Archive for September, 2011
Cohasset Select Chair Ted Carr (photo at left) announced via an e-mail sent at 4AM on 9/28 that he will run for a THIRD term on the board in the spring elections.
“I care very deeply about public service, I take my position very seriously and I feel there are many issues before the town that are very important. I intend to run for selectman in the spring. I feel there is so much more important work to do. ”
Carr said he needed to respond pronto as a rumor had been circulating that he planned to run Michael Milonoski, an associate member of the Conservation Commission, in his place. Tinytownunleashed had recently reported that Ted Carr might vacate the seat according to highly placed local DEM sources.
Susan Kent and Cohasset ConCom petitioners went fishing at the Cohasset Selectmen’s Sept. 27th meeting and returned with many interesting things.
They (the selectmen) will allow the three, fired ConCom members to come before
them and hear their side of the story. That’s big – if Sara Charron, Debbie Cook and Dick Karoff will do it. It appears SelectChair Ted Carr is going to call them. And they, in turn, can request an audience with the Selectpeople if they should not be called after-all. How completely appropriate. I think it would be even more appropriate for the selectmen to read aloud one the ConCom’s Cat Dam hearing transcripts with all the shout-outs from members of the E20.
Carr said he’s going to talk with the Troika about appointing an investigatory committee. I think. It got a little swishy there. When there are no votes it’s hard to tell what is really intended or what will actually happen. He’s going to broach it with the Troika, but petitioners say they are prepared to take it to Special Town Meeting this December if the Selectmen don’t go forward. (Cohasset ConCom)
Carr is also going to draft a letter to the AG asking that the Board of Selectmen be investigated with regard to Cat Dam matters. That’s rich. All the Selectmen seemed to like that idea a little too much. Sounds like they’re begging to be investigated.
Selectmen are going to form a governance committee to review the handling of appointed boards and commissions.
Below is essentially what Susan Kent read as representative of petitioners’ thoughts on the matter.
(1) We request that the Selectmen re-open the Con Com reappointment process and give the three commissioners who were fired the opportunity to respond to the allegations made by Carlson, Jenkins and Koed. We continue to call on the new commissioners to step down and become associate members for the sake of town harmony. The three deposed commissioners should then be re-appointed. In light of Mrs. Roebuck’s comments at the meeting this week, it is very clear that Cohasset will suffer if we do not have highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals representing the town on this very important commission. While we believe the Selectmen’s action was taken in the context of the Cat Dam issue, it nonetheless has wider and more far-reaching consequences. The actions taken by the Selectmen will affect the operation of this important regulatory group for years to come.
(2) We should endorse Chairman Carr’s suggestion that the Selectmen appoint a Governance Committee to investigate procedures and process in general for the future. This is in addition to the committee we propose.
(3) We intend to bring forward an article for special town meeting and intend to call for a special town meeting if one is not scheduled for 2011. The article is as follows:
That an investigative committee be appointed within 30 days for the purpose of reviewing the town’s process relative to the Cat Dam matter, including, but not limited to the disbursement and disposition of the funds approved at Town Meeting; the Selectmen’s actions, including their decision making; any potential conflicts of interest, as well as the appropriate jurisdiction of the Selectmen, the Town Manager and the Conservation Commission as it relates to this matter.
The committee shall be appointed by the troika and be comprised of 7 citizens who are not currently serving on an appointed board. Further that Town Meeting appropriate the sum of $5,000 in order that the committee may hire a part-time clerk and have all proceedings tape recorded. The committee shall have access to all public records of both the Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission, including audio tapes and broadcasts, emails, internal memorandums and any and all other materials necessary to complete its job. The work of the committee should be to review the decision making process regarding this very important issue, to report to Town Meeting in the spring, 2012 and to make recommendations.
The purpose of this work shall include educating the public, identifying any abuses of authority and/or discretion, as well as recommending corrective actions. (Cohasset ConCom)
Cohasset Selectmen afforded petitioners upset over their replacement of Conservation Commission members over one hour of face time at their 9/20 meeting. Over the past week, petitioners have been discussing what kind of an investigation of selectmen they wish to pursue. They will be meeting with Selectmen at Tuesday’s meeting (Sept. 27) to continue the discussion.
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Cohasset Capital Budget (CB) will take under advisement a request to approve an expenditure of $200,000 by the Cohasset Sewer Commission (CSC) for work done outside the scope of the Little Harbor Sewer project. Note: there are 2 Coughlins in this artice: Mike Coughlin, Cohasset Town Manager and Dan Coughlin, engineer for the sewer department. See related article:
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The Town of Cohasset was informed by the Attorney General, Business and Labor Bureau, that the Cohasset Sewer Commission had indeed failed to comply with competitive bidding laws and that for the ensuing year the Attorney General will monitor construction procurement undertaken by the Sewer Commission starting October 1, 2011.
The rest of this blog is the report filed with the Town written by Deborah A. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General. (Cohasset Sewer).
The Protestor, Karen Quigley, is a citizen residing in the Town of Cohasset and a former Cohasset selectman. Quigley and representatives of the Town attended the hearing and presented testimony and evidence. Additional documents were provided through August 1 and the record then closed.
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This was a seminal event; all of the players appeared, stayed on character and reinforced public perceptions of events leading up to, during and following the infamous Tuesday Night Massacre (Tom Wolf’s Blog). Lets put this all in the perspective of the poser; you come to a fork in the road, meet two tribes, one of which always tells the truth, one of which always lies; what question should be asked to determine the route you should take to arrive safely at your destination? There are indeed two clear sides here and choices to be made. A quick review of the action last night helps solve the riddle.
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More than 40 citizens attended the selectmen’s meeting (9/20/11).Selectmen took under advisement the citizens’ request to ask the TROIKA to form a Cat Dam investigation committee.. It will discussed at an upcoming meeting.
It’s really sad that maybe all of this Cat Dam stuff could have been a misunderstanding of THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN. Three of them, anyway.
I went to all the same Conservation meetings Selectmen Paul Carlson, Fred Koed and Lee Jenkins went to, and many more, and the only obnoxious people were the E20, – now the E18 if George Chamillard of the Advisory Committee and E18 is correct.
The reason, Mr. Selectman Paul Carlson, that the Conservation Commission could not have chatty, personable conversations telling the now E18 how they felt about things at Cat Dam is because THEY COULDN’T. They were going to have to vote on the matter at some point in time. This all started in 2007, readers. The Cohasset Board of Selectmen has been delaying any resolution of this matter for that long. And it was them and only them. Over the years they all had different names, Ralph, Gary…and so on and so forth. But it was Ralph Dormitzer who was the real force behind the sidewalks in the Town’s Revitalization Grant program not being accomplished – because after 7 years of study, and photos of sidewalks, there was enough money left to make the cheapest sidewalks, but only if they worked into the night to make the grant deadline. I still blame the board of selectmen of the time for having permitted one person, Ralph Dormitzer, to hold up any decision. And it is Dormitzer ( a former selectman) who continues to control a majority of the board of selectmen with regard to Cat Dam at Little Inner Harbor.
At the conclusion of the Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, Sept. 20, this reporter asked Town Counsel Paul DeRensis if in fact he had been invited into this Cat Dam issue only recently. He nodded in the affirmative. Like maybe he was getting involved that very evening for the first time. I was thrown out of the meeting at that point, as the board went into an executive session to discuss, what else – more Cat Dam!
Certainly, John R. Hucksam, of Town Counsel’s firm, has been the Cohasset Conservation Commission’s attorney for years, attending all of the ConCom’s hearings on Cat Dam. It is only recently that Hucksam has had to represent the other side of the issue…when the Cohasset Conservation Commission voted in favor of the now E18s NOI – which was ultimately adopted by the Cohasset Board of Selectmen. Don’t ever wonder why lawyers commit suicide.
In July 2011 the Cohasset Board of Selectmen fired almost of half of the Conservation Commission, two of the three to go were its younger members. One member was a coveted “Environmental Engineer.” She was replaced by a gun salesman.
Initially, the E18 was ecstatic…until it realized what the vote truly meant. And what it meant was that anyone could appeal the vote to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for $100. Former selectman Karen Quigiley, citizen Stephen Brown and supporters appealed the decision and their appeal was spectacular. Link to it here:
It doesn’t mean the Selectmen don’t have alternatives. They certainly do. With smart Counsel, and Paul DeRensis is smart, but not necessary in agreement with this rouge board, they could keep appeals and new NOI’s and whatever else going until long after we are all dead. Unless, readers, you change the board. In 2011 Ted Carr is rumored to be giving up his seat. It’s an important seat. Not a majority seat, but important – a Gateway Seat. It won’t change any votes but it will be a soldier tree for the 2013 elections. Two seats are up in 2013. Selectman Jenkins says he won’t run. Selectman Paul Carlson has not yet declared.
More information on this meeting 9/21/11 after 5 PM.
by Tom Wolf
The posted agenda for the Cohasset Board of Selectmen meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 20 concludes with the selectmen going into executive session for the purpose of discussing Cat Dam.Such sessions are allowed by law for very limited purposes, almost exclusively the discussion of personnel issues and litigation. We could waste a lot of time trying to speculate just what kind of litigation matters over Cat Dam the BOS may be contemplating; we would be missing the real point… just what can the selectmen have in mind that they can’t share with all of us.
Granted, many, many precious Cat Dam moments have been shared over the past months, in balance much to the embarrasment of the selectmen; this by itself may explain a desire for privacy. But the MEPA process now dictated by the DEP is based on open discussion and process; for the selectmen to take their first reactionary step by going behind closed doors risks sending a strong signal to those who are about to regulate us that our BOS is rejecting this openness and continuing to act as if ‘these rule must be for others… surely you don’t mean to apply them to us here in Cohasset.”
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Stephen Brown at Cat Dam – click on script at left to see poor quality movie.
We are working on this, trying to enter the modern age.
by Tanna Kasperowicz
Greg DeCesare of the Mass Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) met with all parties involved in the Cat Dam NOI and the appeal of that NOI Thursday, Sept. 8 at Cat Dam on Nichols Road. At the conclusion of an almost 2 hour meeting with over 30 people, DeCesare stated that the appeal had met several “thresholds” established by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and that the appeal would go forward.
The Town hasn’t had any direct experience with MEPA in recent years. But some local officials say that once MEPA enters the picture, local control ends. All the technical agency people selectmen have tried to keep of the discussions since 2007 will now be invited in to discuss the Cat Dam Notice of Intent’s (NOI) compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. Cohasset Selectmen had earlier denied their input when they decided to let some of the Cat Dam neighbors run the show and dissed their own conservation commission, which has jurisdiction over Cat Dam. Ultimately, the Department of Environmental Protection will permit the project.
According to MEPA’s website: if a Project is subject to MEPA jurisdiction either it meets or exceeds one or more review thresholds that are likely to cause damage to the environment. The Proponent (the Town of Cohasset) will now begin the MEPA review by preparing and filing an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) with the Secretary. The Secretary publishes the appropriate pages of the ENF in the next Environmental Monitor. A 30-Day review period follows, during the first 20 Days of which Agencies, Persons, the MEPA Office (which ordinarily conducts a site visit and public consultation session), and the Secretary review and comment on the ENF. At the close of the review period for an ENF, the Secretary decides whether to require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). If the Secretary does not require an EIR, an Agency may take Agency Action on the Project (see 301 CMR 11.05 and 11.06).
If the Secretary requires an EIR, the Proponent prepares and files it with the Secretary. The Secretary shall ordinarily require a draft and final EIR but may allow a single EIR. The Secretary publishes notice of the availability of the EIR in the next Environmental Monitor. A 37-Day review period follows, during the first 30 Days of which Agencies, Persons, the MEPA Office, and the Secretary review and comment on the EIR. At the close of the review period, the Secretary decides whether the EIR is adequate. An Agency may take Agency Action on the Project, provided that the Secretary has determined that the single or final EIR is adequate and 60 Days have elapsed following the publication of the notice of the availability of the single or final EIR in the Environmental Monitor.
Present were the town’s attorney, John R. Hucksam, numerous but not all Conservation Commissioners, Selectmen Paul Carlson and Lee Jenkins, Town Manager Michael Coughlin, numerous members of the self styled Environmental 20 (E20), and Stephen Brown and Karen Quigley, spokespeople for the citizens appealing the vote by the Conservation Commissioners that endorsed the E20’s NOI.
by Rev. James Snyder
My wife and I drug our feet for a long time until we finally took the plunge. Both of us finally went to the cell phone store and signed up for cell phone service. She picked out a phone for her and then picked up another phone and turned to me and said, “I think this will suit you.”
I learned long ago that when my wife is thinking, I should not interrupt the phenomenon.
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