15 Jul 2012
Cohasset selectmen, excepting new member Gjesteby, face a dilemma of their own making. The former jewel of our town common, the Meeting House Pond, is rapidly turning into an eyesore and potential health hazard of major proportions as its stagnant waters close over with green pond scum and other unattractive growth. While our resident gurus ponder a cure, they have shut off the fountain, the last remaining chance for circulation, allegedly due to the high cost of water needed to continually refill the restored, repaired but still leaking attraction.
Their quandary? The pond is a small but much more visible reflection of their past actions regarding that much larger body of similarly stagnant water , Inner Little Harbor . Surrounded by the homes of some of our rich and famous and almost out of public view, most Cohasset residents have heard of the environmental challenges facing Inner Little Harbor but this whole issue has kept a low profile recently… out of sight, etc. However, there’s no hiding the pond and there’s no escaping the parallel between the two; stagnant water yields undesirable results.
But what can the selectmen do? Four of them are totally invested in the notion espoused by the E 20 that minimal water circulation can produce acceptable results; and now here’s Mother Nature demonstrating conclusively where such thinking leads us. They can’t very well turn their backs on their friends and neighbors and possibly only remaining voting block – picture the raised platform behind the selectmen during the televised inquisition of Town Manager Mike Coughlin – but they also can’t ignore the eyesore which confronts us all as we move around our tiny town. Will they fix the pond and continue to argue that stagnant water is OK, if its the right people’s stagnant water? Will they have to ignore our new man made mini-swamp, blaming and throwing under the bus their buddies at the water department, in order to protect themselves from a long string of increasingly embarrassing decisions?
A new crossroads has emerged, and, no its not the potential loss of another major motion picture and the revenue and eclat attendant. Now the DEP has asked the town to declare its intentions regarding Cat Dam and, by extension, Inner Little Harbor and given it two weeks to do so. The E 20, and the selectmen by extension, had thought they had maneuvered the situation into a perpetual stalemate; and they just might have … if the Selectmen didn’t have to deal with this new, pressing parallel issue which could have a major impact on their increasingly unlikely reelection efforts next spring and if the E 20 et al hoped to retain a majority voice on the board through other surrogates. Clearly the townspeople have put up with just about enough from this group; embarrassing them to their summer visitors, friends, family, all those who have told them how smart they were to buy, at a steep premium, in this picture perfect little town, should be the last straw as the Selectmen’s high stakes game is drawing to a close.