19 Dec 2012
On Wed., 12:27 a.m., Select Chair Paul Carlson sent the media a press release from Town Counsel Paul DeRensis of Deutsch Williams that basically says Milanoski’s contract is illegal. DeRensis, however, says it very nicely. TownCounsel Be assured, Selectmen, Tinytown Unleashed will proceed with its request for a declaratory judgment from Norfolk Superior Court regarding the question – under what legal authority have you been running the Town since June 26, 2012?
Tuesday’s Selectmen’s Meeting
Library Trustee Agnes McCann and former selectman Karen Quigley urged Selectmen to vote for an RFP for a new Town Manager during the public comment period at the Selectmen’s Dec. 18th meeting
McCann told Carlson it was well past the time that the board moved forward on this. Putting together a Request for Proposal is “a customary and proper approach,” she said.
Select Chair Carlson argued that the board had a perfectly legal contract with Milanoski. “Nothing that happened Monday night effects that Milanoski’s contract.” But later in the evening Carlson said Town Counsel said the acting town manager could not go from acting to permanent because of the language of the Town Manager’s Act.
Quigley responded that Carlson’s last statement was very disconcerting. “Milanoski has not been separated from the town for a year (by virtue of his being appointed an acting town manager). A majority of people would like that clause to remain and be enforced,” she said, adding that Selectmen were disenfranchising voters at town meeting who had voted no changes to the Town Manager Act.
Quigley then asked Carlson what he was talking about in his letter to the Mariner in which he lambasted muckrackers (who are actually very good people who uncover bad people doing ugly things. In fact, Tinytown Unleashed likes to think of itself as a muckracker). “Do you want to tell the people?” (what the letter was about) Quigley asked.”
Carlson said no.
During Selectmen’s comment period Carlson told the board it had four options regarding Milanoski’s contract. It was noted by both attending presses that Milanoski’s contract was not on the agenda for discussion. Could this be another violation of the Open Meeting Law? Gasp. Also, several times during discussion Selectman Diane Kennedy noted that Milanoski’s contract was not on the agenda. “Put it on our next agenda,” she implored Carlson.
Carlson continued and we are grateful he continued, because before this time Selectmen had never addressed any of this.
1. Carlson said the board could initiate a search for a new town manager and ask Milanoski to continue to serve until one was found. However, he said, this whole effort was being compromised by the Mike Coughlin (former town manager) lawsuit. How the RFP for a new town manager was compromised was not explained. Maybe because Coughlin is suing to get his job back, not for money.
2. Carlson said Town Counsel said Milanoskii was not eligible to serve as Town Manager in March, the one year anniversary of his having left the appointed Governance Committee and the Conservation Commission, because he is still serving the town in the appointed position of acting town manager. Carlson said numerous other attorneys say he is eligible. Carlson suggested the board could get a second opinion. You know what? This crap has got to stop.
3. Carlson said Selectmen could create a new (we assume) 6-month contract ending June, and then start July 1 through 2013. “That may take us through Coughlin case, but I doubt that,” Carlson said, adding that the Coughlin t case could last a couple of years. What!!!!?? Didn’t Milanoski tell Mark Brennan how easy Coughlin was?
4. Carlson said the 4th option could be to improve the contract that expires in June (We guess he meant make it legal somehow). That might be very difficult to do.
After Carlson’s illegal presentation Gjesteby again reiterated that the board should go forward with the RFP for a Town Manager.
Selectman Leland Jenkins countered that stability, continuity were the most important things for Cohasset. But then Milanoskii was allegedly told by the Department of Revenue that an acting town manger is unstable.
Gjesteby said that it was not the fault of the (illegal) town manager that we are finding ourselves in this position. “It is the fault of the Board of Selectmen” who had not looked at the whole picture.
Kennedy made reference to a point of order. “The agenda does not say we’re discussing a situation with the acting town manager.”
Selectman Fred Koed: “someone asked me coming up here if this would be discussed, I said no. I have to respect and listen to what they have to say.”