Channel 143TV sponsored the one and only selectmen’s debate live on Tuesday. They are running it again on Wed., May 16 at 8 p.m. and again on Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m. and at noon on Saturday. Cohasset Town Elections are Saturday, May 19th.
Selectman Chair Ted Carr and former selectman Martha Gjesteby both presented their views on town government, and gave voters a lot to think about. Mark DiGiacomo did a great job at interviewing the two candidates on everything from the darkened police station to the firing of former Cohasset town manager Mike Coughlin.
Darkened police station: Gjesteby said she would spend the $100,000 to keep it manned. Carr said he wished the town had the money to do everything. Gjesteby said the town had to be able to afford public safety. Carr said the police station was not going dark, it was going gray. Gjesteby said she had more calls on this issue than anything else during her campaign. Carr credited the police chief for speaking against the “gray” police station at town meeting.
Firing of former town manager. Carr said he couldn’t deal with the town manager and that after he was gone everything worked more smoothly. Gjesteby said the board had not given the town manager any goals and objectives. Gjesteby wondered why it cost the town $57,000 to fire the town manager. Carr did not respond.
Citizens petition article to make sewer and water appointed (defeated at town meeting).
Carr was against the article, Gjesteby for. Carr said both board had become more stable. Gjesteby said “We don’t always have people with technical expertise running for those offices.” Carr said the governance committee was looking into this. Gjesteby said most towns operate with an engineer and sewer/water advisory.
Uncivil exchanges: Gjesteby said you should run selectmen’s meetings via Roberts Rules and not let people, boards or civilians, take over the agenda. Carr said he offered a code of civility to the town, but blogging acitivity could not be controlled, although the Cohasset Mariner had come a long way but Tinytown Gazette had not. Gjesteby said “Tighten up your agenda. People respect that.”
New Hires in FY13: (Three new positions at town hall.). Carr said they were putting together strategic staff. Gjesteby said she’d rather the money be spent on the police station.
Cohasset schools: Carr said he had recently joined the Deer Hill School Counsel and the PSO (Parent-School Organization) and he would put Cohasset Schools up against any school in the nation. (Cohasset Schools were recently named one of the top 20 in the state.) He said he and his board had been building a good relationship with the school committee. Gjesteby said she had worked on the 5-year curriculum project with Laura Stone that have returned Cohasset Schools to the top 20.
Good discussion, good debate and it all takes place in less than an hour.© Copyright 2012 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed