Thursday, June 13

Egremont Marsupial Court

          Well it was a long night at the town hall and I do emphasize the word hall as this is where the majority of the time is spent waiting for the door to open. When the people started to come in the selectmen were all huddled in the main part of the office around Mary’s desk with the partition closed. It seemed a bit too blatant to be a violation of the open meeting laws, but some people are just that balzy. Not to be melodramatic but the scene had an eerie resemblance to the alcohol drenched smoke filled back rooms where all the deals are made; only without the smoke and alcohol.

          With over three hours to sit and wait Mr. Scribbler and I had a chance to chat. He unwittingly disclosed one of his secrets to writing a good article. He was talking to his editor and I overheard him say that the deadline won’t be a problem because he has already written the story, he is just waiting to get the facts to fill in the blanks. What a concept! Write the story and then find the facts to fit in. I guess these are the things we think about while waiting in the hall. I haven’t spent that much time in the hall since Jr. high school.

           Both officers opted for a closed session. Officer Pilone was up first. After well over an hour Jeremy and his union rep came out and waited for the BoS to decide his fate. The BoS deliberated for several minutes and called officer Pilone back in and three minutes later Pilone emerged obviously distraught. Apparently officer Pilone had to resign as was confirmed by the BoS after the hearings. We may never know why he had to resign but I’m sure he’ll land on his feet. I feel bad for him though, he trusted certain people and they betrayed him. I told him to beware of people who say they have your back; they’re in the best position to stab you. Perhaps now that he is free he can talk about it. I think he keeps up on the blog and I for one would like to hear his side of the story.

          Next head on the chopping block was Hans. It was a pretty long hearing for him as well. We had to wait until about 10:30 to resume public session. Hans actually talked his way out of getting fired and resigning. The door is so thin I don’t understand why they even bother to close it. I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of the conversation. I couldn’t really hear interim chief Shaw because he has that Chairman Turner mumble down to a science. Hans could be heard loud and clear. His complaint to Shaw was that he was making sweeping judgments after only knowing him for a month. His other major grievance was that if all these sudden accusations were true then why didn’t he, Shaw, document these claims and put them in his file. Hans said that there was no documentation to bolster the accusations that were being leveled against him. Not one shred of evidence. Hmmm; This sounds vaguely familiar. The bottom line is that Hans is still with us and Franz is on to bigger and better things. Good luck to both. A word to the wise and let it be sufficient; watch who has your back.

          That’s the report for the latest convening of the Egremont Marsupial Court, (EMC). So, until next Monday @ 6:00 pm, when the next (EMC) opens with the Mach trial of the legitimate Egremont Chief of Police. I am told that Chief Bucknell will not close the hearing so I hope to see you there.



  1. I keep remembering Charlie Flynn's statements to Pilone and Carlson at a selectboard meeting about a month ago: "We don't have a problem with you two guys. You're doing a great job."

  2. Like....W saying "You're doing a great job Browny" ???

  3. I am confused here - our officers are covered under collective barganing, how is it that the BOS can do this in one meeting? Did our HR officer do a offical investigation (or arrange for one by an outside party) and did this investigation return findings of actions that were so egregious that they warranted immediate termination?
    Was there any progressive discipline? The BOS is not trained extensively in HR or employment law - did town counsel bring in outside assistance by cousel versed in employment and labor law? So many questions, so few ansers.....

    This is very trying by a board that has no quams appointing themselves all over the place - I expect to see one of them on the payroll of the town transfer station next!!!

    1. In most public positions you are considered an employee on a probationary status until one year of employment. This means that essentially they can let you go for any reason up until that one year is up, and you would have no union backing. I don't believe either party have been here for one year.

  4. One more thing - at the meeting 2 weeks ago, Mary referred to a meeting she and Bruce had outside the weekly selectboard meeting, and now we have evidence of another meeting held outside of the open meeting format expected of elected officials. Is this being reported to the state ethics commission? Is anyone verifying that they have been consulted on conflict of interest questions? I'd like to hear an offical letter read in open meeting that it is okay for the Board Chair to be the accountant and vote on warrant expenditures. Many in town are uncomfortable with Mary's dual role - why further complicate our town government. Is Charlie also on the School Committee?? This is a trend that needs to be examined and perhaps a shift is in order.

  5. Not sure why the town needs ANY cops much less our Keystone variety. Better to invest the money in Emergency equipment and the fire department. Before Charlie Sieger bullied the town into having a cop and a cruiser, we were great with Stanley Farnum and a traffic paddle.

  6. Colleen has presented some very important questions that need to be answered. It's my understanding that these private meetings are not only unethical but illegal use of power.

  7. What we have to understand is that we the people must follow through on any action when dealing with our public officials. If anyone has credible information of a violation then as a witness to the violation they should file a complaint. I can’t file a complaint based on hearsay.