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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION JULY 31-AUG.2, 2020) — On Wednesday THE PLANET published a ServiceNet contract with the city of Pittsfield. It covered the previous fiscal year, FY20. ServiceNet’s $222,000+ CEO Susan Stubbs signed on Oct. 3, 2019, mayor Linda Tyer on Oct. 24. The pact went into effect July 1, 2019 running to June 30. We received the documents following a request on July 27 under MGL Ch. 66 Sec. 10. The request asked Pittsfield city clerk Michelle Benjamin to supply “[c]opies of any and all agreements (contracts, memoranda of understanding, etc.) to which the city of Pittsfield and ServiceNet have entered into as parties.”

Most with reasonable English understand the meaning of “any and all.” They are absolute terms. No exceptions.

The city replied the next day with agreements covering FY17 through ’20 inclusive. Noticeably missing was the present contract, FY21, covering July 1 to June 30, 2021. THE PLANET noted the glaring omission. Thursday July 30, a second request was sent to Benjamin, informing her that the law states that any such omission must be explained in writing, something she failed to provide. The second request asks for either the FY21 contract or the explanation.

That the city failed to include the current agreement only adds to the mystery over ServiceNet’s as yet unexplained decision to toss scores of homeless people out of the St. Joseph’s facility.  Scores. Not the “four or five” ServiceNet’s Pittsfield flack Jay Sachetti said. Many are now “living” in Springside Park in dangerous, unhygienic conditions.

The missing contract fuels speculation that something’s not right and that a coverup is in the works. Consider:

  • Sachetti’s statement to the media that in his business, money shows up then “disappears.” Slip of the tongue?
  • How could the missing contract be anything but deliberate? Possible benign explanations:
    • City clerk Michelle Benjamin’s dog ate the current agreement.
    • The clerk mistakenly filed the pact not under “S” for ServiceNet but “K”for “Kickbacks.”
    • Benjamin mistook the ’20-’21 deal for a ham sandwich and ate it.
  • Since this story broke, mostly through the work of THE PLANET:
    • The mayor hasn’t said more than two words.
    • The city council has been M.I.A.
    • Even though OCD head Deanna Ruffer was a signatory to the contract, she has said nothing of this scandalous situation. Same with other relevant city offices.
    • Stubbs has been AWOL. Why has she appeared in a press conference with Sachetti, Tyer, and Ruffer?
    • Where is the investigative arm of the alleged daily newspaper? All the paper has done is assign the story to newbie (hired in late May of this year) Amanda Burke, who covers city hall. Burke is either green and doesn’t know her way around, intimidated, already coopted by the HON crowd, or has been muzzled by her editors.

All signs point to something massively out of whack. That stench emanating from ServiceNet’s branch office at 141 North St. hasn’t found the Glade dispenser in city hall. Or is it the other way around?

Meanwhile, more than 60 homeless people are camped at Springside Park. These people have no way to take their temperature. They have no access to first aid kits or cooling stations, and have endured three CODE RED days (life-threatening heat). A city nurse is required to do wellness checks on each of them, especially to monitor for symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. It appears that this is not being done. Since the homeless are living with permission on city property, taxpayers are liable and on the hook if anything goes horribly wrong.

Sources on the ground report the following among the Springside population:

  • A man with a large, open wound (PHOTO 1) needs daily bandage changes & monitoring.
  • A woman with Lupus, who’s not supposed to be in full sun, has a puncture wound to her leg (PHOTO 2) that needs daily attention. She’s already had sepsis before from small injuries.
  • A diabetic man who needs his glucose monitored. The man’s glucose machine was thrown away with his possessions on 7/21/20. His possessions and medicines, plus discarded tabs and needles for his machine, were found on 7/22/20 (PHOTOS 3, 4). PLANET sources did not find the machine there. A kind-hearted volunteer purchased a new machine for the man (PHOTO 4).
  • A legally blind woman stepped in a fire she couldn’t see. She has foot blisters and is not able to keep clean as instructed.
  • A woman with rheumatoid arthritis needs monitoring. Living as in the elements is painful and dangerous.

They all are suffering from periodic heat exhaustion risking heat stroke. Their only food and water come from community volunteers. The vols include nurses, who risk losing their licenses because of the liability they have assumed.