers of the school project and won’t know until it is completed. Barry, can you expound on that?

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Shelly,

Sure, I’ll explain.

The state is reimbursing the city at a certain rate for qualified costs. There is a budget for the project. As we all know, some costs will come in over budget and some will come in under budget (there are those here that will refute the latter part of that statement). Certain costs are not eligible for state reimbursement. If memory serves me, land preparation costs is one such cost.

When the city knows the final cost of each category the reimbursement rate will be applied for the eligible costs and the city pays the rest.

The project had a contingency built into the budget for unknown and change orders. If we use zero of that, our costs will go down. If we use all of it, they go up.

So what he was doing was giving a range because we don’t know at this point how each category will work out or the total cost.

What we do know is the total (state and city portions combined) CANNOT go over $121 million, because that is all the city council and state approved.

Barry

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Thanks. I didn’t know if you were going to mention the Council appropriation and you did. Now, who assumes the debt over 121 mi? It isn’t the Culligan Man. You’re a good man Barry Clairmont, thanks again.

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Shelly,

It CAN’T go over 121 million. No one will pay for it. The contracts won’t allow it.

Barry

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Or anyone?

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Got it.

P Hewton
P Hewton
4 years ago

Sounds like four million or so could be floating around. Thought the price was guaranteed at the City Council by the Contractor.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Barry, and you don’t have to answer, just one more question?What is the City of Pittsfields biggest Budget challenge?

h
h
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

From going into receivership?

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Shelly,

In my opinion, health insurance.

Barry

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Someone,Barry preferred, the contigency fund sent the contractors 700g to remediate the debris finding,what would have happened to That’ money had it not been used? If there wasn’t a clean-up?

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Shelly,

I don’t know if what you are saying is true or not. Assuming it is, the $700,000 wouldn’t be borrowed and the project cost would drop from the $121 million number.

Barry

Bill Q
Bill Q
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Weren’t you on the Dais when this happened?

H
H
4 years ago

This Todd Hoffman is a real clown. He doesn’t know how to mine!

SisterGoldenHair
SisterGoldenHair
4 years ago

Barry,

Hats off to you for taking time to explain these matters in simple terms. It is not easy to put yourself out there and take the hits from the hiders and I appreciate it. Sounds like you would have made a great treasurer, not that there is anything wrong with Mr. Kerwood.

Bill Q
Bill Q
4 years ago

Best one of the night sgh.

Gigi
Gigi
4 years ago

Maybe Tricia F-B will donate her salary increase to the city’s coffers, to help with the debt.

Bill Q
Bill Q
Reply to  Gigi
4 years ago

Don’t hold your breath.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

How many more city employees have been added since Mayor Tyer took office? And please include new fire dept hires. At least 20? How much will this add to the budget?

How is it that the city budget grew almost 1000% in the last 20 years while the population dropped significantly? Did this happen anywhere else in the world?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

I completely agree and city workers shouldn’t be getting pay increases each year either. The city needs to do the same thing as the school department must do which is to run a much tighter ship financially.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Nobody should ever get pay increases!

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Health care costs ideas was suggested in the 90s that would grandfather in a new %split with all new hires let’s say 60 /40 if adopted more than 1/2 the city would be at that rate.They did it with retirement.
Barry skipped step 1 ,it’s not health it hiring new employees who will be getting healthcare.Stop hiring.

Luce Ball
Luce Ball
4 years ago

Back a few years ago maybe 2009 some cops were making over 100g a year with overtime,,believe Supt. Eberwein had the highest yearly salary. Is that still the case?

Mike Ward
Mike Ward
4 years ago

Dan – you should have a ‘Dear Barry’ segment on your TV show where Barry reads and answers viewer letters.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Mike Ward
4 years ago

I appreciate Barry’s contribution to all of our questions and concerns. Hope he continues.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Mike Ward
4 years ago

and maybe one for Dear Jesus, because this city needs more help than Barry can give.

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Mike Ward
4 years ago

Mike,

Only if you come on with me. LOL.

Barry

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

Actually I’m warming up to Barry, great idea for the Show.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

“The Barry Clairmont TV show”

Barry Clairmont will answer your questions by saying the following statements:

“My girlfriend, the Lovely Linda Tyer, and her Treasurer, Matt Kerwood, are always right when it comes to Pittsfield politics’ financial management.”

“The lovely Linda Tyer will propose her fiscal year 2018 municipal operational government in 2 months. You will see yet another 5% tax increase. That is fine because the vested interests will be taken care of while people on fixed incomes can choose between food or medicine.”

The lovely Linda Tyer will propose her fiscal year 2018 municipal capital budget in 2 months. Last year’s capital budget cost about $12 million. This year’s capital budget will be about $14 million. But the state government will back the city government’s debts” [And Pigs have Wings and Fly!]

“The financing of the new Taconic High School will also be backed by the state government, which will pay the city government back for a majority of the cost of the project. There won’t be any cost overruns” [And Horses have Wings and Fly!]

“It is the end of the show, so I am off to sell some ice to the Eskimos. You know, global warming is drumming up new business for me in Alaska.”

I trust Barry Clairmont’s financial advice on Pittsfield politics’ financial system as much as I trust Gerry Doyle’s environmental advice on the Consent Decree!

– Jonathan Melle

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Is it true they are going to build a statue of Gerry Doyle on the PEDA site right outside the new Walmart?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Yes, the pigeons need somewhere to poop.

P Hewton
P Hewton
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

I’ll drink to that!

P Hewton
P Hewton
4 years ago

Tuesday’s with xxxxxx…..Barry

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

Something has to be done with Petricca and those truck with slabs that take up all of the road with cars in front and back and four state troopers acting as convoys. Isn’t there any other way to transport these mega ton structures? Surprised we haven’t heard one of these truck causing a disaster on the roads?

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

Oh, are they using escorts now? Will they still be blowing through the traffic lights at the Coltsville intersection scaring the crap out of everyone?

I probably should not refer to the Coltsville intersection as most people no longer know what I am talking about. What else can I call it?

C
C
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Patty Harris Boulevard

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

One of those trucks tipped on its side making the turn from West st. onto Center a few years back before they had escorts. No Injuries.

Really?
Really?
Reply to  CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

Really?

Yeah, lets tell them to take their 150 jobs for the average worker and get out of town. You aren’t wanted here due to the traffic problems you create for me on my morning drive (because I’m sucking off Social Security disability).

Then I’ll complain about how there aren’t any good paying jobs in this god forsaken town. Why did my taxes go up and services go down?

Bill Q
Bill Q
Reply to  Really?
4 years ago

Actually the trucks mentioned are in the afternoon Iwhere I’m coming from, Canaan,and they are a pain in the arse, Really?

Olga 1975
Olga 1975
Reply to  CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

They employ about 400 people to make , deliver , and install those mega slabs. So , let’s keep harassing them and they can move the whole operation closer to where they are installing them. After all Pittsfield does not need those 18 to 28 dollars an hour jobs. We have a mega Walmart coming and their payscale will better suit our economy.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Olga 1975
4 years ago

We need Super Walmart jobs here in Pittsfield (many Walmart jobs pay $14.00 per hour) and we need other higher paying jobs as well. There is no reason we can’t have both a Super Walmart and more kinds of other jobs. This isn’t an either/or situation. A super Walmart would create revitalization for the Tyler Street area which is a lot better than the decaying poverty ridden neighborhood that Tyler Street is right now.

Don t
Don t
Reply to  Olga 1975
4 years ago

Must cost a fortune to do that?

C
C
4 years ago

How about trucks going from South St. turning onto West Housatonic. Trucks literally have to stop and wait for the eastbound lane to clear.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

And speaking of vehicles blowing through intersections totally disregarding the lights, It would be interesting to see just how many traffic accidents in the city are at intersections with traffic lights. Seems like I have been seeing a lot of car parts lying around at intersections in the city.

Don’t insurance companies raise the rates for cities with high accident rates? We seem to have reactive traffic enforcement instead of preventive. Red, yellow or green all seem to mean go. It is Russian roulette

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Barry included on this as a former player that got us here.Barry is it true that in Pittsfield that budgets are not scrutinized because of potential lost votes.Barry do you see how nessasary it has been for others in our area to close schools because of dropping enrollments.I’m sure you can also see how disastrous poor school planning in the past should be empowering people to put together a 7 year master plan.
Here is how it works in pittsfield.We pretend that salaries are the only thing we need to budget.Councilors know that we will need near 1/2 billion to do brick and mortar work for PHS,Crosby,Morningside,Conte,Police station,Public works.We keep putting budgets together that say maybe next year.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Is there a discretionary amount budgeted for the Grab Bag for Friendly donors line item?

painter
painter
4 years ago

If the mayor of Pittsfield can decide which laws she will enforce and obey than I should have the same rights .

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  painter
4 years ago

Mayor Tyler is not a law enforcement officer.

Harlan Rinklenutts
Harlan Rinklenutts
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Then what is she?

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  painter
4 years ago

Pittsfield the sanctuary city of the east. Drug addicts, Drug dealers, undocumented citizens, and millennials who just want to live here, don’t have to fear the bad crazy people who want to enforce the laws.
I didn’t include refugees because they are placed here and basically have no choice in the matter.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Pittsfield is a shrinking realestate market with high taxes and very poor and very many heavily addicted citizens. We are very violent and have no prospect for future growth or success.Pittsfield as of today has no plan and will Balance every budget on the backs of old senior taxpayers.Probably one of the great small cities in the Northeastonishing at one time.On the horizon for us is very high taxes and one very large Walmart.Thank God for Walmart because nobody else in the country want a Big box in the hood.You better build the new police station on that property because that is going to be the crime capital of the berkshires.

.Local Yokel
.Local Yokel
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Maybe G E can make a comeback here, you never know?

Painter
Painter
4 years ago

* A positively performing public school system
* Higher educational opportunities that leads to young people investing in the hometown they grew up in
* Living wage jobs
* Affordable and middle class housing
* No political corruption, meaning no Good Old Boys!; meaning no one political party rule; meaning no non-competitive “elections”!
* A fair tax rate without giveaways to out of town millionaires and 5% annual tax hikes with ever-increasing municipal debts
* A chance to vote on a the construction of a new high school that will cost local taxpayers over $121 million
* A solid infrastructure instead of polluted PEDA with zero private tenants after nearly 2 decades
* A nightlife for adults
* Youth programs
* Recreational activities
* Low per capita rates of poverty and welfare caseloads
* Not having downtown’s North Street being known as “Social Services Alley”
* Not having teen pregnancies double the statewide average
* Safe streets
* Not having violent crimes, murders, an unsolved mass shooting, drugs, and gangs
And the MAYOR wants Pittsfield to be a sanctuary city. She chooses not to obey federal law well then i am sue she wont mind if i chose not to pay my taxes.

Miss Vito
Miss Vito
Reply to  Painter
4 years ago

The bike path lane on Elm Street is going to get someone killed, poorly deigned and cars drive to close to the bike path lane.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Painter
4 years ago

Painter, I agree with all of your ways to fix this city. I would add to the list affordable nightlife for city residents and affordable events during the daytime too for that matter. Also brighter street lights throughout the city.

Luce Ball
Luce Ball
4 years ago

More of a chance of Queen Elizabeth becoming a commoner.

mi
mi
4 years ago

no. Mele has laid out the problems with the City. Political favoritism-gob network et al. You can’t live with them and without them. They need us more than we need them, for without Mary J and Family they won’t have the votes in November, that’s a misnomer because Kapanski is so riddled with fear and doubt they let things lie the way they are.

Look at the PEDA director, low energy, evasive, only doing enough to get by with his own agenda, (his second job).

What is the Mayor doing, really, outside of raising taxes and Kiosk Commercials, Shot Spotter, Covanta 500 g? TIFS, who is she beholden to? Tyler Street will become a watered down version of Little New York, ( North Street) New York will invest their money, but want their own little private playground as collateral.

Everyone likes Barry. What has Barry done for the City? Name one thing? He’s a feel good anti-Bianchi Politico who happens to be a successful accountant who asked as many questions as Melissa Mazzeo, meaningless questions, advanced nothing.

You can have all the shot-spotters you can haul in, shootings aren’t the problem, it’s the everyday same old same old, redundancy that creates atmosphere from domestic violence to drugs and general disrespect of one another on the road which is directly the result of no enforecement. The current regime, which has extended itself for the last twenty five years, is one big cluster of friends and iou’s where pay back comes in the form of Voter’s rewarding their prize candidates at the ballot box.

I know the late Peter Arlos wasn’t perfect, but what made him different was, he stood alone,( literally stood when he spoke at C C Meetings) He wasn’t thin skinned like the present City Council, never took a donation, never campaigned and was for the Little Guy. Pete knew he would get elected Everytime because he was for Mary Jane and Family, just like the Planet has been.

I bring up Arlos, because you think some of these politicians, councilors,like Barry and Mike on here are doing you a favor, well what have they done? Just extend the inevitable, same old same old

Pat
Pat
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

Very well said mi. Describes Pittsfield perfectly especially the part about the friends rewarding friends at the ballot box part and nobody looking out for the downtrodden working class in the city.

mi
mi
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Exactly guys- gals. When the City does try to allegedly do something for the working man, like giving Covanta 500 g to save jobs, you could describe that as burning the candle at both ends. If Dr. Triczinka would chime in on this particular episode, I’d be quite confident he would agree it is bad practice to fund a private entity, a successful privately held company. Sounds like one of those private public deals. Take that and put it where the sun doesn’t shine

Did Covanta even say if they would stay?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

As far as I know the money is only to keep the company here for a few more years not a permanent solution.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

Well said mi!

H
H
4 years ago

Humpty Trumpty Sat on the Wall with no plan for that at all
Mike Pence thinks ObamaCare is about to Fall
All of Paul Ryan and Rand Paul’s Friends
Couldn’t guarantee Millions that will lose coverage
Will live ever again.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Let’s not forget all of the millions of people on Obamacare who can’t afford to use it because it is so costly. Sorry, but the Obama health system is broken and all the denial and drama on the part of Democrats doesn’t change that basic fact. Maybe Democrats should help Trump solve the problem rather than put down his efforts to fix a broken system.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Pat please stop watching the Trump fake fox news channel.Who the heck would hide the details of a new health care bill that is cheaper and better.You regressive can pass this bill without democrats so your problem is other regressives.Remember you voted for Trump to reduce America to a Corporate view of everything.Trump is just a hired hand for your Cory our belief that business.knows best.You will see in time because you been had.