• The $200,000 legal budget was overspent by $100,000. It took $57,000 in legal fees to fire Mike Coughlin for no cause.
• Police Chief Mark DeLuca spoke against the dark police station. Will this be held against him when they go to sign his contract after town meeting? If the police station goes dark, where will they put the people they arrest at night? In their trunks?
• The citizens’ petition article to hire public works superintendent and make water and sewer a 5-member advisory board (last article on the Saturday ballot) lost on a voice vote but people throughout the hall said they felt it was close. It looked like it would be close to others in the hall, also – because shortly before the vote town officials were texting their friends for help and the E-20 support team arrived promptly. All town boards voted against this article.
• Article 1 was a non-binding resolution/report submitted by the Town Manager asking Town Meeting to support town official’s move to “stop the (financial) bleeding.” Numerous citizens applauded officials for their hard work, but added these criticisms:
Chartis Tebbetts said she would like the budget planning group to examine a possible override if we want to continue only “balancing” the budget.
Ronnie McMorris asked the meeting to postpone the article as she felt it was not properly before the meeting.
Susan Kent told town officials it was their job to control the finances of the town – “This is what you’re supposed to do,” she said, wondering why they felt it necessary to have town meeting vote on a resolution.
Agnus McCann said the resolution was lacking a goal. She wondered if the “unstated” goal were level service funding. If so she said she was worried the town would not be able to keep the things we have (maintain buildings, etc.).
David McMorris said the resolution could hamstring future board. “Flexibility needs to be built in (into the resolution).
Selectman Paul Carlson noted that the resolution was not binding.
Selectman Chair Peter Pescatore noted that from 2005-2012 the town’s budget had increased 3.9%.
• Complaints about the Governance committee were that it never held a public hearing, early morning meetings (7:30 a.m.) were difficult to get to (Agnus McCann).
• People receiving standing ovations for their service to the Town were Debbie Cook, conservation commission (interesting that the three selectmen who fired her all stood and applauded her). Also, Al Moore, planning board and Ralph Parencello, housing authority.
• Articles 16, 17 18 were all voted down. They were the Meals and Hotel Tax Stablization fund, the Acceptance of Local Option Hotel Tax and Local Option Meals Tax. The funds to be generated were to fund facilities and buildings maintenance. The stabilization failed on a 73/42 vote and the rest failed on voice votes. Ronnie McMorris said it was a matter of fairness. She felt all taxpayers should share in maintenance, not just restaurants and hotels. Joe Campbell, manager of Cohasset Harbor Inn and Atlantica also spoke against the articles. “This tax affects two businesses in Cohasset.” It was noted that if the Town voted the local option meals tax residents would be paying a 0.75% tax on all prepared food purchased in Cohasset.
• Ted Carr’s political signs are all over public property. He’s been asked to remove them from the same several times. I observed the same just driving up Pond Street. Earlier in the week Carr’s signs were at the water department.
• Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski, is making over $130,000 a year – more than any of our last 3 town managers. This wasn’t discussed at town meeting but that’s where I learned it.
The continuation of Town Meeting is Monday, May 21 at 7.© Copyright 2012 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed