Cohasset Town Manager Act – safe for the moment

Thurs., Sept. 6th meeting of Governance Committee

Cohasset’s Governance committee voted to submit recommended changes regarding the Strong Town Manger Act for Annual Town meeting 2013 and will ask selectmen not to sunset the committee (Sunset was supposed to be at the end of 2012) until such time as it has completed its charge.

Before it was decided to shoot for ATM 2013, the committee voted to recommend that all elected and appointed members of boards (excepting members of the board of selectmen who must be separated from the Town for one year) should be eligible to be appointed Town Manager.

Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski sat through the discussion and participated in the discussion of this issue that directly affects his future, for without this change, he can never be a Town Manager. Previous to his becoming Acting Town Manager Milanoski served as Chairman of Governance. Yes, reader, there is a conflict of interest here. Even more than a conflict of interest. (Click here for more information.)

Not to worry, this committee is confused about so much it is doubtful it will get around to very much of anything very soon.

Governance is still under the false impression that it is an ad hoc committee (there is no such thing under the open meeting law) and can pretty much do whatever it wants. Like it thinks because it’s ad hoc (not) Advisory Committee member George Chamillard can be on the committee…even though local bylaws say he cannot. The Town Clerk says not. Everybody says not. Nevertheless, Governance stays confused.

Here’s the local bylaw:

ARTICLE V (pages 35 and 36)

Appointed Standing Town Boards & Committees


(a) The Advisory Committee shall consist of nine (9) members, withthree (3) members to be appointed each year for three (3) year terms, the conclusion of eachterm being the end of the fiscal year.

(b) Appointments shall be made by a committee consisting of the Moderator, the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee within twenty (20) days after the final adjournment or dissolution of each Annual Town Meeting.

(c) Members shall be registered voters of the Town and shall hold  no other elected or appointed offices.

Nothing vague about the above – even Selectman Chairman Paul Carlson understands it. He told Governance “It’s pretty clear.”  Charmillard should do the right thing and resign. He can still go to the meetings. He can sit in the audience with me!

At this morning’s meeting Governance touched upon things here and there it might like to change…like children at a candy store. As if it were all there for them to choose from all the Mary Janes and licorices, twizzlers, black cows and jaw breakers and ladybugs. State statutes, which cause much of the language that appear in our local bylaws and the Town Manager’s Act, were never discussed at all. It is doubtful that the committee knows there are state statutes.

Governance discussed making the Housing Authority (that voted No Confidence in the Board of Selectmen during Coughlin’s hearing), Board of Health, Recreation and the Town Clerk appointed because it would be so much easier, and you know it’s so hard to get people to run for office. Milansoki would find it simpler to control appointments, as opposed to those nasty elected officials. Governance wondered if the Troika should  be making all those appointments. Who started that strange custom?

Lots of nice, well-meaning people on this committee which should be sun-set in December, as originally planned. This is not a 9-month project. It’s more like a five-year project.

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