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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: THE WIZARD TONIGHT; TOMORROW THE COUNCIL

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY DEC. 10, 2018) — Tonight before the Pittsfield city council’s public works subcommittee, water wizard Craig Gaetani of Krofta lineage presents his alternative solutions to address updates at the city’s water treatment facility off of Holmes Road. Tomorrow night, the council will take up and perhaps vote on the mayor’s proposal for the plant.

The circles of the two events intersect, and the common space defines the forum that will determine the water and sewer bills — and perhaps the financial solvency — of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski plus numerous small businesses. Gaetani promises technical solutions that will cost a fraction of the nearly $80 million tag on the mayor’s plan. It’s clear that given the financial straights of too many citizens and small businesses, a good number won’t survive. Tyer may see that as an unfortunate cost of “progress.” She may lament the cost but say she has no choice but to follow the EPA’s directive.

Not true.

Actually, she has a much better choice. She can mount a challenge in court. The EPA’s unfunded mandate, now 10 years old and politically outdated, has never been legally tested. There’s strong reason to believe that with the proper case, such a challenge would be successful. Savings to taxpayers? Somewhere between $74 and $80 million, minus legal fees.

Short of a legal challenge, the next big question concerns the public works subcommittee. Will it listen to Gaetani and show him the respect due to his expertise in the field, or will they pretend to listen in the belief that humoring him will shut him up? If the latter, they don’t know Craig Gaetani.  The Water Wizard claims he can address the needed upgrade while shaving tens of millions off the cost of the mayor’s proposal, a plan that has already spent $9 million on studies and consultants, an amount that Pittsfield’s current brand of politicians consider piddling, as long as it goes to the right pockets.

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Before we go further, allow THE PLANET to clarify a misconception that’s making the rounds. The council has not finalized its position on the mayor’s plan. Her proposal passed a hurdle at last week’s meeting of the whole (MOTH), in which the full council (not subcommittee) narrowly gave the administration its blessing, once that may turn out to be a curse. The MOTH gave a recommendation only. To finalize the plan, the council will have to approve in a simple majority when the matter comes for a vote, something that could happen as soon as tomorrow night. The MOTH 6-5 tally to give Tyer what she wants shook out this way: In favor Moon, Caccamo, Krol, Marchetti, Persip, White. Against Morandi, Connell, Rivers, Simonelli, and Mazzeo. The five cited a lack of information, realizing that the administration’s proposal was still too sketchy.

At the MOTH, Tyer let the consultant, the Russell Group, do the talking. Russell received $10,000 to study Pittsfield’s water-and-sewer rate structure. Question: Why couldn’t this study be done internally? Answer: That’s why organizations — be they cities, towns, or political campaigns — hire consultants. To produce the results they want to hear.

For his $10 grand, Russell produced a sixty page report ($166/page), but took the MOTH through a dumbed down Power Point presentation, the kind they teach in fourth grade. No wonder the recalcitrant five decided they didn’t have enough information.

City finance director Matt “Kufflinks” Kerwood assured taxpayers, saying in a delightful turn of phrase that Russell’s report “sounds like sound planning.” Ouch. Councilor-at-large Peter White called the rate study “prudent,” a word that Kufflinks has trademarked. He let White use it for the occasion. After hearing the imprecise numbers being casually thrown around, Ward 3 councilor Nick Caccamo said, “I have to do some forecasting myself.” Spoken like Bob Gordon or Howard Tupper. Write THE PLANET is you get the references.

When it came to question time, Russell was ill-prepared, which is why the five councilors voted against.

It’s water on the brain from here on out. Gaetani’s presentation is tonight. The council meets tomorrow. Come Wednesday morning, it will be water under the bridge.

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The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy” — Sam Levinson.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Hollywood can’t find anyone pure enough to host the Oscars. The one person they had lined up said something negative about gay people when he was 14 so was booted out. Nobody in Hollywood is without sin as we all know so until the far left can create a master race of perfect people, we may soon have a robot hosting the Oscars. Not that I watch anyway. I stopped years ago when these people became so phony and truly believe they need to be politically correct on every issue even when they themselves are drug, alcohol, and sex addicts.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Trump can’t find anyone to be his gofur

The school committee
The school committee
4 years ago

Listen ward 4 and 3 will elect the next mayor.The city is run by people in the southeast as it should be.Why because the rest of the city does not vote.

u
u
4 years ago

Hey Barry, Gaetani just called your wife a liar.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
4 years ago

Watching the CC meeting is like watching a group therapy session – each councilor pontificates for what seems like an eternity. Asking the same questions over & over again. Maddening! The city solicitor has been asked the same questions twice.
Councilor Connell has raised an interesting question about Dalton’s responsibility, per contract with Pittsfield, to pay 19% of capital improvements to the treatment plant. Mazzeo is hammering away at the bidding process. Gman is losing his temper and calling the mayor a liar. What a circus!

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

I’d charge Dalton double.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
4 years ago

Tyer should resign if she lied. Sorta like Trump does, all the time.

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

At Large against Shite Marxhetti Persip…ward Councilors Simonelli,Rivers,Moon, all have to go. As well as that piece of garbage in the Mayors Office.

mi
mi
4 years ago

I have been watching the City Council with the water debate and it is not coincidental that Amanda Drain continually never mentioned once, anything positive or any thing he had to say during that time. The shitty rag she works for actually endorsed the mega project proposed by the Mayor. Maybe th City Council should ban Eagle reporters who kept the public in the dark for three years,who opposed he humongous cost,which also led the new team to not enter the Plant for study,by the gold~digger.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
4 years ago

Moon! White,Simonelli, Rivers, anyone running against these four I’ll will send contribution for campaign against.

Jae Hogan
Jae Hogan
Reply to  Trumped Up
4 years ago

Moon shot is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Acute Angina
Acute Angina
4 years ago

Now fake Krol is too tired.