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Ruminations

A lot of people are upset that Steve "Goose" Manguso was not re-appointed to the Milford Youth Commission. And, they are blaming Selectmen Bill Buckley and Will Kingkade for "dumping" him.

Let's correct that last comment right away. At the Board of Selectmen's June 19 meeting, Buckley made a motion on whom to re-appoint or newly appoint to the Youth Commission. Mike Walsh seconded that motion and then joined Buckley in voting for it. Kingkade, as chairman, voted last and made it unanimous.

So, the fact is, all three selectmen voted not to re-appoint Manguso.

As it does each June, the board was reading a list of people due for re-appointments and new candidates on a board-by-board basis and voting for them in groups. So, all three selectmen literally were reading off the same page.

It may take a public hearing to remove someone once they are appointed, but selectmen have the right not to re-appoint anyone when their term is up, with no explanation needed.

And, contrary to Manguso's statement at the August 7 selectmen's meeting that it was "my position," it is not a lifetime appointment. Manguso did hold it for more than a dozen years. Maybe selectmen felt it was time for some new blood.

Kingkade has been very open about wanting to get new members on the town's boards and commissions, and has looked through the town's "talent bank" – basically a list of applications from residents wishing to serve on these boards and commissions – and appointed people who've been waiting to serve for years.

And, if you want to make it a question of politics, with Buckley and Kingkade getting rid of people who didn't support them in elections (as Manguso claimed), go ahead. But, where was the same outcry when Dino DeBartolomeis and Brian Murray held the majority sway on the board for decades?

The simple fact in Milford politics is you need to be able to count to five on the School Committee (your vote plus four others) or two on the Board of Selectmen (your vote plus one other) to get anything done.

Questioning his June vote, Walsh has tried twice – once in July and once this month – to get Manguso re-appointed, but failed to get a second vote.

With a proposed $63-million deal on the table, town officials said they wanted to give the plan to buy the Milford Water Company a thorough "due diligence." Good thing. One of the consulting firms hired this summer found a flaw in the original financial assumptions and now they are being reworked.

While the result is probably going to mean a water use rate hike by the town if the purchase goes through, at least Town Meeting Members will be voting with all needed data in front of them – rather than being confronted with a problem 10 years down the road.

I'm sure many will criticize this news as a last-minute surprise. But, I think it's better to plan for a worst-case scenario up front than to have the daylights knocked out of you by surprise.




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