13 Sep 2012
At the Cohasset Governance’s Sept. 13 meeting member George Chamillard stepped down from the committee saying he would continue to support the committee and its work as a non-voting citizen. Chamillard is a member of the advisory committee and by local bylaw cannot serve on another appointed board. Cohasset Selectmen were not not aware of this bylaw when Chamillard was appointed. We guess.
Town Clerk Carol St. Pierre will be invited to the committee’s next meeting to discuss whether her position should be appointed or elected. One of the concerns they have is that the assistant to the Town Clerk does not live in Cohasset and could not run for election as Town Clerk should St Pierre leave her position for any reason.
Other positions being discussed as possibly becoming appointed are recreation commission, board of health, and possibly housing authority – Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski is checking into whether the position has to be elected. Milanoski noted that many towns are moving elected positions to appointed. Water and sewer commissions are still part of the discussion as to whether they should be a combined, appointed board under the direct management of the Acting Town Manager and the Selectmen.
Governance feels the Strong Town Manager’s Act needs some better definitions with regard to the role of the Selectmen and their agent, the Town Manager.
Milanoski and Selectman Chair Paul Carlson both opined that changes to the Act could be made in stages. Milanoski questioned the board if it might want more of a town administrator form of government and several times during discussion suggested that governance take something to Dec. 10th Special Town Meeting. “Take the low-hanging fruit now,” he said. “You can come back later and do a philosophical view.”
Governance said no, it wasn’t ready for Dec. 10th.
Later Milanoski urged: “You were appointed as a microcosm of the community. Bring (sic) some changes to Special. Bring (sic) other things later.”
Carlson disagreed, saying spring town meeting was soon enough.
Committee member Merle Brown (a former two-term selectman) took issue with Cohasset Selectmen’s recent move to appoint Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski to an extended 3-year contract. “Appointments should not be more than 180 days for Acting Town Manager.”
Ralph Dormitzer noted that the committee had already recommended a change in the Town Manager’s Act that would if voted by Town Meeting permit the Acting Town Manager to be appointed Town Manager. Changes the committee discussed at the last meeting included dropping qualifications for that office such as that person would no longer have to have had full time professional experience as a Town Manager. Also, the person could be serving on an appointed and/or elected boards at the time of the appointment.
Governance discussed asking the Selectmen to extend the Sunset of the committee to Christmas 2013. Originally, it was due to sunset December 31, 2012.