24 Jan 2012
Drinking at the Water Commission Meeting
and other Horrible Things
By Tanna Kasperowicz
Brace yourselves for another wild and wooly selectmen’s meeting tonight 9 (tonight is Tuesday, January 24) as the power struggle between the Town Manager and Cap budget and Advisors continues.
Jack Keniley of Capital Budget committee fame and Strafford Ventures LLC in Braintree has suggested to the town manager that he seek work elsewhere. Keniley says he misses former town manager Bill Griffin, the town’s weak(ened) town manager – who left town in a hurry in 2010 when the audit was about to be completed and we discovered what a muddled mess we were in. Yeah…we really miss those days, when our cocktail party boards controlled things into Big Debt.
Further, Keniley says “Mike continuously displays an immature leadership style and a total lack of regard for the many volunteers who help to make this Town work…..”and blah, blah, blah. Lots of immature leadership going around – it seems to be catching – and Jack heads the list.
In other news….
At Monday’s Cohasset Water Commission meeting (January 23) beer was being served at the water department. Two selectmen were present – they said naught – but they’re used to breaking the law. When this blogger commented on the same, saying it was against the law to drink alcohol in town buildings. Water Commission Chairman Peter DeCaprio said it wasn’t really a meeting…..yeah, sure.
DeCaprio led a detailed discussion of what a final RFP for a water department consignee might look like. The Water Department is looking for a 20-year lease with a multi-million dollar payment, and then said the Town would share outside water sale profits (via a tiered program to be worked out). Outside water sales can be billed at 7¢ a gallon, by contrast to town sales of 1 1/2 cents. Cohasset Water has been contracted by two interested vendors to date – United Water and Aquarian.
The knowledge DeCaprio and commissioners have gained about water department financials is impressive. Commissioners’ motivation is to change debt to profit should be commended. But if a consignee can make an estimated multi-million dollar profit over the life of the 20-year contract, why can’t the Town manage the same?
The RFP is not yet in final document form. When it becomes available, I am sure more questions will be raised. But at this point in time it and it alone is going to May Town Meeting. If TM rejects the plan, water commissioners will have to hire a T3 water plant engineer and run the plant themselves. Unless someone comes up with an alternative.