Peter Wood and Others question Milanoski’s appointments

September 23, 2013
Letter from Peter Wood, Cohasset citizen to
Members of the Cohasset Board of Selectmen: 
I am at a loss to understand how the Acting Town Manager can propose to place a far less experienced individual on the CCC.  Fran Collins is the obvious choice.  He has lived in Cohasset for over 60 years and knows the town as well as anyone, particularly one who has not been in town that long, and has minimal environmental experience. 
My understanding is he was asked to serve on the Storm Water Committee to gain experience and as part of a learning curve.  I believe that is ludicrous at best and an insult at worse.  He is by far the best qualified person to become a member of the CCC.  Following the ATM comments the applicant should be on the Storm Water Comm., and Fran Collins should be on the CCC.
I hope this coming Tuesday night that this issue will be properly addressed, and the right decision made for the best interest of the town.
Peter J. Wood
For a second meeting in tandem, acting town manger Mike Milanoski will ask selectmen to appoint Jack Keniley’s wife, Patrice Vogelman, to an associate position on the conservation commission. Mr. Keniley is chairman of the capital budget committee and a member of the governance committee. Keniley is also a member of the budget planning committee that was never officially sworn in to the town clerk’s office and therefore does not exist anywhere as an official town committee. Although it does post its meetings, it does not provide minutes of its meetings to the town clerk. Just another Alice-in-Wonderland tidbit for Unleashed fans.
There is absolutely nothing wrong that Mrs Vogelman has a passion to serve on the conservation commission.
It is just that several years ago a very political board of selectmen got rid of several experienced conservation members with excellent conservation backgrounds, replacing them with inexperienced members whose history of service has proven them to have little and no interest in the commission. Few if any of them have attended  state-given conferences on the same.(
The conservation commission is a permitting board. It takes years to understand state and local laws and how to implement those laws. Accordingly, appointing authorities should seek to appoint members, when possible, who bring something to the commission with regard to background and experience.
Mrs. Vogelman, in most years, would be an excellent choice for a citizen representative on the conservation commission. At present the committee is composed LARGELY of uninterested citizen representatives.
Peter Wood lamented the loss of Fran Collins’ experience on the commission in his letter, printed above.  There were also two other candidates with conservation experience. Ed Wadsworth has a Master in studies in environmental law. He volunters with the Conservation Law Foundation and works with FEMA.  What happened to him?
The acting town manager wishes to appoint Fran Collins and Bob Huey to the stormwater committee, where they will certainly do well with their excellent backgrounds. But this committee is advisory only, it is not a permitting committee.
At the selectmen’s Sept. 24th meeting the acting town manager  would like to appoint conservation commission chairman Jack Creighton to the governance committee where he would be the commission’s 9th member.
Too many people in our town are serving on myriad committees, giving them powerful, reverberating  voices.
The acting town manager needs to work to balance committees and commissions and appoint people who bring experience to the table. The town cannot afford to be forever training its permitting boards and the acting town manager.
Back on the selectmen’s Sept. 24th agenda is a discussion of the police chief search, at the request of selectmen vice chair Diane Kennedy.  If selectmen are expecting to offer a permanent town manager contract to an individual sometime in November, we think selectmen should promptly dismiss this agenda item.
© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed