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FORENSIC AUDIT FAVORED BY COUNCIL MAJORITY: THE RESPONSES

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY MAY 10, 2021) — It takes a lot, and we mean the wagon wheels positively straining through the mud under a tipsy, Everst-sized load of hay, to surprise THE PLANET.

Well, congratulations to our Right Honorable Good Friends on the City Council.

They surprised us.

Eight of the 11 responded to our poll on a forensic audit. Seven of them say they want to see it done. We see that as a huge step in the right direction. Of course, this assumes intent as the precursor to action, a risky assumption when it comes to politics. As the Missourian says, “Show me.”

Only three failed to respond to our query on this most important question, choosing instead to give Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski The Finger. Helen Moon (Ward 1), Nick Caccamo (Ward 3), and Dina Lampiasi (Ward 6) just spit in the faces of citizens. Moon and Caccamo aren’t seeking re-election. Lampiasi hasn’t yet declared. If she runs again, remember this at ballot time.

THE PLANET takes it as a key insight that the majority of councilors understand  a forensic audit does not necessarily imply the suspicion of fraudulence. It’s simply the only means to arrive as a top-to-bottom, factual read-out of the state of an organization’s finances. Pronouncements from the mayor and the finance director are well and good, but they come from the executive branch, with its built-in penchant to rose-color dollar bills and load leveraging with gobs of frosting.

A forensic audit is the only way the legislative branch, your councilors, can accurately assess the actual state of the finances with the claims of the administration. If all is on the up-and-up, the audit will show a reasonably close match. If not, well, that takes us into a whole other area. In response to a great point made by THE PLANET‘s dear friend and colleague Dr. Charles Trzcinka, world-renowned economist, forensic audits are conducted with much greater care and meticulousness that “regular” audits.

Another friend of ours, Frank Rizzo, retired executive of one of the country’s leading bond-rating firms, told us that his company regularly used forensic audits in the process of issuing ratings. As Dr. Trczinka noted, there’s no absolutely foolproof process, but if one wants to measure to genuine state of a company’s financial condition, a forensic audit is the way to go. Pittsfield’s bond rating has always been done without such a close look at the books. At this point, with a budget nearing $180 million, it’s time.

With that preamble, here are the responses, presented in the order THE PLANET received them, verbatim.

Now to the responses:

WARD 4 CHRIS CONNELL

I certainly am in favor of a forensic audit but only by a truly independent auditor. Actually this came up by a petition from councilor Maffuccio at which time I pushed for a desk audit. I believe the pandemic has given the city a unique opportunity to evaluate what positions are really needed given the fact that most city operations were done remotely. Do we really need the number of positions in each department and still have the city operate efficiently? A desk audit would show which departments are overstaffed or understaffed.

Regarding a forensic audit, I believe that it would insure line item integrity going forward. Over the years as a councilor I have observed too much transferring of funds because the city does not budget said departments as efficiently as it could. Also, I have been very critical of the understating of revenue on a yearly basis which then forces the residents to pay more in taxes to fund the budget. I hope this answers your questions. If not, let me know what else I can offer. Thanks for everything. Chris Connell ward 4 councilor
———- ooo ———-

WARD 7 TONY MAFFUCCIO

I am in favor to a forensic audit, or I would like to call it a Re-Organizational Audit of all Departments including the School Department. Every success business goes through a Re-Organization process at some point to make sure they are servicing there customers well which in this case is the Citizens of Pittsfield. I want to make sure that we are getting the biggest bang for our buck. I want to see every Departmental Budget and see where we may need more personnel or less personnel to function efficiently and effectively, Over the years our budget has been inclining and more individuals being hired while our Census numbers keep dropping, for example does the City need two Personnel Offices, do we need two Purchasing Department, do we need so many Administrative Position in the School Department, do we need more or less Schools open, do we need to rent out space in privately owned building when the City has so many buildings that are used at minimal capacity and others busting at the seams like the Police Department, can we convert some of the Vacant Lots or Buildings for Reuse for City use, How big or small should the Fire and Police Department need to be, Do we need so many Administrative Positions on the City side that could be combined with the School Department, what Services should be Privatized and which Services need to be in House, these are just a few questions that I have that come to mind quickly, then we can look to see were we need more positions added like for example our Highway Department has so many miles of road to maintain among other responsibilities with such a skeleton crew that does a tremendous job I might add, what should be are PayScale at to be Competitive to recruit personnel. These examples are just a few things that come to mind when thinking about the Ratio to Services needed in a Budget, for example in Retail which I previous worked in, the Store Manger uses a formula off of the gross sales of the entire store to calculate how many hours it takes to Service each Department by Percentage to Sales it does and Divides the hours accordingly to make sure Departments have the appropriate Sales to cover the Personnel being used, keeping it profitable for the total company. So to sum it up is the Taxpayer paying to much or little for the Services they need to run the City efficiently?

———- ooo ———-

WARD 2 KEVIN MORANDI

Received your email on the topic in question: A forensic audit.
I am in favor of a forensic audit for these reasons: 1) To provide the taxpayers the assurance that the city has conducted an expertise of accounting and auditing procedures as well as expert knowledge about the legal framework of such an audit. 2) Forensic audits also cover a wide range of investigative activities. It is a specialization within the field of accounting.
3) With a municipal budget of $ 170 million and with all the grant money the city receives as well as taxpayers dollars I feel it is a wise decision to do this. Why wouldn’t we?
I feel if this going to be done it should be for every department.
———- ooo ———-

AT-LARGE YUKI COHEN

That is a very interesting question.  Forensic audits are usually performed when an organization is suspected or accused of fraud or misappropriation of funds, usually hired for court testimony.     Although there is no indication from our external auditors of such activity, I would be in favor to give extra assurance and transparency to our constituents and tax payers.   A forensic audit of every department may be costly to our taxpayers, so starting with the largest budget item, or a random annual selection of a department may be more cost effective.
During one of the last city council meetings, the suggestion of a desk audit was brought forth, I would find this type of audit, to ensure our resources were being utilized and allocated efficiently highly useful information as well.
———- ooo ———-
PETER WHITE

I do not support a forensic audit because from the research I have done they are most often used when fraud is suspected. I do not suspect that there is fraud happening in our city departments to warrant this type of audit. I do believe that there are differences of opinions on how city government should operate and use funds.

We have a financial audit done each year that is reviewed by the Council in a joint meeting with the School Committee. The City Council also gets expense reports that are reviewed by the Finance Subcommittee quarterly. Through these two processes the Council has the opportunity to ask questions if something does not look right and needs addressing.

If the cost is not prohibitive I would be interested in information found by an Organizational Study. An organizational study would look at the city’s organizational structure, processes and practices that affect how the city operates. Depending on the cost I would support this type of review for all city departments. I would first want to see the results of past studies done and what suggestions were followed or ignored and why before spending more funds on another study.

Our communications with our constituents in multiple ways and the feedback they provide give us valuable information on city services. Following how well the needs and concerns of our constituents are addressed is my preferred way of knowing what needs to be adjusted and addressed within city government. This method also does not tie up more funds in studies that could go directly to the services that effect quality of life for our constituents.

———- ooo ———-

EARL PERSIP III

I would support an audit that included an organizational study. I think the city could benefit from an in-depth outside look at procedures and practices. It never hurts to have a different view on finances and how departments are run. I believe the school department should be the first to undertake something like this. It’s the biggest department in the city, and at times it seems to run as its own separate silo. I will say that if we take part in something like this, we can’t pick and choose recommendations. We need to act accordingly.

———- ooo ———-

PATRICK KAVEY

“I think it is important to examine the city’s financial situation regularly. I am in support of the city being audited in multiple different ways. We should continue with our internal audits to monitor the effectiveness of each department, check our levels of risk and compliance and review and verify our financial information.

We should also have a forensic audit completed. It is common practice in private business for forensic audits to be done when stakeholders have concerns over the handling large sums of money. A forensic audit can be carried out for a multitude of reasons. They are usually done to investigate fraud in a manner that may find evidence which could be used later in court.

These types of audits are usually completed when employees or stakeholders of an organization believe there may be illegal activity going on behind the scenes. In this case, the residents are our stakeholders. If the residents have any concern about what is happening within our city and how their tax dollars are being spent, then we owe it to them to pull open the doors of city hall and show them exactly what is going on. I have first-hand seen no evidence of illegal behavior within city departments but with that being said, I do not have direct access to each department. I work with some closely, others not so much. For that reason, I think a city wide audit would be beneficial.

Aside from the large undertaking, I see no issue with having a forensic audit conducted. In our best-case scenario, we find no wrongdoing. In our worst-case scenario, we find misappropriations of cash, misuse of assets, conflicts of interest, bribery, extortion, etc. which would then give us the opportunity to solve those issues and put procedures in place to ensure that they never happen again.”

———- ooo ———-

PETER MARCHETTI

I would be in favor of such audit.   I would also like to see an organizational audit of all departments to determine if we have sufficient staff or more staff than needed.

———- ooo ———-

THE PLANET thanks the eight councilors for their participation in this issue, one that we hope emerges as a major discussion in this year’s campaign season.

—————————————————————————————

“Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet” — Philosopher Jean Jaques Rousseau.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information — hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.

 

 

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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

Matt Kerwood and Mayor Linda Tyer propose spending $179,410,963 for Pittsfield politics’ fiscal year 2022 MUNICIPAL BUDGET. This spending proposal would be in addition to their upcoming capital budget proposal, which is always well over $10 million per fiscal year. Put it all together, Mary Jane & Joe Kapanski will be spending somewhere around $200 million on Pittsfield politics from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. And for what exactly? Level 5 (or failing) inner city public schools, a dangerous downtown that is sarcastically called “Social Services Alley”, and lousy city services. Do other cities similar to Pittsfield Massachusetts cost local taxpayers around $200 million per fiscal year? Where do all of the tax dollars really go? Why does Matt Kerwood shuffle millions of dollars around various city accounts with little managerial oversight? Why does Matt Kerwood sit on his slush fund (or reserve) accounts that are estimated to be between $10 million to $15 million? Why do Pittsfield taxpayers pay so much of their hard earned money to City Hall when all they get in return are disservices? Is Pittsfield politics totally corrupt? What will happen when future Mayors cannot propose record setting municipal budgets and capital budgets anymore due to Pittsfield’s distressed economy and shrinking tax base? Don’t Pittsfield politicians understand their tax and spend methods are financially unsustainable over the long term?

When I look at the web link showing Matt Kerwood and the Lovely Linda’s line items, one line item really stands out:

6097110f4422e.pdf.pdf (townnews.com)

Unclassified: $53,837,125. How can any rational bureaucrat and elected executive propose a line item called “Unclassified” with a price tag of $53,837,125?

The Berkshire Eagle published a news article today (Sunday, May 9th, 2021) stating that Matt Kerwood and the Lovely Linda did not include the $34 million in direct federal aid or Biden Buck$ over the next two fiscal years in their budget proposal. Where will that money go to in fiscal years 2022 and 2023? Matt Kerwood and the Lovely Linda are not saying anything about it right now.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

You are welcome, Dan. I wish to thank you for being the only journalist and blogger out there who critically covers Pittsfield politics for the working people who pay for City Hall’s financial excesses. I support your work, but I bet your picture is on the political insider’s proverbial dart board. That is how journalism and blogging is supposed to be in our free country! Good job, Dan.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

That money should not be used for running budgets.It is for expenses associalted with infastructure of air filtration and safe buildings and not for running everyday expenses.Keep an eye on administrative salaries and raises and new positions.Pittsfield still cant sweep streets and paint lines…..MAYOR TYER PLEASE SWEEP THE STREETS ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE AND FILL POTHOLES…..Taxpayers are begging the ward councilors to clean this city.The goal is to make it spic and span.Tyer should not settle for a dirty city of streets and parks.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Where I live in southern New Hampshire, I read that some municipalities are holding public input sessions on how their respective community’s Biden Buck$ should be spent. Will the Lovely Linda hold public input sessions for Mary Jane or Joe Kapanski in Pittsfield? Please keep me posted; thank you.

Shirleyknuts
Shirleyknuts
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Funny you are asking Democrats to do the right thing for the tax paying citizens

J2S
J2S
Reply to  Shirleyknuts
1 month ago

I’m shocked he didn’t blame Trump for our city streets not being swept.

J2S
J2S
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Democrats won’t be able to use the “conservatives “ don’t want clean air for the kids/environment crap if they don’t use the money on clean air systems in schools. Notice Biden and his administration hasn’t made it mandatory with the release of the Biden bucks? Double Masking the people/kids seems to be the answer rather than spending the Biden Bucks.

Outfox
Outfox
1 month ago

Who had an adolescent re-entry program for mentally ill and drug using adolescents opening next to Dottie’s on their vibrant and dynamic bingo card?
Is this what the developers mean when they say mixed use buildings improve the life of a downtown?
Re- entry from where??
How big a problem is juvenile crime in Pittsfield?
Who bright idea was it to put this program right next to the homeless shelter— is this program some new version of Scared Straight?
Is it really a good idea to have two populations of people with impulse control issues that close to one another?
What do the tenants paying market rate rent think of this?
The program is called CHD, and is somehow associated with ServiceNet.
Given their local rep around how poorly they ran Barton’s Crossing and initially, at least, St. Joe’s, do we really want to double down on their ServiceNet’s presence here?
The Kapanski’s want to know!

EddieP
EddieP
Reply to  Outfox
1 month ago

I sent a memorial donation check to Bartons Crossing last year and they lost it . Had no idea where it went.

juicylucy
juicylucy
Reply to  EddieP
1 month ago

Same thing happened to me in the City TAX Collectors office. They lost my check for water rates and I had to pay a penalty fee. Can you say FREE CASH. A former city councilor said “That’s not the first time I I have heard this.”

Outfox
Outfox
Reply to  EddieP
1 month ago

EddieP, even though many people find it objectionable this is why direct cash into the hands of our homeless is the better approach, at least for now.

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  Outfox
1 month ago

On juvenile crime, coming soon, mixed use on vibrant dynamic up-street on North, corrupt juvenile court expansion right in the centre of that diseased heart on North. I have to wonder if the corrupt family court judges, Lothrop et al, and Tyer have collaborated to set up a foster parent run brothel as part of the re-entry program for homeless foster youths who have aged out of the system.

Outfox
Outfox
Reply to  The City I Hate
1 month ago

I’d put the brothel on POAH, not the mayor, but what do I know?

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  Outfox
1 month ago

Well you could be right. The Prostitution Ring on North run by a foster father/pimping out drug addicted foster youths was being run out of a third floor senior living residence close by. But still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyer conspires with Lothrop et al to abuse taxpayer CPA funds to further exploit victims of DCF.

Annulgas
Annulgas
1 month ago

First of all I would like to thank Dan for pushing for councilor opinions on a forensic audit. I feel it is critical for the city on many levels.
I wish local business leaders would come out and get behind this though many or most of them will probably join the team fighting against it. I imagine the Berkshire Eagle is drafting a couple of versions of their own for their opinion column. But if they were a real newspaper and cared about the city and the people who pay taxes and buy their product, they would be leading the charge and pushing for a forensic audit ASAP. Pushing against it, in the face of overhwelming edvidence for the need, will further expose them as a tool of pittsfield special interests.
This council should have been pushing for this by themselves but now that enough of them say they are in favor let’s find out if this is political bullshit or if they mean what they say.

I look forward to this being brought up at the next city council meeting. A subcommitte should be formed and Mr Maffucio, Chris Connell and Kevin Morandi should lead it. If you are a council person, and you don’t have the balls for this, please just get the hell out of the way. White should not be representing taxpayers or the city in any capacity in my opinion.

The school committee
The school committee
1 month ago

There are 2 High Schools for a City of 42 k and that is too costly.1600 total 9 to 12.The average high school is abot that number.The number 1 problem with the school budget is planning.President Biden is going to finally do away with the conservative elite idea of getting well to do students out of urban schools. It was a complete failure being sold as a minority program that would allow poor children access to better suburban wealthier schools.Never happened and shout stop…….Raise your hand if you believe Trump did not lose by 8 million votes and you consider him your President.Fox news loop for shutins and old people who have lost interest in facts push the propaganda lie for billionaires who need your support.

Last edited 1 month ago by The school committee
Info
Info
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

A simple google search shows that the average US high school student membership size is 854. 904 in MA.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Info
1 month ago

Urban schools…not suburban

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

PHS has had single graduation classes approaching ( at least around 1000 plus ) the present entire current 9-12 enrollment. And with just one high school and much less administrators, aids, paras, etc., etc. And an adjusted (inflation) less avorious budget.

Teecha Teecha
Teecha Teecha
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

They need more adjustment counselors at 79K a pop. and a new diversity, inclusion and equity coach because whitey doesn’t know what to do.

Ironically, we worry about equity in terms of skin color, yet the SPED department lacks services for students with blindness and hearing loss. We should demand they hire licensed people with those disabilities for equitable purposes. Then again, anyone who pays attention would know that the district hasn’t been able to fill either position in years. Out of compliance on so many levels!

We need an audit of the school department.

Milt Prune
Milt Prune
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

You are inspired

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

^^^^ For entertainment purposes only!!!

Milt Prune
Milt Prune
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 month ago

He is the Pittsfield genius. Highest IQ around.

The school committee
The school committee
1 month ago

The audit is a no brainer.Who would be against it with realestate taxes bringing in tons of unanticipated cash.Lower taxes today.

Shirleyknuts
Shirleyknuts
1 month ago

I like that these counselors are for transparency and making sure the taxpayers aren’t paying more than they should, but my one question is aren’t they supposed to be doing this?

TellitLikeitIs
TellitLikeitIs
1 month ago

mafuuch, White, and Maffucioo are describing what basically amounts to a management study city wide, which is years overdue. So probably our tax money isn’t being stolen, but is it being spent on the right things? Schools should be closed, potholes should be filled in, crime should be controlled.

Dahnee Higgunz
Dahnee Higgunz
Reply to  TellitLikeitIs
1 month ago

O for three.We’re oughta here!

Hell'n Moon
Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

Since Caccamo essentially has left his job and will be a lame duck until November he should be recalled.

He rarely responds to anything and has been as useless as The Pittsfielder will be if elected

Tide Pod
Tide Pod
Reply to  Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

No one is stopping you from pulling those recall papers today.

Hell'n Moon
Hell'n Moon
Reply to  Tide Pod
1 month ago
  1. The charter says they have to have at least 6 months left on their term, Caccamo only has 5. So by the time I could gather the 300 signature necessary it would be moot.

I have absolutely looked into doing this.

Tide Pod
Tide Pod
Reply to  Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

Is that 5 months by the new math? I count 8.5 months.

Teecha Teecha
Teecha Teecha
Reply to  Tide Pod
1 month ago

Depends on when you are counting until. Election is in November, which I assume Hell’n is considering the end. Technically Tide Pod is right and he won’t officially be replaced until January when the new councilors are sworn in.

Either way we shouldn’t expect much of anything from Nick

Shirleyknuts
Shirleyknuts
Reply to  Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

When was he doing his job as counselor

Hell'n Moon
Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

Caccamo plays to start his post in Williamsburg before his term is up in the Pittsfield City Council.

How is this possible? So now ward 3 gets representation that was already essentially part time with even less time now? How can he faithfully do this and run Williamsburg. Does he still reside in Pittsfield?

This is as absurd as a school committee member living in Springfield. what a farce

juicylucy
juicylucy
Reply to  Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

Deep Seated Corruption. Follow the MONEY. Can you say G.E. Economic Grant Fund? Remember Workshop Live? Vibrant and Dynamic.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Hell'n Moon
1 month ago

I am still waiting for confirmation or denial that the newly appointed SC member lives in Springfield. If true, what action will be taken, if any, and who ill do it?

juicylucy
juicylucy
Reply to  Spider
1 month ago

Nothing. She’s of colour.

Dahnee Higgunz
Dahnee Higgunz
Reply to  juicylucy
1 month ago

Valentine Road terrible condition. A new school to boot.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  Dahnee Higgunz
1 month ago

I keep reading about the fantastic work Jim McGrath is doing with all the parks. Millions of bucks. Can we get him to take over the goddamn roads please? Apparently he has the budget and the will to get things done.

Cp
Cp
Reply to  juicylucy
1 month ago

Job qualifications based on skin color? Can’t be cause that would be discrimination right!

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

Prolly got a waiver. Waivers are huge in Pittsfield if you know the right folk in the right corner offices.

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

If this woman of colour says she lives in the basement of the home of her parents of colour, I’m sure they’ll all swear to it.

Also how much has it really cost the taxpayers for Bianchi to move city hall into his friend’s vacant building at 100 North Street, years of rent and renovations to property the taxpayers don’t own.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider
Reply to  The City I Hate
1 month ago

This City amazes me. In order to be a Cop or Fireman in the City, you need to be a resident (no definition given) of the City for 9 months prior to appointment.
Ch 31 sec 58 is a section of the Civil Service Law and addresses “Municipal police officers and firefighters; qualifications.” It includes a residency requirement for civil service police officers and firefighters, stating that within 9 months of appointment a person must reside within the city or town where he/she is employed or at any other place in the Commonwealth that is within 10 miles of the perimeter of such city or town.  However, you can hold any number of offices in the City gov’t and live anywhere you want! Lenox, Florida, Springfield….?

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  Ghost Rider
1 month ago

Fired PPD officer Nicholas Cabral,[Canned in June 2019 after an internal investigation determined that he had “engaged in a pattern of …concerning behavior surrounding young women]” Cabral was still in his probationary period. He was found to have had inappropriate contact with at least two high school students, according to a report summarizing the department’s investigational. Cabral came to Pittsfield the way from Fall River, Ma, relocated to the middle of nowhere, with his PPD Latina wife, not even born in this country. But the two of them apparently met not only the PPD’s residency requirements, but also met the PPD’s requirements of Integrity, Honesty, Loyalty, Sensitivity, and a Commitment to Excellence. And allegedly passed background checks, somehow.

Three out of five Pittsfield firefighter candidates allegedly got caught attempting to mislead the taxpayers/city on their true residency, thus securing positions within the PFD over legitimate city of Pittsfield resident/candidates.

And then there’s this: Aug 28, 2016 Controversial Hire For PFD On Hold Because of Push-Back In The Ranks … FIRE FIGHTERS DON’T WANT CONVICTED FELON IN DEPT. Planet Valenti

BUT F***! Tyer LOVES THE CONVICTED COLOURED FELON!

And I believe PPD officer Kirchner of the famed STEROIDSGATE is not a Pittsfield resident, along with several other cops. Another PPD scandal which eluded acting chief piggy wynn’s claims of honesty, accountability and integrity within the PPD.

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  The City I Hate
1 month ago

After you are hired you can move out of city. Crazy but true.

Teecha Teecha
Teecha Teecha
Reply to  Johnny99
1 month ago

My understanding was that you had to live within 2 towns over in order to be a firefighter in case you are called in an emergency. For example North Adams you can live in Adams or Cheshire, which a lot of them do.

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth
Reply to  Ghost Rider
1 month ago

Out of state even. Right Ms. Armstrong ?

Tide Pod
Tide Pod
Reply to  Sojourner Truth
1 month ago

Hey now, she’s irreplaceable.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

“Thank you, Dan. “Front” certainly is the key word here!

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

There’s been a nice family on Backman for years by that name. Doesn’t mean she herself lives there but a nice family by that name has lived there for years. And I’m sure whoever lives there avoids Euclid which has more holes in its street than a battlefield.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

I am sure the mayor is following all rules as she usually does. She goes by the book just like Yuki and all her friends.

L enny
L enny
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

That would be my guess as she works for Warren in Worcester.

The school committee
The school committee
1 month ago

Trumps is a fascist against democracy scared of minorities. White fear rules in fascism.Are you white guys still afraid?

Milt Prune
Milt Prune
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Man, you,re fantastic. Bravo .

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Translation from gibberish to English TSC?

J2S
J2S
1 month ago

56 million in unclassified category? This administration knows where they want to use it pretty much. They can’t put it out there because they know the taxpayers will disagree with it. Basically it should have been labeled classified.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  J2S
1 month ago

That, in of itself, SCREAMS for the forensic audit. Has the mayor weighed in yet?

J2S
J2S
1 month ago

Can’t wait to see how the councilors approach the unclassified $$. Mr. White stated this about the audit in his response:

Our communications with our constituents in multiple ways and the feedback they provide give us valuable information on city services. Following how well the needs and concerns of our constituents are addressed is my preferred way of knowing what needs to be adjusted and addressed within city government. This method also does not tie up more funds in studies that could go directly to the services that effect
quality of life for our constituents.

Shirleyknuts
Shirleyknuts
Reply to  J2S
1 month ago

That is another funny comment, whenever I say something to them they either ignore it, laugh or do both, they never bring it up for discussion

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  J2S
1 month ago

I believe we can safely surmise that gimpy White, halfwit half, Marchetti being the oaf half, of the parasitic Siamese PEE PEE twins/shitty clowncilors, is a really a long time client of the Brien Center.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  J2S
1 month ago

That looks like a very stupid excuse, possibly made even worse by an out of control word checker. Either that or he really believes his “constituents” are dumber than a doorknob. It is pretty insulting if you ask me. Did he really think people wold believe that blatant horseshit?

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
1 month ago

Was there ever an outside/independent audit of the Pittsfield police dept. after convicted felon Pittsfield Police Officer Jeff Coco was able to steal more than $228,000 over a 5-year period of time from the police unions without arousing the suspicion of a even a single PPD trained cop. PPD officer Coco’s on going thefts, year after year after year after year, eluded the detection of acting chief piggy Wynn, all the PPD detectives, all the PPD sergeants, all the PPD lieutenants, all the PPD captains, and all of PPD patrol officers. Respected PPD Officer Coco easily ripped off the PPD unions for several years right under the trained noses of the entire PPD. We’re also suppose to believe that officer Coco’s bride was clueless to her husband’s thefts even though some of the stolen money went to pay for the her wedding/honeymoon, mortgage, groceries, etc. a PPD piggy bank for Coco and his clueless check cashing bride. I’ve heard that officer Coco was one of the PPD’s good cops, but I doubt it. Coco was one of the PPD’s finest for 18-20 so who knows what he really got away with. Also was the water department audited after an alleged $250,000 to half a million over time fraud? Was the alleged stolen money returned to the taxpayers, or did it go to pay for a house in Florida and a new bigger boat. One employee resigned within 30 min. of an alleged threat of involving the DA. Someone/supervisor/city employee signed off on all that alleged over time fraud, payroll was allegedly clueless to the over time fraud, and at budget time the shitty councilors rubber stamped the usual suspect bloated water department budget, again! If I remember, acting chief piggy wynn was advised of the alleged water department over time fraud, but no one was arrested.

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

Wynn put the amount of money stolen by PPD officer Coco at ABOUT $150,000, a judge sentenced Coco to 20 months in jail for stealing ABOUT $228,000, did he really go to jail for 20 months. If the PPD was ordered to undergo an actual honest independent audit we’d know exactly how much Coco was able to steal over a period of several years. Same goes for when the PPD arrest drug traffickers in MAJOR DRUG BUSTS, and seize drug dealers/traffickers untraceable CASH. We wouldn’t have to settle for a rough amount, which is never exact, never precise, but instead a vague amount of untraceable CASH seized during MAJOR DRUG BUSTS. But on a more positive note, at least PPD officer Coco isn’t former Adams Police Sgt. Alan Vigiard or former North Adams Police Sgt. James Foley.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider
Reply to  The City I Hate
1 month ago

Remember the big “Plow Light” scandal back in the ’80’s where someone @ the City Yards “obtained” a plow light & frame for a certain City Police Officer. It was all quietly swept under an “Italian family rug,” so to speak.

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  The City I Hate
1 month ago

This was union money not city funds. A criminal investigation was conducted by the state police. There would have been a union audit or accounting of funds as part of that. There was no coverup, charges were brought, and the officer did his time.

The City I Hate
The City I Hate
Reply to  Johnny99
1 month ago

Not city funds, really? My understanding is that union dues are deducted from taxpayer funded paychecks. But I digress, Coco’s defense to his PPD life of crime is/was his illicit drug abuse due to an addiction to prescription painkillers after an alleged injury while on duty, allegedly. Did Coco go out on a specious disability claim after his alleged injury while on duty? Did Coco go out on disability for his addition to illicit drugs during the 5 years he was stealing taxpayer funded union $$$$$$$$ which he used to pay for his wedding/honeymoon, groceries, mortgage, possibly child support, etc.? And as to a coverup, are we to believe the entire trained PPD was ignorant to Coco’s years of addition to illicit drugs and years of stealing to fund his issues, and pay his mortgage, and honeymoon bills. Apparently Coco’s regular pay and his overtime was not enough to sustain another wife/marriage and pay for his drugs. The ignorant PPD are not given credit for exposing Coco’s years of alleged illicit drug addiction and stealing right out from under their noses to fund it. But, in fairness, I have heard that Coco was one of the PPD’s “good” cops. The loss of Coco probably brings the number down to, none!

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

Williamsburg Selectboard, new administrator agree on terms (gazettenet.com)

Nick Caccamo will begin his new job as Williamsburg Town Administrator on May 17th, 2021, and he will also serve as Pittsfield’s Ward 3 City Councilor for the remainder of the year of 2021. Negotiations between the Town of Williamsburg and Nicholas Caccamo have been completed, but the contract has not been signed yet. The contract will be signed on Thursday, May 13th, 2021. Nick Caccamo is graduating from UMass Amherst graduate school with a dual Master’s degree in public policy and regional planning.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

Quite a group of councilors in Pittsfield. Hand selected to back up the Tyer agenda. But if I were a councilor I might want to get away before any possible audit. There may be tough questions asked. Unless of course, it gets stonewalled.

Teecha Teecha
Teecha Teecha
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

So he either doesnt’ live in the town he’s now running, or he isn’t in the ward he is representing.

Pardon my french, but that is absolute bullshit. Essentially Ward 3 lost whatever garbage representation we had via Nick. We’d ask him for comment, but you know he won’t respond.

Awful Jackass

Hendrix
Hendrix
Reply to  Teecha Teecha
1 month ago

Remember how quick they were to jump on Connell when he was spending time in NY and accused him of no longer being in the city? I wish the council would show the same passion for dealing with this lame duck.

Teecha Teecha
Teecha Teecha
Reply to  Hendrix
1 month ago

his scabbed knees assure you they will not do a damn thing about it.

The school committee
The school committee
1 month ago

Pittsfield needs a 5 year plan to close PHS and add nessasary class rooms at Pittsfields Taconic High saving 10s of millions over rehabing PHS that is 45 years since its last rehab.Having 1600 in a high school is not exceptionally large……….NEVER forget the republican party wants a new form of white run government.Democracy is alive and well as long as we can keep it.The biggest threat is Fox/Putin and Don Trump as they attacked us on 1/6/2021

J2S
J2S
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

TSC,
When you get your colonoscopy to fix your TDS on the brain you are going to be free of all those delusions.

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  J2S
1 month ago

Are you saying it worked for you J2S?

J2S
J2S
Reply to  OhMyGod
1 month ago

This test is for those with certified TDS. So no it wouldn’t work for me.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

The Democracy in America died at the hands of liberal voter fraud Nov 3-4 2020. Until that is addressed and the perpeTRAITORS jailed, we are living in a banana republic.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 month ago

The Democrats are now gloating about all of the fraud they perpetrated on this country to win the presidential election. They are very corrupt.

mxyzptlk
mxyzptlk
Reply to  Pat
1 month ago

To MT and Pat: There was no fraud; you two and the ex-pres just can’t take the fact that he lost, and by a fairly substantial margin.

Milt Prune
Milt Prune
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

How do you come up with these gems?

Eddie Munster
Eddie Munster
1 month ago

A forensic audit is a waste of time. With Kufflinks at the helm, they will find nothing. He’s hidden his money well. At most they will find some irregularities dating back beyond this administration and rev omens a few minor changes to the controls in place.

No forensic audit will be able to determine that contract plow operators were being paid and given fuel salt and sand and used that time and materials to plow private driveways.
No forensic audit will be able to assert sine if the millions in change orders in city projects were “worth it” or even necessary.
No forensic audit will be able to determine how much time is wasted on DPW and parks projects and how much material, stone, concrete, asphalt, wood, and equipment is being stolen from the various city projects.
A retired cop I know who gets paid $42 an hour to stand out during detail work routinely sees dpw employees in private vehicles take material off of road jobs. Is he going to say anything? No he’ll lose his detail slot and about $15k over a 3 month period.
Kufflinks is smooth. He knows exactly the boundaries of what he can get away with and rarely crosses that line.
What is needed beyond the calls for a forensic audit is a management review.
The city is run like a personal piggy bank for friends and family and supporters of Tyer.
It’s people being hired for make work do nothing jobs that is the problem. People being hired because of who they know not what they know. Or people being hired because of what they will do if they aren’t hired. There’s nothing to uncover there in a forensic audit. A forensic audit will determine the person hired is working and being paid the amount contracted. It will not determine that that person shouldn’t be hired at all. That’s what a management audit would do.

Shuffle Ondown
Shuffle Ondown
Reply to  Eddie Munster
1 month ago

This must be the New Growth your Amayor speaks of? As in increased budget. And watch another sad attempt by this dishoveled City Coucil. Lampylousy comes prepared to meetings?

OhMyGod
OhMyGod
Reply to  Eddie Munster
1 month ago

But it might reveal who is getting tax breaks they do not deserve. It might reveal who is getting swer hookups the city paid for. If it was not going to reveal stuff there would not be such a backlash from city hall and their benefactors.

Way Fair
Way Fair
1 month ago

North Adams Medical Building

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

I saw a new book online by a famous author. Please check it out.

A Kiss Worth Waiting For… – By Dan Valenti (paperback) : Target

Capones Accountant
Capones Accountant
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 month ago

Shouldn’t unclassified be declassified? Just saying. Dan has told us for years it’s nothing but a shell game. Come on Voters wake up!

Be The Change
Be The Change
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

Is this your book or no ?