Initially, Governance said it would take changes in the Town Manager’s Act to Spring Annual Town Meeting, but selectmen are in a rush to bring their Acting Town Manager into compliance with the Town Manager Act, and because they can’t do that, they must change the Act itself. An evening public hearing will be scheduled for the end of October to bring the changes to citizens. Although the committee has not yet written the language, it has voted to remove all qualifications for the town manager and the phrase that he or she cannot be currently serving on an elected or appointed town board at the time of appointment.
Because Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski was on two appointed boards at the time of his appointment, he cannot legally serve as town manager. Currently, he is filling an 18-month contract. The language in Milanoski’s initial contract is muddled. It appears Selectmen appointed him to be Town Manager.
Selectmen want to extend his contract by two years, until June 2015. Selectman Leland Jenkins is supposedly negotiating the extension. There has not been any news about the contract for several weeks now.
Also, the Governance committee is still discussing changing other language in the Act with regard to what triggers a search for a Town Manager. Several committee members said they didn’t want the Acting Town Manager’s contract to be long-term.
Trish Morse asked: “What triggers the search process? Can acting (town manager) be the candidate?”
Jack Keniley said the Interim Manager “is just keeping the lights on – just a bridge.”
Morse added “The search should begin a soon as it is apparent the full time manager is not coming back.” The committee also discussed the length of time selectmen could contract with an Acting Town Manager, saying there should be a limit.
The Governance Committee will now sunset in 2013 as opposed to 2012. Selectmen have expanded its life.
Selectmen are likely to appoint Tom Killelea and a yet unnamed person to the committee at their Tuesday meeting.
Merle Brown (a former selectman) said the time the town manager selection committee spent on the last search was too long. “When we hired the first town manager we did it within two months.” Brown added that he had a problem with the selectmen writing a 3 ½ year contract with Milanoski, although he thought Milansoki was doing a good job. “There are plenty of town managers looking for jobs.”
Selectman Chairman Paul Carlson spoke in favor of hiring from the inside, “The reason you hire from the inside is because you know the person.”
Brown said he thought any inside person should still go through the process (being vetted). Others concurred, including Governance Chair Christine Cunning..
Governance will meet again on Oct. 4 at 7:30 a.m. at Cohasset High School in the hearing room right off the parking lot at the right on the building.