The Gaumer Doctrine – another twist in the search for a Cohasset town manager

Selectman Steve Gaumer, in a six-page document to his board, proposed that the majority of the board give up its majority vote and agree to a supermajority vote for the purpose of  “removing personal bias preventing an otherwise qualified [town manager) candidate from proceeding.”

This begs everyone’s nitwittedness.

Gaumer is proposing that a supermajority  (4 selectmen) be utilized with regard to voting on the final three town manager candidates. Gaumer states that this supermajority vote would “remove the likelihood of personal bias preventing an otherwise qualified candidate from proceeding.”

Both the old and the new town manager’s act require only a majority of the board to appoint a town manager. It is difficult to know how the current board would ever vote to give up their majority, unless they were on drugs.

Gaumer also wants the stakeholders, the department heads, schools, advisory, CBC chairs, to be part of the evaluation process. They also will rank candidates. After which the BOS will be tasked with identifying the top two candidates.

Finally, on 12/11 the BOS will interview the top two candidates, if anyone is left standing, and will make a contract offer.

While Gaumer tries to persuade the board that it has all the time in the world,  it is not so. Keep in mind that all of Cohasset’s candidates are also being looked at by other towns. We have been told as many as half a dozen communities are looking for town managers. 

But here is Gamer’s real purpose. 

“Our goal as a board should be to narrow the choices and find the best available fit for Cohasset, in a town Manager. Equally important will be to identify the possibility that no current candidate is suitable. In any case, neither conclusion can be accurately derived in a single interview before this board.”

The supermajority (4 selectmen), that Gaumer so cleverly worked into his proposal, would be unable to make a decision to move forward, to offer the job to anyone. It is Gaumer’s and Selectwoman Kennedy’s mission to delay the search until after annual town elections 2014, where they will make a stab at re-winning the majority on the board and appoint Mike Milanoski as permanent town manager. 

If the Collins Center cannot produce a candidate up to Cohasset’s snuff,  Selectmen would then have to enter into a new search. They would probably put out an RFP in January, there would be an argument with the advisory committee over their being no money for a search and they would probably vote against it. Then there would be a delay into January, February and March, with annual elections right around the corner.

No. We don’t want to put the town manager search into the election season.

On the 13th the Collins Center will reveal the names of the 3-5 finalists.  Selectmen will put together a set of questions and decide on how they will handle visits to the communities of the two or three finalists, and how they will handle questions from the community and town boards and committees and if they will have an evaluation team other than themselves.

Our advice to Select Chair Fred Koed, and Selectmen Martha Gjesteby and Karen Quigley is to keep a steady hand on this search. Do not get tricked into depreciating your majority vote.


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