*See caveat on comments page
Late last week, after he started getting flak about it – Cohasset’s acting town manager (ATM) attempted to put an ad in Mass Chiefs of Police bulletin – a password protected site that only paid members of a police department can enter.
But it was too late for the April bulletin. Final applications for the Cohasset job are due April 8 -this Monday. That means the ATM attempted to advertise it about 8 days before the deadline for resumes. Normally municipal ads run for a 30-day period.
Nor was any ad for a Cohasset Police Chief e-mailed anywhere. We checked Hingham, Scituate, Hull and some police departments west of Boston. Nobody had seen an ad for a police chief in Cohasset.
And, we found nothing on the On-Line Municipal Career Center site.
Under our Town Manager Act a Town Manager can hire his own police chief. It doesn’t say he has to talk to the selectmen about it, seek their advice, put together a screening committee, or bring in an outside consultant to find candidates, or even notify selectmen. However, all of that and more has been done in the past. Maybe the ATM thinks this is de rigueur ; after all this is how he was hired. No ads, no selection committee, no vetting, When Selectman Martha Gjesteby joined the board last year and asked to see the ATM’s resume, no one could produce it.
It is our opinion the ATM has made what may be a fatal error. The degree of fatality will be determined Tuesday night, when the ATM reveals how many resumes he has received for police chief after his state-wide search. He did say he would be appointing a selection committee.
Selectmen have a 15-day window during which they can vote to not accept the ATM’S choice, at which point he would have to present his second choice. We recently learned that a police lieutenant from Hingham may have applied. So maybe we will have two candidates!
The ATM has lied to his bosses many times.
1. At the Selectmen’s March 26th meeting he told his board that he had advertised for a police chief. He gave them a copy of the ad he had at that point been sent nowhere, except perhaps to the Cohasset Police Department. So maybe that counts as half a lie.
2. At the Selectmen’s April 2 meeting the ATM told his board he had advertised the job for Cohasset police chief in every police department in the Commonwealth, including the Mass Police Association’s prestigious newsletter.
3. Several weeks ago the ATM blamed the Tinytown Gazette for blasting the news of the Red Lion’s brief closing by the health agent all over creation. At 10 a.m. on a Monday, 2 1/2 hrs. after the health agent had closed the Inn over an unpaid bill, Milanoski himself handed a copy of the Inn’s cease and desist order to the Cohasset Mariner editor. The Mariner tweeted it immediately, and hysterical brides and the TV and radio followed suit. ATM told his bosses that nothing had left his office with regard to the Red Lion.
4. ATM decided he would fire Town counsel one day. Only problem is, he hadn’t discussed this with his bosses, who had other ideas. Selectmen nipped that in the bud.
In our opinion the ATM and the Deputy Police Chief are made for one another. We are not sure they can exist separately. After all, they have been through so much together.
They appeared to work in tandem to crush a perfectly fine Chief of Police, Mark DeLuca. One of the charges they floated was that there were distasteful photos of the former chief so awful that if you saw them you might faint. Do you know who took those photos? Cohasset’s Deputy Police Chief, and he was paid to take them for a brochure. Another one – DeLuca stole the Toys for Tots Christmas toys. Nobody stole the Toys for Tots Christmas toys. They were delivered to needy families at a school in Boston and the Marines gave DeLuca permission to take them there.
ATM eventually dropped his forgery charges against DeLuca because he discovered it was actually someone else in the police department who had signed an exit letter for an officer who had long left the department and didn’t want to be bothered returning to sign it. It was hardly forgery.
The letter said: I’m leaving, I resigned, I had a good time here, I’m not coming back, goodbye you goofy people.” It is not forgery to sign another’s name, fill in blanks, or alter a genuine writing in the honest, though mistaken, belief that such conduct is authorized. But this letter signing was authorized.
The ATM certainly does have a lot of problems.
Most of us stop telling fibs around 10 years old or so because it is very difficult to remember them. Perhaps smarter children tell them for a longer period of time.
I blame the selectmen (with the exception of Selectman Gjesteby) for illegally hiring a person who had no experience as a town manager, an assistant town manager, an executive secretary – nada. And they paid him top dollar to boot – $150,000. In your face. Cohasset.
Last night the ATM told his board that they had to agree to whatever the Governance committee recommended with regard to changes in the Town Manager Act. Members of the Governance committee in attendance looked shocked. Governance person Sam Wakeman quickly covered ATM’s gaffe, saying the committee was advisory only. And that it is.
It is time to bring this interesting, expensive experiment called Anyone Can Be Town Manager to an end.
© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed