Cohasset Governance committee smacks Selectmen twice

Cohasset Governance committee seeks permanency

The Cohasset Governance committee, living up to its reputation of being stubborn, full-of itself and uninformed smacked Cohasset Selectmen in the face twice this week. Former selectmen and current Governance committee members Merle Brown and Ralph Dormitzer arethe first signers on two citizen petitions going to town meeting. 

Two weeks ago Governance met with Town Counsel Paul DeRensis to review its suggested changes. Selectmen expected Governance to deliver bylaw changes to Selectmen by early March to be placed on the April 28 Annual Town Meeting warrant by Selectmen.

Instead, Wednesday night (Feb. 12) Governance delivered to Selectmen a citizens’ petition with suggested bylaw changes via the Town Clerk’s office.

The second slap: Governance is petitioning Annual Town Meeting to revise the bylaws and make Governance a Standing committee. No term limits were mentioned in the article. Selectmen had voted to sunset the committee after the April 28th annual town meting.

It appears Governance has accepted most of DeRensis’ recommendations with the exception of the following:

The Statute states only that a search committee will be appointed.

The suggested bylaw change says the search committee will be composed of residents of Cohasset and the search committee will present the selectmen with candidates. If the selectmen reject all candidates recruited by the search committee, the selectmen may then terminate the search committee.

During discussion of this issue on February 4, DeRensis said the search committee language could more than frustrate a search. (Note that the process for choosing the current town manager, said to be fast-tracked by the Collins Center, took almost five months.)

Governance committee member and former selectman Merle Brown said it was the committee’s intent to have selectmen choose a citizens’ search committee as opposed to a professional recruiting group. He said they didn’t go along with the town’s hiring the costly Collins Center.

If selectmen rejected a search committee’s candidates and restarted a search, it could take up to a year to find a candidate.

Governance ignored his advice and kept the language.

DeRensis suggested that the qualifications of the town manager follow the statute, telling Governance that the language they added outside of the statute: knowledge of Massachusetts’ municipal law and experience in collective bargaining procurement and human resources. “This could be a lawsuit that could go on for years, “ DeRensis said.

Governance ignored his advice and kept the language.

© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed