The E-mail which inspired this blog:
On Sep 11, 2012, at 4:57 PM, Carlson, Paul wrote
Dear Ms Kasperowicz
In your letter of September 7, you requested to be apprised of the Board of Selectmen’s legal authority for signing a contract with Acting Town Manager Michael Milanoski. Cohasset’s Town Manager Act vests in the Board of Selectmen the responsibility for appointing the Town Manager and the Acting Town Manager and for entering into the appropriate contracts. The Act states that a Town Manager “shall be a professionally qualified person, especially fitted by education, training and previous full-time employment to perform the duties of the office.”
The Board of Selectmen has carefully reviewed Mr. Milanoski’s educational and professional background and his performance over the past six months. The Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Town of Cohasset to enter into a new contract with him so that he can continue serving the town through June 30, 2015 as Acting Town Manager.
Very sincerely yours,
Board of Selectmen
The April 3rd 2012 contract the Cohasset Board of Selectmen signed with Michael Milanoski is a confused, possibly illegal, contract for these reasons:
- The contract does not specify under what laws selectmen can write a multi-year contract with an Acting Town Manager. Selectmen have not answered this question. Standard procedure is a 6-9 month contract. Citizens of the Town of Cohasset would like to see the laws that allow Selectmen to write a multi-year contract outside the scope of the Strong Town Manager Act.
- The contract starts out by saying the Selectmen “desire” to employ Milanoski as Acting Town Manager. But the rest of the contract says he’s the Town Manager and is being hired as Town Manager. Is he? Mr. Milansoki is calling himself Town Manager. His letterhead and his business card say he is Town Manager. Are Selectmen subverting the Act?
- Article 5 of Milanoski’s 18 month contract (soon to be extended to June 2015) says he can removed as “Town Manager” with a super majority vote of the board, equal to four affirmative votes, as provided in Section 3(J)_ of the Statute.
- The Town Manager’s Act says the Town Manager can be removed by a simple majority. Why would it be more difficult to remove an Acting Town Manager than a Town Manager? We would think that any contract with Milanoski would have to be in scope with the Act. Why is this WAY OUTSIDE the scope of the Act?
- Please offer proof that TOWN COUNSEL Paul DeRensis saw this contract and said it is a legal one. We would also like to be assured that he has blessed the extended contract with Milansoki.
I urge you not to sign an extended contract with Milanoski and to advertise for an experienced Town Manager. Town Counsel told you early on that Milanoski would have to separated from the Town for a period of one year before he could be considered for the position of Town Manager: ”No person holding elective or appointive office in the Town shall within one year of holding such office be eligible to be appointed to the position of Town Manager.” Milanoski was on two appointed boards at the time of his appointment.
The previous full time experience stipulated in the Town Manager Act does not refer to previous full time experience as garbage collector, or Supervisor of Public Works, or bartender. It means previous full time experience as a Town Manager.
Don’t saddle the Town with an inexperienced Acting Town Manager. We have seen the results of inexperienced Acting Town Managers serving the Town in past years. Even brief tenures wrecked havoc.