Cohasset Selectmen’s treatment of petitioners – Tom Wolf’s Blog

This was a seminal event; all of the players appeared, stayed on character and reinforced public perceptions of events leading up to, during and following the infamous Tuesday Night Massacre (Tom Wolf’s Blog).  Lets put this all in the perspective of the poser; you come to a fork in the road, meet two tribes, one of which always tells the truth, one of which always lies; what question should be asked to determine the route you should take to arrive safely at your destination?  There are indeed two clear sides here and choices to be made.  A quick review of the action last night helps solve the riddle.

Let’s start with Cohasset Selectman Chairman Ted Carr’s statements; first, he commented that one of the few prerogatives available to him as chairman was the setting of the schedule. Second, he attempted to take full responsibility for the two-month delay in addressing the citizen petition, citing a full board schedule of important actions pending.  In point of fact the board did not meet at all for weeks and, as an indicator of his overall political acumen and judgment, in retrospect nothing could have been more important than dealing with this petition.  I would also remind you that this chairman and this board did not hesitate to clear three consecutive weekly meetings for the E20 late last year.  As the meeting concluded, let us note that this board not only failed to address the petitioners’ two questions in any meaningful way, it consistently chose to misrepresent and obfuscate the two questions and only the persistent hammering of one citizen after another kept the issues on focus.

Selectman Paul Carlson was consistent with the boards overall plan to muddy the waters and avoid the obvious as he proposed that any review commission or panel should categorically exclude anyone who had previously stated an opinion on the matter, including Chairman Carr, Advisory Board Chair Peter Pescatore (who had responded to a blog – probably 4 words or less – off with his head!) and all 120 plus of the citizens who signed the petition, those very people whose experience in town government and standing in the community qualified them best to unravel and air this mess and provide a route for moving forward.

Selectman Fred Koed stated that he had already said what he intended to say on the matter, at the July Tuesday Night Massacre and did not intend to speak further on the subject.  Clearly he has not been impressed by the citizen outrage to which his motion and his vote so heavily contributed.

Selectman Lee Jenkins said that he would let Mr. Carlson speak for him as he was in full agreement.  His wife did rise and state that the town’s handling of citizen volunteers has been consistently shabby over the years and that many volunteers had been rejected and treated poorly as if this excused the shabby treatment the board had given the three ConCom members it fired, in public, on TV.  Further exchanges revealed only one example of such a citizen volunteer, Mrs. LeeJ enkins herself, and, in that alleged incident, her recall of events is in direct contradiction to the facts and the statement of one of the three members of the selection committee who was present last night.  Enough said.

Selectman Diane Kennedy announced that she was tired and hungry and wanted to go home; she then went, with the rest of the selectmen, into Executive Session with Town Council to discuss some kind of litigation matter the town was facing over Cat Dam and the DEP.

The public comments from representatives of the E20 were highlighted by Tom Killilea essentially stating that ConCom’s consistent  “disrespect” for the E20 representatives and positions was the root cause of the need to replace ConCom members with those who would presumably show more respect and that his application for a then unavailable ConCom board membership was done at the last hour, without collusion, without ‘malice of forethought”…. even thought minutes before this explanation he was recalling that in was Cohasset’s Conservation Officer, Paul Shea, who had suggested the idea to him four months previous, an assertion so improbable as to defy all credibility.

We were also treated to the vision of new Town Manager Coughlin, reacting to a suggestion from Mrs. Lee Jenkins from the floor that he should be solely responsible for appointing members to the review commission, smiling and appearing to welcome such a possibility.  Anyone at this point who is not avoiding involvement in this debacle like the plague should be suspected of lacking common sense or worse.

Consistently on point and not to be detracted, dissuaded or discouraged were a steady-parade of citizens hammering the board individually and collectively for actions.  They were polite, pointed and clearly determined that this issue was going to be dealt with one way or another.

Which brings us back to the riddle; how do you determine who is telling the truth and thus choose the right direction.  It would be nothing less than tragic for the results promulgated by this board of selectmen to be allowed to stand, tragic for all Cohasset citizens, tragic for town government moving forward.   This is indeed the whole enchilada, the entire ball of wax; the selectmen have gone “all in” to serve the special interests of a small group of citizens and cannot find their way out of this mess that, as summarized by Tanna K. of the Tinytown Gazette, was entirely of their own doing. Tom Wolf’s Blog


© Copyright 2011 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed