No. 1. There will be two town managers at annual town meeting. Interim Town Manager Mike Milanoski will preside over the meeting but former town manager Mike Coughlin will be sitting at Milanoski’s elbow – giving a live critique of articles and motions.
No. 2. Karen Quigley’s citizens’ petition – an article (Article 21) asking the town to take charge of its water and sewer commissions is more than timely. “Who knows what will happen with the hammer of the mighty Commonwealth coming down,” Sewer Chair John Beck told advisors last week.
My husband, Ray Kasperowicz, brought up the possibility of a PPP (Public Public Partnership) with Scituate Water at the first and only public hearing the Cohasset Water Commission held on its Water RFP. We know that Scituate needs water and we need somebody to run our water plant. Why don’t we give them a certain amount of water to be determined in return for running our plant? We save money, they get water. In a PUP neither partner expects to earn a profit. The goal is to improve efficiency, efficacy and equity.
Scituate and Cohasset share the same watershed. We already send some water their way. It sounds like a win-win for everybody. Read this document on the same: WaterPUPs
Noted: When we watched Our Town Wednesday night (April 18) Cohasset Water Chair Peter DeCaprio said Annual Town Meeting would only get to give water commissioners the right to enter into a concession contract, not to vote on the final contract itself at a continued town meeting. The Our Town show was filmed a week and a half ago, so maybe this was updated. Selectmen as recently as this past week were talking about a continued town meeting in order for ATM to vote on the chosen contract, which I certainly hope is the case. I have asked Cohasset Selectman Chair Ted Carr to advise us on this. Under state statue any contract that would be in effect for more than 3 years must go to town meeting. It is unlikely that town meeting will vote to give its power to water commissioners. It would be a very dangerous thing to do.
Cohasset’s May 12th, Annual Town Meeting will be asked to vote on a water concession contract. We asked our Water RFP Expert to discussion the legal ramifications of the same.
Tinytown Unleashed:Here’s a question for you, Water Expert.
Legally, what rights does a concessionaire have that the town doesn’t’ know about.
The RFP looks pretty safe, but Corporate Accountability says the concessionaire calls the shots, that the state will treat our water contract as a private (not municipal) contract, and that investors have rights.
(Note: we have gotten several calls complaining that the video starts and stop in weird places.Tough. We’re not going to do it over. We are sick of it now. Besides, this all will be discussed again adnauseaum.)
Former selectman Karen Quigley presented her citizens’ petition to advisors April 12. The petition calls for town meeting to vote to create a five-member appointed advisory committee to oversee the water/sewer enterprise and to create the position of town engineer. Ms. Quigley pointed out that the citizens’ petition came directly out of the Melanson and Heath (M&H) audit that advised the town to re-think management. The M&H audit was triggered by the crisis in the water, sewer and town finance departments.
Quigley told advisors that sewer (and water) commissioners, by necessity, rely heavily on contract engineers.
It’s time to pull the plug on this Board of Selectmen. Individually and collectively, they have gone so far beyond any meaningful rehabilitation that they have lost all value to the citizens of Cohasset.
Under the guise of governing they have supported and advanced the interests of a few at the expense of the rest of us. Flushed by early success, they have gone ‘all in’ too many times to ever walk back any of their outrageous actions. They have completely lost sight of the key word before government – representative. They no longer represent the best interests of the vast majority of Cohasset voters and they no longer can be said to represent anything worth keeping.
The first big clue should have been the firing of the three ConCom members. Ted Carr, speaking and acting for his board stalled facing strong public push back as long as he could. He claimed the board was so busy it couldn’t find time to address the concerns of 120 petitioners for two months. Then he proposed, and his board approved, formation of a Governance Committee to look into the matter. The rest is history.
This committee did everything but look into the ConCom travesty. In targeting the Town Manager Act, it acted with the blessing of the selectmen to ignore the petitioners’ concerns and to discredit and undermine the authority of the town manager. The task of moving forward the interests of the E-20 became the priority of the town, and its expense.
The second event that had ‘warning, warning’ written all over it was the BoS conceding all control of the Water Department to Chairman DeCaprio, a move that was instrumental in leading up to the firing of Town Manager Coughlin. This entire scenario provided valuable insight into the character of Ted Carr as he proclaimed that he considered Coughlin “a friend” even as Coughlin was gasping “et tu, Ted.”
Subsequent documentation has revealed the massive failure of Carr to pass on Coughlin’s E-mail communications to the rest of the board, as was Carr’s responsibility. It was, indeed, Carr’s failure to communicate that led to the firing of Coughlin.
The third, but probably not final, sordid chapter in Cohasset’s history has been the roughshod, and probably illegal, treatment of town employees’ contracts entered into during Coughlin’s tenure and with the full awareness of the board; contracts entered into by our employees relying on the good faith and backing of the Town of Cohasset.
This has all taken place under the heavy hand of Acting Town Manager Milanowski – of Governance Committee fame – and explained irregularities and economic necessity. All this while Milanowski collects $2,000+ a week in compensation.
Plus, the BOS is reportedly $300,000 over its legal budget and still climbing; not to mention the fallout from legal actions expected from Coughlin and the town employees all of whom could prevail in the courts.
The economic necessity cited by Milanowski pales in comparison with any reasonable estimate of the overall cost of funding the excesses of the BOS: both in money, credibility and public trust.
There comes a point when a problem has grown to such proportions that it has assumed a life and momentum of its own; we are there in Cohasset. The resolution will start only when the problem is recognized for what it is.
If you watched the Coughlin inquisition on TV you can put a picture to these words; the individuals on the stage, behind the selectmen, literally and figuratively, looking out over the audience as town council tried to justify an action that absolutely nobody in the crowd was buying.
Remember the faces in the elite seats (the assigned seats behind the BOS). They cannot be a part of the solution; they have made themselves part of the problem. You can hear the cries of class warfare already. The issuers of these cries will be entirely correct, they will, however, have the aggressors and the victims in reverse order which goes a long way toward how we got into this mess in the first place.
I urge you to do two things to start the process of restoring sanity to our town government: speak out now and at Town Meeting May 12, and think carefully about your vote for selectman.
How do Weymouth Taxpayers Like Taxation without Representation?
by Dominic Galluzzo
Did you know Southfield residents pay no taxes to the town of Weymouth? Members of Weymouth’s Council should put on their big boy pants and first and foremost serve the best interest of Weymouth taxpayers. Ignoring the restated chapter 301 of the Enabling Legislation found on page 2, section 3 that in part states. In addition, it shall be the goal of said corporation, during its existence, to pursue the development in a manner that imposes no costs on said towns for the provision of police and fire protection, emergency services, water and sewer, schools, road and highway, parking, transportation, telecommunications, lighting, recreation and other municipal services. Isn’t this a dereliction of their duties?
Once again, The Patriot Ledger editors were on the wrong side of the equation in an editorial they published on March 31. For them to say that interest in the proposed amendment to the Castle Doctrine statute already in place (MGL c. 278, § 8A) only escalated after the Florida tragedy is just more pabulum that those in some quarters are trying to shove down the throats of the citizens here who have every right to defend themselves from intruders.