Cohasset Selectman Gaumer says chair does not honor his requests

Freshman selectman Steve Gaumer was not in attendance at the selectmen’s meeting last week, but he found a way to make his mark anyway.

In a 4-page statement read by vice chair Diane Kennedy on his behalf, he complained about a lack of transparency and due process by the board of selectmen’s chair. Gaumer complained that an agenda item he had asked to be placed on the agenda was not honored and the chairman had not removed an item that he had asked to be held.

Gaumer had wanted a discussion of the Amended Town Manager act to be on the agenda, and wanted Senator Bob Hedlund and Rep Garrett Bradley to be summoned in (in the middle of August ) to talk about the process in an opening meeting. Gaumer said the legislators had been vague about the process. (Gaumer, who is liaison to the government structure committee, did not attend the session at which Rep. Bradley discussed the legislative process for over an hour.)

Also, Gaumer said he had asked that the discussion of the town manager’s qualifications be delayed until such time as he could be present.

Koed polled the board about the meeting change immediately after receiving Gaumer’s request move the Aug. 20 to Aug. 19.  Koed said the Aug. 20th meeting had been posted for some time, and when that change was posed to the rest of the board, another selectmen said she would be unable to make the date. “If I postponed the Aug. 20th meeting, how can I guarantee that another selectman can’t make (the next one)?”

Koed continued: “As for bringing our state representative and senator in tonight – we just had a state house hearing (on the Amended Town Manager Act) at the beginning of July.”

Further, Koed said there was no news coming out of the state house. He suggested the board might invite the legislators closer to October 1, when selectmen need to cement the town managers qualifications in order to start recruiting.

“I’m sorry Steve couldn’t make the meeting tonight, but the town profile has been delayed enough. It took us 6 weeks to find the money (for the Collins center),

Other comments made during the selectmen’s meeting:

Selectman Karen Quigley said there appeared to be a delay in correspondence from citizens making the selectmen’s packages. Several citizens have complained that they are not getting responses to their letters from the board. “Maybe at a future meeting we could discuss having the clerk review all correspondence and determine what gets to the selectmen quickly. “We need to make sure the concerns of citizens get addressed.”

Selectman Martha Gjesteby said she continued to be concerned about three employees from elder affairs who were referred to as being retired. “They did not retire,” Gjesteby said. “And it is quite a loss.”

Advisory chair Peter Pescatore said he would like to get an accounting status report of funds his committee approve for projects. For example, he said advisors approved a $50,000 emergency request for a security kiosk at the schools. This project was voted after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy in which a mentally ill man killed student and teachers.  Pescatore said the Kiosk was not going to ready for the opening of school. When Pescatore asked this question previously, the town accountant told him it was not her responsibility. Quigley asked: “If it’s not the town accountant’s responsibility, whose is it?”

Pescatore said he was not clear that the project was moving forward.

Acting town manager Mike Milanoski said three Kiosks were purchased, only one will be used at the high school. He noted that the project would require additional policies and procedures. He said he would add this category to his monthly finance reports.

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