Fox Run Discussion Pulled from Cohasset Selectmen’s Agenda

Selectmen had to pull the agenda item on Fox Run at their July 23rd meeting because interested parties were not notified. April 2013 annual town meeting voted to give  $100,000 to the Cohasset Conservation Trust to assist in the purchase of 34 acres of land located off Forest Avenue on a cul de sac called Fox Run.

It should be noted that the White family, that has generously allowed the town of Cohasset to enjoy at no cost its walking paths and woods adjacent to  Wheelwright Park for myriad years, is the owner of this property. Peter White represents the family.

It is now thought that families living adjacent to the White property off Forest Avenue, namely in an area called Fox Run, are planning to ask Fall Town Meeting to reverse its vote giving $100,000 from the Cohasset Preservation Committee to the Cohasset Conservation Trust, a private nonprofit group, that seeks to purchase the 34 acres, providing public access and walking trails.

Unleashed has learned through reliable sources that Fox Run residents would have no clout with a petition article to Fall Town Meeting.  Only The Cohasset Preservation Committee, chaired by former selectman candidate Russ Bonetti, can ask town meeting to redirect the funds back to the town. After reading Bonetti’s letter to selectmen this week it is highly unlikely Bonetti’s committee would ask Special Town Meeting to  redirect the funds back to the Cohasset Preservation Trust. The money has not yet been expended.

 Russ Bonetti wrote this letter to selectmen this week:

re: Fox Run

Monday, July 22

To Cohasset Selectmen

From Russell Bonetti, Chair, Cohasset Preservation Committee (CPC)

I notice that Fox Run is back on the agenda. The agenda says “options from Town counsel. I feel that this should be an agenda item, and not a comment item. I understand there are questions as to how the Town Meeting article on Fox Run was described. This begs the question of why the CPC wasn’t brought in to the discussion. At the very least I should be allowed to speak, as I am the one who presented this article to the various committees.

Never has Fox Run been presented to any committee (CPC, Advisory, BOS, and TM) without the mention of trails. I plan on being there when this is addressed on Tuesday, and I am hereby requesting that I be allowed to comment. I have personally had my statements misrepresented, and in some instances have had statements credited to me that are confabulatory at best, and outright lies at worst by some of the aggrieved parties.

CPC has put Fox Run on its agenda tonight at the request of some Fox Run residents. It now appears that none of the residents plan on coming to CPC. The BOS should not be meddling in a decision of another committee, not to mention one (whose article) was over-whelmingly approved by Town Meeting, without seeking input from the people on that committee. I believe that falls under the category of common courtesy.

Atty. Richard Henderson has also requested that as the counsel for the White family, he be notified of such discussions. I think that the fact that he cannot attend should  be sufficient to reschedule this.

ln my opinion this is a misguided attempt to derail the purchase of this property. My understanding is that the CCT has sufficient funds to purchase this property outright. In that event, there would not be a Conservation Restriction (CR ) on the property. CPC involvement would place a restriction on the property preventing future development. Without a CR the property could be developed, not preserved.

As I have pointed out more times than I care to count, CPC is not a party to the purchase’ and would be involved only in obtaining a CR. The BOS would have precious little time for conducting town business if it gets involved in what really is a private transaction.

To try to “undo” a Town Meeting vote should be an agenda item. Either way l will be in attendance at the meeting, and insist on the opportunity to respond.  Should this be rescheduled I would appreciate being notified so that I can be given the opportunity to attend the discussion?

Russell Bonetti

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© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed