Cohasset Selectmen debate Common parking and budget

Cohasset Selectmen placed a moratorium on parking tickets surrounding Cohasset Common until Cohasset Police can complete a parking study on the same. In other town business…. Neither Selectmen nor Advisory Chair Peter Pescatore are happy with the format of the draft budget, an early Christmas gift from the former acting town manager.

 

william long roadSelectmen placed a moratorium on parking tickets surrounding Cohasset Common until Cohasset Police can complete a parking study on the same. Unless you’re parked in a no parking zone, you can park on the Common side of North Main Street and parking will be allowed on William Long Road. After a police study is done, selectmen will explore the possibility of making traffic one way from William Long Road to the intersection of Depot Court.

Former Selectman Ronnie McMorris, chairman of the Parish committee at First Parish, showed up at the meeting to offer support to the teachers at the First Parish Nursery School, mothers and others doing business in the area who are allegedly being ticketed unmercifully by Cohasset Police since last October, although things have eased up a little, Lynn Fahie, director of the Carriage House Nursery School said.

Pat Baird, chairman of the board at the Carriage House Nursery School, said police had been ticketing parents dropping off children. There are approximately 68 students and 10 instructors at the school, and ticketing is mostly being done in front of the Carriage House. Instructors do not park in the Common area.

Selectmen commented on a bunch of what they called “odd ball” rules being enforced.  Select Chair Fred Koed said it was difficult to determine just where parking was allowed anywhere in the Common area. He noted that some people were ticketed because a tire might be in the grass, or a car too close to the road.

Selectman Karen Quigley suggested selectmen consider making part of the Common one way in order that parking on both sides of the street would not restrict traffic.

Both Quigley and Koed said they had asked Cohasset Police for some input into the problem but had no response to date.

Town Manager Chris Senior will order a parking analysis of the Common area.

In other town business….

Neither Selectmen nor Advisory Chair Peter Pescatore are happy with the format of the draft budget, an early Christmas gift from the former acting town manager. Selectmen have scheduled a special budget meeting with Town Manager Chris Senior next week at which FY14 and 15 will be discussed.

Senior said he is still working his way through the budget with the Town Accountant and will soon be giving Selectmen an updated version.

Pescatore said the budget was so different from previous budgets that senior and the Selectmen would have to start clean. “The largess for free cash isn’t going to be very much this year,” he said, saying the town would have to come up with about $200,000.

Selectman Karen Quigley remembered that the former acting town manager had said the operating budget had redundancies and thought some of the money could be recouped in that area.

Apparently non-union employees were to receive anywhere from no raise to a $10,000 raise from the former town manager.  Still other non-union employees appeared to have been written out of the budget. Selectmen voted to give non-union employees a straight 2 ½ percent across the board.

Senior said he would be unable to use the tools of merit raises or any other tools until he knew the employees better, and agreed there should be a “reset.”

In other budget news, Pescatore said the Snow Budget is out of sight – around $250,000. He noted that $600,000 had been scooped off the top of the budget for school computers.

Pescatore said anomalies in the budget were that a separate funding had been created for maintenance and roads – “Neither of those items are in the operating budgets. It’s illogical. There is no money in available funding, no draw down process.”

While there were only two new positions in the budget, a Human Resources person and a police officer, in the end the budget has gone up again, with technology, street lights and workman’s comp resulting in 58.23 percent of the budget.

Selectmen gasped.

Senior has been directed to investigate those areas of concern.

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