Cohasset Selectmen’s Debate

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).
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

  1 comment for “Cohasset Selectmen’s Debate

  1. Mike Coughlin
    May 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Elections are about the credibility of the candidates– how they stand up for what is right– how they keep their promises– how they judge the reality of the situation and do they quibble with the facts-

    The Chairman of the Board states that “he couldn’t deal with the town manager”

    Fact–In the Cohasset Mariner on Friday February 3rd– Ted Carr described me as “our terrifice town manager.

    Fact–on Friday January 27th during the MMA Conference while at the Harvard Club– Ted Carr told my wife Bernadette “Mike is doing exactly what we wanted him to do”

    Fact– on Monday March 19th– Ted Carr admitted that he allowed other public officials in town to treat me as he describes “crappily”

    Fact– Ted Carr was briefed on everything that I did from the K-9, to the issues of contracts with our employees, to my concerns about the water contract, from the need to keep the station open 24/7 to the need to have professional oversight of water and sewer

    I leave it up to the voters as to his character and veracity of his statements regarding me. As to his conception of reality– from the Housing Authority and Planning Board who voted no confidence– to our employees that are now afraid to speak up– I would argue that Ted Carr’s statement that everything is working smoothly is based upon a phase sense of reality and is representative of the small clique which now runs town government.

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