21 May 2012
Cohasset Annual TM Part II in a nutshell
Newly elected Cohasset Selectman Martha Gjesteby (Yes-ta-Bee) will appear at the governing table at tonight’s town meeting. Former selectman Ted Carr was retired by voters at Town Elections last Saturday. Maybe Ted and former town manager Mike Coughlin will sit together at TM tonight. After-all, they are good friends.
Cohasset town government has been a trail of tears since last September. But now that a selectmen’s body has shown up on the battleground, selectpeople may start paying closer attention to how they and their acting town manager treat town employees and the press.
Cohasset Mariner Editor Mary Ford announced on the front page of her newspaper last week that her newspaper had hired an attorney to deal with the selectmen’s acting town manager’s refusing to release public documents to the public.
Consequently, while we were awaiting election results at town hall last Saturday, Selectmen Paul Carlson told Mary Ford that he thought they could come to a reasonable compromise regarding the sharing of public documents with the people of Cohasset. Good decision. Earlier on election day it was reported by Gjesteby supporters that Carlson drove by Gjesteby’s campaign group and personally gave Gjesteby the thumbs down. It is expected that Carlson will be elected the board’s new chairman. We just continue to love everything about our board of selectmen.
Articles up tonight are Article 22 – asking voters to approve transferring all kinds of parcels of land for the new senior center site which never had a feasibility study, but which has an architect. Seniors don’t have money in their budget for programs, but senior building supporters want to move forward with a building. Voters need to ask town officials just how, to date, the selectmen have obligated the town. If we have a beautiful building for seniors but can’t feed them lunch or have programs, does this make any kind of sense?
Five Zoning articles in succession. I have not heard these articles discussed, but Article 24 pertains to home occupation definition and additional use regulations. It will be interesting to learn why we need this. Article 25 pertains to fences and walls. Article 26 – Special Permit Uses in the flood plain and watershed protection district. Article 27 a zoning bylaw amendment regarding the flood plain district.
Article 28: Community Preservation Committee wants to allot $157,000 from various unspent articles to various sub accounts. The windows for the Meeting House controversy is in this article.
Article 29: Smoking bylaw would allow no more smoking in public places and stops the sale of nicotine in the town. This is a biggie, and a many-pages article.
Article 30: Treat’s Pond Flood – $15,000 to obtain an engineering evaluation of alternatives for an ocean outlet for Treat’s Pond through Sandy Cove in order to provide floor relief.
Article 31: Liability insurance for work performed by MEPA regarding rivers and stream maintenance.
Article 32. Water System Operations Contract. We are told this is no longer a concession contract. It may be only be a 2-year operations contract. If so, town meeting will not need to vote on the same. If it is a five-year contract, concession or not, the Tinytown Unleashed’s water consultant has advised us to vote No on this article and direct selectmen to bring the finely-tuned contract back to a fall town meeting, so we can all see the final wording.
Article 33. Water Enterprise Fund - looks like running the water department might cost a whole lot less next year. Good job, water commissioners.
Article 34. General bylaw amendment allowing selectmen more flexibility with the setting of town meeting.
See you at Town Meeting tonight!