Gregory W. Sullivan, Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
John W. McCormack State Office Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1311
Boston, MA 02108
Dear Mr. Sullivan;
The Town of Cohasset is ruled by an open Town Meeting and a Strong Town Manager.
Recently, the Cohasset Board of Selectmen suspended Cohasset Town Manager Mike Coughlin, with pay, and shortly thereafter appointed Mike Milanoski as acting town manager, a position the chairman of the board of selectmen said he can hold for up to 5 years. It is a full time position for which he is paid. He has a contract.
At the time of his appointment Milanoski was and still is chairman of the Governance committee and an associate member of the Conservation commission; both committees are appointed by the board of selectmen. Selectmen also gave Milanoski special municipal employee status.
But it is my understanding that under the ethics law, a full time employee cannot be designated as a special municipal employee.
The Strong Town Manager act says the acting town manager must be qualified. My question is: would that qualification include the same qualifications as that for town manager, i.e., not being a member of any appointed or elected town committee? Town Counsel Paul DeRensis says the qualifications for acting town manager are not as stringent as for town manager. Does this mean cronyism is Ok for the acting manager but not for the town manager? I view the Selectmen’s appointment of Milanoski as being a big-time end-run around the Town Manager Act. I’m wondering if you agree with me.
172 South Main Street
Cohasset, MA 02025