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LATEST CITY HIRE TO ADD NEW JOBS: A CON JOB AND A SNOW JOB

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY JAN. 31, 2018) — So, Pittsfield has yet another economic development “expert” who’s going to be the “quarterback” of mayor Linda “The Lounger” Tyer‘s “Red Carpet” plan for stirring up new business in the moribund city.

Stop THE PLANET if you’ve heard this one before.

This might be the biggest economic news since the new Trashcans (always with a capital “T”) debuted in a mayoral photo-op on the miracle mile known as Tyler Street.

Let’s see. The Lounger has at her disposal the same resources as did Dan Bianchi. The Lounger blasted Bianchi for not utilizing them, saying during the campaign that Pittsfield had the right tools but simply needed a better user. Ah, but what are campaign promises that are not broken? No one knows. They do not exist.

There is PEDA, PERC (the Pittsfield Economic Redundancy Commission), 1Berkshire, the Office of Community Development, Berkshire Works, and a host of other taxpayer-supported not-for-profit agencies, organizations, and groups that technically exist to build or import the dreaded “economic engine.” These weren’t enough for The Lounger. She’s created another layer of bureaucracy, hiring Michael Coakley away from Winstanley and Associates, the Lenox-based marketing and ad agency, to head “economic development” efforts for the city. The Lounger calls Coakley the eco-dev “quarterback.” Yeah, but is Coakley G.O.A.T. Tom Brady or Rick Mirer,  one of the greatest flops in N.F. L. history?

Coakley’s official title is Pittsfield “Business Development Manager.” Titles like that always look better in initial capitals, don’t they? In actuality, this is another make-work job given to one of the Chosen Few, the “Connected,” at a salary of $87,000 per year not counting the city’s generous bennies (add 20%). Coakley says he can’t wait to get started creating jobs. THE PLANET can tell you from experience that the only jobs this will likely create are four: Coakley’s, his administrative assistant’s, a con job, and a snow job. Coakley’s biggest problem will be where to enjoy the three-hour lunches he will share with the heads of PEDA and PERC, JIV, Behneke, and other oinkers slurping large from the public trough.

——– * ——–

THE PLANET‘s circuitous relation to this story comes through our connection with Winstanley and Associates. Back in the day, when we owned and ran The Media Services Group (then called Literations), we hired a young Nathan Winstanley to join our bullpen of writers, saving him from the Siberia of a hack job in Great Barrington while he was days away from bolting the Berkshires to go back home to Rochester, NY.  Our final job interview took place in early April 1982 in the middle of a freak snowstorm that shut down virtually every business in town. We stayed open. Nate made the interview. Talk about making a great first impression.

We loved the guy immediately. Nate stayed with MSG for nearly two years before General Electric plucked him from our employment. A year later, Nate, as bright, talented and ambitious as they come, started his agency in a tiny upstairs office in downtown Lenox. We can still recall visiting, when Nate demonstrated the future on his 1984 Macintosh computer. We felt like George Jetson. Today, 34 years later, Winstanley and Associates stands as the area’s premier agency. THE PLANET beams with pride that we gave him his start.

We share this to tell you that there were only two believable reasons why someone leaves Winstanley and Associates: either he’s fired (“resigned to spend more time with the family”) or he’s bolted for more money, mercenary fashion. A third, likely applicable in this case, is Nate’s retirement and the closing of his business, a scenario that gives some hope for Coakley’s pedigree. Nate was a good judge of horseflesh.

The Lounger’s “Red Carpet” plan to lure new business stands as its own punchline. Giving a fancy code name to a move that simply adds to the city’s cheezy veneer without addressing the fundamental issues preventing  business from coming to town serves as one more insult to taxpayers — you know, the bedraggled schleps who will be paying for this new, cushy, needless layer of government.

The Red Carpet is already looking a bit tattered. Like January, kiss it goodbye.

———————————————————————

“[Man] owes his existence to himself [only if] he affirms his individuality as a total man” — Karl Mark.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The Usual Disclaimer.

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Spagirl
Spagirl
5 years ago

Pittsfield is a sunk ship. End of story.

Ed Check
Ed Check
5 years ago

Dan, there is a third reason someone leaves Winstanley & Associates….Nate Winstanley basically shuts down his agency and semi-retires. There was an article in the boring broad street about this a couple of weeks ago.

I don’t know anything about this guy, but at least he might bring some dreaded private sector ideas to the job.

Hope springs eternal…

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Ed Check
5 years ago

I did read that.
Another friend looking for a lucrative job?
Bringing private sector ideas like tax giveaways for millionaires?

I want to give the guy a chance but the history of the corner office won’t allow me to go there. It is too embedded. I have seen too much. My respect and trust will have to be earned and quite frankly it is not trending in a positive direction giving the mayors glomming onto the rich folk whilst walking with heavy boots on the lesser haves.

Spagirl
Spagirl
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

dusty
As usual , that is the story.

J K Three
J K Three
5 years ago

This didn’t start out all that well, the Mayor introduced Barrett- Winn as being from PERC, said she gets those two confused PERC-PEDA. Barrett- Winn from the search committee,responded, she had never met the man before? Not during the interview either?

H
H
5 years ago

Where was the search interview? Pittsfield C C? Why didn’t she just hire Barry or J Lo or someone who already knows everything,my Barber would have made a great manager, he’ll cut you’re hair and bullshit with the best of them. Imagine the selling points of the PEDA property,? Is there still pcb’s underneath the property? Answer,not that I know of.

gocometti
gocometti
5 years ago

My grand nephew is expanding his Tonka Toy Collection and in due time will be in a position to take over PERC-PEDA when the position opens…I know somebody on the inside

Pittsfield has to just face the music and make the Williams Stanley Park…The William Stanley Dog Park…at least that way the property will be used for something it has been used for since the very beginning….deposits of waste of all kinds…people and otherwise.

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

One of my favorite lines from President Trump’s speech last night, “Americans are dreamers too”. So true. Great speech President Trump!!!

Still Wondering
Still Wondering
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

Did you see the part when the Dim congressman RAN FROM THE ROOM when people started Chanting “USA”, “USA” ?The Dims have lost their minds!

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Still Wondering
5 years ago

The radical Dems have totally lost their minds. They couldn’t even applaud that African American employment is the highest it’s ever been. Or celebrate dreamers becoming citizens. I thought they cared so much about the dreamers?!?

NIB
NIB
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

Pat, the far left progressives only care about dreamers if they are foreigners.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  NIB
5 years ago

I know that is true. Dreaming Americans are just not a priority for the left.

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  Still Wondering
5 years ago

How about their rude (non) response to the boy who organized a community action? Judging by facial expressions of Schumer, Pelosi, and Booker, I believe the Democratic Party is led by socialpaths. Even their members were afraid to applaud innocuous announcements.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

any damn fool can read someone else s words Pat.

Still Wondering
Still Wondering
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

And any damn fool can sit on their hands.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

Here’s the thing. Trump BELIEVES those words.

Mr. G
Mr. G
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

Pat, he does not believe a single word. I doubt he believes anything he says. Don Trump, anti abortion?!? Come on. If he cares so deeply about the middle class, why does he regularly rip off the people he hires to work for him? Why would the Democrats, or anyone for that matter, applaud someone who is obviously pandering and lying simultaneously all the time?

Dustin
Dustin
Reply to  Mr. G
5 years ago

I know who you are thief

EddieP
EddieP
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

But he said he wants to deport the dreamers.

Spagirl
Spagirl
5 years ago

The old cliche….. follow the money

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

This nut job of a mayor just can’t stop pissing our tax money away! We all know nothing will come of this foolishness.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

She is fantasizing about the huge pension she will be receiving while spending everyone else s.

Bowlee and Lebo
Bowlee and Lebo
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

Exactly. She gets 80% of her top earning years which coincidentally happen to be mayor at nearly $100,000 a yr. meanwhile a recent Boston globe article detailed how private pensions are being settled for pennies on the dollar. public sector pension effort is the most desperately needed reform needed in state especially. Pittsfield. they get their 80% for life. For doing nothing.

Halo
Halo
Reply to  Bowlee and Lebo
5 years ago

And don’t forget al ton our pensioners today get crap as they work in the 60 70 80,s

Chuck Vincelette
Chuck Vincelette
5 years ago

I wish Mr. Coakley good luck. He has a big job in front of him. We should know one year from now if this is a wise expenditure of taxpayer funds.
Ed Check is absolutely right about Winstanley. I think all employees were laid off.

Mr. G
Mr. G
Reply to  danvalenti
5 years ago

I’ve had several interactions with Mike Coakley and found him earnest and smart. He was decent to work with. Can’t go any further than that and am not familiar with his Bona Fides, or lack thereof, but one would HOPE the “search committee” would vet that. Was there actually a search committee?

Dustin
Dustin
Reply to  Mr. G
5 years ago

nobody here cares what a thief like you thinks

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  Chuck Vincelette
5 years ago

Given what the corner office had proffered us prior to this, few here can be expected to be impressed. What detriment does Mr. Coakley embrace in accepting this generous offer? We give him $90,000, and he does what?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

If Michael Coakley’s tenure turns out like PEDA’s nearly 20 years of failures, then Pittsfield will continue to lose both population and jobs.
If Michael Coakley’s tenure turns out like Jimmy Ruberto’s “rolodex”, then Pittsfield’s local economy will continue to shrink while municipal taxes and debts grow.
If Michael Coakley’s tenure turns out like the Berkshire Mall, then North Street will have even more empty storefronts.

Let’s face it! The average job seeker has better odds winning the lottery jackpot than finding a living wage job in Pittsfield!
Let’s face it! You have to be politically connected to the Good Old Boys network to find a good job in Pittsfield.
Let’s face it! The only economic growth in Pittsfield is the “Underclass”: high per capita welfare caseloads, teen pregnancies, part-time, low-wage jobs no one really wants, and crime.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
5 years ago

Mr. G might be the answer here. Connell said water rates could quadruple, so why own property to rent? Renters barely
pay on time now. Connell wold take a beating on this. A d garbage to as he owns property.

mi
mi
5 years ago

Word has it that the G Man will appear at the Finance Committee Meeting tonight, look out…! looks like educating these morons will be the theme.

May Hemm
May Hemm
5 years ago

Agree mi! G-man is very Keen to teach, but when you’re tone deaf and a good ol boy’s you tend to ignore the truth.

The school committee
The school committee
5 years ago

Im guessing we have never been prepared to land jobs and after 25 years of getting ready to be ready it comes down that all we needed was 1 guy.Totes for everyone….3 million…..who took the cash from Crosby School

H
H
5 years ago

Maybe he should bring some Drain-o to the meeting so,the media can get the facts down….. flush. This system wopill. URL us, we have to look at alternatives that’s for sure.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  H
5 years ago

Amanda Drane-0 might be there.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
5 years ago

I would like to hear facts tonight, especially concerning costs. This administration seems to have a delayed type of finance for cost,and wants everything approved up front,carts in front of the horse most times. If anyone can tell us how to save, they should speak tonight, and Finance should listen,period!believe the meeting is at 7 on channel 18 .

Bill Q
Bill Q
5 years ago

Aside from knowledge, why is it everytime a proposal comes forward for a project in initial inquiry, seems they want appropriations before a certain deadline, for whatever reason. That’s not how to represents taxpayers. Now, they have met someone who knows every inch of procedure and law concerning our water upgrades, and could probably build them blindfold, can’t wait to see this unfold tonight.

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

I’ve stated this a hundred times when the Planet first came out concerning Water, it’s like Throwing Popcorn at a Battleship, let’s hope this Water Guy can hold it together, who’s the Chair? White.

mi
mi
5 years ago

Village night had some good points with toters, saying the city can’t tell him how much to eat? The problem lies with multi housing,the Landlord should keep the security deposit if the tenant doesn’t pay for all the stuff they leave at the curb when they leave, for whatever reason.

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

Councilor Connell said our water rate could quadriple, if it goes up one dime people will live.

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

Leave, they will to

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
5 years ago

“A third, likely applicable in this case, is Nate’s retirement and the closing of his business.”

A rather circuitous route by the Planet to arrive at the obvious–Winstanley is closing.

Is this same Mike Coakley who played catcher for Taconic long about 1980?

His father was some big shot from Lenox, or least pretended to be.

ANOTHER out-of-towner on the City payroll.

See, kids, what you do is get a public-sector job in Pittsfield and then you can afford to move out to south county.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Edward R. Murrow
5 years ago

Correct me if I’m wrong – but I believe Connell has also moved out of the city.

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
Reply to  Mr. Fritz
5 years ago

Before too long, the mayor of the city won’t even live here.

But I can’t see Connell staying on the council if he doesn’t live here. Can I?

But then again, RJK was not even eligible to vote in New York State when he won a US Senate seat from there in 1964.

Didn’t we fight a revolution over this type of thing? “Rotten boroughs”?

All points to the disappearance of democracy, as our shiny, too tiny new school reminds us.

Chris Connell
Chris Connell
Reply to  Mr. Fritz
5 years ago

FYI I still live on Dawes Ave. with no intention of leaving.

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
Reply to  Chris Connell
5 years ago

Thanks for clarifying that, Chris.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Chris Connell
5 years ago

I stand corrected.

Harlan Rinklenutts
Harlan Rinklenutts
5 years ago

Fritz, Connell has moved out of the City, seriously? he lives on Dawes Ace.?

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Harlan Rinklenutts
5 years ago

I was told that there was a real estate transaction in the Beagle the other week – a property in south county that he purchased. My friend’s assumption is that he is moving. Looking for confirmation.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
5 years ago

Everything that the Water Wizard said has come to fruition at the Finance Meeting,as I’m watching it now.Turocy the Commish, introducing the Project coordinators from years past, like Gaetani said, this should get interesting. The President Marchetti) is making Gaetani wait until after the presentation to speak. Gaetani will tear the presenter to shreds, just listening to him, he’s not in G Mans League.Period.

H
H
5 years ago

AECOM is the presenter. So far the presenter is using fear as his platform,70 million worth of it.

John Duns Scotus
John Duns Scotus
Reply to  H
5 years ago

AECOM = theft

The school committee
The school committee
5 years ago

Yes ,hes moving.Please Mayor,you must stop buying totes.We are begging you to stop spending Our SS checks….Move to florida……Does Behnke and McCandless know about missing cash at Crosby school…..was there a coverup

May Hemm
May Hemm
Reply to  The school committee
5 years ago

So,he still be Council?

Spider
Spider
Reply to  The school committee
5 years ago

If there is money missing at Crosby, you can bet there is probably a cover-up. Remember the money missing at PHS a few years ago. I know from very reliable sources that they knew exactly who took it.

Again, nothing done.

LoneGunMan
LoneGunMan
Reply to  Spider
5 years ago

Because PHS is notorious for silencing whistleblowers

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

Mazzeo asks a great question. Where is the out of town City Attorney? and the Mayor or Treasurer is responsible to answer why he isn’t there, why? because they pay his salary.

Mannix
Mannix
5 years ago

Noticed signs in the windows of the former Mandell’s Optical in the Allendale Shopping Center that Mad Mac’s is moving there. Are the parking kiosk’s the reason for another business leaving North St?

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
Reply to  Mannix
5 years ago

I put a quarter in the Kiosk, it wouldn’t go in the slot, so I taped it on the Kiosk with no time running, came out the quarter was gone and no one parked. Your welcome, didn’t get ticketed.

Bill Q
Bill Q
5 years ago

If the presentation by Gaetani doesn’t confirm the fact that he is all he has said he is, then we don’t know water. Who dropped the ball on this? Sure, the City can pay for a modified Plant and we can pay four time more a quarter to do it. The presentation by Gaetani has been ongoing for years. It is very clear he is the only one to go to, that’s if he is even interested. What a mismanaged bunch of misfits, this team of Administrators and consultants all should be fired. Council woman Mazzeo asked where the Attorney was? Good question, it should have been, where has the Attorney been.I will be calling the Builder of the original Plant tommorow (Gaetani) and will beg him to enter the fray for this disaster. I can’t afford Tyer’s plan.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
5 years ago

Of course the dumb City wouldn’t let this former Krofta Builder into the Plant, that he Built. At least to see if it could possibly need any new modifications? This is going to be a back breaker, if the former Builder can help, we should reach out and at least ask, shouldn’t we,he does love the City and it’s taxpayers, why would he do this if he didn’t,and he certainly doesn’t need the money. I am pissed. Send Covanta and Beacon and a few others and send them down the road, and throw in the Toter hauler also.

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
5 years ago

On a 72 million dollar plant Turocy was asked what the rates would be? He had no answer, Connell gave us a figure 4times and the Gaetani guy said just a bit more. My point, Turocy couldn’t give any answer. Someone was yelling there was a sinkhole at the Plant,gawd?

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
5 years ago

Connell is correct and Gaetani about a water and sewer Commision. Where the hell was that? Gaetani should have been the go to guy from the beginning.

mi
mi
5 years ago

Why didn’t Marchetti e mail the solicitor? Not important enough? krist, Gaetani could have been the vendor, waived the consultant fee, acted as the attorney and would have probably built the damn thing for half the price already.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
5 years ago

It’s clear that Gaetani exposed the consultants as snake oil salesmen. The representative was very rattled. I hope the council has the sense to see them for the money grubbing crooks that they are.

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  12 Gauge
5 years ago

What if Gaetani just recognized a fellow snake-oil salesperson and refused to give ground?

mi
mi
5 years ago

The joke is sending poor Kufflinks to do the Lawyers job(City Lawyer) going against a pro like the water guy G, is like throwing popcorn against a Battleship. Who the hell is going to afford four times the price it is now, I’ll be bathing at the Boys Club and pissing in my yard, we might as well go belly up now.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

Was there a part of the meeting where they discussed kickbacks or cost overruns?

By the time Tyer gets done with this package it maybe cheaper to dig a well and septic system.

It seems like she wants to drive ALL fixed income people out of their homesteads and into the apartments complexes her friends are building all over the city.

Magoo
Magoo
5 years ago

I bet Michael had advanced notice, He could not find employment in the dreaded private sector?

Much like “it’s the economy stupid”, explains the Bush administration.
It’s the corruption stupid that keeps any private sector businesses from moving to the Berkshires.

Mr. G is a brilliant and passionate man, in his chosen craft of water purification, fact.
The good old boys funneled money to the connected and chosen, much like nucleaBiosystems,fact.

Is anyone starting to notice a pattern?

Mr G is right, relevant and resolute. Yet the powers at be are painting him to be crazy uninformed and dangerous.
The democratic principles are alive and well, and glaringly obvious. Trump derangment syndrome,aka purposeful misinformation published by the mainstream media!

Any hope The Berkshires have, relies on eradicating the corruption that’s been allowed to fester for far too long.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

IBerkshires has a lengthy report of the water plant issue. Lots of detail.

Other media might be suspected of cherry picking details to slant a view. Not saying it happened but as we have seen It could happen in Pittsfield.

Kudos to councilors who showed balls and balked at the project. To the Marchettis and Kerwoods of the world I say…..DO YOUR JOB!!!

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

I’m still tryimg to figure out why they hired that Monterosso over at Berkshire works a few years ago?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Halo
5 years ago

Is he the one who replaced the #METOO guy?

h
h
5 years ago

Planet said he was from Kentucky by way of Pittsfield. A costly hire indeed.

Magoo
Magoo
Reply to  h
5 years ago

After an exhaustive nationwide search!
Wink wink nudge nudge

The school committee
The school committee
5 years ago

Was the Crosby school missing funds for kids

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The school committee
5 years ago

The Russians sent in a team to steal it.

Spider
Spider
5 years ago

Watched the Finance Comm. mtg. last night. What a farce! Thank God for Mazzeo, Morandi and Connell seeing through it and voting no.

It’s obvious that Marchetti and Persip are in the mayor’s camp.

What happens now that the Finance Comm. has voted NO and it is returned to the whole CC? Can the entire CC still vote for it?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Spider
5 years ago

What happens is that the nay sayers, the no voters who are ruining the pie in the sky windfall will get a talking to. And they will be told that the machine will not be financially behind them should the decide to run for reelection. And special perks may start to dry up around town. So they can change their votes and be team players and rubber stamp the damn thing like they were expected to the first time. Or they can do the job the people elected them to do and go to sleep at night with a clear conscientious.

Hopefully new councilors are watching and get some backbone and not follow the pied piper mayor down the cities financial rabbit hole.

NIB
NIB
5 years ago

“Pittsfield is the largest distributor of nitrogen in the Housatonic River in Massachusetts,” Wells said.
The words of a huckster snack oil salesman. No shit we put more nitrogen in the river than anyone else in MA. But the reason is that we are the ONLY CITY that is putting nitrogen into the river!
He’s misrepresenting data. He can’t be trusted on any of this. This is all smokescreen to make money for the connected special interests.

Magoo
Magoo
Reply to  NIB
5 years ago

I don’t think wells took in the account, all the golf courses that use copious amounts of fertilizer. Or the farms and the resulting run off
Obviously cherry picked the information, I bet he’ll even recommend the contractor for the upgrades.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
Reply to  NIB
5 years ago

Good one. did you see he chart that was brought up with other communities, we had the lowest rates because we had the best plant, the new upgrades In Other communities of course will have higher rates. Gee, wonder Y?

UAlbany
UAlbany
5 years ago

open your eyes. Coakly is taking a part time job while looking for a job – he will be gone by ’19 with a tidy sum of taxpayer $$ – I don’t blame him at all – step up to the trough my boy, its all free

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
Reply to  UAlbany
5 years ago

She should have hired Gaetani.

Harlan RinkleNutts
Harlan RinkleNutts
5 years ago

So, Let me see, Covanta was given five hundred thousand dollars for upgrades and we don’t know if they will be here when the contract ends?You’re City Council are idiots.

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

So,the current hauler is the favorite by the mayor because they know the layiout of the city. So, dispatchers that were hired by the city weren’t required to know the lay out before they were hired? Little bit of convenient Hippocracy, no?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Halo
5 years ago

Good point. If knowledge of the city is important why do we seem to hire so many who do not live here?

May Hemm
May Hemm
5 years ago

Wonder if the Planet is going to talk Patriots before weekend free for all?

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

God forbid they hire someone with an actual certification inEconomic Developmemt.