Good Morning Cohasset

It is good that Cohasset Selectmen voted 3-1 (Leland Jenkins) with one abstention (Martha Gjesteby) to not file a second ethics complaint against Selectman Martha Gjesteby, who is trying to recover from hip surgery, no thanks to her board.

Selectman Diane Kennedy set the mood and tense of the 9:15 agenda item that was discussed around 10:30.

Kennedy said she was troubled about the selectmen’s proposed agenda item requesting the board to issue a second complaint against Gjesteby because the Cohasset Town Clerk inadvertently released to the Boston Globe selectmen’s unapproved executive session minutes, that were part and parcel of an opening meeting law complaint Gjesteby filed against the selectmen.

Select Chair Paul Carlson and Selectman Fred Koed admonished Gjesteby’s attorney, Brandon Moss, of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane for not having marked the material released in the complaint as confidential.  “It  should have been put in a special envelope,” Koed said.

Moss gave each member of the board of selectmen open meeting law instructions. He advised them that there is nothing in the law regarding putting anything in a special envelope and that anything released from the town clerk’s office is done so at her discretion. If the town clerk has questions about any document, she can hold that document until town counsel reviews it for up to 10 days, Moss said, adding that the town clerk should not have released the unapproved executive session minutes that were part and parcel of Gjesteby’s complaint against her board of selectmen. Further, Moss said, the minutes in question were well flagged, and were in fact a segregated document. But of course one had to read the complaint to determine the same. And it would have been nice if the illegal acting town manager warned the town clerk that something sensitive was coming her way.

The illegal acting town manager, with accrued vacation and a long-term contract at $150,000 a year, defended the town clerk, saying Moss was attempting to surmise that the town clerk did something wrong.  “She is above reproach,” he said. And he’s exactly correct. Carol St. Pierre is a wonderful town clerk who if she ran for selectmen would top the ballot.

But would she run, is the question. There is no question she would top the ticket.

Kennedy said she was upset the town clerk was even being discussed. “We need to get off her. The onus is on us. We have a high responsibility to the people; we can’t make mistakes.” Oh, Diane, of course you can make mistakes. You make them all the time. We all make mistakes, lighten up.

Citizen Adrienne McCarthy told selectmen she was mortified about the way they were handling all of this. “I think Diane (Kennedy) is on the correct road. This has to stop.” She told selectmen they blindsided Gjesteby when they called her into an executive session last December to discuss her ethics and had not given her notice.

Leonora Jenkins, water commissioner, questioned how the Boston Globe knew Gjesteby’s open meeting law complaint had arrived at the town clerk’s office and ended up scooping the entire document. Yes, I would like to know this also. I (Tinytown Unleashed) was asked to drive Gjesteby to the town clerk’s office where she attempted to remove the non-public unapproved executive session minutes from her complaint and was told by the town clerk she could not do so. When I returned to the town clerk’s office later in the day, attempting to get the same great stuff the Globe got, I received the initial complaint minus the unapproved executive session minutes.

The Boston Globe promised Gjesteby it would not publish anything about the unapproved executive session minutes.

So, you’re wondering how Cohasset selectpeople could even think of filing against Gjesteby on this mater when it was actually in the hands of the town clerk, right?

If you are thinking this, you are very rational and you could be a selectman. Please consider running for this office.

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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  1 comment for “Good Morning Cohasset

  1. Mary A. Parsons
    February 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I’m not sure if this is where my comments belong, but here goes: Recently there have been news stories concerning the the sale of LNR Corporation to Starwood Property Trust ( another home builder). Not much has been said about the new company. Plenty has been written about LNR Corporation,South Shore,LLC. LNR SS, LLC was created to develop the now closed Naval Air Station South Weymouth. Lennar home builders was actually named the Master Developer for the former military Base by the South Shore Tri-Town Development Coporation. In case you don’t know, the South Shore Tri-Town Development Coporation was created by votes of the towns of Abington, Rockland and Weymouth to redevelpe the former NAS South Weymouth. The former military base is ruled by three documents voted by the voters of Abington, Rockland and Weymouth.
    Unfortunately for the voters in these three towns, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, in this case, setting up a five member board of directors to guide the voter approved reuse plan and enabling legislation ( one of the three documents originally voted on) As with all things politic you end up with the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker etc. running the former NAS South Weymouth.
    In this case LNR ( the home builder) naturally wanted housing on the former base and of course they jammed the Annual Town meetings with union labor to vote their plan with promise of thousands of jobs etc.
    To date there aren’t thousands of jobs on the former military base and I doubt there are even 100 temporary jobs. The place is now called Southfield.
    People are now moving into cottage type homes and 226 apartments and are now complaining about where they live. They should have checked the place out thoroughly before moving in. Whatever happend to let the buyer beware. I would think those that spent a half million dollars for their cottage would have checked the surroundings and asked questions about the area they were locating on. It’s not like you can’t see the run down old Navy buildings. the Navy is not taking those building s down. Obiviously the Southfield people did not read anything.

    Luckily the folks in the apartments don’t have to stay if they don’t like their circumstances.

    This past weekend the Southfield residents were in the news complaining about thier unique circumstances. “southfield governance creates confusion for residents, officials” (Patriot Ledger)
    Below are my comments to their situation and the residents of Southfield:

    Mayor Sue Kay doesn’t need to change the rules to appoint a person, who lives in Southfield, to the SSTTDC board. As soon as Connolly or Wall step down or if she removes Connolly or Wall for not returning excess revenue(free cash) to the towns; she can appoint a Southfield person to the SSTTDC board of directors. She is not telling the truth. The definition of who can serve is in the legislation. The documents were approved at town meetings in the three towns. When homes are built in Rockland, Southfield people will be able to attend Town Meeting just like every Rockland resident can do. They will be able to vote for their town officials etc. The three towns set this up this way because in the beginning the NAVY wanted only one entity to deal with the transfer of the land. Nothing is being built in Abington.

    This section of Southfield lies in Weymouth. The difference here is Southfield does not pay their taxes to Weymouth. What do Southfield people think it would cost them if they had to fund a police, fire dept. and DPW right now. They only pay per call for fire unlike the Weymouth resident who pays all salaries, equipment and maintenance. Southfield people only pay $53 per shift for police unlike Weymouth residents who pay all salaries, maintenance and equipment. I am the co-author of “NO COSTS” to the towns for police, fire, emergency services etc. I have the documents.

    And they think they are not getting a good deal! I think every taxpayer in the three towns would like that deal! I know i would. It is the Weymouth taxpayer who is getting snookered in this deal. Who knows what Rockland will get in the future.

    “Newell and other residents said they were not told about Tri-Town when they moved in.” Their neighbor, Bill Ryan, can tell them how he, as a representative of LNR, sold the housing plan to the three towns. Bill Ryan lives in Southfield and works for LNR ( by the way, it was Lennar who was appointed Master Developer, not LNR). Why isn’t he explaining to his neighbors that Southfield is nothing more than a glorified development project in the three towns. After all, he was a former Weymouth selectman as well.

    The Southfield people are purchasing homes and renting apartments that are well above the home prices in the rest of Weymouth and the other two towns. It isn’t as if this was the only place they could afford to purchase or rent a place. I guess the Southfield people don’t read. This issue has been in the news for the past 16 years!

    Being appointed to the SSTTDC board of directors is not going to change what has to be done to the maiximum benefit of the three towns. You, as residents do not have anymore say than we as residents of one of the three towns. How dare you think you should have a seat on the SSTTDC board just because you live in Southfield. Southfield is nothing more than a developement project that is found in each of towns.
    It is amazing how these people are not concerned about the contaminated groundwater that is marked off by the opaque white fence along Memorial Grove Ave. or the MS that rings the base fence line. The jet at the entrance to Memorial Grove Ave. is a tip off to what they are locating on!

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