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PARK COMMISSION APPEARS TO BE FINALLY FED-UP WITH THE LIES AND ARROGANCE OF NEMBA and THE BIKE MAFIA

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

First of Two Parts 

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY MAY 13, 2024) — Recently, someone asked us about the continuing delay in building the mountain bike complex at Springside Park on upper North Street in Bitchfield. THE PLANET found it a pertinent query, since the ambitious–and ambitiously expensive– project has slipped under the luminescent radar scope, not a blip to be seen.

In response, we investigated and heard from our spies. Seems that there’s trouble in paradise for the Bike Mafia, and that’s always a good thing for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.

As you recall, the New England Mountain Bike Assn. (NEMBA), through their local czarina Allison McGee, “got through” to the long, gray line of bureaucrats (park commission, conservation commission, city solicitor, and other local officials). They also managed to co-opt the puff-n-fluff local media. All supported unquestioningly the continued desecration of Springside Park, which is now years into serving a load of squatters and assorted dregs as a “houseless” center.

Part of NEMBA’s ruse was to deliberately underestimate construction cost, putting it at $400,000. They continue to stick by that lowball estimate. Two years ago, realistic estimates put the bike complex at $700,000. Two years of Bidenflation plus Gordian knots in domestic supply-side delivery systems produces a current cost of $800,000 to $1 million. This doesn’t include the inevitable cost overruns for design, construction, environmental analysis, and stormwater management. Also add 10% for kickbacks.

To express their gratitude to the park commission and the others, NEMBA dictated its terms. According the group’s reaction to the memorandum of understanding NEMBA signed with the city, NEMBA said it would not be responsible for maintaining the complex or for its removal should that be the case. NEMBA declared these terms shall prevail in perpetuity.

Forever.

In other words, for the kid-glove treatment they received from the city, NEMBA told parks commissioners to go fuck themselves.

———- ooo ———-

As far back as January, the commission asked bike advocates, McGee and company, for:

  • A set of timelines for construction
  • A deadline for completion
  • A projected opening date
  • A detailed financial breakdown

At the most recent parks commission meeting, however, the bike melodrama took a turn.

On April 16, commissioners revealed that McGee and NEMBA ignored the January requests. They provided NOTHING. Instead, the bikers continued to behave as they have throughout this mess, with arrogance and entitlement. This is common with bike fanatics, who see themselves as green and superior to you.

Commissioners were clearly frustrated. If you watch the April 16 meeting on PCTV, you will find the five minutes between 1:43 and 1:48 of the proceedings of interest. Commissioner Anthony DeMartino expressed his frustration at the bikers’ arrogance for  ignoring the commission’s January request for information. The feeling of the three commissioners present (DeMartino, Michele Matthews, and THE PLANET‘s good friend Cliff Nilan [chair Paula Albro and Simon Muil did not attend], according one of our spies, “was that if the bike advocates can’t even respond to a PC request and provide essential information over 3 months’ time, how can they be responsible for all the items in the process of completing the project?”

The answer is that they can’t.

McGee and NEMBA have lied throughout their interactions with the city, and it looks as if the city has had its fill. Instead of immediately canceling the project, the commissions gave the NEMBA deadbeats one more chance. They sent a message to McGee to have all the requested information (timelines, finances, and the like) at the May 21 meeting. If they fail to do so, the commission will kill the project.

NEMBA can’t be trusted. THE PLANET urges the park commission to stick up for the vast majority of Pittsfield citizens and taxpayers. They don’t want Springside Park ruined simply to satisfy the narcissistic invasions by cheap-thrill addicts, wreckreationists, and eco-terrorists who can take their $9,000 bikes and destroy Mother Nature.

Commissioners: Knock NEMBA off its bicycle seats. A little road rash goes a long way.

On Wednesday, THE PLANET presents Part 2, the finale of this series

———————————————————

If we don’t protect the park, the thugs will take over” — Sir Donald Turpentine, Knight of the Bath.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

Copyright (c) 2024 By Dan Valenti, PLANET VALENTI and EUROPOLIS MANAGEMENT. All rights reserved. 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. Those who leave comments own all the responsibilities that are or can be attached to those comments, be they rhetorical, semantic, or legal. Such commentators remain solely responsible for what they post and shall be and remain solely accountable for their words. 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, but not limited to, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. We serve as a marketplace of ideas, without prejudice and available to all. All users of this site — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else — hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice and their use of/participation in this site. 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 A. Melle
Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

May 13, 2024

Erin Leahy at Act of Mass wrote in her political email that the Boston Globe published a news article this past week exposing the $5 million in earmarks for their districts that the Massachusetts State House of Representatives Leadership were able to secretly sneak in their fiscal year 2025 state budget bill.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13409395/massachusetts-democrats-budget-castle-earmarks.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

The Washington Examiner published an online news article describing how Democratic Party Massachusetts state lawmakers waste our tax dollars.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/beltway-confidential/2985014/massachusetts-budget-shows-democrats-waste-tax-dollars/

To be clear, the state lawmakers in Boston voted to spend many millions of tax dollars on special interest earmarks, while most of them voted to NOT give Homeless Veterans priority over illegal immigrants for Emergency Shelters in Massachusetts.

The Berkshire delegation: Smitty Pignatelli, Tricia Farley-Bouvier and John Barrett III all voted against helping Homeless Veterans by giving them priority in finding emergency shelter during the influx of illegal immigrants that is and will continue to cost state taxpayers in Massachusetts somewhere around $1 billion per fiscal year.

Jon Melle

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

JM, can you explain to me how you can write that last paragraph about illegal aliens getting priority over our Veterans; that you claim to support, but then come on here and proclaim you’ll never vote for Trump?

I help breakdown some simple political science 101 for you JM. Here you go:

A vote for Xiden = a vote for illegal aliens over Veterans.

A vote for Trump = a vote for Veterans over illegal aliens.

If you disagree with me, reread the last paragraph of your post and remind us of what political party the Berkshire delegation belongs to.

Meanwhile
Meanwhile
1 month ago

Yank the rug out from under these ingrates today. These are tough financial times and taxpayesr should not be forced to fund well to do special interest folk. Same goes for the Waconah Park drivers. Sell Waconah Park to Goldguy and his investors and let him fund his own business.

Pittsfield has such a history of funding leeches and parasites on the taxpayer dime. Their lobbyists have infiltrated the government and have been sucking money from hard working middle class taxpayers. Shamelful! It would be lovely if it turned out that Marchetti had some balls and shut all this shit down now. ALL of them including people renovating buildings in order to make a bundle of money with future high rents. This should have NOTHING to do with taxpayer funding.

Lenny
Lenny
Reply to  Meanwhile
1 month ago

Yes I totally agree Meanwhile & Dan. This project should die on the vine as the bike group has raised minuscule funds towards the project and have continued to ignore the commission’s requests for info. Shut ‘em down!

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Reply to  Lenny
1 month ago

The pumpers are holding out in the hope that Milltown and some other players will come to the rescue. They are begging.

The school committee
The school committee
1 month ago

Trump unemployment was better than Bidens full employment of 3.8% which is the greatest ever.People can’t believe how great this is.Nobody has ever seen it this great.

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Since Hussein Obama/China Joe Xiden, “stole” office:

Gasoline +47.8%
Groceries +21.1%
Eating Out +21.4%
Baby Food +30.5%
Pet Food +23.7%
Rent +20.9%
Used Cars +20.9%
Air Fare +32.7%

Real Average Weekly Earnings -3.9%

No, TSC, people can’t believe “how great this is.” Even Jimmy Carter thinks it’s “great.”

royal
royal
Reply to  Markus Aurelius
28 days ago

what does this have to do with bikes, no one needs this mantra of the cons.

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

I can’t believe the most expensive thing to drive, is a grocery cart, in Traitor Joe’s dystopian economy.

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

“…was better than Bidens full employment of 3.8%……” – TSC

Do you understand what you wrote?

Gobsig
Gobsig
Reply to  The school committee
1 month ago

Is It true you won an award for your colonoscopy?

ShirleyKnutz
ShirleyKnutz
1 month ago

I’m not sure why the Government has felt obligated to build all these bike trails on old railroads, bike lanes in the middle of the city and pump parks in areas of nature reserve. This group pays no money for upkeep and they are kids that cut lines if you watch them at red lights. Kids should be taught the rules of the road for bicyclist and motorist at that should be the end of it. This is how we grew up and it seemed to work. If the bicyclist are afraid they aren’t seen by cars then go slower and deck your bike out with lights so you can be seen

pothole
pothole
1 month ago

I am glad this may not happen. As with many projects with good intentions, there generally isn’t any plan to pay for and service the needs after the project is completed. Like the common water park and bathrooms. Every time I’ve been to the park one or the other isn’t working. I do realize there is vandalism by the low life scum in that exist in every town, but we know this will happen and there needs to be a contingency fund set with projects for unexpected/expected costs in the future. scale the projects back and save some money to keep what we have built nice for as long as possible. The damn weeds ruin the brand new sidewalks in a couple years because of zero maintenance is just one glaring example.

Johnny T
Johnny T
Reply to  pothole
1 month ago

Marchetti was lamenting that expenses have gone up but funding has gone down. Tyer went on an ape shit shopping spree when the covid money started pouring in and now the city can’t figure out how to make ends meet. No one foresaw that federal money might slow down.

But perhaps Pete and his money watchers (if there are any) can get out that long list of business s getting tax breaks and get real with those people. I do not understand that if giving all these tax breaks is suppose to be benefiting the city, why do the mayors that approved them get beet red in the face when someone asks for information on that part of the budget. (assuming someone is keeping track)

Let’s look at money going out the door needlessly Pete. And please have your people at the paper print out a list of who they are, and who they were, (if anyone has ever gotten off them) and just what is the total figure for this year and the last ten years that the rest of us have had to make up for. I know you feel this sort of open honest government is important and that none of you are embarrassed or ashamed of those tax reductions so I appreciate you efforts on this. Thank you ahead of time.

your constituent,

Johnny Taxpayer

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
1 month ago

How does NEMBA propose to evict the “houseless” occupying Springfield Park? Don’t squatters in mASSachusetts, the have “squatters rights”?

The two groups might put differences aside and unite, to form “Bums on Mountain Bikes”, or BOMBers.

The BOMBers swoop south to terrorize North Street, wreaking havoc as they speed down the bike lanes against the flow of traffic, weaving on and off the sidewalks…….all the while finding new allies among the panhandlers at every intersection. At Park Square the terrorist group stops to recruit the scofflaws, infesting and sleeping at the Public Library, also resupplying with drugs and NARCAN.

Pittsfield government would be powerless against the juggernaut alliance of deviants and miscreants.

Sweet Connie
Sweet Connie
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 month ago

Meeting of the Hole tonight. Maybe Dina will be there? You never know.

Dementia Joe
Dementia Joe
Reply to  Mad Trapper
30 days ago

They can install jump ramps over the house less defacation location areS

Jonathan A. Melle
Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

May 13th, 2024

Hello Governor Maura Healey,

I live near Nashua, NH; I am a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This morning, I drove by a Kelly Ayotte lawn sign for Governor of New Hampshire. The tagline on her aforementioned sign is “Don’t Mass Up NH”.

Kelly Ayotte is running for Governor of NH, while she is campaigning against you, the sitting Governor of Massachusetts: Maura Healey.

Kelly Ayotte is a buffoon. 8 years ago, she denounced and unendorsed Donald Trump after his hot mic “Grab Women by their [Genitals]” moment was aired. In 2024, Kelly Ayotte is kissing Donald Trump’s “big ass” and endorsed him for U.S. President.

Kelly Ayotte attacks you, Maura Healey, all of the time in her campaign. She says that you should be ashamed of yourself. Why doesn’t she look at herself in the proverbial mirror?

I watch you on TV and listen to you on the radio on a daily/weekly basis. I see that you are committed to your job as the Governor of Massachusetts. Neither NH nor Mass. is a utopia. Both states have their respective problems and issues.

Best wishes,

Jonathan A. Melle

Eric Swansin
Eric Swansin
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

You ruined your chances of being one of the Berkshire’s democrat representatives when you once called Andy Nuciforo a ‘hunky love bug.’ We tried to tell you a married man might get offended by it but then you doubled down and started addressing Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier as ‘the lovely’ Tricia Farley-Bouvier and wonder why you were snubbed.
Quit playing the victim and move back to Pittsfield and help your cousin Mayor Pete clean up this mess. You’d be a hero Jonathan if you did that.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

Johnny,

D-Rat Healey kicked out homeless veterans to make room for more CRIMINAL ALIENS!!! She gives them free: housing, medical, food delivered, drivers licenses, education,…….

Do You understand that?

Eric Swansin
Eric Swansin
Reply to  Mad Trapper
30 days ago

He does understand. He thinks most MAGA members are against gay marriage but Governor Healey aligns herself strongly with the LBGTQ community in which Jonathan is a rainbow flag waving member. This is why he supports her policies.

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

At least she and the other GOP candidates are in total opposition to statewide sales and income taxes, in NH which the democrat candidates are thinking about.So don’t pout about it costing even more to get to the VA for services amongst other costs that will empty your government check even faster than now. Oh,and the illegals will enjoy a raise in money and services available to them thanks to any statewide sales and income taxes democrats implement. You get what you vote for.

Dementia Joe
Dementia Joe
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

Vote for Biden and you get to take a shower with his daughter

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago

I don’t know what Yuki did to piss off the Eagle but they really like putting that Methuselah name in crime headlines.

Sweet Connie
Sweet Connie
Reply to  Sebastian
1 month ago

It ain’t the first time. But amused so is on the license board so it should be yet another slap on the hand.

Say No To Drugs
Say No To Drugs
Reply to  Sebastian
1 month ago

She didn’t say no to drugs and profits from them?

Jonathan A. Melle
Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

May 13, 2024

Hello blogger Dan Valenti,

This is how I would have written the news article by Eagle journalist Meg Britton-Mehlisch.

Every fiscal year since the early-1980’s since the misguided state law named Proposition 2.5 went into effect, Pittsfield has had to play financial shell games with the Massachusetts state government bureaucrats by increasing its annual operating budget spending by at least 5 percent per fiscal year.

The political hack Mayor of Pittsfield breaks down his (or her) operating budget proposal by costs incurred to the city and (level 5) public school district. On the surface, it makes financial sense, but beneath the surface, it is disingenuous.

The city’s operating budget is really about receiving as much state aid funding as possible. The city’s financial bureaucrats – in this case, “Kufflinks” Matt Kerwood – sees all of the revenue sources as a means to shuffle taxpayer dollars around and create (his) secretive slush funds that are well hidden from the public.

The state and local taxpayers should be aware that in Boston, state lawmakers giveaway somewhere around $20 billion per fiscal year in state tax breaks to their special interests big business campaign donors. In fact, some lobbyists in Boston report 7-figure annual earnings. In Boston, they are all enriching themselves at the public trough.

In Pittsfield, which is at the opposite end of the Commonwealth, the state sells its regressive taxation scam products disguised as state lottery tickets. Boston loves to brag about its record profits from the lottery, and the state lawmakers love it too, because it allows for even larger state tax breaks to big businesses that don’t exist in the mostly rural region of Western Massachusetts. Boston receives most of the financial benefits from the lottery SCAM, while Pittsfield is being systemically mocked by its underclass residents spending their money on the lottery SCAM.

In Pittsfield, most people don’t understand that the at least 5 percent annual city spending increase is not about them at all. Moreover, they don’t understand that Boston is under-funding state aid that Pittsfield’s budget is really all about in the first place. Furthermore, they don’t understand that the state lottery is a scam that delivers multiple disservices to Pittsfield and the mostly unaware low- to moderate-income residents who live there.

In closing, the state and local politicians are deceiving you by taking more and more of your hard-earned tax dollars. It is all really a mockery towards most of the people who don’t understand that it is all a financial shell game to enrich the financial, corporate and ruling elites – along with all of the greedy lobbyists – at the public trough, while the rest of us have to pay for it all.

I am a journalist with a good conscience. I don’t want my readers to be played for financial fools anymore. Please vote out all of the phony corrupt career politicians and replace them with ones who will STOP LYING to you.

Best wishes,

Jonathan A. Melle

—–

“Mayor Peter Marchetti is calling his first Pittsfield city budget a ‘compromise.’ Here’s what’s included in his proposal”
By Meg Britton-Mehlisch, The Berkshire Eagle, May 13, 2024

PITTSFIELD — Mayor Peter Marchetti is calling his first budget in office “a compromise.”

The mayor sent the City Council the proposed $216.2 million budget, along with a letter, earlier this week, marking the official start to the municipal budgeting process. The proposed financial plan for fiscal 2025, which begins July 1, is about a $10.7 million — or 5.1 percent — increase over the current budget.

To fund this budget, city leaders anticipate they’ll need to raise $114.9 million in property taxes — which equates to a 5.3 percent or $5.8 million increase over this fiscal year — and use $2.5 million in free cash alongside the state aid and local receipts.

In the letter to the council, the mayor called the proposal a middle ground between the level-funded budget requested of him by the council early this year and the administration’s goals for a level-service budget.

“You will continue to hear, ‘We need more teachers, we need more police officers, we need more,’ but that plea for what we need more of is followed by, ‘Don’t raise my taxes,'” Marchetti told The Eagle on Friday. “We as a community have to decide what our priorities are.”

Review of the line item budgets from each department shows that the mayor is seeking a middle point not only from what the council was seeking but from what city departments requested as well.

The budget isn’t set in stone. While the council met May 6 in a special meeting to officially receive the budget, the real work at refining the city’s financial plan starts next week.

Over the course of the next month, the council will host several hearings and review the proposal department by department. These meetings serve as an opportunity for councilors to hear from the city staff leading each office and for councilors to suggest their own revisions to proposed spending.

Those talks kick off at 6 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at City Hall.

At this first meeting, Marchetti is slated to present an overview of the budget and his five-year capital improvement plan. The capital improvement plan, which covers fiscal years 2025 through 2029, calls for $43.4 million in capital investments over 56 projects in the coming fiscal year.

Funding for those projects — which range from roof repairs to city schools, sidewalk improvements, street resurfacing, a new fire engine, work on sewer and water mains, and more — would come from both city coffers, state and federal aid, and borrowing authorizations.

THE ‘COMPROMISES’

The mayor’s letter lays out the financial factors he is balancing. On one side there are increasing costs. This year there will be about $3.5 million in increases to the city’s fixed costs related to health insurance coverage, retirement contributions, debt service and contractual salary increases. On the other side is decreasing revenue in a smaller increase in state aid than the year before.

The mayor has said throughout the creation of the budget that those elements alone keep the city from being able to fully pursue the petition sent to his office by the council for a “budget that is close to level funding.”

Even so, Marchetti had city staff go through the exercise of listing the cuts and impacts that would be required to create such a budget. The mayor presented those findings during the annual joint meeting of the council and Pittsfield School Committee in early April.

The picture the mayor painted of a level-funded budget included major staffing and service changes — particularly from the city’s four largest departments.

The school department would have had to eliminate more than 100 staff members, the fire department would have needed to cut its overtime and shut down a firehouse on a rotating basis, the Police Department would have had to cut 11 officers and the Department of Public Services would have had to cut five highway maintenance craftspeople and two park maintenance workers.

Marchetti said a level-service budget — one that maintains staffing and city services and programs at their current level — just isn’t in the cards.

“After we finalized the level-service budget we were looking where we were and we were still at a place where under the levy we couldn’t raise enough taxes to fund the budget,” Marchetti said.

State law prevent cities from raising taxes to an amount more than 2.5 percent of the community’s “full and fair cash value” of the taxable real estate and personal property in the city.

The different between Pittsfield’s levy limit and the taxes needed to create a level-service budget was quite a gap. The mayor said when he realized the deficit between the numbers, he went back to the department heads for the Fire Department, Police Department and Department of Public Services and asked each to cut another $200,000 each from their budgets.

The mayor then requested an additional $100,000 cut from the police budget.

His final budget proposal avoids many of the predicted staffing cuts by making reductions to the department’s supply and expense budgets. This year, Marchetti received — outside of the school department budget — requests for $134.5 million in budget requests for city departments. His budget calls for just under $1 million in cuts to those requests.

The budget put forth by Marchetti avoids many of those staffing cuts — but not all of them.

Schools: Kristen Behnke, the assistant superintendent of business and finance for Pittsfield Public Schools, said that had the district maintained the same staffing and programming as this year its budget would have totaled $84.4 million in the coming fiscal year.

Instead, the School Committee voted to finalize a budget proposal about $1.5 million shy of that at $82.9 million. School leaders knew no matter what, this year would likely mean staffing cuts due to the sunsetting of COVID-era federal aid to schools. That program, called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, funded 44 staff positions which — for the large part — have not been rolled into the new budget.

Earlier in the budget process for the school department, it appeared lower than anticipated state aid would force school leaders to cut an additional 60 full-time employees. The discovery of a technical error on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s part delivered an additional $2.4 million, which reduced the number of expected layoffs.

District leaders now plan to cut 23 full-time employees in the coming year in order to support the current budget.

Fire: The Fire Department submitted a request for an $11 million budget to the mayor’s office — up 5.2 percent from its current $10.5 million budget.

Marchetti’s proposal would give to the department $10.8 million — a 3.3 percent increase — this year while avoiding the major reduction in overtime that would have forced the weekly closing of a firehouse due to staffing shortages. Rather than completely eliminate the overtime budget, Marchetti is reducing it by $25,000. The reduction gives the budget more space to cover contractual salary and service agreement increases.

Police: When Marchetti presented the picture of a level-funded budget, councilors said they were against major staffing changes to both the fire and police departments. Marchetti’s budget proposal cuts overtime for general policing and drug investigations rather than the number of staff officers.

The department’s budget request for fiscal 2025 was for $15.3 million — a nearly $934,000 increase from this year’s budget. Marchetti’s proposal stops just shy of that at $15 million by making cuts to overtime staffing and supplies.

Marchetti is considering whether the city should change the way police staffing of special events is handled. Currently some events are city sponsored and the cost of the police detail and officer overtime is pulled from the city’s budget. The mayor said there may need to be a conversation with organizations hosting events about fronting the cost for the police details.

The mayor’s budget would reduce funding for annual training and recertification, uniforms, ammunition and technical equipment while still proposing a roughly $634,00 increase in the department’s funding.

Those cuts would come alongside department proposed reductions to the budget for officers attending the training academy, the contract for ShotSpotter and body cameras and temporary custodial services.

Department of Public Services: The department requested a nearly $487,000 — or 4.4 percent — increase to its current $11.1 million budget in the coming year. Marchetti’s proposed budget would instead give the department a $287,000 — or 2.6 percent — increase if approved.

The department’s funding request proposes reducing spending on equipment rental, tools and safety equipment for highway maintenance and parks maintenance supplies.

The budget put forth by Marchetti goes further and anticipates the acceptance of a proposed contract with Casella Waste Systems for trash pickup. That contract relies on the city switching to a trash program that would give residents a standardized toter and have them pay for additional receptacles. That contract would save the city an estimated $80,000 in its trash collection costs.

A ‘pay-as-you-throw’ trash proposal has fizzled before. Will Pittsfield embrace the ‘toters’ under the latest proposal?
Other changes: Outside of the largest departments, Marchetti’s proposed budget attempts to find savings in efficiencies.

One example is a $50,000 change being made to the Office of Veterans’ Services. Each year the department allocates funds to cover financial and medical assistance programs for veterans and their families. This year the department budget $750,000 for those efforts but as of this week had only spend $632,000. In fiscal 2023, the department budgeted $800,000 for those programs but spent just under $600,000.

The mayor said that made him feel comfort that cutting from that budget wouldn’t impact the services veterans are seeking.

Another example Marchetti gave was a simple change to the city’s phone plans.

Up until this year, departments like the Health Department, building inspector, Municipal Airport and Cultural Development entered to individual contracts with cell providers for phones for employees. This year, those plans have been bundled together and included in the IT department’s budget for an overall savings.

Department leaders looked for similar savings in their budgets for office supplies and equipment budgets.

“[Department heads] couldn’t touch salaries or contractual obligations so they had to make other changes,” Marchetti said. “That gave us an opportunity to see where we could make impacts that wouldn’t hurt at the end of the day.”

—–

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

Keep voting Democrat John. EVERYTHING you complain about is due to their policies.

Sweet Connie
Sweet Connie
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago

There’s not enough room in The Eagle for your version.

ShirleyKnutz
ShirleyKnutz
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

The city and it’s leaders seem addicted to the power of the purse. If you look around to similar size cities/towns you see a smaller government with a smaller budget. Why can’t Pittsfield see that their system of government only leads to bankruptcy and high taxes?

Sebastian
Sebastian
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

Don’t ever do this again.

Crybaby
Crybaby
Reply to  Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

More informational than anything Dan puts up on here. Good job weirdo.

Jonathan A. Melle
Jonathan A. Melle
1 month ago
Chuck Garivaltis"/"
Chuck Garivaltis"/"
1 month ago

Finally, the Parks Commission may be showing it has a set of cahones. To destroy Springside Park as play space for children and peaceful walks for adults, is outrageously ridiculous. Vociferous and fancy dressed adult bike riders should not be attempting to take play space for children and ruin a park that was deeded to Pittsfield for children and peaceful space for adults.

Skinny Dippler
Skinny Dippler
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis"/"
30 days ago

About time Chuck.

Melle Is A Mental Midget Menace
Melle Is A Mental Midget Menace
1 month ago

Mental melle this this is his his blog. So many off topic and rambling posts. There should be a limit or a way to block certain posters.

Jon Melle
Jon Melle
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

I support blogger Dan Valenti’s journalism and blogging!

Skinny Dippler
Skinny Dippler
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

Free Repetative War and Peace length?

Dalton Ave
Dalton Ave
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

You’re free to drive your car too but there are laws in place for people who can’t pick up on social norms.

Mielke Is A Mental Midget
Mielke Is A Mental Midget
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

I don’t mean that you should block him I wish we could individually block people. If they had a plus and minus by their names or block unblock like on Facebook

Gobsig
Gobsig
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

I believe in free speech too and with JM we usually get our money’s worth

Gary Wood
Gary Wood
1 month ago

Eliminate the administrators of the ARPA funds and have the community development office handle the work. This would save $100,000 per year for the next two years. If need be credit the community development office line items for the amount saved by eliminating the administrators.

Reduce the DPS amount by the line item amount for the business manager. THIS POSITION IS NOT NECESSARY. If the commissioner needs financial assistance, then the finance department should do their job by helping him or else get another commissioner that has a financial background.

Reduce the purchasing department by the line item amount of one of the assistants. The department head does not need two assistants for such a small department that has as a backup with the finance department.

Reduce the Mayor’s office by $35,000 with the goal of reducing the administrative assistant position to part time.

Eliminate the DEI office and have the personal director handle those duties. That’s the approach of many municipalities. You will save not only the DEI directors salary but also the DEI assistant. By the way, the personal director does NOT handle the school department. They have their own.

Conclusion: Pittsfield has expanded many departments in city hall in the last eight years which was not necessary if the department heads were doing their jobs correctly. It’s high time that the city hire qualified individuals. Other municipalities operate by multitasking. Why can’t Pittsfield?

Skinny Dippler
Skinny Dippler
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

So now the state of Massholes RMV is suspending Licences for out of state infractions even if the incident happened thirty years ago. The are also suspending unpaid fines, which is ok,but the alarming thing on the out of state is the fine from Fifty dollars back then, to over 1200 today?

A lawyer will charge fifteen hundred minimum to fight it. Thousand of drivers have had they’re license’s suspended here but a fine and conviction that had been paid twenty thirty forty years and many with decades of a flawless record?and double jeopardy also? Insane.

Insane.

Skinny Dippler
Skinny Dippler
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

Exactly right. Police can’t even get info on previous violations. Especially Columbia Mexico,Ecuador Guatemala, the Dingo republic

Gobsig
Gobsig
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

Pittsfield is a kleptocracy.

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Reply to  Gary Wood
30 days ago

Common sense isn’t our city leaderships best attribute when it comes to leading to what’s beneficial for taxpayers and the city as a whole.

Skinny Dippler
Skinny Dippler
Reply to  Optimus Prime
30 days ago

Is there a reason why the Councilor in Ward Six has missed five staight meetings?

Gobsig
Gobsig
Reply to  Skinny Dippler
30 days ago

Global warming

The Fabric of Our Livesss
The Fabric of Our Livesss
Reply to  Name*
30 days ago

Nope, it’s Sister Moon; totally different.

Jonathan A. Melle
Jonathan A. Melle
30 days ago

Voltron Pete White the pork-chop’s online radio interview about soaking Pittsfield’s taxpayers:

https://www.wamc.org/news/2024-05-13/as-hearings-begin-pittsfield-city-council-president-breaks-down-mayor-marchettis-first-budget

Gobsig
Gobsig
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

Yeah, the mercury in a rectal thermometer.

Ben Dover
Ben Dover
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

Bend over

Katz Meyow
Katz Meyow
Reply to  danvalenti
30 days ago

It truly is a siilycouncil.

Leaping Lanny Poffo
Leaping Lanny Poffo
30 days ago

In Bitchfield’s heart, where Spring Side Park lies,
A green retreat once met the skies.
But now, ’tis a sight that draws a sigh,
For neglect and decay have crept nearby.

Encampments sprawl where children played,
Tents and tarps in disarray laid.
The laughter’s gone, the joy’s been traded,
For the silence of dreams that have faded.

A bike pump track, once full of life,
Promised adventure, fun, and strife.
Now stands still, a failed endeavor,
A silent testament to “forever.”

The park’s condition, a mirror true,
Reflects a city’s forgotten due.
Nature’s charm, once pure and prime,
Now wrestles with the grime of time.

Yet hope whispers through the trees,
For revival’s touch can cure these ills with ease.
May Bitchfield rise, take a stand,
And restore the beauty of this land.

Dementia Joe
Dementia Joe
30 days ago

Why did the library director get a paid sabbatical? His contract did not entitle him to this gift.

Joetaxpayer
Joetaxpayer
Reply to  Dementia Joe
29 days ago

Agree. But you must understand, the man is exhausted. Destroying a Library is hard work. No longer called the Berkshire Athenaeum. Rebranded as Homeless Daycare Encampment or HDE of the Berkshires. It’s Happening Downtown, come on down!

royal
royal
28 days ago

what do some of these comments have to do with the mountain bike mafia and saving springside park? we don’t need irrelevant and negative con political mantra.