For decades the special interests of a select Cohasset group have been covertly served by a succession of elected and appointed officials. These interests include Sandy Cove, Treats Pond and Cat Dam to name a few. It seemed like a good deal for everyone; most citizens either didn’t know what was going on or accepted the trade off.
One-day, control of a jewel in the crown, Cat Dam, slipped inadvertently into the public domain and the cat was out of the bag. The E20 formed, squelched its neighborhood opposition and launched an assault on our highest elected officials, the Board of Selectmen. Just how easily they corrupted and took total control of the selectmen is appalling.
The important thing to understand is that this was a shift from tacit support and to overt, aggressive, take no prisoners warfare. In the process it has become clear this select group never regarded their special care as a consideration, a benefit, or a service. It was always and remains today an entitlement.
Ponying up a substantial war chest, the E20 took the fight to the town and state officials charged with upholding the laws of Cohasset, the Commonwealth and the USA. They hired their own environmental experts and lawyered up. All opposition was crushed; the fight was very public and very ugly.
Others with special interests appeared, sensing both weakness and opportunity. The Water Commission, members of Capital Budget, Advisory, and the Senior Center Committee were now free to act with impunity- and they did. Process, procedure, laws were all trampled upon. The Town Manager Act crumbled under the assault.
Those with personal agenda, vendettas, and pet projects found their path to success wide open. Town Hall became a hostile work environment. Citizens and town employees have real cause to fear retribution for speaking out.
A rising awareness became focused on just how irresponsibly the BoS was conducting the business of all of the citizens in favor of only the interests of a select few. This was a total abdication of its responsibility. The Board is now fully vested in this direction; there is no turning back from their individual and collective failure to represent all of the citizens of Cohasset.
Make no mistake. The sin is not simply the actions of the E20 or others; it is the collapse of any sense of public duty by the selectmen who were elected to represent the interests of all residents and, instead, sold their souls to a few.
It will take time, but the truth will out and justice will prevail. In the meantime the carnage goes on as more and more jackals continue to prowl at the periphery and the appeasement of the voracious appetite for power continues to be not the town’s top priority, but the town’s only priority.