Coughlin urges State to order town-wide ballot vote on Amended Town Manager Act

After the state house hearing on the Amended Town Manager’s Act former Cohasset town manager Mike Coughlin shot off this email  to Chairwomen Sara Peake and Dorcena Forry of the Joint Committee  on Municipalities and Regional Government.

 Mike Coughlin’s Email

I want to thank you and the committee for the opportunity to testify in opposition to H 3486.

From the report by the Division of Local Services recommending a charter commission and ballot vote to my concerns about restricting access to electronic communications, H 3486 is clearly not a “tweak” of the existing act as was suggested by the town attorney of Cohasset.

As was suggested by both the Town Attorney and Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Fred Koed,  H 3486 also changes contract authority in the town of Cohasset. This could have a profound effect on contracts I legally extended as town manager to town employees and department heads including Chief Mark Deluca and Public Works Director Mark Brennan.  Both are presently in litigation with the town.

As I related to the committee yesterday, Chief Deluca is still in stable but critical condition in a medically induced coma at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Chief Deluca is a highly decorated former member of the Boston Police Department and was one of the first Massachusetts law enforcement officers to respond to New York City on September 11.  He fell victim to Cohasset politics.

I urge the committee that it would be the ultimate dishonor for Chief Deluca to awake from his coma only to find out that H 3486 has been reported out favorably.

I also suggest if the committee isn’t inclined to follow the recommendation of the Division of Local Services report that Cohasset pursue a charter commission that it consider the suggestion made by Representative Madden at yesterday’s hearings that the committee incorporate its own changes and amendments.

While I admit that there may have been many more speakers in favor of H 3486 than opponents at yesterday’s hearing, I hope that the committee is moved by the fact American history is marked by many instances where a vocal minority has been responsible for fighting injustice.

As a stated yesterday, I suffered a stroke some two months ago.  At Mass General- paralyzed and not able to speak at the time- I realized that the role of those of us in government is to fight for those who cannot speak or do not have a voice. With respect to H 3486,  I humbly suggest that at present this includes Chief Mark Deluca and the citizens of Cohasset that at minimum deserve a ballot vote on H 3486 before their local constitution is changed.


Mike Coughlin

Former Cohasset Town Manager

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed