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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Atkinson in holding pattern with elderly affairs

From the Eagle-Tribune;

Atkinson in holding pattern with elderly affairs
By Meghan Carey

ATKINSON — The state attorney general's charitable trust unit did not answer the selectmen's questions about the elderly affairs program.

The unit, directed by Terry Knowles, conducted a three-month inquiry into the program and associated donation accounts. She recommended in July that the donation money be moved, and the selectmen re-examine the senior citizen program.

Knowles said in letters to the town that the program should be clearly separated from the Police Department, both of which are run by Chief Philip Consentino.

The story changed a bit on Sept. 26, when the selectmen met with Knowles in Concord. Both parties said afterward the chief just had to keep logs of the time he works as a town employee and as a volunteer. Selectmen rescheduled last week's workshop in order to wait for direction, in writing, from Knowles.

But her letter, which arrived Monday, didn't address those issues. Selectman Bill Friel said it advises the selectmen to move the remaining donation funds to the control of the Trustees of the Trust Fund. Selectmen already voted to move $6,500 of the approximately $19,000 in donated money to the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund because they had permission from donors who had given that amount.

Selectmen drafted a document detailing the next transfer, and will vote on it at their next meeting, Friel said. But they won't discuss elderly affairs until they receive more information from Knowles, who is on vacation until Oct. 20.

"We want to wait for the state to get all of the answers in front of us before we're ready to schedule the workshop," he said.

This is the second time the selectmen have rescheduled the meeting, much to the frustration of Consentino. He had organized to have many elderly affairs program supporters at the workshops that were scheduled for Sept. 30 and then Oct. 15.

"We had over 100 seniors lined up," he said. "It's a shame. You've got all this ready to go and Terry Knowles hasn't given them the answers."

Friel said the town administrator will work to find a larger venue for the workshop to accommodate all senior citizens who wish to attend.

So, This blog's question is why go to all of this trouble to mobilize the ederly faithful, to fight moving Elderly Affairs to the Community Center, and making it more open, honest, and accountable?

Why is that so bad, unless this is not about the elderly but about the Chief's control, and getting his way?

No one has proposed reducing the program or any of it's services!

No one had even said the Chief can not continue as Elderly Affairs director!

The only thing that has been asked for, is to separate it from the police dept. to make it open, honest, and accountable, and this is what he chooses to fight?

As Jerry Williams used to say; "It doesn't pass the smell test!"


Anonymous said...

He has probably told the elderly that people want to cut the program, just like he did in 2003 when running for selectmen. It wasnt true then, and it wont be true now, but I'll bet that is what he told them to get 100 people there.

Anonymous said...

Hey, youre telling me he got everybody that uses the taxi service to come to a meeting! WOW, that's rich!

Anonymous said...

If PC is in charge of this program, I assure you that I will NEVER vote for another penny for the PD or the EA. I don't care how much good you attribute to either of these depts, I will not vote for anything if PC is in charge. Never.

Anonymous said...

Just another case where PC wants to flex his muscle. Just goes to show that HE BELIEVES only 100 of PC's handpicked elderly voters control our town? I DO NOT THINK SOOOOOOOOO.

There are more elderly that he has refused services, because they would not vote /donate/ the way he wanted them to, than those that will.

It will be nice to see those friends and neighbors again, at the workshop.

Will be interesting to see if they are the Mom's and Dad's of our selectmen, planning board, Town moderator, Police dept. Lewis Builders, etc.

Anyone want to bet they are?

Anonymous said...

I am a senior and I was never "lined up" or even given notice that PC was bringing a large group of seniors. See the problem?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a senior but I want to know when this workshop is to be scheduled so that I can go and show my lack of support to PC. I want this meeting advertised so that people show up and do likewise.

Atkinson-Factor said...

Who's paying for the rides to get the seniors to the workshop? Nice. Lets pay overtime for all of the drivers to do so. At Chiefo's orders i see.

Anonymous said...

We ALL need to be there.

Mutual Aid said...

Anon - 10/8/08 @ 8:52, Please do not let your hatred (justified) of PC cloud your judgement when voting on issues that will directly affect the DEDICATED PATROL OFFICERS. They are currently negotiating with the town for a new contract that will ultimately need to be approved at town meeting. This contract will benefit only the patrol officers (full and part time). It will not benefit PC, LT, or any of the EA drivers or other staff. I am not a member of APD, but I work closely with them and can assure you, that the front line members of the department are dedicated to the town and their job. Please do not lump them in with the shenanigans of PC; and please do not penalize them for his lack of professionalism and general ineptitude.

MAcciard said...

Ok, I am confused here;

This is a taxpayer funded program.

No one is talking about cutting, reducing, or changing the services offered under this program in any way.

The ONLY discussion is separating it from the PD and moving it to the community center.

Why the need to get 100 elderly people to come out in the cold to the selectmen's meeting to fight moving this when nothiing will change in how the rides are delivered?

What does it matter if the cars say police on them, or not?

What does it matter if the cars are parked at the PD, or the community center?

I guess my question would be; If you only concern is how the elderly are treated, and that they get their rides, then why fight this so hard?

They will get the same level of service, with greater transparency and accountability, This should be a no brainer!

Anonymous said...

TO Anonymous October 8, 2008 11:45 AM

We all need to be at the workshop. For those that did not watch the Selectmen's meeting Tuesday, they vacillated all over the place as to when the meeting would be held. As of now, it will be October 28 at the Community center.

The next selectmen's meeting is scheduled for Wed. October 15th, but may not be in the selectmen's office. Stay tuned, because once they see we are paying attention, they might change the workshop and selectmen's meeting again. It's their mode of operation.

Once PC finds out that more people will show up than his 100 elderly, he will force the selectmen to wait until people are not pay attention.

I see PC's ship sinking, and we should all be there to help. It's time to do a warrant article for a fulltime chief. He's not the ONLY problem in town, BUT HE IS THE BIGGEST.


PS: Someone bring a video camera, because I bet the selectmen will NOT have it on Ch. 20. WANNA BET?

Selectmen Sullivan, Friel, and Childs do not want the taxpayers at this meeting. They are the next biggest problem behind the Chief.


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous ... October 8, 2008 11:39 AM

Yes, we see the problem like you do. Will you be at the meeting to put a stop to PC'S control over the town? We are with you.

Anonymous said...

To: Atkinson Factor October 8, 2008 12:00 PM

We know who’s paying for the rides. It's either the selectmen out of the Police Dept. Donation Account ooooooooooooooooooor the Chief out of his newly created "Slush Fund" with no accountability. Either way, it's the taxpayers that are paying for the ride. Perhaps that would be a good question for PC at that meeting, verified by the Elderly that attend. If the Chief attends, it time to hit him with the tough questions. Same for each selectman.

Anonymous said...

To Mutual Aid October 8, 2008 1:19 PM

We know that PC bully's his police dept. members, and we have no desire to distract from the good work they do. We feel badly for the way he treats them, and want to change that.

As an insider, you could help put a stop to his shenanigans, by doing the right thing, by leaking what's going on at the PD to the appropriate people. not selectmen. You want the chief out at bad as we do. You know what to do.

Do the right thing. Help us help you.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous ...
October 8, 2008 8:16 AM

That's what he told them. You think he told them that the program would be expanded without him? Of course not. That wouldn't help HIS CAUSE.

He believes like our selectmen: "Tell a lie enough, and it will become the truth"

I believe that the elderly don't and never did want to be a burden to anyone. It's the Chief that wants that.

We need to get to everyone that shows up at that meeting, to assure him or her that the program will continue -without the chief- and become better. It will have accountability and transparency.

As Mark says: What's wrong with that?

We know who’s paying for the rides. It's either the selectmen out of the Police Dept. Donation Account or the Chief out of his newly created "Slush Fund" with no accountability. Either way, it's the taxpayers that are paying for the ride.

Perhaps that would be a good question for PC at that meeting, verified by the Elderly that attend.

If the Chief attends, it time to hit him with the tough questions. Same for each selectman.

Anonymous said...

I repeat, if the EA stays with PC because people push for it, I will never vote to fund anything for either the PD or the EA. If you want my backing and my dollars, separate the depts. I will not fund anything he's in charge fo again. Don't like it? Stand against him.

Anonymous said...

IF this was really about caring for old people, Phil wouldn't care what building the program is housed in.

This is about him getting his way, just like my 3 year old. This is about him being able to claim that EA only costs $19,000, while he takes the other $15,000 it really costs from the police dept.

The only way it will ever be open, is when it is moved out of the police dept.

Atkinson-Factor said...

Excellent then...the more people that attend this workshop the better. I heard the 28th of oct in last nite's meeting. So mark it on your notebook. I will say, trucking elderly to this workshop is a bit of a specticle. This isn't a meeting to cutback any service, but a meeting to improve it's ability to make it work right, and out in the open. But from Chiefo Bigumheado's view, he might be telling the elderly that transparency would be a bad thing to them....Leting the taxpayers know the true cost, and they might not fund for now, taking from the police depts funding ( Or slush funding )to pay whats needed is just fine.
If he is using police funding to do elderly affairs, what a injustice it is for the other officers on the police force and the taxpayers....You wonder what the chiefo's motive is to keep it like it is. If we all work together on this one, Bigumheado could be out of the picture in a hartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Lots of data has been compiled and made public regarding misappropriation of tax $$ by you-know-who. Since it doesn't matter anymore what the BOS decides to do, how will this proceed at the State and Federal level? There is conclusive evidence that funds were withdrawn without BOS approval and without even a request. Does this mean the AGO will file charges or will the IRS step in, or the FBI? What will happen now that the facts have been documented?

I am so anxious ....

Anonymous said...

If we could get the folks who showed up at the meeting for the water withdrawal, we would be golden. Also.....

Will those who promoted the water articles please support this meeting? We supported yours.....

Will those who files for abatements please support this meeting?

Will those who were denied services from the EA please support this meeting?

Will those who were targeted by the PD please support this meeting?

Will those who have had children targeted by potential abductors please support this meeting?

Will those who have been otherwise badly treated by the town please support this meeting?

Please show up.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Mark, what is so bad about having something more than Phil's word, about how many people use the service, and how many rides thy give?

As Mark says; Why is this so bad?

Mutual Aid said...

What more light can I shed on this man? I told you I don't work there. Besides, his actions are well documented. The issue is now in the hands of the voters as it has been in the past. Unfortuneately not many people attend the town meeting which is where the break down often occurrs.

Anonymous said...

These problems have been going on since 2005 and the people, are the ones that have to remedy it.

We have a vote, we have a voice,and we could have a wonderful presence if only we were motivated enough to use these assets. No one is going to do this for us.

Lets not go down the "hatred" path that has brought this all upon us. This town has never seen such a strong feeling of discontent and I have lived here for a long time. Don't let this allow our feelings to over run the common sense we all are looking for.

There are so many in our community that do outstanding work,are help ful,and generous. Don't let us become hateful and jeopardize losing or hurting the people that make this the town that you want to live in.

Anonymous said...

Article Submission:


Many people can't be a the workshop due to schedule conflicts or perhaps don't want to confront PC. Why not create a written petition that demands exactly what us taxpayers want, within the next 30 days:

1) A detailed financial explanation from the Selectmen and Director of Elderly Affairs explaining how, in 2007, the town paid for 1,644 senior transports on a budget of $19,000, showing all budget expenditures for community officers labor, training and uniforms, vehicles, maintenance, gas, etc etc.

2) Demand the selectman follow the direction from the Attorney General's office separating the Dept of Elderly Affairs from the police dept, both physically and administratively and any other form.

3) Going forward, a detailed accounting shall be maintained for selectman to know: WHO gets rides, when, where, mileage, labor costs, vehicle costs, all other costs. This shall be a monthly report provided to the Selectmen.

4) A complete inventory of assets that are considered "owned" by the dept of Elderly Affairs.

5) A concerted and proactive effort through multiple forms of media asking the town for volunteers to staff and run the EA and run it out of the community center. Proposals from residents on how this can be done should be solicited as part of it.

Present this at the workshop to the selectman and don't forget to make copies! Only one person has to go and get on the agenda to read it. And I would cc the Attorney General's office.

If written correctly, you should be able to go door to door and get any taxpayer to sign off on this request because it is something we ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW.

So what if PC shows up with a 100 people. All we need is signatures. Wouldn't that rain on his big show? He thinks if he can show up with a lot of voters at a workshop, that means the whole town wants it. This can be neutralized with one petition. It's not like deliberative session where you have to be present.

We also have to build on the momentum from the AG's investigation and now is the time to strike.

Where do I sign?

Anonymous said...

If the chief does bus in 100 elderly, don't forget to ask him who paid for the bus. If the answer is anything but from out of his own pocket, that is malfeasance. If EA vehicles are used, that is electioneering, and that is against the law.