Noteworthy in BoS Chair Paul Carlson’s statements on Our Town was his reference to “having trouble getting financial information”; this didn’t keep him from stating unequivocally that the problem in the Water Department stemmed from a “perfect storm” of a wet summer and an economic downturn that forestalled anticipated new revenues.
To call this a misstatement would be overly gracious; this simplistic and completely incorrect explanation was the basis for selling a rate increase to Cohasset residents that was tantamount to the largest property tax hike in the town’s history.
It also delayed coming to grips with a non-existent accounting system the collapse of which was highlighted by the abrupt departure of both the town manager and the finance director. A delay which allowed many records to go missing and a succession of financial officers, auditors, special auditors and the keen interest of the Mass DOR which, you may recall, delayed our timely issuing of property tax bills because the DOR wouldn’t certify our financial statements.
For Carlson to even begin the think he can rewrite the history of the town during this very difficult time is consistent with the level of ethicality the current BOS, with and then under Carlson, has shown on many occasions, including the appointment of the current “Town Manager,” the packing of the ConCom to enable its corruption by first the E 20 in the Cat Dam matter and now in the DeCaprio/Ford matter, as well as a long, long list of questionable actions highlighted by the Code of Civility fiasco.
All of these matters go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy, later in his interview, between the $400,000 he cited as legal expense this past year and the $650,000 “Town Manager” Milanoski most recently reported, virtually all of which can be traced back to questionable activities by the BoS.
Either Carlson or Milanoski is incorrect; yet another possibility is they are both incorrect. So much for the progress in our town accounting Carlson hold us was taking place earlier in the interview. Of course, whatever the exact number, it is a multiple of what it could have been if the BoS had consulted with, and followed, the advise of Town Council to begin with. But that would have been, at least later in the year, in violation of Milanoski’s restricted access to Town Council rule, which is ironically paying off, also in reverse, for ConCom in the aforementioned DeCaprio/Ford matter.
We are blessed to have leaders like Paul Carlson; not for the financial expertise they bring to the table but for the constant source of amusement they provide in pretending they actually have any idea what they are saying or doing!