Town Manager Mike Coughlin responds to Mariner letter

In their commentary,  Ralph Dormitizer and Sam Wakeman seem to predict my fate before the hearing on March 13th.  Maybe they know something as insiders or are just guessing but the people of Cohasset have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue at my hearing.

Both Ralph and Sam are long time public servants in this community.   They argue that I have not been collaborative and that the old ways of doing thingsin Cohasset need to be preserved.  This would be fair enough if Cohasset finances were in good shape but they are not.   Cohasset has suffered a financial implosion.  The complete system broke down.  The road back is a long one and I am glad to say that we have turned a corner.

I did not make this financial mess– I walked into it.  Nevertheless,  if the old system they talk about is worth preserving where were these committees during the many years it took for this problem to manifest itself into epic proporations.   The Advisory Committee,  Capital Budget and Budget Planning Groups are all important but a blind man should have been able to spot the warning signs.   To make it clearer– our independent auditor warned for years about the growing storm.

Collaboration is also a two way street.   Where was the offer of colloboration with me.  Almost from day one,  officials in this community– knowing full well of the gravity of our financial problems inisted on protecting their turf and in the same process that ultimately was the cause of the financial implosion.  In six months,  we have taken the bull by the horns–exerting strong leadership to deal with the financial crisis.

With respect to Water,  Dormitizer and Wakeman imply that I did not attempt to seek collaboration with the Water Commissioners.   I ask– why has joint management worked with the Sewer Commission and not with Water?  The answer is easy because the Water Commissioners have resisted it ultimately hiding behind a flawed legal position which tries to paint them as an entity all to itself and not answerable to anyone.  To collboration and reform,  I am on record as stating the Advisory Board needs to be strengthened into a true finance committee– fact conveniently left out of their commentary.

Finally,  Dormitizer and Wakeman try to imply that I have lost political support.   To the many who showed up last week and the many others that have expressed their support in the past days–  their observations are another cocktail party statistic– a fact taken out of context.  Yes– I may not have the support of certain town officials– some of those who should ultimately be asked why the town and they not act to avert thee financial crisis.

In a democracy,  its the people that matter and throughout history it has been shown that any small group who thinks that can substitute their opinions for the will of the people will ultimately fail.   I hope this will be the case on March 13th,   I may not win but its important to the future of this community that the people be reminded that we are a nations of laws not men.

Mike Coughlin
Town Manager

© Copyright 2012 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed