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THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT THE SCHOOL CONTRACTS, JIV’s DEAL

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY OCT. 23, 2019) — With news that superintendent of schools Jason “JIV” McCandless is looking to leave town in a hurry, and in response to multiple requests by readers to repost and update a series of columns we did when JIV and the city of Pittsfield agreed to a new contact in 2015, we present today’s digest. We have distilled five columns into this presentation in hopes of educating the voting public on the scam that has been the Pittsfield Public School Department, also known as The Rape of The Kapanskis.

When the PSD and the city goes to the alleged “negotiating” table, the schools come with the hammer of politics — 1,300 empoyees +family+friends and growing. The taxpayers come to the table as the anvil, with nobody — only a set of compromised political animals determined to cave in on every point. That is how we have a school system growing in dollars and employees while it shrinks in students and performance.

If no other issue grabs your attention when you enter the sanctity of the voting booth on Nov. 5, keep all this in mind. Ask yourself if you want to repeat four more years of the same. Under mayor Linda Tyer, the beat has continued unrelieved. Countless millions more for the PSD, more staff, fewer students, all of which bought even poorer performance.

———— ooo ———-

JIV’s Deal — In September 2015, the Ship of Fools, a.k.a. the Pittsfield School Committee, added two years to JIV’s contract. The new deal gave him a half dozen years at $200,000 per in total compensation. JIV is in the last year of that $1.2 million gift. The contract gives him 25 vacation days and 20 sick days per year, totaling 270. Keep in mind the school year is 183 days by contract. Under this deal, JIV can bank 15 days of vacation each year (90 days) and up to 100 sick days. Thus, he can cash in 190 days of unused time off — more than an entire school year! He gets paid up to 40 of these free days a year, regardless of whether he takes them or not. That’s a total of 200 days on the house.

Then in December 2015, the city signed a contract with school employees.

Cost — Taxpayers will be forced to bear the brunt of pay raises ranging from 15 to 18 percent over the next three fiscal years. This is an astonishingly generous allowance, given the enormous financial pressures being exerted upon citizens owing to a failed economy, a shrinking tax base, and profligate spending by politicians masquerading as leaders. Average total compensation for a teacher in the Pittsfield system is $88,816 per year.

Timing — The city and the union signed the contract on Nov. 3, 2015, the day after the municipal elections. This was true even though they had worked out the details two months before.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) reports that for the 2013-14 school year, the average annual salary for a teacher in the Pittsfield public school system was $64,762, not including benefits. In 2019, that figure is $71,053. before stipends. Counting the generous bennies package, which includes taxpayer-provided 85% of skyrocketing health insurance costs, the figure is $88,816. This is for a contractually defined work year of 183 days.

Remember that number when you hear that PSD teachers are underpaid. Remember that on Nov. 5, when you vote.

———- ooo ———-

THE PLANET, alone among local media, fished out this information because you deserve to know. You’re the ones footing the bill. What does that money buy you? In rating state schools, the Massachusetts’ Progress and Performance Index (PPI) rates Pittsfield schools just above failing. According to state data, PSD students have a Cumulative Progress and Performance Index (CPI) of 44. “High Needs” students rate 45. In other words, the “typical” Pittsfield student is barely performing above “High Needs.”

This information should be readily available, but it is not. The PSD run by JIV have hidden it from public view.

The 128-page PSD contract has three blank pages — 75, 76, and 77. Click the link and scroll to those pages. All you will see is a title telling you they are for salary schedules and nothing else. In short, when JIV and Yon published the contract, they left out the salary schedule. It took THE PLANET to unearth them.

———- 000 ———-

The pact covers not just teachers but guidance counselors, department heads, team leaders, unit leaders, head teachers, supervisors of attendance, coaches, librarians, media specialists, teachers of students with special needs, speech therapists, caseworkers, clinical social workers, in-hour suspension teachers, peer mediation counselors, certified ESL teachers, supervisors of vocational education, instructional technology specialists, evening school teachers, ABE teachers, TPP instructors, mentor teachers, school nurses, school nurse leader, occupational therapists, physical therapists, academic coaches, and extra-curricular personnel.

The work year is 183 days. Ten of these days are designated “half days.” Teacher with 10 years and under of employment receive two weeks (10 days) paid vacation. Those with 11 or more years in the system receive 17 days paid leave. Teachers will each receive 15 days of paid sick leave per school year. These sick days may be banked. Each teacher also receives two paid personal days, two paid “professional days,” and three paid “religious observance” days.

UEP officers receive up to 20 paid days off to attend conventions and throw water balloons out of hotel windows. For the typical job in the Dreaded Private Sector, the work year is 261 days. Paid vacation rarely exceeds two weeks, if it is given at all. Sick leave? Maybe a day or two, and rarely is the banking of sick days allowed. Personal days? Professional days? Religious days? Convention days? “You’re lucky to have a job, mate.”

The contract also defines class size, limiting it to 18 (K-3) and 22 (4-5-6, high school). THE PLANET remembers double sessions at PHS, and our 8th grade graduating class at Mt. Carmel School had 35 kids. Today, class size is about less work for teachers and keeping the little monsters in the classroom under some semblance of control.

At retirement, teachers get a $5,000 lump-sum bonus as well as a formulaic severance pay payment. These are the little sweeteners The Suits hide in the middle pages, where taxpayers are not likely to see them. The contract also includes what it calls “differentials.” A “differential” is the amount of extra pay a teacher gets for serving as a department head, unit leader, head teacher, and the like. These amounts range from $68 to more than $7,000.

———- ooo ———-

This digest of five columns gives you an idea of the circumventions done each time the city agrees to a school contract. Only one candidate, Melissa Mazzeo, has expressed concern over a public-school situation that has clearly gotten out of hand.

————————————————————————————————————

The rusty chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun” — King Crimson.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

Dan,

Great expose’ on the PSD scam. Outta control school budget, outta control crime, both worse under the GOBSIGS stoolie, the Dynamic and Vibrant Mayor Tyer. Mazzeo won’t do much better and is clueless on crime and doesn’t plan on cutting budget either but 4 years is enough for anyone to be mayor. Time to cut our losses, stop the bleeding, and give someone, anyone else, a try, And why does Tyer want the job so much? If I get a 5th piece of glossy cardboard she’ll have out done Ruberto on his last gasp re-election bid. There must be more Kapanski cash to control somewhere.

Wilson
Guest
Wilson

Always has been about that pension for Tyer, it’s like a $3,000,000 lottery jackpot for a secretary who always expected to be clipping coupons. Now just before the election her administration suddenly discovers there is a “retention” crisis that requires giving teachers union members a massive pay increase that probably will add $100 million to property tax over time. Nothing like buying an election with other people’s money

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

But ya gotta give her an A for effort. Mazzeo ain’t doin much and I predict Mazzeo will be beat handedly. Then again, I never thougth Trumpy would win.

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

If lawn signs vote, Tyer is toast.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Excellent reporting Dan. This is appalling and immoral. Reminds me of the Enron scandal.
High rollers who feed off low and middle income folk are con artist parasites abetted by the “gimmee some” mouth gaping politicians.

All existing school committee members should not get one vote. The Tyer, Marchetti, Moon, and Persip crowd should not get one vote.
On a side note, Have you ever been on a farm when they fed the pigs? It is quite a sight to behold as they grunt and fight for every scrap, pushing and shoving each other out of the way.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Supply and demand for qualified licensed teachers Dan.Most of the teachers who got grandfathered in did not need to be tested to teach are retiring and getting a licensed teacher is tough to get.Teacher pay in Pittsfield is not outrageous. The school buildings that house students are killing budgets.The administrators do not maintainthe buildings.The city of Pittsfield needs a plan to shut down and sell some brick and mortar.Pretty sure PHS building downtown will be quite valuable for something else.Could be a great retail center ,condos,college.

Thomas More
Guest
Thomas More

Agree. What Dan doesn’t tell you is that average teachers salaries in Pittsfield rank 226th out of 316 districts in the state. Benefits and work year are much the same everywhere. Our superintendent’s salary is $11,000 less than the state average.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

The school results in Pittsfield are among the worst in the state. If performance had a sway they would be at Walmart wages. Which by the way is what most everyone else in the region is getting so everyone is tired of listening to the teachers – can I say the word – rhymes with itch. Also, the coat of living in Pittsfield is among the lowest in the state. Compared to the Boston area you can live well on that salary. There are many decent houses on the $250k-$300k range in Pittsfield. I am incredibly grateful to Dan for writing this piece. It kicks a hornets nest to be sure – as there is no one more shrill than a teacher at contract time. The teachers cry ‘Give us more money – wah wah wah – and the terrible kids – wah wah… Read more »

PorkyPig
Guest
PorkyPig

Comparing salaries out East to those in the berkshires is apples and oranges.

The cost of living is astronomical past the 91 corridor. If you can’t live comfortably on $65k+ a year (conservative estimate) you have issues beyond your salary.

I’ve said it before… go to the PHS parking lot and see the BMW’s, Lexus’, etc. I’m not saying they aren’t entitled to drive luxury cars. I’m saying if you are, you shouldn’t be bitching about being underpaid

Back into my private sector 15 year old Hyundai I go.

The biggest problem with the PPS is Brendan Sheran. He’s a hack and I’m pretty sure at this point his positions in the Union administration are a major conflict of interest with her Teacher and Learning supervisory position

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

My experience is that the luxury cars in the teacher’s lot belong to women teachers who are married to guys making really good money–owns a real estate agency, dentist, owns an insurance agency, etc.

Her salary goes to the nice car and helps to pay for the second home/vacation.

Just my experience.

Porkypig
Guest
Porkypig

I’d love to meet Brendan Sherman’s husband.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

Ichabod Crane – that is because teacher jobs are dolled out as rewards for GOBSIG wives and family members who follow the script and do as they are told. You don’t even get in the door unless you have a connection.That is also why the teaching standard has gone down.
There were some good teachers at PTS in the day. I disagree with SC that teacher quality is getting better, it seems far worse. For example they often have third or fourth grade teachers that can’t teach third or fourth grade math so they need a specialist to teach the kids. If you are so weak academically that you can’t teach math below 6th grade you should not be a licensed teacher. Most local teachers come out of MCLA, which is another sad story as well.

Harrison
Guest
Harrison

Kermit is right Thomas. Where does Pittsfield rank in cost of living in the state? Probably the lowest for a small city. Superintendent will be paying at least twice as much for a comparable house where he is planning to go.

Barbados
Guest
Barbados

Great expose and reporting DV. What Thomas doesn’t say is that discretionary income in Pittsfield is near the bottom of the 351 cities and towns.
What Thomas also doesn’t say is that the ratio between average salary (non-teacher) and teaching income (nearing $90,000 in total compensation for half year work) ranks dead last. 352 of 351.

Thomas More
Guest
Thomas More

Agree again Harrison. The average in Pittsfield is $70,000. The average for most of the districts east of Worcester is $80,000 up to $102,000 in Burlington.There are 8 districts in Berkshire County whose average is greater than Pittsfield’s. I’m not advocating more money for teachers, I’m just showing comparisons. I don’t have a dog in the fight, I run a business and pay double the amount on inventory and equipment than I do my home. I am very aware Barbados that there is very little discretionary income in this town. There are not many good jobs in this city for people without skills. The answer appears to be, cut all the teachers pay 40% and we’ll all be equal.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

GOBSIG is in every town in the nation. You still need to be certified.

GOBSIG might account for about 5% of teacher hires? 10%? Maybe more for coaching positions.

You’d have to show me how many got their jobs this way. I never did, and did not see many others who did where I worked.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Who’s in line to be the next Superintendent? That salary package is insane.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Don’t forget the days during the school year when the kids are given the whole day off to protest climate change which means another freebie day for teachers and school staff. I’m sure the far left causes will start piling up in the future meaning more required days off for school kids and school staff.

Retention problems in the Pittsfield schools for teachers with unbelievable benefits like that? That is obviously another scam to rake in more money for the schools OR the conditions in the schools are so bad that teachers are walking away from unbelievable pay and benefits? Either way, this doesn’t give anyone confidence in the education system here in Pittsfield.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

An education in clean air and water is very important Pat.Wish we had this when our president was in private military school.

Ron Kitterman
Guest
Ron Kitterman

Good piece for sure Dan, we’re slowly seeing the damage of new charter unfolding. Changing the term of the mayor from 2 years to 4 was a move that put more power in the hands of the administration and less to the the Kapanskis’.

Off Grounds
Guest
Off Grounds

Keep JIVe pay him more,come on Kathy? I had a great friend who passed,former Marine Vet (in action) turned philosopher,very smart though. I once had a discussion about my old dog who kept pissing and crapping in the house,even taking him out four five times a day. His suggestion was give it more food and water…same principal with J I V. The only reasons n he would want to leave is the same reason kids parents opt out, schools aren’t safe.

Ive heard horror stories over the years on bus routes and after school fights, and drugs,how many times have we heard the students run the schools. My question is where are the resource officers?

Merry & Bright
Guest
Merry & Bright

Thanks Dan for another good article. After I finished reading it I headed outside to finish cleaning up my yard after last weeks storm. While I was out there a Pittsfield elementary school was holding a annual evacuation drill which they march up my street. Couldn’t help but notice that I was dressed (in what I call my “grub work clothes”)better than the teachers of this school. There is such a thing as professional casual attire, I wouldn’t clean toilets in what some of these teachers were wearing. Can they not afford clothes with their salaries? No wonder they don’t receive respect, how about acting and looking like an adult. Maybe it is my age showing but I was brought up that if you are a professional worker you dress and behave like one.

SallySays
Guest
SallySays

Council unainmoulsy approved big EMA giveaway, and that includes Mazzeo.

MMNS
Guest
MMNS

Council voted to put 25 percent of marijuana revenue into fund to fix roads. All of this marijuana tax should be going to a new police station, or to reduce our taxes, not a road fund. Any dedicated use of this money should be going to benefit the police and the victims that have to deal with the fallout of legal marijuana. Building a NEW POLICE STATION should be top priority for the tax money – MARIJUANA MONEY for a NEW STATION (MMNS)

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Why do the police need a new station?

Because it is old or because it no longer meet their needs? Really, what is the need for a new one?

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Maybe Tyer wants the police vote? Vote for me and get a new station guys.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

It should ALL go to the roads. The only reason the mayor did anything at all to the roads is because the people were screaming at the top of their lungs for her or ANYBODY to do something. And so several eventually got paved over but come spring I guaruneffingT you there will still be a hundred pothole filled roads.
The other three quarters of the pot money will disappear into the hands of special interests. I know it and she knows it and that is the way it was designed.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

A 1000 square foot house in eastern ma. Is 350k.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Facebook post of the day – Warren Dews going Live On Facebook, while driving. Recording, interacting with viewers, while driving to work.

How’s that little defiance of public safety from the husband of the mayor’s chief of staff…?

I don’t think it’s quite illegal, but certainly not a good display of safety behind the wheel.

Cheshire Cat
Guest
Cheshire Cat

It most certainly is illegal and should be reported.

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

Watch for him to take a city job after Tyer is re-elected. He will jump the sinking ship called The Boaring Broadsheet, before it goes the way of the Titantic.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

He’s no longer at the BB.

In fact, he’s now a licensed realtor… Funny recent find – the house description for a listing on Zillow actually ends with “open house hosted by Warren Dews Jr.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/125-Danforth-Ave-Pittsfield-MA-01201

Ham Anex
Guest
Ham Anex

Yaba daba Dews we love you.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Oh, and I think Tyer is in trouble. Aside from the people who were disenfranchised with her before, I think she’ll have a new group of non-fans by Election Day.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Raises for school folk and new police station for the cops, am sure she has made promises to the other unions as well. She will buy this election if she has to.

Santa Claus is coming to town, just in time for the elections

retread Carroms
Guest
retread Carroms

No,you and I will. Buy the election,no,pay,yes.

Shakes
Guest
Shakes

Wow. This blog shows how out of touch dan is with the private sector. Anything goes to depreciate women and the teaching profession. Sad!!!

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Since this got buried by the Planet’s robo cop last thread, here we go again:

https://www.wnd.com/2019/10/update-red-flagged-84-year-old-vet-gets-job-back-mass-outrage/

“An elderly veteran and school crossing guard expressed worry about the safety of children at Tisbury School in Tisbury, Massachusetts, after noticing the school resource officer would often leave the grounds to grab a coffee at a nearby store.

For his valid concern, the hero had guns at his home confiscated by police and was forced to surrender his firearm license. His crossing guard duties were even suspended.

Stephen Nichols, an 84-year-old Korean War veteran, was reinstated after his story went viral.”

BTW, your mASSachusetts legislators, are considering making using the word “bitch” , a crime.

I guess since the 2nd amendment is long gone in this State, the 1st, 4th, and 5th don’t matter either.

Have fun Comrades…….

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Ironically the word bitch seems to be ok on TV now. Hear it all the time. What you cannot say on Tv is the word “shit”. Every other synonym for shit is acceptable though. Anyone know why? Am I missing something? Let me use it in a sentence and see if it seems offensive.

“Some politicians seem to have shit for brains”.

Cinday Charm
Guest
Cinday Charm

……that’s a bitch.

Bronko Bill
Guest
Bronko Bill

Ken Warren will easily defeat Moon. He says that property tax hikes are a regressive tax and that S C increases need to come from another source. The burden is to heavy.

Giacometti
Guest
Giacometti

Linda Tyer IS Jim Ruberto…Jim runs the show…he wants to be the new Reno Del Gallo…only difference is Remo was a nice guy.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Does little Jimmy Ruberto still live in his, MOMMIES HOUSE?

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

I lost faith in Jimmy Ruberto around 14 years ago when he gave glowing praise to fellow Good Old Boy Carmen Massimiano! Mayor Jimmy Ruberto came off as a con-man.

I don’t blame the lovely Linda Tyer for being in the Ruberto camp. That is part of being a politician. You pick a side, and they support your candidacy for political office.

Lastly, both the lovely Melissa and Linda answer to the same Democratic Party bosses!!!!

Top Calendars
Guest
Top Calendars

Agree on the politics part J,endorsements to get elected .. but how can you say Tyers done the job, she’s had the four years, you can’t. If it doesn’t change we’re going to get a one way watered down city with limited services and very poor communication between the haves have nots, the millennials and elderly leading to a mass exodus. Tyer was supposed to act like a City Manager,dot and cross. But she was consumed with power and controlled by the sigs,like Skinny legs. Let me give you an example,there are many. A private meeting with a City Council President and the Mayor with the Chief EPA concerning the water-sewer plant. Where were the other Council members? This affects each and every citizen. No input,why? She also has failed on many promises One in particular,was blight.Hess Forest still stands. Then there is the… Read more »

Turk H
Guest
Turk H

I cannot understand Lady a Boots when she speaks. She hummms. She sounds like a broken muffler.

Sub Later
Guest
Sub Later

I can’t understand Stoogie, he’s interviewing a Yukie Cohen and won’t let her speak. What a boob. She’s looking at him like,no wonder why Pittsfield is stuck in the mud. He would make a great Wal Mart greeter,I’m serious.

PoliceReport
Guest
PoliceReport

Minor clarifications:

It’s DESE department of elementary and secondary education. Everyone abbreviates it as DESE.

What this doesn’t take into account are all the support staff in a class. I went to Reid to give a talk, there was 1 teacher and four Paras in one class. Two were one-on-one and two were “general helpers” there were 22 kids in the class.

This also doesn’t account for the average school day. Many teachers have two free periods a day, prep periods, while their class is in gym or art or CAP.

Also remember they work 183 days a year. That’s about 36 weeks out of 52. Most people work 50 weeks a year.

The average salary vacillates a bit based on people retiring and new teachers coming in.

Elle Chapow
Guest
Elle Chapow

I guess if you have outdoor pot cultivation you could have a bunch of pit bulls guarding the facilities.i don’t think that is a problem. The smell issue is the proble. Fix that and it’s all good. Revenue is great and will be lots more once they get rolling. A certain lawyer should be called el chapo as he’ll make a ton of cash.

Johnny2Shoes
Guest
Johnny2Shoes

Cutting the school budget should start here. Trim the fat with these people who are only there because of who they are and the voters that come along with them. Let them be activists on their own dime. There are many like this that take away $ in salaries, and benefits that could be used for the children. Nothing against this Coach Shirley .

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/letter-tyer-has-advanced-successful-new-approaches,588019?

PoliceReport
Guest
PoliceReport

With only reading the like I knew that was going to be written by Shirley “ charlatan” Edgerton

Mr. G
Guest
Mr. G

I will say from first hand experience negotiating with a teachers’ union that GOOD teachers welcome, even crave performance metrics. The older, less well-qualified ones not so much but they are, at least in some districts, declining in number and power.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

I’m not following why older teachers are somehow less qualified than younger ones–all pub school teachers need to be certified, no?

Please explain.

But “qualified” “highly qualified” can be jargon pub school terms used for hiring and step increases.

Qualified to me means they know their stuff and can teach it, and just having a certification is often not sufficient.

I think the majority of pub school teachers in the US do NOT have a BA/BS in the subject they teach. They are certified to teach it (I hope, and there is some flexibility), but that usually means they have a BA in education, not English, or chemistry, or history, say.

Mr. G
Guest
Mr. G

Ichabod Crane, not sure where the line of demarcation is, but the language around “qualified/highly qualified” is relatively new; I’m talking within 10 to 15 years. Prior to that teachers were hired at the pleasure of the principal or superintendent and there really was a lot of patronage. As more specific qualifications have been mandated the quality of the teachers has increased as well. Older teachers have often been “grandfathered” in their lack of highly qualified status and given waivers to “pursue” said status. In the mean time, they have “tenure” are protected by the union. They are also the highest-paid. I am not saying g all older teachers are bad mind you, I am saying there are some, and fewer every year, who drag everything and everyone else down with their entitled old-school attitudes.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Thanks, Mr. G. Yes, as I said, qualified/highly qualified is pub school admin jargon and has little relation to what the teacher knows or can do in the classroom–probably means they need to take more useless teacher ed classes/seminars/meetings/suck-up talks by admin, etc., for their PDPs–professional development points–and pad their IDPs–individual development plan. Whole thing is scam. Most of the stuff is useless, and veterans will have become jaded on the whole thing. Pleasure/political/crony hire or not, they still need to be certified. The state DOE holds districts to this at a certain percentage of all teachers to be certified in the district. If they hire someone not certified–such as Dan’s college English prof–the district has to prove to the state that they could find anyone else “qualified.” They can get a temporary cert. But this usually depends on the superintendent and how flexible… Read more »

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Correction–they could NOT find anyone qualified, which means certified.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Responding to Dan’s comment just below:

Pub school is pub school–in every state, every town, every district in this country. Same kind of baloney obtains to maintain the system, from DOE jobs to education schools and profs, to district fat-cats.

JIV, Boots, GOBSIG, the Pitts–I’m telling you that just rearranging the deck chairs ain’t going to plug that hole in the Titanic.

My quest is to give some perspective on what teachers actually experience–and if you haven’t taught in pub school, you simply do not know (maybe if you’re married to one)–the great mass of problem is not with teachers

Rather, look to top-heavy admin first, and positions such as “curriculum coordinator,” which is most often useless, or worse.

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

October 22, 2019 Re: GE is paying its future retirees with the workers’ own money! GE is offering about 100,000 former GE workers their own money back to buy out their defined pension plans with questionable and unrealistic accounting assumptions. To illustrate, this would be like me telling you that I would offer you your own money back for pennies on the dollar. How is this scam legal, ethical, and financially accurate? Instead of offering their former workers their own money back for less, GE should be paying down its debts to make their future retirees whole again. However, GE is really growing its debts in the long-term to build short-term equity into the company to increase its stock price. To be clear, GE is, indeed, shafting or screwing over its 20k workers and 100k future retirees by buying them out with their own… Read more »

Sonny
Guest
Sonny

ZBA green lighted the pot farm tonight. Shameful spineless board. A real State Law issue came up tonight about lighting but it looks like they had to rubber stamp this done deal. They could have easily continued till next meeting. I for one feel bad for anyone who has to smell the skunk piss from the comfort of their homes. ZBA failed local taxpaying property owners but they made Mangardi and some guy from Avon Mass very happy. Maybe the ZBA members are just regular pot users in their daily life and couldn’t help themselves but they did a real disservice to that community tonight.

Raison Being
Guest
Raison Being

Is pot any worse smelling than cow dung or horse manure? NIMBY. This will be a great revenue source. Pot has been called a gateway drug. So is it possible our kids will pay the consequences. I’d like to see every penny to eliminate tax increases 100 percent every year, and anything left over go to general fund account. Do not let the current regime get there hands on it. You see how they handled the Museum monies. One other thing I would Tax the hell out of them. There is no regulation on that. And who cares if they raise the price to compensate,bunch of potheads anyway,they’ll pay for it. It’ll be a fun night out in the summer raiding pot outdoors,almost like raiding a garden in the day.

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

Pot smells like skunk. I think I prefer the manure.

James
Guest
James

The gateway drug and the pothead of back in the day are no longer the only issues the pot itself is the dangerous drug that it never. There’s the much higher potency addictive weed, industrial grows, farms and stores with questionable security, edibles and cafes, of course, there’s vaping. This isn’t about NIMBYism it’s about public safety so I sure hope people get that.

MMNS
Guest
MMNS

this article explains quite nicely why a new police station and location is needed. In fact a new station should have been built before a new high school. A new station is a need not a want. Anyone who has ever spend anytime at the crowbar hotel on Allen Street knows it. And this mayor or the next one should make it happen with Marijuna Money for a New Station (MMNS). Marijuana is a drug and it is far from harmless and the adverse effects affect the police more than anyone and there is no better use for the money other than a tax reduction and we all
Know that won’t happen. The money will be peed away on something and that somethings should be a new police station: MMNS

https://www.iberkshires.com/story/56342/Hinds-Asks-State-to-Fund-Design-for-New-Pittsfield-Police-Station.html

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

The city could pay for a luxurious high tech police station with money from fines for traffic violations in Pittsfield. And they could do it in one year with a side benefit of less people maimed and killed on the ever more frightening city roadways.

In addition to all the potholes in the roads and trash in the roads they are unsafe to walk across or drive on. This wannabe mayor promised to revive a traffic department but in classic Tyer fashion, failed to deliver. She is a make believe mayor.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Thanks for the article.

Imagine what the $2.5 million they squandered on “extra salt” this past winter could have funded. Such a shame.

acheshirecat
Guest
acheshirecat

The old Second st jail could have been a good replacement for the police dept.. Plenty of room for overnight guests, room for a gym, room for different social programs, centrally located, plenty of parking and still room for the homeless that the sheriff wants to put there. The 2.5 mil could have gone a long way with renovations of the old jail.

MMNS
Guest
MMNS

Acat, the old jail is a shithole, and should be sold to the highest bidder. Why does the sherrif still have control over it? That means our taxes are paying for it still. Ridiculous. See it to the highest bidder, and get the property on our tax rolls. Same with PHS. City needs to get its head out of it’s butthole.

MMNS
Guest
MMNS

Phil, you’re welcome. I don’t know the estimated cost but several years back I remember reading it was estimated it would cost under $20 million, whereas the new school was over $200 mill, and soon the city will be bringing in around a half mill per year in marijuana money, which can easily finance a new station.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

They really can not stop spending money.

They should be able to do whatever they need with what they already have from taxes.

They intertwined pot money with roads to make the public dependent on the pot sales.

Unanimous vote for stupid ‘space’ chamber to put lipstick on a turd.

Turn off the lights folks, we’re done, save yourselves. The Kapinskis are getting the shiv n the shower or worse. No one is coming to save you, no new mayor will be different.

Tax&Spend
Guest
Tax&Spend

Not sure what a shiv in the shower is but very well said Kermit. I’m cutting my losses and getting out of town. Absolutely us Kapanskis have been getting screwed without the lube for far too long, regardless of mayor. Tyer raised taxes by hundreds and increased budget by over 10 percent. Mazzeo won’t cut it either. Just wait until after election when you find out what your new tax bill will be, plus there the community preservation scam tax and the new high school tax.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Millions needed to balance sand and salt every year in the Tyer budgets.Why?

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Perhaps someone is salting it away somewhere?

Ah, but, don’t look over there, look over here at the Wayfair hullabaloo.

Mike Milmkin
Guest
Mike Milmkin

Lovely to salt trucks,Dump it’ Gordon Wall St. movie…Gekko to Bud when stock was worthless….Dump it!

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

When the tax bill shows up in your mail and you wonder how you’re going to pay it. When you hit a pothole hidden by rainwater and blowout a tire or crack a wheel. When someone keys your car parked on North Street after dusk. When you want to go to The Lantern for a burger but can’t because you realize it’s after dark. When a kid gets shot or knifed in your neighborhood for no real reason. When a company like Wayfair can’t find enough qualified help. When there’s mayhem in classrooms, teacher are leaving left and right in fear, and the school budget keeps going up. When the salt and sand budget is over by a million yet you couldn’t make it up your street on a snowy day last year. Every one of these is a reason to get off your… Read more »

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Well said.

The only way to initiate change is to change the leadership. If you’re happy with the way things are, then a vote for the incumbents seems reasonable.

If you want to see things done differently, if you want the city to have a shot at different outcomes, vote in new leadership.

There’s no guarantee Melissa Mazzeo can accomplish those changes or change direction.

But it’s certainly guaranteed that voting for Tyer and her besties is a vote for more of the same.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Mazzeo may or may not be the answer but TYER definitely is NOT, She has been in way over her head since day one and I wish Ruberto and her other handlers would, in the future, pick candidates that at least have some level of competency. There are actually special interest candidates out there that can also think on their feet so no need to settle for a simple run of the mill puppet.

Not sure if Mazzeo is the answer but if she goes rogue the voters can always boycott her business s to let off steam. So that might give her some incentive to do right by the people who elect her.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Bill Cameron was the only person who seems to realize that this sh..show cant go on.Ours schools are not well run. Principles and assistance dont own their halls.Teachers do not feel supported inside their classrooms.Stop sending behavior kids back to the teacher.Start sending behavior students home to those responsible for them.Their are no secrets to the Pittsfield school system anymore.Everyone loves the elementary schools .Lets restructure behaviors in Middle and high.Principles are our of the building every Wednesday every week of every month during the schoolday.That should never happen.Meet after 4pm .Superintendent needs to walk the halls everyday.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Pittsfield budgets need to tighten up.Taxes at a tipping point and im betting Mazzeo gets it.State money sent our svhool committee on a spending spree.There will never be enough.

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

Just want to say that Limbaugh is on fire today so far talking about “journalists” and “journalism.”

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

I just knew he was your mentor. Do you belong to Scientology as well?

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

You’re still around?

Why didn’t you join the others with the Hale-Bopp comet?

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

Not my mentor, but sounds like he should be yours.

Everyone would benefit from listening to Limbaugh, at least on occasion. I carry no brief for any other radio host.

He is an absolutely necessary corrective to all the crap “journalism” you hear, see, and read every day, including Fox.

Those who criticize him most, listen to him the least–or not at all.

Interesting what he said about Fox one day–never-Trumper Paul Ryan is now on the board at Fox, hence the more “negative” coverage of Trump there.

Mr. Fritz
Guest
Mr. Fritz

Fox also hired Donna Brazile, Dem nutjob. What are they thinking?!

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

Ed, saw him on tv years ago for the first time – thought it was a comedy show – a big blow hard bloviating on and on in front of a stack of books with his picture on them. Funniest thing I ever saw.
He’s a bigger fraud and phony than Trump, who’s doing a great job draining the swamp.

By the way, Turocy quit.

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

Add Johnny 99 to the list or those who have never listened to him on the radio.

Rush himself often says he hated doing TV, and why he stopped.

But if you or anyone else has an intelligent, substantive observation/comment on something that Limbaugh has actually said (not what is sound-bited or wrongly reported in your corrupt media), then I’d be happy to entertain that criticism.

I know some very intelligent people on the Right who pooh-pooh Limbaugh (they don’t listen to him either) and who should know better. I think it makes them feel more sophisticated or superior or something.

But really people can see past the occasional bombast (most of which is tongue-in-cheek and for effect, or, as he says, “absurd to demonstrate the absurd.”

Oh, happy day! Who replaced Turocy?

Edward R. Murrow
Guest
Edward R. Murrow

Limbaugh has always said that you need to listen to him for a solid six weeks in order to make any kind of judgment about him and the show.

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

Definitely better on radio. Just a bit long winded. Knew a guy once that had a meltdown because he couldn’t pick up the radio station Rush was on, at the beach. He certainly has a good following. And Trump has done more for the country in 3 years than Obama did in 8. Like Tyer, Obama was a collasal disappointment.

Merry & Bright
Guest
Merry & Bright

Does anyone know how much a paraprofessional gets paid in the Pittsfield School system? Does the Lee, Lenox, Dalton school systems have this one on one student/paraprofessional system? When these students that have a one on one during their school years graduate are they going to have the same when they hit the work force or will they fall right into the give me a freebie, I can’t work system? When I was in school there were 45 to a classroom with one teacher. If you were having trouble you stayed after school and the teacher would help you. Is this help still available for students?

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Again, EVERY pub school district in THE NATION has this kind of situation. Some states might be more generous than others.

Pub school is pub school is pub school. At one time, and probably still the case, teachers’ unions were THE top lobby group at the state house–in every state.

Ask ex-Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis).

I’m sure Mass. is among the most generous in things like special ed.

“When I was in school . . .” See my earlier comments in this thread.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Pub school is pub school is pub school–in the EVERY town and EVERY school district in the country. Once a kid gets an IEP–individual education plan–certain laws come into play and dictate a minimum level of care/attention/staff/accommodations. Also, every child in this country is legally entitled to an education in a public school in the district where they reside (up to the age of 16, I believe). So you can’t just kick them out, send them away unless there is some other PUBLIC school/institution/alternate school to send them to. Districts that have that option are necessarily going to be in better shape because they can expel the gang-bangers and window-jumpers. If not, then I guess there’s in-house detention (I hope). Kid will be put in there and teachers will send the work to that room–which, oh, yes, Sally, will be staffed one-on-one or close… Read more »

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

The 35 new positions will turn out to be money not well spent.Mazzeo will ask next year what they accomplished.The school administration will lie about success of new positions.They need to admit its been a crap shoot trying to figure it out.Eberwien and Massimiano screw everything up 10 years ago.They threw millions around……Yon must not get in as she is yes to everything.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

The D-Congresswoman on the House “ethics” committee, investigating Trump, seems to be without morals, scruples, and ETHICS!!!

Lie and Deny , D-rep Katie Hill using staffers as boy- girl- toys!!!!

Didn’t she have a problem with Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination?

A link to the hypocrite’s “ethical” lifestyle.

https://www.redstate.com/jenvanlaar/2019/10/18/ca-rep.-katie-hill-allegedly-involved-female-staffer-2-yr-throuple-relationship

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7609835/Katie-Hill-seen-showing-Nazi-era-tattoo-smoking-BONG-NAKED.html

“EXCLUSIVE: Shocking photos of Congresswoman Katie Hill are revealed as she’s seen NAKED showing off Nazi-era tattoo while smoking a bong, kissing her female staffer and posing nude on ‘wife sharing’ sites……”

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper
Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Does anyone know the correct number of students who opted out this year? How many teachers bailed in the last two years? Superintendent doing such an awesome job that he is leaving to save his reputation.

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Mazzeo said on the radio yesterday that 75 teachers resigned from Pittsfield Public Schools in the last year.

75 !!
In one year !!

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

The Pitts lost 75 teachers in one year and some folks want to reduce teacher salaries?

Perhaps you can volunteer to teacher a few classes.

Pat
Guest
Pat

If we’re losing teachers, it’s the lack of discipline in the schools that’s the problem, not the salaries of the teachers which are already very high. That’s a ridiculous argument. You should be worried about the kids in the schools if the schools are that bad that already very well paid teachers are leaving in droves.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

No wonder Mc Candless is leaving. He has created or allowed an atmosphere where neither the students nor the staff want to be there. And neither does he.
And so for this the school committee gives him high praise. and that says more about them than he.

La Roxx
Guest
La Roxx

Where is the forensic audit on the for Beacon owner. Betcha would find something! One other aside,how did the Winesap Road victim years ago make out. Never heard about it again.

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

It’s a GOBSIGS a secret and they ain’t telling ya. Half the cops and teachers send their kids elsewhere.

Racial Biased Tyers
Guest
Racial Biased Tyers

Lakiya Moore of North Adams, the woman who claimed that there was a hate crime perpetrated against her family likes to claim that a lot. This time it netted her over $4,500.

Police and the DA have yet to prove it was racially motivated or that there was even a crime. They have the video, which would unequivocally prove at least a crime but yet nothing has been said by the North Adams police or the DA. W

Bert Moe
Guest
Bert Moe

I was talking to Pat Kavey. He really impressed me. Very cordial, a just taliking to him I found him to be a personable young man,very smart. Voters in Ward Five should take advantage of Pat returning here awhile ago. I know one thing,he loves Ward Five.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Before I sign off this taco stand for the day, here’s the deal, y’all: “They have good schools in that town.” “The schools are good.” “We have good schools.” What that means is that the median home price is sufficiently high to produce the good schools. The quality of the schools depends almost exclusively on the quality of students and by extension their families. Not the teachers, not the administrators, not the school committee, not the mayor, not the superintendent. Case in point: Cambridge, MA, schools are basically run by the Harvard Education Department–and how they doin’? The higher the median home price, the more professional parents you’re going to have, and the more educated the parents, and thus the better the students, certainly academically but usually behaviorally too. Though they can certainly be little shits with their attitudes, but you won’t have gang-bangers… Read more »

JohnnyComeLately
Guest
JohnnyComeLately

Icabod,

Same can be said for crime. Bill Britton ain’t gonna eliminate the gang banging shootings in Pittsfield- barn door left open too long by the GOBSIGs who watched city go down shitter for last 30 years. New chief, same problems.

PoliceReport
Guest
PoliceReport

Neither of these are correct

Parents are certainly a large part of the solution, and can be a large part of the problem but they are not the end all.

There are hundreds of private schools in the US filled with kids whose families pay $50k, $70k, $90k a year or more for tuition and they are horrible cretins.
Trust fund kids who’s only saving grace is their parents money, who will live trust fund lives and date rape and do drugs and skirt out of criminal activity and consequence because of affluence.

So parents do make a difference BUT a great teacher can make ALL the difference.

Hull Abulu
Guest
Hull Abulu

There should be a farming and Agricultural class at the new Taconic. We will need students to grow this stuff in a few years,that’s if Will Nelson is still around.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Losing 75 teachers in a year in the Pittsfield schools says a lot about just how bad the schools are in this city. Isn’t anyone worried about the kids attending these bad schools instead of insisting that bigger salaries for teachers will solve the problem? A political agenda has destroyed our local schools. That is the problem.

Professor Snot
Guest
Professor Snot

Back in the day it was the teacher that ruled class order. Now it’s the other way around. Back in day if I wasn’t a good little boy I’d get detention, more homework,recess taken away,and when I got home a thrashing,that’s the way it was. Today the parents will want a confrontation with a teacher before punishing their own kids. Now they send them to Eagle st. Hillcrest Ed,it’s crazy.

Ichabod Crane
Guest
Ichabod Crane

Please read my post again:

bad schools = bad kids/students/families/parents

good schools = good kids/students/parents

Sure, a good teacher makes a big difference, but how you going to attract and retain a good teacher in a town such as Pittsfield?

Good teachers will gravitate to good schools, and good schools come from . . .

Canem Bonum
Guest
Canem Bonum

JIV is STAYING in Pittsfield.

Planet Valenti