Pescatore reflects on Cohasset Selectmen’s decision to reject police chief appointment

by Peter Pescatore

As I have mentioned on several occasions in various venues, my primary interest is the Long Term in all things. The recent decision by the BoS to deny the Town Manager his appointment of Cohasset’s Police Chief seems to me to be a short-term choice that may stabilize the Police force and bring peace and tranquility to our town. But what of the long-term? We experienced a sea change when Captain Hussey of the Boston PD spent his time with us because he brought in a fresh perspective and had different ideas about how things could be done. I believe that everyone involved in his process learned something and were better equipped for their jobs and better prepared for wherever life took them as a result of the experience of being challenged to look at things in a different way and work to achieve effective changes.

We agonized over our Acting Town Manager: had the Governance Committee ignore its charter to review how our committees function after the ConCom black Tuesday episode, and re-craft the Town Manager Act to create a loophole instead?

In the end we set up an objective process that resulted in the town appointing a professional Town Manager with extensive experience in a larger and much more complicated community. He was brought in to do more than fix the phone system. His job is to move the town firmly into the 21st century. That’s the future kind of thing I like. To date the experiment has worked out very well for the town with funded programs in place to offer enhanced service levels for all and a new focus on improving our Town’s buildings and roads.

Town Manager Chris Senior selected the person he felt could impact the future direction of the CPD and the Town for the long-term as part of his charter to move the town forward. That mission not only includes upgrading all of our infrastructure, but also introducing new ideas into the management structure. The Town Manager Act gives the Town Manager, and only the Town Manager, the authority and responsibility to select his key people to bring the skill sets required to fill the roles he sees as critical to achieve his and the Town’s Goals. What is there to be afraid of? Why not open the windows wide and let the fresh air in. We can’t make the status quo a sacred cow or as I learned many times in my life, if you don’t move forward you fall behind.

I found the comments of members of the board a bit disingenuous regarding how spontaneous the citizen’s email vote supporting the status quo position had come in having seen e-mail chains exhorting the faithful to send in their e-mails to four of the Selectmen specifically. Disavowing any knowledge of a special interest group that works in a coordinated way to achieve their agenda by influence is a fig leaf for the cronyism just below the surface. There is nothing bad about like-minded people banding together to achieve their goals but I would suggest to all of you that when we lose objectivity in our governing body the checks and balances provided by independent opinions will result in a final product that in the long run may not make us proud.

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed