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EVER-INCREASING SINGLE-FAMILY PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS ‘UNSUSTAINABLE,’ WITH A BAD RIPPLE-EFFECT TO BOOT

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION JAN. 10-2, 2020) — Today, THE PLANET present the second part of Mark Tully’s two-part guest piece dissecting the assessment process in Pittsfield. Part 1 received heavy traffic, a testimony not only of the assiduousness of Tully’s work and research but also of the fevered interest in a topic that hits every property owner in the purse and wallet.

FY2020 Single-Family Home Assessments and How They Affect Us

BY MARK TULLY

Special to THE PLANET

There is a simple calculation I make to determine a community’s ability to pay their real estate tax bills.  I divide the “per capita Income” by the “average single-family tax bill.”  I am pleased to see new DLS reports using the same calculation.  For FY2020, Pittsfield’s ratio is 14.55%.  That means that if I am an average wage earner and the sole owner of my home with an average value, I would pay 14.55% of my income in real estate taxes.  While 14.55% is not out of the range for Massachusetts, 10 years ago, in FY2010, the ratio was 11.93%.  This means that Pittsfield has been increasing residential taxes at a rate higher than income increases.   It is unsustainable to expect Pittsfield single family home owners to continue to hand over a higher portion of their income each year, yet that is what’s happening.

What is the solution for us?  Move to Hancock, Richmond, Windsor or Cheshire, where the ratio is less than 10% but stay away from Williamstown and Lanesborough with the 2 highest ratios at 19% and 18% respectively.

To put this increase into a monetary context, the Pittsfield per capita income grew $4,000 from FY 2010 to FY2020 — $22,321 to $26,323.  During the same time period, the average single family tax bill increased by $1,166, from $2,663 to $3,829.  In 10 years, the tax increase outpaced the income increase 44% to 18%.

The FY2020 assessments were based on 2018 real estate sales.  The “at-arm’s length” transactions showed that 2/3 of the sales were for homes below $200,000.  It is reasonable to assume that this is the range most Pittsfield home owners can afford and banks are willing to lend.  Because of the demand for this price range, the prices were higher overall. This in turn increased the assessments by almost 5%.  Many single-family homeowners in this category will see tax increases they were not expecting and for which they had not budgeted.

The point I hear most often is “You should not complain that your property is increasing in value.”  This is a moot point, since it only benefits certain situations, such as:

  1. I plan to flip my property, move away to a lower cost area, and pocket the profit.
  2. I need to borrow against the fictitious equity in my home to pay bills and taxes.
  3. I’m dead and my out of town heirs are selling my house at a nice price.

To further dispute that point, if I want to cash in on my increased value, upgrade my home, and remain in the community, where would I move?  Wouldn’t all the other properties have increased as well?  If my $150k home is now worth $200k and I want to upgrade, would another $200k home be an upgrade or would it be the same as my home?

Prediction for the future in Pittsfield

I would like to predict that the fiscally responsible leaders will reign in the municipal budget to match the resident’s ability to pay.  I would also like to predict that Pittsfield will see an influx of new residents purchasing houses and fulfilling the open positions available in Pittsfield.  These, however, would be predictions based on fantasy.

Unfortunately, based on past performance, my predictions aren’t optimistic:

  1. Pittsfield single-family home owners will continue to bear an increasing share of the Tax Levy.  This in turn will cause people to move out to lower-cost communities.
  2. Businesses outside the area looking to expand will continue to ignore the community with the 2nd highest commercial tax rate in the state, unless significant tax incentives are offered.
  3. Other commercial investment will continue to decline because skilled employees will continue to leave the region.
  4. The school department will continue to increase their budget to accommodate more special needs students while more students choice-out to other school districts, further costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
  5. 58% of the voters in Pittsfield will continue to abstain from our local elections, allowing the status quo to continue.

In order to turn around this downward spiral, we need to change our form of government to a City Manager system.  It is apparent that the mayoral system has brought us to the point where we are now.  A professional city manager, hired and reporting to the city council, hopefully could take politics out of leading the city.  In order for this to be considered, it is imperative for the 58% abstaining voters to become engaged.

———- ooo ———-

Tully’s final point is well taken. If somehow, a significant portion of that 58% can be persuaded to “become engaged,” the legal scam could be ended and quickly.

THE PLANET thanks Mark Tully for his column. We welcome your thoughts on the topic or whatever else interests you.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

——————————————————————————————-

“Life is only matter crumbling, souls of moral conscience tumbling down”Al Cooper.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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SallySays
Guest
SallySays

Move to Lenox like renaissance Ruberto

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

O.K., SallySays. Sarcasm: It is my plan to move from Amherst, NH back to Pittsfield (Mass.) in 2023, and run for Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I will say all the right things. “I will cut taxes, retain and create living wage jobs, I will reduce crime. I will invest in public education. I will grow the city’s decades-long declining population by creating incentives for small businesses.” BUT THEN, I will really be yet another Good Old Boy and only serve the vested and special interests. As Mayor of Pittsfield in 2024, I will really raise taxes by large margins, I will see the few remaining living wage private sector job disappear until there are no more living wage jobs left in Pittsfield. I will bury my head in the sand while the criminals and underclass run the inner-city streets. I will throw 70% –… Read more »

SallySays
Guest
SallySays

Good for you Jonathan.

Bumper Sticker Bob
Guest
Bumper Sticker Bob

Melle for Mayor

Jumpin Joe Curtis
Guest
Jumpin Joe Curtis

2023 is going to be the Battle of the Pee Pee’s

White v. Marchetti. I’m glad Jonathan would like to stick his in the race too

裴吉瑞
Guest
裴吉瑞

Pittsfield’s best days are ahead of her.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

Just like in The Road!

裴吉瑞
Guest
裴吉瑞

More like All the Pretty Horses

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

thanks peggy

Johnny Dimentia
Guest
Johnny Dimentia

Just like Hong Kongs

裴吉瑞
Guest
裴吉瑞

Hong Kong’s ARE.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

Was it horse thieves who shot the guy at the Berkshire Mall? I’m guessing it was another drug deal gone wrong? Probably best that doesn’t happen in front of the bars North St anymore.

CC The Maze Sun
Guest
CC The Maze Sun

“I was never told about the sorrow

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again”
– The Bee Gees

“Where do broken hearts go?
Can they find their way home?
Back to the open arms
Of a love that’s waiting there”
– Whitney Houston [we have a problem]

“And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in YOU
That a hero lies in YOU
That a hero lies in YOU”
– Mariah Carey

CC The Maze Sun
Guest
CC The Maze Sun

“I don’t really want to stop the show
But I thought that you might like to know
That the singer’s going to sing a song
And he wants you all to sing along
So let me introduce to you
The Act you’ve known for all these years
sgt peppers LONELY HEARTS Club band

Enjoy the show”

“We hope you have enjoyed the show
Its getting very near the end”
– Re-Prize

CC The Maze Sun
Guest
CC The Maze Sun

“She Loves You, Yeah (1) Yeah (2) Yeah (3)
She Loves You, Yeah (1) Yeah (2) Yeah (3)”

“Bright are the Stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I Love her”

One Kiss from the one who truly Loves her and she will awaken from her deep sleep
And the spell will be broken
– Sleeping Beauty

“One Kiss will break the seal”
– The Bee Gees (One)

Game Over!

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

The rich get richer, and Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski get poorer.

Shakes
Guest
Shakes

So what is the answer? What will it take to revive Pittsfield?

裴吉瑞
Guest
裴吉瑞

It will take a positive outlook, substantial effort, and a great deal of patience.

Johnny Dimentia
Guest
Johnny Dimentia

There are several great Yogi Berra quotes that apply to Pittsfield taxpayers.. One is “if you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

Yogi made many of those comments on the Common in 1791.

Spagirl
Guest
Spagirl

Pittsfield’s Status Quo is obnoxious and blatantly ignores City taxpayers interests. It is time to hire a City Manager.

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

Agreed! 100%!!!!!

Pat
Guest
Pat

The only issue that motivates locals to rush to the polls in droves is the presidential election which proves that they are capable of voting, but they just choose NOT to vote in local elections. The city is literally falling apart around them, but they only care about the presidential election. Pittsfield voters need to be seriously educated about the importance of local elections in order to motivate them to vote.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Local media doesn’t encourage the 58% to vote in our local elections. They intentionally want to maintain the status quo. Just look at our mayoral race a few months ago. It was late August and nobody in the media was talking about the important Pittsfield mayoral race in just a few months. Crickets. August turned to September and there were some lukewarm article in the Berkshire Eagle about the candidates running. The local radio had each candidate state their positions sometime in October. Finally the 2 candidates met face to face in October, but with no hard hitting questions. No excitement was generated about the race and no spelling out of any differences between the candidates. Contrast that to local coverage of President Trump. Ever since he appeared on the scene there have been endless put downs in local media. Even state candidates like… Read more »

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

You hit the nail on the head on the voting Pat. They want only the cronies at the polls.

Hendrix
Guest
Hendrix

Why would they cover something as important as the mayors race when they are helping solve a current crisis in Pittsfield? You haven’t seen the rampant racism in our local businesses? Just read the headline! “Calls for empathy abound in community conversation about discrimination in Berkshire businesses”

One could expect there would be a number of people from the minority demographic in attendance to raise concerns, but of course it was just a bunch of old white women and a couple members from city council for the photo op. You really can’t make this stuff up.
comment image

Trump Fo Evah
Guest
Trump Fo Evah

The Arts and their Community is taking over. The Mayor will have an armed escort for any backlash concerning taxing and gobsig issues. The Museum will become the playground for the Out of Towners.

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

Helen Moon and the local moonbats!

Teecha Teecha
Guest
Teecha Teecha

At least she smiled for the camera. Take note Dina

Cheshire Cat
Guest
Cheshire Cat

That’s a smile?

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

The more things change the more they stay the same. Minorities in the back, on a discussion about racism. Then again in the back you have better access to the door and can leave early.
The Eagle is so tone deaf, they don’t even understand the implications of their “white splaining” picture.

Teecha Teecha
Guest
Teecha Teecha

They are experts on saving minorities. Noah the editor deleted an entire rant on FB and proclaimed himself defender of the dark

Teecha Teecha
Guest
Teecha Teecha

They have Bea Arthur pissed off front and right and Captain Fuzz Fro back left

Progress has been made.

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

good one

UAlbany
Guest
UAlbany

we will never be able to move to a city manager scenario in Pittsfield until we have a mayor that the Berkshire Eagle does not approve of. Since the Berkshire Eagle picks the mayor then this column should be forwarded to Fred Ruttberg for his consideration.

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

The Berkshire Eagle is a rag. Many decades ago, it was a model newspaper of good journalism, but not anymore. Also, Pittsfield politics is ran by a one political party system. The Democrats rule, and everyone else can pound sand as Pittsfield politics always raises taxes, while the tax base shrinks due to the city’s distressed local economy.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Fred was a bad judge and is a worse newspaper owner.

The Left Winged Parrot is a disgrace

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

The solution to a renascence in Pittsfield starts with a real reduction in crime. Not the progressive DA Andrea Harrington approach to ignoring lifestyle crimes, not the encouragement of junkies to come visit for our “safe shooting up spas”, not the millions wasted on shot spotter, it takes a real DA and a real “tough on crime” police Chief, unlike Chief Wynn who is learned and thoughtful but clearly not making the impact on crime Pittsfield needs. As crime diminishes, businesses and investment will come back. The problem being that you need a competent executive in the corner office to get the job done. Mayor Linda Tyer isn’t that person, and quite frankly there are few in Pittsfield that could do a better job. Mazzeo would have been a change but would she have been any better? I think she just would have been… Read more »

Johnny Absurdo
Guest
Johnny Absurdo

Has the mayor come right out and explained to the people of Pittsfield why certain crimes are no longer crimes or being logged as such? Has she actually explained the logic behind it or is she dancing around it like she does so much else. And if the police or courts don’t deal with criminal behavior will vigilante justice fill in the gaps? I ask because sooner or later people are going to get pissed off. And are we still paying for a high tech crime data person to track crime that is not crime? Isn’t that aq waste of money? And it no longer seems like we need a new police station but perhaps rather reduce the force. Maybe Andy and Barney can take it from here.

EWendt
Guest
EWendt

Don’t hold your breath for crime reduction. Crime increases when people who are supposed to enforce the law do not do so. We need only look to Dallas, Baltimore and Philly, home of the Sorus-funded Progressive DAs extraordinaire.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

While I think it’s an interesting concept – town administrators around the area are usually a recycled lot of useless. For some reason there are only 3 people, who appear to be staggeringly incompetent and completely corrupt, who move between Stockbridge, Richmond, GB etc. Surely an election is better than that? I wouldn’t trust the City Council to do anything right and they are elected so frankly if hiring or elections can’t result in competence in the words on Greta Garbo, we are doomed.

SallySays
Guest
SallySays

Got any fActs to back up your assertions?

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

There were ethics issues in Stockbridge, a criminal embezzlement indictment (town treasurer?) in GB, The GB and Richmond town admins switched jobs if I understand the news. There was the horse racing controversy, the fire chief controversy in West Stockbridge, who knows what else … So, I don’t know if an Administrator/City Manager is more effective at good management based on what I read.,

Johnny Dimentia
Guest
Johnny Dimentia

While the mayor does not come across as overly bright I am not sure she qualifies as stupid. She knows where her bread is buttered and by aligning herself with the special interests she will never be without the luxuries of life. Sadly, the people she took an oath to watch over are less fortunate with even darker clouds forming on their horizons.

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

What needs to be done to convert to a city manager system?

Pig Skin Pickem
Guest
Pig Skin Pickem

You GOBSIGS won’t allow it

Mark Tully
Guest
Mark Tully

The City Charter would have to be changed requiring voter approval.

Plato Plun
Guest
Plato Plun

So I give Tully the address yesterday and got a big fat nothing response. Why ask?

Mark Tully
Guest
Mark Tully

While I am under no obligation to respond… I did reply. I said I did not know why that property decreased. There were a few others that did as well. Sorry to not have been more informative.

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

Mark, what steps are needed to change the charter?

Mark Tully
Guest
Mark Tully

A petition needs to be brought forth to and approved by the City Council to have the question added to the ballot. If the City Council refuses, a citizen’s initiative petition with signatures representing 5% of the voting population can be filed and force a ballot question. I’ll let you know if I get one going. https://ecode360.com/27967509?highlight=ballot,ballots,initial,initiative&searchId=2975946194728526#27967509

Auto Phil
Guest
Auto Phil

Another mistrial declared in another violent Berkshire crime under DA Harrington’s watch. https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/attorneys-conflict-sparks-mistrial-in-north-adams-assault-case,594282 Harrington blames the defense: “This is a textbook example of `justice delayed is justice denied,'” said Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “Defense counsel had two and a half years to investigate but waited until the 11th hour and uncovered an alleged conflict of interest on their end in the middle of the trial,” she said. “This delay by defense counsel is unfair to the victims waiting for justice, unfair to the taxpayers, and unfair to the public who expect timeliness in their justice system.” But if the burden to pursue justice falls on the prosecution, how can defense be blamed? Hasn’t the defense done its job, thus far? “[Judge] Agostini acknowledged the “incredible frustration” on his part and on that of the DA’s Office about… Read more »

Donn Flabergastinuztsonabich
Guest
Donn Flabergastinuztsonabich

Shouldn’t any questions concerning any-defendant be read and dispersed by the Judge? Now D A’s represent the defendant. Not Good, or legal.

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

If DA Andrea Harrington had any clue about how to do her job, this wouldn’t have been an issue. The Defense did an excellent job, the DA did not. And when I say she did not, she didn’t do anything except whine that it was unfair.

the school committee
Guest
the school committee

Get rid of at large councilors right away and consolidate wards into 5 councilors with each ward representing 9 thousand people. This puts more responsibility on the council for city budgets.

Johnny Absurdo
Guest
Johnny Absurdo

Yup. Twenty thousand less people means we need less councilors. There should be no debate on that. Common sense way to cut the budget. There are at least five of them that are dead weight and would not be missed.

The Dream Team
Guest
The Dream Team

How about we eliminate the health benefits and pensions for city councilors? Let’s see who then wants the job!

Hoyt Clagwell
Guest
Hoyt Clagwell

The other side is often one floor above you

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

The school committee should be elected by ward not at large.

Pat
Guest
Pat

I completely agree with President Trump that our intelligence showed Soleimani was planning to attack 4 US embassies. Democrats tell us to trust our intelligence reports. Can you imagine if all 4 embassies had been attacked, there would have been an unbelievable loss of life and the far left would be crying, “President Trump knew and he did nothing”. Just like they did with President Bush on 9/11 by accusing him of reading stories to schoolchildren and knowing about the imminent attacks and doing nothing. That story went on and on by the left that Bush knew and they kept making fun of him for reading to schoolchildren when it happened. Soleimani is dead versus thousands that may have been killed if all 4 embassies were attacked. Job well done President Trump!!!!! Benghazi was horrific so I can’t imagine 4 embassies being under heavy… Read more »

Info
Guest
Info

First, when you say you agree with our intelligence it sounds as if you somehow are privy to top secret information. Second, our president has repeatedly discredited our intelligence community throughout his campaign and administration. Additionally, does assassinating a foreign general necessarily stop this proposed attack or does it simply add fuel to the fire?

Pat
Guest
Pat

He was the mastermind of the most recent attack and of the proposed future attacks. He was also the mastermind of the Benghazi attack which the press has attempted to keep hidden, but it’s obvious that he liked to attack the US embassies. Other generals may take his place, but President Trump could not stand by and let these attacks happen. There was a near miss the first time so I’m sure they would have been better prepared for future attacks. When I say “Our Intelligence” obviously I mean the intelligence of our country. I’m not an employee of our Intelligence Department

Pat
Guest
Pat

Iran has been increasing attacks against us for some time. Attacking our ships and even recently killing an American. They want to drive us out of Iraq so they can take it over.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Remind me why we are still there? Trump was going to defeat ISIS and get us out of there. He said he defeated them 100% so why do we need to be there anymore except to steal their oil? He also said we were 100% energy efficient so supposedly we do not need Arab oil? What is Trump telling you Pat?

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Just imagine what we could do with the energy and resources we have wasted over there. What good has ever come of our being there? We defeated ISIS? Not such a big accomplishment if you consider we created ISIS. They formed because we were there and they want us out. Just like if some big macho country decided to build bases in our country and try to tell us what kind of government we should have and who was going to be in it. All of our nation building has failed miserably and backfired in our faces. Consider all the American blood, sweat, tears and money we have expended there. Add in all the anguish of the soldiers families that will continue for decades. One thing is for sure. War is big business and with over a trillion dollars being spent in the mid… Read more »

Pat
Guest
Pat

I actually agree. Let’s get out of these foreign countries and put America first. Think of all the wealth we would have if we were not spending it in foreign countries. Our far left state department is behind a lot of this involvement with other countries since they set up Civil Society 2.0 which I do not agree with at all and I don’t think most people would if they knew what it is all about. We no longer need the oil, we are energy independent. It’s the globalist movement that wants us involved in other countries. The ultimate goal of globalists is to have one person ruling over the entire planet. They don’t want separate and independent countries.

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

Last time we really did this, we got World War I. The next time, World War II. It doesn’t work that way in 2020. What we need is to be civil to each other first. I am neither Democrat or Republican. On some issues, I’m a tiny bit left of center, on others, right of center. But I try and respect others positions and feelings. This is now a global economy. We can no longer survive on our own. Welcome to the 21st century. Enjoy it. BTW, there will come a day when there will no longer be artificial borders. It will take a planetary disaster for this to occur, but it will happen.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should give up any royal money if they want to take off on their own and earn their own income. If they want to snub the queen and royal family, then so be it, but they shouldn’t have all that money. It’s obvious that Meghan likes a very fancy upscale lifestyle without any hassle from anyone. She wanted all the perks of royal life without having to deal with the royal family of Prince Harry. Most of us have to deal with any problems involving in-laws and other relatives of our spouse and we do it without basking in wealth and luxury. They had a luxurious place to live that had just been renovated for millions of dollars so it’s not like they were stuck living with Prince Harry’s relatives. It sounds selfish to me, but if that’s what… Read more »

Meg Aritch
Guest
Meg Aritch

Are you aware that Harry and Megan have their own money?

Pat
Guest
Pat

Then why do they need money from Harry’s father Charles in addition to all the money that Harry inherited. Great if they want to earn their own money, but it sounds like they want to have the best of both worlds.

Corny Vandaleesehuron
Guest
Corny Vandaleesehuron

Pri Di left millions to the little bastards.

SallySays
Guest
SallySays

Frankly my darling, I don’t give a damn about any of the royals.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

What about Ivanka basking in luxury and living high on the hog off you and me? Same with Erico and Donnie Jr. The country could fix all of its roads and bridges with the money we pay for their food, travel and security.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Donald Trump doesn’t receive money from a royal family. Meghan agreed to be a royal and only attempted it for a year. This is a completely different situation. Lots of wealthy people out there and that’s fine with me. They should keep their money and NOT give it to big government. People Magazine is saying that if Meghan and Harry came to America, they could earn millions. People Magazine suggests they could books about the royal family. That would be a slap in the face to the royal family, but who knows. They want to be financially independent and that should mean cutting financial ties with the royal family because otherwise how can they say they are financially independent?

Pat
Guest
Pat

President Trump isn’t paid for being president. He refused the salary. Wow.

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

Meanwhile, he’s spent $115,000,000.00 on golf, $550,000 on cart rentals alone, and taxpayers pumped this money into his personal properties. Trump has spent the equivalent of 287 years of presidential salaries. What a bargain!

Rocks 4 Jocks
Guest
Rocks 4 Jocks

Where do you get these numbers? From your source in NASA out in uranus.

Biloxi Bob
Guest
TellitLikeitIs
Guest
TellitLikeitIs

It already is Bob. The only difference is, Pittsfield doesn’t question itself, about this, or anything that matters.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Pittsfield has homeless all over the place already. Camping out all year long in public parks and asking for money nearly everyday by Price Chopper in the worst weather.

Rudee Stybeltcomsayer
Guest
Rudee Stybeltcomsayer

That could be included in the Mayors failed blight policies. Remember the Planets summer weed whacking tour before the mayor race? Promises Promises..

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

I understand the homeless tend to use the area around the library to defecate. They must check out a good book and come back and squat.

TellitLikeitIs
Guest
TellitLikeitIs

Already is. Dan I think calls North St social service alley. Walking zombies. And why is the juvenile court lettering off the building? Did it move, or is it part of The Mirage?

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Most juvenile crimes are no longer crimes. Whadda we be needing a court for? This DA might not have a job much longer if there is no more crime.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Now the far left is claiming racism made Meghan Markle run from England? England is more far left than our country so I highly doubt that and the royal family would have objected to the marriage in the first place if the queen is a racist.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Maybe we should sent in Trump and Pompeo to solve the Royal crisis. They could bring their drones. Should prolly take along Kushner being as how well he has done solving the mid-east problem in the three years he has been in charge of that.

Royal Dunston Skareemavick
Guest
Royal Dunston Skareemavick

Royals are no more than a dictatorship,something our President earned on his own. Down with Royals.

Gigi
Guest
Gigi
Pat
Guest
Pat

Great article. Is Meghan channeling Princess Diana or what? Her life is hard and a struggle?!? After one year of marriage? She was setting up leaving the country probably soon after taking the wedding vows. Diana was authentically a very vulnerable and sensitive person. When Meghan and Harry start saying they want to take a “More Progressive approach” to being royals, warning signs should be going off all over. The far left in Britain has wanted to topple the monarchy for a long time while most people in Britain seem to love the queen and all that she represents. A survey yesterday showed that most British think Meghan and Harry should have their titles taken away and they should pay back the money spent on them (millions spent on renovations made to Frogmore Cottage and lots of private jet travel to promote climate change)… Read more »

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

Who cares?

Pat
Guest
Pat

Iran now admits they shot down the plane with 176 people in it. How could they deny it? We have it on tape. This is why the aggression of Iran needs to stop and they need to join the world community as a peaceful neighbor. President Trump says they could be a great country….just stop the aggression. I agree.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Glassed sand Iran

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

At least they admitted a mistake. Trump is quite sure he has never made a mistake in his life but even if he ever does he sure as hell ain’t gonna admit it.

Saviij Embryo
Guest
Saviij Embryo

Everyone knew who did it? Imperial data not needed.

Johnny2Shoes
Guest
Johnny2Shoes

Mark, Excellent letter to the Eagle. Letter: What are pot store owners doing with wealth? Posted Friday, January 10, 2020 3:54 pm To the editor: I read with interest Friday’s Berkshire Eagle article “Pot taxes help Pittsfield save for rainy days.” The article states that in the past six months, Pittsfield has received $448,000 in tax revenue from two recently opened marijuana dispensaries. The article further states that “Cities and towns can also choose to impose an additional 3 percent excise on establishments within their borders to help fund local needs.” While I am not a rocket scientist, I can do basic math. If $448,000 represents up to 3 percent of marijuana sales in six months, then the gross sales are almost $15 million. Are these figures correct? If so, I would be very interested to read a story in The Eagle about these… Read more »

MMNS
Guest
MMNS

The mayor should immediately move to use all of the money for a new police station and request all marijuana businesses contribute extra money towards it in a side agreement, and same with all the supposed non-profits around here. All this Marijuana Money should be for a New Station (MMNS)

Cheshire Cat
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Cheshire Cat

Does anyone else care about this?

Escorounge T Beliensterio
Guest
Escorounge T Beliensterio

Tully.

Cheshire Cat
Guest
Cheshire Cat

The police station, I mean.

JohnnyTwoCents
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JohnnyTwoCents

Yes. A new station is needed way more than a new high school was. The old Taconic was built in the 70’s. The station was built in the 30’s. It’s a shithole, and the mayor knows it, and so do thousands of others. And a new station would cost a fraction of what a new high school would have cost. Furthermore, there is now an opportunity, with the marijuana economic engine, which is only going to drive crime up further, to use the revenue stream for a new station.

Ghost Rider
Guest
Ghost Rider

What an idea! !!! Although I advocate a basement

Truthsayer
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Truthsayer

Nope!

Mark Tully
Guest
Mark Tully

Thanks- that was published fast. I fired it off yesterday!

Shakes
Guest
Shakes

Probably repaying their investors?

Harrison
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Harrison

If Pittsfield is going to rely on cannibis for renevue, I hope we can get some signage directing stoners where to go. I have seen some crazy driving going on east bound Dalton Ave in front Berkshire Roots. I can’t imagine even being straight and following Google Maps from Tyler. Check it out. It has you going all the way up to Crane Ext. taking a right toward S&S and THEN DOING A U-Y on Merrill, heading back toward Dalton, to take left back west on Dalton. It’s crazy man.

Merry & Bright
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Merry & Bright

Harrison – Totally agree with you. Between Berkshire Roots on Dalton Avenue and the Spectrum Methadone Clinic on Merrill Road the driving in that area has turned into total white knuckle driving. Take it from someone that lives in the Allendale neighborhood. Have seen drivers put their vehicles in reverse and back down Dalton Avenue so they can go into Berkshire Roots driveway even though cars are coming up on them going 60mph. Also, don’t know what is in the methadone that they administer to over 650 recipients a day at Spectrum, but it seems to allow them to no longer see traffic signals and speed limit signs. When I purchased my home a few years back I thought I was going to be living on a quiet street, it is now a major raceway for pot buyers and methadone receivers, and doubt any… Read more »

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Nuciforo and Demonrat crooks

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

January 11, 2020

Re: Open letter to Patrick Fennell

Hello Pat,

Do you think that Massachusetts taxpayers are being played as suckers? According to the Boston Herald’s editorial staff, 16,599 U Mass and other state workers made over $100,000 last year of 2019. A total of 46 state employees earned $100,000 or move in overtime. Two U Mass employees made $1-million. There was a nearly 11% one year jump in the state government payroll in 2019.

How come the hard-hit taxpayers, who blogger Dan Valenti calls Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, always get the shaft, while the politically-connected bureaucrats are well taken care of in Massachusetts state government? Isn’t democratic government supposed to serve the people? Who does the Massachusetts state government really serve? I believe we both know the answer!

Best wishes,

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

January 11, 2020 Re: Family dynasties, billionaires, and partisan hacks Dear Alan Chartock, I read your recent op-ed in the Berkshire Edge regarding 38-year-old Joe Kennedy 3’s predicted victory against 73-year-old Ed Markey in the September 1, 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Party primary election for U.S. Senator. Both Joe and Ed will compete for the title of biggest partisan hack. Meanwhile, the people of Massachusetts will be an afterthought in Capitol Hill’s inside the beltway politics. Also, we have 3 billionaires running for U.S. President. Donald Trump was once a pro-choice Democrat, who is now a pro-life Republican who had a daughter named Tiffany out-of-wedlock with his mistress then second of three wives Marla Maples. Michael Bloomberg is a running as a Democrat, but he also ran for political office as a Republican and an Independent. Billionaire Bloomberg is whatever political party that suits the… Read more »

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Malarkey has been an embarassament since Silvio Conte died. He hates America and supported the Iranian terrorist, that Sotero protected. Treason, Malarkey.

Kennedys are drunks and/or philanderers.

Silvio was the LAST politician/congressman/senator who gave a rats ass about the people of mASSachusetts.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Stockbridge Ma. Population has gone from 1,500 to 1200 or 20%.People just dont want to live anywhere in the berkshires.

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

Population is based on full time residents.
What you may be seeing is that 20% of the population has shifted to being part time or residents of another locale.

Johnny Absurd
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Johnny Absurd

Does that count second home owners?

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Yes

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

Wrong! Williamstown’s population has grown. Only town to do so.

Shuhane Shane
Guest
Shuhane Shane

Great movie on 81-Shane. Ends at 4 30

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Students

Jonathan Melle
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Jonathan Melle

January 12, 2020 Re: Dan Bosley’s support for undemocratic TCI tax proposal Retired North Adams State Representative and current State House lobbyist Daniel E. Bosley is back in his familiar role as “Bureaucrat Bosley” again. Ten days ago, on January 2, 2020, Dan Bosley wrote an op-ed in The Boston Globe in support of Governor Charlie Baker’s “The Transportation and Climate Initiative” (TCI) proposal, which would be an increase in the state government’s gas tax by a factor of 2 in the very questionable name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This proposed gas tax hike would happen without a vote by either the Legislature or the people. In short, it is totally undemocratic! Moreover, it would hurt the state’s working people who commute to work the hardest. Dan Bosley is a total hypocrite on public policy because he is a complete and total bureaucrat… Read more »

Bobby Stantoasobich
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Bobby Stantoasobich

I believe it was Bosley who proposed the law between Ma. And the State of Vernont double Jeopardy concerning oui drivers and licenses if free nes weren’t paid by both states infraction.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

https://dailycaller.com/2020/01/07/elizabeth-warren-texas-church-shooting-conceal-carry/

Lizze Warren took an axe gave Constitution 40 wacks.

When she saw what she had done, the Bill of Rights got forty one.

Gobsig
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Gobsig

Does Barry own part interest in a Pot store or not?

Johnny Absurd
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Johnny Absurd

I am sure he has read this. and he is not denying it.

Jumpin Joe Curtis.
Guest
Jumpin Joe Curtis.

Considering essentially only those with political connections and millions can pass the permitting and licensing phase, I wouldn’t be surprised. Lots of people have WANTED to open businesses. Essentially only one has, no one goes to temescal but New Yorkers.

裴吉瑞
Guest
裴吉瑞

Pittsfield’s best days are bound to come. It has too much going for it. What is required is a positive outlook, substantial effort, and a great deal of patience.

Sonny
Guest
Sonny

I think M Tully deserves credit for a well researched and thought out piece. Any middle class home owner who has been around here for awhile kind of knew the gist of this. My feeling is there isn’t a lot of hope for Pittsfield. Our schools are way over budget for the amount of students we have and the number of students we lose to school choice. Too many people want nothing to do with the schools in this city which is a very bad omen for taxpayers. The Democratic party is a mess so living in a blue state now is a real detriment to the working persons quality of life. Look at the gas tax being proposed in the name of climate change or the sex education classes there trying to force into the schools. As the left goes farther Left the… Read more »

Planet Valenti