Cohasset Town politics, elections, plots, etc.

A group of Sandy Covers and neighbors showed up at Selectmen’s meeting last week and some Selectmen said they were DISAPPOINTED the town manager hadn’t filed any kind of appeal to FEMA for flood insurance increases.

Selectman Karen Quigley bristled when Selectman Steve Gaumer tried to place the too late blame on the Town Manager and town employees. Gaumer immediately asked for an apology. It is more than obvious that Gaumer is getting ready for Town Manager Chris Senior’s BAD June review.

It was only when Selectmen and Sandy Covers realized that the end date for appeals was in January 2014 (just as Cohasset Town Manager Chris Senior was arriving) that the guy who dropped the ball, and many other balls, was former acting town manager Mike Milanoski.

(In 2011 former town manager Mike Coughln had been working on the FEMA maps as had Mark Brennan and Tom Gruber. Coughlin, Brennan and Gruber were all fired within two weeks of one another. Nevertheless, their reports were delivered to Selectmen on January 9, 2012.

Selectmen candidates answered the Mariners question of the week in the April 3rd issue. The question was what steps could the candidates to take to ensure that the items on the agenda are completely clear to folks both at home and at the meeting.

Everybody had OK answers. Pescatore’s answer was definitely the best. It’s easy to report his advisory meetings. Pescatore gives background and he sums things up. He’s prepared for his meetings.

Selectmen’s meetings are more like Mary Poppins meetings. Pledge of allegiance, who died, how Gaumer’s kids are doing, meetings selectmen attended but no in-depth reporting in spite of all their copious notes.

Here’s what’s missing big time on the Selectmen’s agendas.

Giant issues surface from the Town Manager’s Report, but nobody, maybe not even selectmen, know what those issues will be.

Second. Chairman Diane Kennedy never gives a lead-in to any issue being discussed. Doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s a public hearing, she needs to give the public and her board background. Over the past year Selectmen Gjesteby and Quigley have complained frequently that no background accompanies the agenda. They are right. Hard for citizens to understand. Difficult to report.

At last week’s meeting Quigley and Gjesteby questioned why the legal budget is so low. We surmise it is because Chairman Diane Kennedy may not permit the Town Manager to pay Town Counsel. There’s something like $200,000 plus sitting in the legal budget. What’s all that about? Be still our hearts. We have been here before. We’re getting very bad vibes.

For many years now the shadow government has been plotting to rid itself of Deutsch Williams, the Town’s law firm. Does the BOS ever address this issue directly? No, they play games. They toy with people. We thought game-playing might have ended with the hiring of Senior, but no. It appears to be thriving.

Deutsch Williams (DW) has been the Town’s firm since sometime in 1987. I think. It’s a good firm. Paul DeRensis is well respected and offers excellent advice, when it is taken.

The most recent problem DW has had with the Town of Cohasset is that there was probably no way for DW to advise the Town to enter into much of any kind of an agreement with the Social Service League of Cohasset, Inc. (SSL) and its freshly built Senior Center. But Kennedy and Selectman Kevin McCarthy both campaigned on making the Senior Center happen. So, did they get angry when they were unable to deliver the Town to Marita Carpenter, President of the SSL?

In all respects it is Martia’s Senior Center. She runs the Willcutt Trust, etc. She was told she had to raise the money before she built the building. She built the building anyway.

The only thing that appears to be VERY clear is that the Town cannot legally touch Willcutt Commons until it is out of debt.

Marita was quoted in this week’s Mariner has saying she would be happy to lease Willcutt Commons to the town for a very modest price if the Town would pay the operating costs. The operating costs appear to be in the vicinity of $50,000 a year, if I am reading the due diligence report correctly. The Selectmen have not discussed any of this in public.

It is not clear why Town Counsel should be punished for this or even if Town Counsel is being punished for this, because there is little transparency at Selectmen’s meetings. Clearly, Ms. Kennedy desires a solution. But there is apparently no solution until the Social Service League can offer the Town a clean title. It will be hard work.

History:

In the fall of 2013 when Town Manager Chris Senior was just a gleam in the Selectmen’s eye and candidates for the permanent town manager position were starting to emerge, the shadow government, of which Kennedy and Selectmen Steve Gaumer are allegedly members of, met and (we were told by reliable sources) decided this:

  1. There was no way the acting town manager was going to qualify for the permanent position and so there would have to be a contingency plan.
  2. The plan shadow government devised was to hire the most qualified candidate and get rid of Fred Koed at the 2014 elections. After a reasonable amount of time they would tell the town manager they just hired to look for a job so they could bring back the acting town manager. The beauty of this plan is that they would not have to fire anybody. The Town Manager would just announce at some point in time that he had found a great job that he couldn’t resist. And because he was a great guy, he would do so.
  3. How to keep the acting town manager around: The former acting town manager was reportedly never a Collins Center candidate in Carver. He magically showed up and got a 5-year (unheard of) contract. He of course can end that contract whenever he wants and come back to Cohasset. It is alleged that shadow government “biggies” arranged the 5-year contract in Carver.

This is the immediate alleged future plan of shadow government that is unreported, unfilmed and there are no minutes:

  1. Hire Bill Quigley as police chief.
  2. Get Paul Schubert elected.
  3. Find a new Town Counsel whose opinions will reflect Kennedy’s and her shadow government’s opinions.
  4. Move some office staff around.
  5. Bring back the acting town manager.

Soon, Kennedy may have the monolithic board she has always desired. She had such fun destroying lives in 2011-2012.

The Mike Coughlin lawsuit will go to court this fall. I’d file this under New Debt. Just put it on my water bill, I always say.

 

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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