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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Atkinson separates elderly affairs from police on paper only!

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson separates elderly affairs from police It's official: Selectmen sign off on plan
By Meghan Carey

ATKINSON — The ink is on the paper.

Months after the state attorney general's charitable trust unit began looking into police Chief Philip Consentino's elderly affairs program, the selectmen signed off on a plan to separate it from the Police Department Monday night.

The Atkinson Elderly Affairs Department now has numerous rules and regulations it must follow, as well as a seven-page document that outlines the director's role, Selectman Bill Friel said this week.

Consentino will sign that document and continue as the volunteer director of the program, but he must regularly answer to the selectmen, Friel said.

"So, we monitor it on a weekly basis now," he said.

Time slips from the department's four drivers and Consentino's volunteer form will be turned in to Town Hall and available for public inspection, Friel said. It will ensure the program remains transparent, which was one of the complaints residents had when they first contacted the attorney general's office in April.

Friel put together the packet based on numerous letters from, and a meeting with, Terry Knowles, director of the charitable trust unit. He said once he developed all the documents, he sent the whole package to Knowles to approve before the selectmen adopted it.

Consentino said the new plan will be a "hassle," but worth it to keep the elderly affairs program alive.

"As a volunteer, I have to do more work than as a paid employee," he said. "How many hours do I volunteer? I have to sign off that I don't expect to be paid."

But he will still get to help seniors with fuel costs and medications, get household repairs done and even send them birthday cards. Most of that will be funded through donations to the Police Department Charitable Trust he set up in response to the state's inquiry.

More than $2,000 was donated toward it last week alone, Consentino said.

That money, plus what's left from previous donations now held by the Trustees of the Trust Fund and a $2,500 line in the proposed budget for next year will be used to assist seniors, Consentino said.

The budget will fund the transportation part of the Elderly Affairs Department, which provides rides to medical appointments and social events.

But nothing will happen without paperwork and regulations. There are instructions for how to accept, use and withdraw donation money from the trustees, Friel said. There are transportation request forms, fuel forms and a mission statement.

The setup does drive up the cost of the department and next year's proposed budget reflects that, but Friel said it was necessary to separate it.

The department will have to do its own repairs and replace its cars now, something that used to fall under the Police Department budget.

The cruisers will be relettered with the department's new name immediately, and the drivers — who are a group of retired men — will stop wearing police uniforms, according to selectmen's Chairman Paul Sullivan.

"I think it's a lot better and it really puts it in the hands of where it should be," Sullivan said.


Anonymous said...

Standman Says on the Eagle Tribune Blog;

I bet the complainer will be one of the first members of the new administration's civilian Gestapo!
The police chief should be applauded for the elderly affairs program. How ridiculous, complaining to the attorney general about a local police chief looking out for the elderly in his town.
About half of what we pay in taxes everyday is because we have to satisfy whiners who have nothing better to do than make mountains out of molehills.

Anonymous said...

MAybe if the chief would have just given answers about how money is spent, how many rides, and how many people he serves, when he was asked, all of this could have been avoided, but when one ego maniac uses a taxpayer funded program as his own personal political favor distribution system, accountability is bound to be demanded.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the people who called the AG, and I did it because I asked for him to follow the law, and accept donations in public, and announce his spending in public, and give accurate verifiable numbers.

He refused.

This is the result.

If you think you are spending any more than you would have spent, you are wrong, it is just that the rest of the money was coming from the police budget, and you couldn't see it.

And No I WON'T reveal my name!I don't want my car keyed!

Anonymous said...

Why should the chief be applauded for the elderly affairs program? THE TAXPAYERS OF ATKINSON PAY FOR IT NOT THE CHIEF. THE TAXPAYERS SHOULD BE APPLAUDED FOR CREATING AND FUNDING THE PROGRAM. Why is he getting so much credit when he illegally used PD dollars to fund his political activities out of the PD?

I applaud the person(s) who made the complaints because they had the guts to stand up to our very own Gestapo, our chief.

Anonymous said...

When did the TOWN ever "create" the Elderly Affairs? Was it done through a Warrant Article? No it wasn't; nor the the "Town" ever have anything to do with creation. Let's face it...the Chief created Elderly Affairs and arranged for the funding any way he could.

Anonymous said...

That is some outstanding spin. Quick, let me get my boots cause it's gettin deep around here.

He didn't create it. The town did. Carol Grant started this program. He took it over and turned it into an political tool by getting old people obligated to him. His list of seniors is his "get out the vote" list. They are his tools and nothing more. He takes advantage of vulnerable elderly people disguised as a police officer. Let's call it what it is. An obligation scam.

I love your line, he arranged for funding. What a nice word. He arranged allright. He arranged for my taxdollars to be spent like a drunken sailor on his political machine.

Look at facts like our PD budget. Doubled in the last 5 years. Do we have double the crime now? We sure have double the cars and SUVs so all his cronies can take home cars at our expense. He needs to go. This is disgusting beyond words.

Anonymous said...

Atkinson Selectmen and actions are no longer free of criticism that works. Thanks to this blog and its creators, citizens can see Atkinson official wrongdoing and take action. Many thanks to the persons who exposed Mr. Consentino's illegal donation accounts to the Attorney General. This blog makes a big difference for me. I check it several times a day. Keep the pressure on to clean up Atkinson.

Fishgutz said...

A thug with a gun and badge, (oops I forgot he is not certified to carry a gun while wearing or otherwise displaying his badge) is still deciding which elderly get assistance and which do not. One would have to live in a fantasy world to believe that does not affect how the elderly will vote. And most elections in town turn on the number of people that vote as Thug directs them to. How do you think he got Mark off the budget committee?

Anonymous said...

For those who dont remember;

Elderly Affairs started in the early 80's as an Eagle Scout project by Paul Grant. Carol Grant was the first director of elderly affairs, and at that time, she did it all on her own. There was no budget, she drove elderly around, found state and federal programs to help them with their needs. She brought them home and cooked them meals. No Tax Money! All the Grants!

Then in 1992 Phl asked to be appointed director of elderly affairs. and the selectmen granted his wish. Since then budget expansion EVERY SINGLE YEAR! His name in the paper every time someone sends him a card, birthday greetings in selectmens meetings, basically anything that will keep his "good name" and "good Deeds" in front of the public.

Saint Phil.

The fact is he never created it, he just expanded, and corrupted it.

Anonymous said...

I think we all know where we stand now. Friel has done his job well. Isn't what this is all about?
I wondered when the worm would turn.
If you keep it in mind ,this Valentine's Day coming up, you will see who the next Selectman will be. It will be the one who is selected and introduced at the party for the Elderly Affairs by PC and who will promise to take care of our seniors.

Do the seniors really believe that no one else is capable of helping them? The money donated for this cause does not come from him. The people vote for the budget money. That's our Taxpayers.Everything comes from the people who have a generous and giving nature.

All the people that PC has put in office owe him and they will always be paying back. I am glad I will never be in that position. I personally know some that have been put out of office only because they didn't fit in with the plans.

Look how long it took to have things run legally? Now the tax payers are going to have to pay for having objected to wanting some integrity and honesty. How's that for justice?

Anonymous said...

We have Selectmen and the AGO who blessed this plan, God help us if they think that this person will act any differently, he won't. I don't see any difference, same management, same location, same people staffing. They accomplished nothing.

We all must keep the pressure on by blogging, discussing with other town folks and raising awareness in town. This is disgraceful and I am so irritated that they allowed this to happen. In my eyes, we have a non functioning local and state government.

Atkinson-Factor said...

The ED should of been moved out of the police station. How can the two be seperate? Paper trail? Please, give me a break, the same shit will flow the way it has been flowing for all of these years. This does not pass the "snif" test for me. How about you?

Anonymous said...

If the voters want it changed, then they need to submit a Warrant Article and vote on it.

That is the only way it will ever change. You may have to fund a person to manage EA as well.

In my opinion, here's the reason why it would benefit taxpayers to have a PAID employee vs a volunteer. Employees are held to performance standards. Volunteers are unpaid and really can't be. Plus the current director is politically appointed whereas an employee would have to be hired and meet some form of job standards. Phil simply can't be hired because he wants it. There is no tax savings with Phil being unpaid because he is costing us a fortune using police dollars to fund his political campaigns for cronies.

You have to find a way to cut the cord to the PD if you ever want costs to be managed transparently and to eliminate the EA being used as a political tool.

Anonymous said...

TO Anonymous said November 18, 2008 12:09 PM

I couldn't have said it better. If the Selectmen Branch of the ATKINSON MAFIA won't do what's right, the people must step up and do it........... AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN UNTIL THEY ARE GONE FOR GOOD.