Cohasset: Special Town Meeting rejects Town Manager Act amendment

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Cohasset held their Special Town Meeting Monday night, focusing on a controversial article that would have amended a town by-law that regulates hiring the town manager.

Over 400 people crammed into the high school auditorium and voted in secret ballot 188 to 158, against a selectmen’s article that amended one sentence of the town manager act from no person in an elective or appointive town office within one year of holding the office, be eligible to be appointed town manager – to no present or former selectman shall within 15 months of holding such office be eligible to be appointed town manager.

The change would have allowed selectmen to hire Acting Town Manager Mike Malinowski as the permanent town manager.

One resident rose in favor of the article and said, “You can’t keep changing over and over again your leadership. You have to have solid leadership. The revolving door that we’ve had in this town – and voting no on this will open up more revolving doors – is a laughing stock. We need to stop that. We have good leadership right now and we have a steady ship that’s moving forward and we should vote yes”.

However resident Agnes McCann spoke adamantly against the amendment.

“This restriction is one of the few controls that exist in the law as it is today. By removing it, you’re creating an inside track, which will effectively, as the chairman of the board of selectmen stated himself the other night at a board of selectmen’s meeting … there won’t be a pool, because everybody will know that the selectmen will choose their preferred candidate”.

Special town meeting also voted in favor of awarding $260,000 in Community Preservation funds for the construction of the Sailing Club and in favor of leasing a 5 acre site at the town’s water plant for a solar array.

Special town meeting wrapped up all the articles on the warrant.

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