Tinytown Unleashed endorses Koed, Sawchuk, Gjesteby and Najami for Office in Cohasset May 10th Annual Elections

Tinytown Unleased endorses Koed, Sawhuck, Gjesteby and Najmi at Cohasset Elections

10251923_511313058980614_2247733196336567367_nFRED KOED, SELECTMEN (at left)

WAYNE SAWCHUK SEWER COMMISSION

ROLF GJESTEBY, WATER COMMMISSION

VIRGINIA NAJMI, HOUSING AUTHORITY

Endorsement for Fred Koed _________________ 

I’m voting for Fred Koed for Selectman.

I like his strong public service resume and his ability to sit through a meeting with a ton of information being tossed about, and then explain it minutes later for the edification of others.

I like his balanced approach to government and people. Fred hears what people say.

Most importantly, Cohasset Town Government is going in the right direction. Fred Koed is a big reason why it is.

Cohasset is better off today. We have a new highly professional Town Manager. We have an end to much of the bickering, phantom budgets, rougue committees and acting town manager tricks. We can thank Fred Koed and his chairmanship of the board over the last year for making this new direction possible.

Both Kennedy and McCarthy are good people, but they have unfortunately teamed up against a man who is not who they say he is.

Fred was never against the school budget. Nor was he ever against Acting Police Chief Quigley becoming the permanent chief. He just wanted the professional town manager and not the acting town manager, to handle that search. Mostly, he wanted a professional town manager.

Fred Koed has given us an open, professional, and respectful town government again. He has given you your Town back. He deserves your vote tomorrow.

–       Tanna Kasperowicz

Other endorsements… 

Wayne Sawchuk is running for re-election to the sewer commission. Over the past three years the sewer commission has been extremely busy. The commissioners completed the Little Harbor Sewer project and made major plant upgrades. In October 25, 2013 Cohasset’s sewer commission was named the best sewer plant in the state. And we should replace Sawchuk with Jamie Gilman because…..? Gilman is a member of the conservation commission when he shows up, which isn’t often. Don’t give this a second thought. Vote for Sawchuk.

Virginia Najmi, a resident of 60 Elm Street, worked mainly in museums all over the county. She is a graduate of Stone Hill College and has done undergraduate work in anthropology. Najmi was appointed by the selectmen to fill a four-month seat on the board left open by Nancy Barrett’s death. A year later, ran for one-year term, now running for her own term. She’s extremely active, knows grant writing and would be missed if not re-elected. And…she’s a Townie.

Rolf Gjesteby is unopposed for water commission. Rolf is the son of Selectman Martha Gjesteby. He has an excellent financial background and it is thought he will bring new energy and sensibility to the position. He graduated with a B.A. from University of New England and was an MBA candidate at Bentley University. He is an avid sailor and chairman of the adult sailing program at the Cohasset Yacht Club.

 ________________________________________

A discussion of candidates for Cohasset Selectmen – largely gleaned from Our Town Interviews. I wanted to write this to give you some flavor as to how I came up with a decision to support Fred Koed, solely. 

As you know, Cohasset Selectman Chair Fred Koed, Vice Chair Diane Kennedy and newcomer Kevin McCarthy are running for two seats on the board of selectmen. Elections are Saturday, May 10.

While McCarthy has an excellent business background, he has no town committee experience other than a few months on the governance committee. In both his one-on-one interview with Our Town and the Debate, he basically told us what Town Manager Chris Senior and the selectmen are already doing. Had he served on the advisory committee or the planning board of any other town committee before leaping to selectmen, I am sure his conversation would have been more interesting and revealing. If elected he would come to the board with much to learn and little to offer.

During the Our Town debate McCarthy said the governance committee would have enjoyed having some direction and visits from the board of selectmen.

McCarthy’s statement immediately caught my attention because selectman Diane Kennedy has talked about the many meetings she has attended of the governance committee; Kennedy and Selectman Steve Gaumer are both liaisons from the BOS. Either McCarthy didn’t recognize that Kennedy was attending governance meetings as a selectman, or Kennedy never attended the meetings.

Although he had been chair of the governance committee before taking out papers, McCarthy was unable to discuss the governance articles that were going before town meeting. Kennedy also registered confusion about what the articles were. In an earlier one-on-one interview with Our Town she expressed the same puzzlement. This is not to say that the governance articles weren’t confusing, because they were. No one was ever really sure what version they had in front of them.

When DeGiacomo asked Kennedy if she were satisfied with the finalist for Town Manager (Chris Senior) she said she was satisfied with the result but not the process. She felt citizens should have been able to participate in the selection. (Actually, five citizens did participate in the search. They are called selectmen.)

Kennedy said the Amended Town Manager Act required that a citizens’ committee be formed. According to Town Counsel Paul DeRensis, the Amended Act itself does not require that a citizens’ committee be the search committee. The bylaw addition voted at annual town meeting now requires that the search committee for town manager be composed of citizens.

Koed said the BOS needed the flexibility to utilize a professional search group. “We asked governance to update the bylaws, not add new language.” He added that governance had surprised selectmen by not coming before them and instead going directly to Annual Town Meeting with a citizen’s petition. “Then they reconsidered (at the last-minute) and began to negotiate with selectmen, dealing with trade-offs. I didn’t want to tie the hands of a future board of selectmen.” After reading the citizens petition, Koed said he still wasn’t sure where the conflict was with the town manager act.

Under Koed’s leadership, the 2013 BOS voted to choose the Collins Center as both its recruitment and search committee for a town manager. The majority didn’t have to share anything with the board’s minority. The majority of the board could have chosen any town manager they wished, stacking a citizens’ search committee with like-minded people. They didn’t think they would get a good candidate that way, and they took the high road. Kennedy and Gaumer eagerly embraced the Collins Center option. When the Collins Center choice was voted, it thrust of the search became about getting the best guy for the job.

Koed and the board majority wanted professional town management. Gaumer and Kennedy wanted former acting town manager Mike Milanoski

During a one-on-one interview on Our Town host Mark DeGiacomo asked Kennedy if she would bring back former acting town manager Mike Milanoski if she were re-elected. There was a very pregnant pause during which time no one spoke. Ultimately, Kennedy said Senior was a gem and Milanoski was excellent but Milanoski had too many critics attacking him and so he had to move on.

Kennedy and McCarthy both referred to the board of selectmen as being uncivil in campaign e-mails and the debate.

Koed, who chaired the committee for the past year, said he worked hard to allow people to have their points of view even when he was being attacked in the newspapers by fellow board members. He said he strived to maintain good relationships with his board whether they were attacking him or not.

Kennedy said she herself was very steady and calm. She said, however, the meetings had become contentious and selectmen were publicly criticizing the acting town manager. “Mike Milanoski would get his knees wacked by members of the board of selectmen; Kennedy said she tried to not become involved.

McCarthy said if elected he would bring civility to the board. But it appears civility has already arrived in the guise of Chris Senior.

 Would the selectman candidates make Acting Police Chief Quigley?
an automatic finalist for the position of Chief?

McCarthy and Kennedy would make Quigley an automatic finalist.

Koed said there should be a level playing field and that making Quigley an automatic finalist would not be good public policy. Three times the acting town manager had brought the subject of Quigley’s appointment to police chief before the board of selectmen. During a one-on-one interview, DeGiacomo asked Koed why the town manager would bring up the appointment three times. Koed said it was a bullying tactic by the acting town manager, as he knew he didn’t have the votes. Allegedly, 650 people signed a petition asking selectmen to appoint Quigley to the position, but neither selectmen nor the press ever saw the petition.

 Should the Governance Committee be a standing committee?
(Annual Town Meeting voted against
making Governance a standing committee.)

 Kennedy said Governance should be a standing committee.Referring to an article before annual town meeting that would have had the Troika appoint Governance, Kennedy said that most communities have a Troika to make appointments. Kennedy was wrong. Only one other town in Massachusetts has a Troika.

McCarthy is also in favor of governance becoming a standing committee. He said a committee like this was needed to solve problems.

Koed said governance was a very confused committee. He said governance had been slated to be sunset by three different boards of selectmen. He was bewildered that the output of the committee, appointed by the selectmen, turned into a citizens’ petition asking for a newly structured committee to be appointed by the Troika and report to Town Meeting; a last minute amendment of the article at town meeting would have governance report to selectmen after-all.

Koed’s resume below is the final reason I am voting for him. The resume is a classic selectmen’s resume. He is the only one on the board with anything like this.

_____________________KOED’s RESUME________________

 PUBLIC SERVICE

Public service experience in both local and state government.
 Political experience across local, state and national politics. 
MSPA educational credits across state and national studies.

 1997 – 1999 
University of Massachusetts Boston – MS, Public Affairs

1999
Masters of Science in Public Affairs degree from the John W. McCormack Institute. 

1970-1990
University of Massachusetts Boston, BA, Legal Education Services

____ELECTED AND APPOINTED POSITIONS IN COHASSET____

 1994 – 1997 (3 years)
Water Commissioner, Elected -

The three member board of Water Commissioners sets policy and oversees the operations of the Cohasset Water System which includes about 90% of the water distribution system in town. Koed ran for water commissioner at the urging of selectmen, who needed an individual to start to rebuild the infrastructure of the water department. Selectmen said it would be an easy job. Two months after Koed was elected the water stopped on Jerusalem Road and the town commenced with a long and expensive repair and updating of the water infrastructure.

1987 – 1992 (5 years)
Cohasset Housing Authority Commissioner
Appointed by Governor.

January 1983 – June 1987 (4 years 6 months)
Cohasset Advisory Board, Appointed

Koed has yet another resume demonstrating resume of years of service to the Democratic party. He has served as an advisor to state and federal Democratic campaigns and was Head Tally Clerk at Palm Beach County 2000.  Read about this on Koed’s linked-in page.

 _____ACTIVITIES, SOCIETIES, ELECTIONS, APPOINTMENTS_____

2004 to Present
The Alumni Association of the University of Massachusetts Boston Board of Directors
June 2012 – Present (1 year 11 months)

1999 – Present (15 years) Selectmen, Elected -
Town of Cohasset. Currently chairman of the board.

1988 – Present (26 years)
 State Committeeman, MA Democratic Party

July 2011 – June 2013 (2 years)
 Chairman, Norfolk County Advisory Board. Served on the board since 2003.

January 2010 – January 2011
Member, Associated REIA’s of the Northeast

_________EMPLOYMENT______

 EHS-IT Desktop Support Manager
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
January 2013 – Present (1 year 4 months) 600 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

IT service support inside state government at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services has been moving into “the core” over the last several years.

In January of 2013, Koed was promoted within the Metro Boston Region to become a EHS-IT Desktop Support Manager. In addition to his previous duties at ORI, I now supervise 6 Metro Boston EHS-IT Support Staff that support over 2700 PC’s, Laptops and Printers at 25 locations, including Shattuck State Hospital and Hinton State Laboratory. EHS agencies included are DTA, DMH, DCF, DPH, DYS and ORI.

December 2006 – Present (7 years 5 months)
EHS-IT Service Manager
Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants

Koed designs, plans and implements changes in the computer network and technology and represent the agency on IT matters outside the agency.

 Go fourth and vote. 

© Copyright 2014 Tanna Bk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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