Cohasset Town officials are upset about acting town manager Mike Milanoski discussing the challenging union negotiations in his letter to the citizens of Cohasset in the warrant that was mailed out last week.
“Several unions felt they were entitled to a three year 30+% salary increases and one group wanted a total of 30 vacation days, ” Milanoski said. It didn’t end there. He then accused the unions of trying to negotiate on the blogs by providing false and misleading information.”
Does our acting town manager blog? What name(s) does he use when he’s up there fighting with the unions?
It is against the law for Milanoski to have discussed anything about union negotiations, anywhere, certainly not in the town meeting warrant.
I, for one, am tired of Milanoski’s Cinderella story – how a two-week volunteer (this is the first sentence in his address to citizens) who had never been a town manager or an assistant town manager was hired from a pool of exactly one person, and was paid $20,000 more a year than we have ever paid anybody in that position: $153,000.
And then we learn on Page 4 of his four-page address to the town, in the last paragraph, that he has no long-term interest in being town manager for life. What! After all the training sessions we have sent him to? After we paid a fortune to clean up his mistakes and are still paying, he now might leave us? He is bored with us?
Selectmen are reaping what they have sown…myriad of midnight and beyond meetings to undo what the town manager has done. Still contract work to be done – negotiate Firefighter 1 out of the police contract before town meeting, if possible.
Two weeks ago Selectman Koed called for a special meeting in order to pull out numerous items from an already negotiated police contract. His board voted 5-0 to A. Not cross train policemen to be firemen and to rethink many other concepts proposed in the police contract. Selectmen also voted to get rid of a new town hall organizational chart that had not been negotiated with the unions and was causing hearts to flutter.
Koed told Milanoski that he did not have the portfolio of the board of selectmen, that he had not discussed the many issues with them that he was considering implementing, issues that selectmen were reading about in Cohasset Mariner headlines.
Milanoski said he has become so facile at municipal law that he’s reduced the legal budget for FY14 because he can do a lot of the work himself. Selectmen didn’t blink an eye when he told them that at a recent meeting.
For one whole year all selectmen did is negotiate and renegotiate Milanoski’s contract, that he wrote himself. How much did that cost? What are all of the costs of having hired an inexperienced town manager?
Last September this newspaper threatened to go to Norfolk Superior Court for a declaratory judgement on selectmen’s breaking the laws of our Constitution – the Town Manager’s Act. Selectmen then attempted to negotiate a more legal contract with Milanoski. At a December meeting town counsel told the town that many aspects of Milanoski’s contract were unenforceable.
What that meant was never explained.
There is no plan to advertise the job of Town Manager. The acting town manager is accruing vacation days, getting personal days. But there is nothing about his position that is acting. He is here to stay for as long as he has the vote of three selectmen.
I have heard members of the governance committee expressing excitement about increasing the candidate pool for the town manager’s position when their Town Manager Act amendment removes all qualifications – leaving it up to the selectmen to decide who is qualified.
Well, I have seen selectmen’s work. And so have you. And it leaves everything to be desired.
Selectmen have not only put an inexperienced person in charge of a $40MM budget, they broke the law to do it.
I agree with Selectwoman Diane Kennedy who said recently that while Milanoski makes lots of mistakes, it is, precisely, the selectmen’s fault.
When you appoint an untrained person as the CFO of your company, whom do you think is going to train the CFO to do the job?
Selectmen should post an ad for an experienced Town Manager this week. Let him choose his own police chief after he arrives. It’s the perogative of the Town Manager, not the acting town manager, to hire the police chief. And there’s really no rush. Everyone says the Acting Chief is doing a fine job. It’ll hold.© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed