Cohasset Legal Budget Explodes – and other stuff

It’s great to save money and I love having town officials looking for ways to save it.  But last year they spent $475,000 on legal fees – $275,000 over budget.

Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski is now in charge of the legal budget and all indications are that he is taking his job very seriously –to the extent he has asked the Conservation Commission (ConCom) to take a second look (reverse its vote) on a decision it made to not allow a home to be built at 559 Jerusalem Road. Milanoski did that because the ConCom had no reason to deny a permit to the applicant, other than that Peter DeCaprio, an abutter and a good friend of ConCom, didn’t want a home built there.  Sending Town Counsel to court to fight a fruitless battle and concurrently generating a bill from Town Counsel, would not serve anybody’s purpose, especially not Milanoski’s –  now that he is charge of the legal budget and albeit, feckless usage of it. ConCom meets on the 559 Jerusalem Road permit sometime after 8:10 p.m. on Thursday, August 2.

Plans for semi-dark Police Station

and the Gorilla in the Room

There has never been a hearing on the dark or semi-dark or whatever it is they are calling the police station these days. Last night’s agenda item was not a hearing. It was a 15-minute agenda item. A hearing on the same should have been about a year ago. But last year at this time Selectmen were plotting to fire three Conservation Commission members.

Milanoski and the Selectmen who guide him are remiss in not talking to the former police chiefs and former police officers who still live in this town and who have powerful information to share.  Retired Police Officer Richard Abbadessa, 24 years on the Cohasset force, told Selectmen last night that three men on a shift with one on the desk was not safe for police officers or the public in this day and age. He cited several examples of police officers over the years that quickly found themselves in trouble in responding to something as simple as a Cohasset graduation party.

This blogger has spoken to several town managers and former chiefs and retired police officers, none of whom have a dog in this race, and they all say you can’t send police officers out in today’s world with little and no backup, which is what the Milanoski-Bill Quigley plan is. Money-wise I love it. Safety wise it’s a cop killer.

Deputy Chief Bill Quigley is anxious to please his new boss, who has essentially given him the Top Cop spot. He will do anything Milanoski says. The Gorilla in the room, the man whose name we dare not speak, is Police Chief DeLuca who rightfully argued against the dark station at Annual Town Meeting and who was promptly put on administrative leave with pay.

When Advisory Chair Peter Pescatore asked about perpetual funding for the desk officer on all three shifts he got no response. But the rest of us know the police budget will soon acquire another $130,000 from DeLuca’s salary.

DeLuca’s salary, after he is ridiculously terminated for allegedly stealing some Christmas toys, will be used to fund the desk officers who will also be the back-ups to the two guys on patrol, and who will babysit the station except when there is a woman or a juvenile, who need an officer or matron to sit in the cell with them. Which is like all the time.

What it all comes down to Readers, is that Cohasset can’t ever close the station. Many blogs ago I asked: where are police officers going to put the fine Cohasset citizens they arrest – in their trunks?

Milanoski is just starting to realize this.  Alas, he has plans for DeLuca’s salary. So, DeLuca must either be found guilty or left to expire in January 2013 at the end of his contract. However, he does have a legal extension to his contract (into 2014) signed by former town manager Mike Coughlin. If DeLuca leaves in 2013 he could leave with a lot of money. Do  you hear Town Counsel’s billing meter ..tick tick tick tick tick.

If DeLuca hangs around too long – a newly elected board of selectmen majority in 2013 just might extend his contract and put out an RFP for an Experienced Town Manager, which is what we voted for 15 years ago.

Milanoski, who is very hard working and might make a fine town manager some day, is making rookie decisions and he is being backed up by rookie selectmen who have forgotten or have never known the value of a public hearing where you learn what people want and glean information from the elders of the community.

I want my police force to be safe. I want to be asked if I am willing to pay more for their protection and mine.

I am.

Please ask me.

© Copyright 2012 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed