Milanoski Ad for New Cohasset Police Chief REEKs of hotwiring

Cohasset Selectmen (most of them, anyway) were surprised when they learned this past week that Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski has advertised for a police chief. The board never got to talk with Milanoski about what it might want in a new chief. Apparently, Milanoski e-mailed the advertisement to the Cohasset Police Department personnel – which is where I got it, indirectly. It is unknown if it was posted outside the department.. It was not posted in the Mass. Municipal Association on-line  Municipal Career Opporutnities bulletin, although a position for Assistant Town Counsel was posted on March 28, expiring on 4/28. The 19-hour-a-week Assistant Town Counsel must have a BA in business administration, acounting, financial management or equivalent.

The Police Chief ad is a real turnoff to anyone who might apply: The Town currently has a strong internal candidate who is currently running the department. Selectmen have been asking why Milanoski hasn’t advertised for a chief, so we suppose they are getting what they asked for.  It seems to us the acting town manager should not be involved in hiring a new chief when we are less than a month away from town meeting that may in fact prohibit the current acting town manager from applying for the job on July 1, if a newly constituted board should decide to ask for an RFP and hire a town manager before Milanoski’s contract is up on December 31, 2013.

Milanoski could not be considered for the position of Town Manager if selectmen’s article to amend the Town Manager Act fails. Although the law hasn’t stopped them in the past.

In any case, selectmen do have a right to reject Milanoski’s recommendation for police chief.

Milanoski has a real battle coming up over these next two months.  At least one new selectman will be seated on the board on July 1. The Town Manager Act amendment will be voted at April 22 town meeting. Governance has cleaned up the act in all respects, even adding a privacy clause (unless the selectmen remove it).

If the amended town manager act passes it will allow selectmen to hire their unqualified friends and neighbors. Of course, they can also choose to appoint an experienced town manager, and I think most boards of selectmen want to work with experienced town managers.

It is possible our current board of selectmen is only a aberration. Maybe this combination of people who ran for the top office of the town with absolutely no experience on any town board or commission, at one point there were three of them, will never happen again. You can have all the rules in the world, but if selectmen won’t follow them and continually break the law, then the only real defense is voting for some straight shooters. Cohasset voters will have a chance to do that May 11.


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

  5 comments for “Milanoski Ad for New Cohasset Police Chief REEKs of hotwiring

  1. Karen
    April 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I totally agree, Mary!!! Time to stand up and be counted.

  2. Mary Snow
    April 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Vote no on any changes to the Town Manager Act and then it’s on to the elections!

  3. Callahan
    April 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    The people in the community should be very concerned about this engineered succession, the culmination of a 10+ year effort.

  4. Donna
    April 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Are we headed for another bad decision? The town needs to really think this one out before we fill this important position with the wrong person. I also agree with Mike Coughlin that the issue with Sgt. Conte should be addressed before the position is filled.

  5. Mike Coughlin
    March 30, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Strong internal candidate with credentials due by April 8th? A week from Monday?

    I have appointed three chiefs in my career, I have never heard of such a limited criteria. No set qualifications about a minimum degree, only considering Lts and above and those who attended an FBI course– so much for an open and transparent process.

    Moreover the ad is silent about what is the criteria for selection is–is the Acting Town Manager using a search committee, interview panel, test, assessment center or combination of those— who knows?

    The selection of a police chief is about an important a decision as any Town Manager or community can make. The Board of Selectmen has a duty to consider what type of chief is needed for the challenges facing the department at any particular time.

    While I am a firm believer in hiring from the ranks, in certain circumstances an outside appointment may make sense– particularly when within a year a department has by one way or another removed its Chief and one of its most senior sergeants. The process should wait until the status of Sgt Conte is resolved.

    I may have a bias– I admit but I can tell you from a dozen years in the business the selection of a Chief of Police is not usually one that an Acting Town Manager is allowed to make. Towns usually await the appointment of a permanent town manager.

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