Mahoney: Scituate committee member booted for obstruction

Mahoney: Scituate committee member booted for obstruction

SCITUATE – Town Council President John Mahoney and the remaining three “Independent Men” called a special Town Council meeting Monday morning to remove Brian Carpenter from the Police Station Building Committee after what Mahoney described as “obstructionist” behavior.

During the 11 a.m. meeting, the motion passed 4-0 to remove Carpenter, a former member of the Scituate Housing Authority and member of the Republican party, from the Police Station Building Committee.

Considering another Town Council meeting is scheduled for tonight, Thursday, April 12, some said they felt the meeting was held on an odd day and time to prevent participation, and to remove a member of the committee with little public discussion.

A press release dated Monday, April 9, signed by all three Republican council members, Charles Collins, Brenda Frederickson and David D’Agostino, said they were boycotting the meeting in favor of more transparency in town business, and said, “it’s wrong to hold this meeting during the day.”

“There is a blatant lack of transparency for town business and there is nothing emergent or urgent that requires a Monday morning meeting when the regular council meeting is this Thursday,” it read.

The Republican councilors asked that the Monday meeting’s agenda items be postponed until Thursday’s evening meeting, “where greater transparency can be had.”

“Council President Mahoney scheduled this morning’s council meeting during the day to hide the fact that the council majority want to silence a voice who has been asking good, pointed questions about the progress of the new police station,” the release said.

Speaking to The Valley Breeze, Carpenter, owner of Long Realty in North Scituate, said he was concerned that the PSBC was not advertising for requests for qualifications, instead letting contractors seek out the building project through the town’s website. After receiving only one answer to the request for qualifications for architectural design services and life safety design services, he said he suggested the PSBC should seek out more bids.

After requesting a copy of the $1.7 million police station budget and not receiving it, Carpenter said it would be impossible to begin accepting requests for proposals without knowing how much is budgeted for each component.

“My responsibility to the voters is that we come in at or below what they budgeted for. I’m concerned we’d have to go back to voters with our hat in our hands asking for more money to complete the build,” Carpenter said.

According to Carpenter, Mahoney quickly ended the last PSBC meeting after being criticized by a member of the community regarding the biddingprocess, and then turned on Carpenter.

“He said, ‘I’m going to have you removed, you’re nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Scituate Republicans,’” Carpenter said.

Mahoney originally approached Carpenter looking to create a more bipartisan council, and the pair have a history of real estate deals between them.

“I didn’t solicit for the position, John sought me out,” he said. “My job here was to protect all the voters, not just Republicans. I have no agenda.”

The decision was puzzling, he said, considering the board voted 9-1 to accept the request for qualifications, with only Carpenter against.

“I’m not going to be a rubber stamp. I think what’s happening is wrong,” he said.

At Monday’s meeting, the council accepted a bid for architectural design services from Richard Cardelli in the amount of $55,000, holding off on life safety design services until another contractor can be interviewed.

Mahoney said building a police station is a public safety issue, and he did not apologize for his aggressiveness when dealing with obstructionists.

“If you’re in our way, we’re going to move you over,” he said. “Period.”

Mahoney said that calling a special meeting on a weekday to accept proposals is not out of the ordinary when attempting to keep a project on time, and if the absent councilors wished to have their voices heard, they were made aware of the meeting last Friday and could have made it.

Mahoney listed several reasons for removing Carpenter from the committee.

“Simply put, he is an obstructionist and his intentions are purely politically motivated,” he said.

With the removal of Carpenter, the PSBC remains bipartisan, with one Republican, Police Chief Donald Delaere, and one Democrat, Richard Kells, two unaffiliated members, Brian Venditelli and Mark Anderson and two “Independent Men” councilmen, Mahoney and Town Council Vice President Mike Payette.

“I want to have a mixture of Republicans and Democrats and hold a bipartisan committee,” Mahoney said.

Comments

Bipartisan committee: more like a bought and paid for committee from the top down.
If you work for the Town and disagree with these guys you're gone. Even retired law enforcement are hard pressed to remember a Sargent being promoted to Colonel. I suppose it's a good thing we are still able to vote in Scituate.

This is a 4/3 Town Council and will not change until November 6, 2018. Taxpayers and residents of Scituate are smart enough to see what has happened to their Town. While some take to social media, many just sit and watch the "fire works" that are being displayed. Going forward, I think the Town will be fine, however, change is coming and hopefully stability comes with that change.