Cohasset police chief appointment continues on hold

Acting town manager Mike Milanoski said he put a hold on appointing acting police chief Bill Quigley as permanent chief at last night’s selectmen’s meeting until such time he and “Bill” could have a dialogue with the board of selectmen and meet privately with Select Chair Fred Koed.

Milanoski said after careful review he was still certain of his choice.

Koed said he would be uncomfortable meeting with Milanoski and Quigley.  “This should be discussed with the full board. I don’t know why I deserve  the one-on-one meeting. This should be conducted in the open. I have no problem discussing one-on-one issues with you on agenda issues, but I am not going to meet one-on-one with this candidate. My position has been in favor of a level playing field search,” he said.

Milanoski repeated and questioned what Koed just told him. “You don’t want to meet with Bill and myself, but you would meet with me? I want to go over the processes before I make it official.” Koed reminded him that he has coffee with him every week.

Selectman Martha Gjesteby noted that the board had voted to waive the appointment of a permanent police chief until it had a new town manager on board. She told Milanoski that his plan to make the appointment in spite of their vote abrogated that vote.  “I’m sure Mr. Quigley would be one of the candidates,” she said.

Selectman Steve Gaumer told his board that the selectmen had no say in the police chief appointment. “We cannot direct the town manager to not make an appointment. We do have the ability to reject the appointment, but before we get our underwear in a bunch, this is the town manager’s appointment. “

“We voted to delay it,” Gjesteby said.

Koed told Gaumer that the selectmen had voted a policy when they put a hold on the search.

Gaumer doubted that the board had actually voted a policy.

“That was the intention,” Koed said.

Gaumer: “If we’re going to set policy let’s make it clear we’re setting policy. Any further discussion is a moot point. This should be an agenda item.”


In other appointment news, Dr. Bill Henry was reappointed as an associate member to the conservation commission. The vote was 3-2 with Gjesteby and Quigley voting no. Conservation commission Jack Creighton told selectmen that Henry, who had attended few meetings during the past year, had now sold his boat and would be attending more meetings.

Quigley and Gjesteby became agitated when they were told neither the appointing authority (Milanoski) or Creighton had interviewed an applicant who had a BA in environmental science and had worked in the field.

Creighton said: “I never reached out to him and he never reached out to me.”

Gjesteby and Quigley both responded: “He applied!”

Creighton attempted to redirect the selectmen’s interest to “the two candidates who are here,” the second applicant for the associate’s position on the commission being Patrice Vogelman, wife of Jack Keniley, who is chairman of capital budget, a member of the governance committee and is on the budget planning committee. Ms. Vogelman works at Verizon and has experience in environmental permitting, Creighton said.

Creighton said conservation had been all male for several years, and that Patrice had just shown up one day and started participating.  “She suggested all applicants do their applications electronically and submit them two days in advance.”

Gjesteby told Creighton the committee was off balance and needed some environmental backgrounds. Both she and Quigley were upset that Fran Collins had not been recommended.

Gaumer moved to affirm the appointment of Vogelman. Kennedy seconded the motion, but said when someone sends a resume to the town we should be fawning over them. “Nobody’s resume should sit in a folder.”

Gaumer said “It would be a flaw on the selectmen’s part to simply vote against a qualified candidate on the basis of a poor process, which ultimately comes down to our own oversight.”

Milanoski said he would table his appointment and confer with the qualified candidate not interviewed and see if he had any other interests.

Gjesteby said she’d like to have all five candidates who applied for associate memberships on the conservation commission come before the board.

Quigley said it was incumbent upon the town to bring candidates to town boards and committees who have the most applicable skills.  She said she would like to know the town manager’s reasoning for not considering the qualified applicant.

Milanoski said the committee had made some strong comments about the qualified applicant.

In other conservation discussion, Creighton said the commission had adopted a form of term limits for the commission, but selectmen told him that was not in his purview. He added that he was nervous about the future and said the commission needed to start preparing to bring in new commissioners, and to pay particular attention to associate members and to be more proactive in training. He added that at lease one commissioner was close to retirement.


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