This is becoming so, so predictable. Whenever the Selectmen gather their remaining supporters en masse – an apparent attempt to show public support – get ready to be sold a bill of goods. This was the less than carefully orchestrated attempt to, once again, sell Milanoski to Cohasset residents as the perfect choice for Town Manager.
Taking a few dog-eared pages out of their well-traveled play book, the BoS meeting was packed with supporters who have gone so far down this road with them it is way to late to turn back now. They heaped effusive praise on Milanoski, applauded at all the right moments and, in general, tried to rewrite the vote of the people at the special town meeting. Their premise that the failure to pass a revision of the Town Managers Act at Special Town Meeting was because the work of the Governance Committee was incomplete is laughable at best.
The only honesty heard in a prolonged session of ignoring and rewriting history came from three reasoned voices representing the community; McMorris, McCann and MacCarthy who essentially told the gathered throng, “your only listening to yourselves; you just don’t get it… the people are not buying what you’re selling.”
The only voice providing clarity was Selectman Kennedy and it was entirely inadvertent. She told us the Town was in complete turmoil at the time Milanoski first volunteered to step in and save us; she neglected to mention that whatever turmoil existed was of the Selectmen’s making. They hired Coughlin, they mismanaged him, and they fired him.
She told us that their was no “conspiracy” in place for Milanoski’s ascension; she neglected to explain just why he had been attending virtually every governmental meeting for the previous three months.
She told us the BOS had considered five or six other candidates at that time of crisis, some from the list of finalists from which Coughlin had emerged; she did not tell us by what criteria Milanoski had been selected, other than the fact that he was available… and was free, being both unemployed and initially volunteering to serve us all gratis, for zero compensation.
She told us of the very high moral and ethical plateau the Board had maintained for as long as she had been there; she conveniently overlooked the firing of the three ConCom members, the unilateral reversal of valid employee contracts, the criminal charges made by Milanoski against Deluca at a Board meeting and a host of other Board actions and activities which failed the smell test if not the law.
The best was yet to come. The most revealing part of the evening was the leveling of charges – aka smear – against Selectman Gjesteby for having the gall to seek legal advice on a questionable action contemplated by her fellow board members. It was a classic dump and run; make the accusation and send it on for execution to others.
What they apparently miscalculated was Selectman Gjesteby’s failure to take this attempt to intimidate lying down; literally – the BOS and Milanoski had originally hoped to smear her while she was in the hospital – and figuratively – she countered by appearing with personal attorney and announced that she would be filing a counter claim and, bombshell, she might be releasing the document central to the smear for the public to draw their own conclusions.
This brought Town Counsel DeRensis to his feet and, very uncharacteristically for him, imploring Gjesteby not to release the document with a clarity and assertiveness that suggesting that his job depended on it, as well it might. Initially I admit I was stunned that Gjesteby’s attorney would allow DeRensis to address his client directly on this or any other matter; I have since concluded that the longer DeRensis went on, the clearer it became that the very last thing this BOS wanted was for this document to see the light of day, the more damaging it was to every single argument which had been foisted on us over the evening.
Where were the honor, the transparency, and the high plane of public service suggested just moments before by Kennedy? AWOL, MIA; brought to its knees by an individual the BoS and Milanoski consistently underestimated and attempted to silence by excommunication and blackmail, several of the modus operandi employed by or ATM.
Ask yourself two simple questions; just what was Milanoski up to when he went fishing through Selectman Gjesteby’s email, just as he had done with Coughlin, DeLuca and other town employees? Doesn’t this tell you everything you need to know about this individual and the Selectmen who continue to attempt to stick him down our throats and worse?