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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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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moderator Violates Open Meeting Laws!

Deliberative Session started off with a bang, this year, as Atkinson Resident Gary Brownfield, attempted to photograph the proceedings. Town Moderator Polito Stopped him, even going so far as to threaten to have him removed!

Moderator Polito stated that the LAW says that a resident can Audiotape or Videotape, but that is it! As usual, when Frank attempts to play an attorney on TV, HE WAS WRONG!

Here is the relevant text from the State's Open Meetings Law, which EVERY TOWN MODERATOR, SHOULD KNOW!

RSA 91-A:2, II. states;

II. Subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, all meetings, whether held in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner, shall be open to the public. Except for town meetings, school district meetings, and elections, no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot. Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras, and videotape equipment, at such meetings

Later in the Meeting Frank began screaming and arguing from the podium at Mr. Brownfield, when Mr. Brownfield tried to correct the Moderator, having to be told, on a point of order, by Mr. Acciard, that this wasn't town business, and should not be discussed in this forum.

With the Moderator being named as a co-defendant in a yet to be filed Federal Civil Rights Suit, was it smart for him to restrict a resident from protections offered by law, while allowing the Cable Network to videotape him, and the Eagle Tribune to photograph him. He even went so far as to make it OFFICIAL by requiring a vote of the people to shut Brownfield up!

The arrogance of these officials seems without end. As people got up to speak, the chief was heard to yell and interupt them, at one point yelling out "BALLS" loudly in response to Mrs. Goodrich's tale of lack of services.

Upon returning from lunch, Mr. Sapia IMMEDIATELY moved the expansion of Elderly Affairs Article, and the Full Time Chief Article to immediate consideration. In an act born out of a need to defeat these two articles, but hardly fair to those who left for lunch thinking that Article 11 was next up, Elderly Affairs officer Anderson, Immediately popped up to "move the question" ending debate before it was allowed to begin!

As usual the room was packed with chief supporters, elderly, family members, town employees, and the like, warrant article petitioners probably thinking that they could get other things done, before heading to town meeting to defend their articles. The "Atkinson Mafia" once again closed ranks to prevent debate on these topics. For all of these people's incessant wailing about the endless lawsuits due to their behavior, they are the problem, not allowing the voters to debate articles on town floor!

Add to this the additional spectacle of Jack Sapia, repeatedly interupting a conversation going on outside, involving Leon Artus, Gary Brownfield, and Ed Naile, of the CNHT, by demanding that any photos of him be deleted, the same request that Frank screamed from the podium at Mr. Brownfield! After ignoring they ignored him, Jack returned accompanied by a police officer, only to be told by Mr. Naile, that HE OWNED the photos, they were taken legally, and Jack wasn't getting them.

HEY FRANK AND JACK, It is LEGAL to take photos in a public meeting! And you can't do anything about it! And For Frank to tell the people, as a Town Official that it was illegal.... Well, Frank, if you haven't learned the basics of your job in all these years, maybe you should quit!

Once again those who had the courage to stand up to the bully that is our police chief, were defeated by a handful insiders employing legal, but morally bereft tactics, to shut down any voices of dissention.

So for the plaintiff's in the pending civil rights suit, in which BOTH Jack and Frank are already named as co- defendants, the Plaintiff's got an enormous boost today, and as usual, ALL of it occurred ON CAMERA! Nothing like giving the other side incontrovertable evidence!

So to recap, we had the Moderator, threaten to remove a resident for exercising his rights.

Then he made it official by demanding a vote of the town to curtail his rights.

Then he followed it up by screaming at him from the podium that he wanted his image deleted, even though he should have known that he had no right to demand that.

Then jack followed that up by using the threat of the police to make the same demand.

And THESE are the idiots we keep voting into office, that keep landing us in lawsuits!

And the circus goes on.

165 comments:

Anonymous said...

I keep rewinding to hear all this screaming but I can't seem to find it. Are you talking about when they made stetements not to your benefit that they "screamed" ?
Again, I can't seem to find the screaming part... please enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

I really wanted to make it to this meeting but needed to meet the needs of my children. I did pop over to a friends house to catch some of it on cable. There are some loony people in Atkinson im sorry like the woman who was offended because lt. Baldwin didnt go over to her house when her hot water heater was leaking.. Instead he called Mike Murphy and had him go over. come on people he went over and above his job once again. personally I wouldnt think to call the pd for something like this but that's just me. I understand not knowing what to do but I think I would rather have Mike Murphy come and fix my furnace ( since this is his specialty)Then ask a police officer to come stand there and look at it with me. I didnt see any screaming either. Although I didnt sit through the whole meeting. but really some people are a little ridiculous about issues in Atkinson. It would have been difficult for me to sit there and not have laughed at some of the rambling and excuses. what happened to all these Blog supporters who want a full time NEW police chief. opps guess they had other things to do. even if this made it on the ballot it would have been shot down so quickly your head would spin..The chief and Lt. have way more supporters then the few people who contribute to this blog. sorry but it is what it is!!!!

Anonymous said...

The people have spoken at this session. To imply that there would have been enough votes to pass the petitioned warrant articles if people were back from lunch in time is simply grasping at straws. It was obvious from the start that there was not enough support for these petitions.

It now becomes apparent that if Mr. Artus and Acciard continue to pursue their lawsuits, they do so with little regard to the Atkinson taxpayers they claim to protect. I will also predict that knowing CHNT's track record, they will stubbornly do so! No subterfuge, no mafia...it was democracy in action and I hope that those who were on the losing side of these issues will respect the majority decision.

Anonymous said...

Why did Mr. Brownfield want to photograph these individual? I sure can not think of any reason? At least I snuck a picture of Mr. Brownfield. I hope he does not feel violated?

Anonymous said...

LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! and check the time, "THEY ARE BACK" from the meeting and are now posting here! take note of the posting time and put a face behind the above 4 posts.

Curt Springer said...

Hi,
I'm commenting only on what you might call a point of order, not trying to get mixed up in Atkinson's issues.

I get the sense from comments in this thread and in previous discussions that people think that it is necessary to have a positive vote at the deliberative session in order to allow warrant articles (petitioned or not) to be printed on the ballot and voted upon in March. If my understanding is wrong, if all articles that were on the warrant for the deliberative session will be on the ballot in March, you can stop reading here.

But if the town is not going to put certain articles on the ballot because there was no motion to approve them at the deliberative session, or because there was a motion and it failed, this would be in violation of state law.

Here are the applicable laws (comments continue below):

RSA 40:13 IV. The first session of the meeting, governed by the provisions of RSA 40:4, 40:4-a, 40:4-b, 40:4-f, and 40:6-40:10, shall consist of explanation, discussion, and debate of each warrant article. A vote to restrict reconsideration shall be deemed to prohibit any further action on the restricted article until the second session, and RSA 40:10, II shall not apply. Warrant articles may be amended at the first session, subject to the following limitations:
(a) Warrant articles whose wording is prescribed by law shall not be amended.
(b) Warrant articles that are amended shall be placed on the official ballot for a final vote on the main motion, as amended.
-----------------
RSA 40:13 VI. All warrant articles shall be placed on the official ballot for a final vote, including warrant articles as amended by the first session. . . .
------------------
RSA 40:13 VII. The second session of the annual meeting, to elect officers of the local political subdivision by official ballot, to vote on questions required by law to be inserted on said official ballot, and to vote on all warrant articles from the first session on official ballot, shall be held on the second Tuesday in March, . . .


So the law is very clear, all articles on the warrant for the deliberative session are to be on the ballot in March, subject only to amendments made at the deliberative session. If no action is taken on an article at the deliberative session, it goes on the ballot without changes.

In Danville, the moderator asks for discussion of each article. If there is no discussion, or if there is discussion but no motion, the discussion ends and the article goes onto the ballot with no changes.

I would be happy to be wrong, to be told that all of the posted articles will be on the ballot. It doesn't sound that way from some of the comments here.

Anonymous said...

What's your point Springer? You are neither on tropic nor interesting.

Anonymous said...

Springer, you sound as confused as the other Loons. Your point is obvious so quit wasting our time. You should reread the posts before you make a pointless comment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Mr. Springer. I'm sure that Atty. Douglas can verify what you have said. If this is true, the Town has been doing things wrong for years! Doesn't the moderator know the law?

Pond Skipper said...

So where was the 4200 people that post on this blog today? I guess maybe there is not as many different people that post on the blog as once thought.

Anonymous said...

It was a stupid move to tell people they didn't have to show up until mid afternoon. You told them what they needed to know to defeat you!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the townies are stupid enough to vote the way they do.

Anonymous said...

I missed the meeting. Did they drone on and on and on and on?

Anonymous said...

I'll bet Frank knows the law better than this poster. If he's wrong then I'm sure he'll be sued. If he's right then he had no issue with the Trib taking his picture and took great umbrage {like Jack} to his picture being taken by Mr Brown. That's called FREEDOM to choose, our God Given Right in this country. If he's right and he is sued then it appears another frivilous suit is about to appear. Please rember last years warrant concerning these types of suits The people have spoken but the bloggers aren't listening.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Springer,

Thanks for your comments. Mr. Polito stated several times during the deliberative session that all warrant articles will be on the ballot in March. He did make it clear that if an article was amended during today's session, it would be the amended article that would appear on the ballot and not the original.

Anonymous said...

Frank was getting very angry with Mr. Brown right after lunch. He was raising his voice, and he was wrong, as the article points out.

Anonymous said...

In the last few years there have only been two frivolous suits, that is suits dismissed by the court, as without merit, one was Frank's suit against the town over Mr. Boyles development, and Phil's Supreme Court appeal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:11 PM said...

It was a stupid move to tell people they didn't have to show up until mid afternoon. You told them what they needed to know to defeat you!


If you read the previous posts, there was lots of encouragement to attend the entire session. I hope this will not become the the new excuse for those who were not happy about the outcome of today's session. If so, don't believe it! They did not have -- and never had -- the support they claimed to have.

To anon 4:59 PM. I felt bad today for the woman you referred to as a loony. I don't think she came off this way. Like Jon Divito, she strikes me as someone who is in a lot of pain and has had many emotions stirred up over the efforts to remove the Chief. If anything, they are the victims in this. I truly hope if what that women said is true, the Chief can put his differences aside and assist her.

atownres said...

this town is so ridiculous. shame on the residents and politicians. i watch all the town meetings and every deliberative session and i must say its better than watching the comedy channel. we are the laughing stock of surrounding towns. i have a brother in law that is a selectman in a near by town and said to me the one thing Atkinson lacks is common sense government. it seems like its really that simple. frank P i must say you take your job a little to serious i mean you should run for speaker of the house man. jack s you have to be one of the most ignorant people i have ever seen. sometimes you do more bad than good. to the petitioners, kudos on the elderly affairs article i would have voted for that. the full time chief though i mean come on. what was the 2012 thing was that when the chief is planning to retire? also i don't know how true it is about you guys taking an extended lunch cause to me you would think the amount of time and concern you put on the town and the tax payers you should be there from start to finish voting and commenting on every article. so anyway i cant say i'm complaining cause like i said its very comical and until prison break comes back on Mondays i have nothing else to watch. keep it up kiddies cause that's how you all act. until next time folks. atownres

Anonymous said...

LOL, Phil NEVEr puts his differences aside, and he NEVEr apologizes.

The only way that woman will get services, is if there is a reporter around so that he can say see, she got services.

I was there and I watched, I saw phil go over to a group of elderly woman, that was talking to Mr. Acciard, and when Phil came over Mr. Acciard said hello chief, and Phil just turned away. He couldnt even return the greeting. He is filled with hate.

Anonymous said...

To : 7:27pm i say shame on you for claiming you didn't attend. shame, shame, shame. ps: Jack, you should have run for re-election because we need to be saved from posters such as the previous. oh, which nearby town has your brother in-law saved
with his comon sense government? we could sure use him if he's willing to move to our sleepy little town.

atownres said...

7:42 i would have attended but i had my children today. you would want jack to run for re election?you where there today? well then i would not want to surround myself with a lunatic like yourself. i would not subject my brother in law's name to this community, its enough to bring anyone down. keep it coming though its funny stuff.

atownres said...

another thing that makes me laugh is some of you town officials that are posting tonight call these individuals cowards for not posting who you are soooooooo who are you???????? or are you all just as cowardly

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong I felt bad for this woman as well...But to be upset at the pd for these reasons are on the loony side. You cant deny that.
I don't have a problem what so ever with the way the pd is being run. But when this town is ready for a full time chief..I want the Lt. Hes a hard working, compassionate, dedicated educated man. He knows this town and the residents in it very well. Hes doesn't miss much i can tell you that. I don't care about the degree..I know hes a good..well trained, smart, hard working. respects people for who they are individual.This to me means way more then a bachelors degree. If you ask around you will find people respect this man..

Anonymous said...

8:02
The Cool Aid is in the tub. Take a drink.

Anonymous said...

To 8:07...Your just an idiot...

atownres said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I do have a question for Mr. Accaird;
Where exactly are you living is it Derry or Atkinson I believe one of your children go to Pinkerton and the others in timberlane. Is it ok to not pay tuition and send your kid to another school???

Anonymous said...

8:12
"Okey-dokey. Here we go."

Anonymous said...

would have really liked to have seen what the removed post said...hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

ONCE AGAIN, Frank and Jack and co. hand the plaintiffs more ammunition to sue the town. When are you guys going to just shut up? If you just left brownfield alone, he would have taken his little photos and gone away. Instead, you have to hold a "I AM MODERATOR AND ITS ABOUT ME" moment a hold an illegal vote against the guy and all the koolaid drinkers in the crowd vote along.

What a classic show of moronism. Brownfield will just run a copy of the video from the town meeting up to Chuck Douglas and we can add another million in damages. You cost us ANOTHER lawsuit and higher Primex premiums and higher property taxes. But I bet it felt good to make him look like an ass in public didn't it?

And what was Jack doing demanding the pictures. Pictures of WHAT? I mean who freakin cares about these stupid pictures. So in front of numerous witnesses, Jack tries to bully the guy into giving up the photos. Sheer brilliance.

As moderator, just what were you thinking? Thanks for getting us another law suit Frank! And if any of the geniuses out there think I am wrong, go ahead a print a copy and date of this post. I bet I'll be I told ya so'ing real soon I would wager anyone on that.

Frank, you are the real buffoon because they put the bait out there and you took it hook, line and sinker.

The town was just put on notice we are being sued for civil rights violations so what do you guys do? Spit in Chuck Douglas' face because you ain't paying for the legal fees no how so who frikin cares? I have never seen a bigger display of idiots in my life. And now it will cost us taxpayers again and again and again. Great. Just great.

Anonymous said...

Honestly the idiot is you who wrote this ...If you don't like living in a small town move the &*^% out.... The town was just put on notice we are being sued for civil rights violations so what do you guys do? Spit in Chuck Douglas' face because you ain't paying for the legal fees no how so who frikin cares? I have never seen a bigger display of idiots in my life. And now it will cost us taxpayers again and again and again. Great. Just great.

Anonymous said...

So is this what this mighty blog has come to? Frank won't let me take his picture? And Mr. Brownfield will sue over this?

The real news is that the petitions failed. They had very little support. I think the people sent a very loud message to Mr. Artus, Mr. Acciard, et al. Stop dragging this town's name through the mud with your negative publicity and lawsuits. We do not support you!

And no one spit in Atty. Douglas' face. It is Mr. Artus' right to move forward with his lawsuit. However, as stated previously, the residents made it clear where we stand on these issues. In my opinion, if Mr. Artus chooses to expend our tax dollars with his lawsuit, all he is doing is sabotaging his reputation as a tax crusader in this town.

I believe our elected officials came off very well today. From the budget committee, planning board, the BOS, and yes, Frank Polito. They conducted themselves professionally and made me feel proud to be a citizen of Atkinson.

Finally, I thought Bill Bennett proved himself to be a very capable BOS candidate. I listened closely to his comments and, more importantly, I watched how he voted. Mr. Bennett, come March, you have my support and my vote!

Anonymous said...

The real news No i think you meant the actuality is: The real news is that the petitions failed. They had very little support. I think the people sent a very loud message to Mr. Artus, Mr. Acciard, et al. Stop dragging this town's name through the mud with your negative publicity and lawsuits. We do not support you!

Now wouldn't it be nice if they just moved away. to say Idk Derry..LOL

Anonymous said...

I agree with this statement 100 percent!!!

I believe our elected officials came off very well today. From the budget committee, planning board, the BOS, and yes, Frank Polito. They conducted themselves professionally and made me feel proud to be a citizen of Atkinson.

MAcciard said...

To Anon @ 8:22;

Not that it is any of your business, but my wife moved to Derry not to long after my car was vandalized in my own driveway. she said she didn't feel safe in town any longer. My eldest daughter does indeed go to Pinkerton, and lives with my wife. My younger daughter and my son are finishing out their year in the Timberlane district. I still live in my home in Atkinson, where I have been a resident for 41 years. I hope that answers your questions frank. And thanks for the investigation.

Anonymous said...

an rsa was cited that shows it perfectly legal to photoghraph individuals at a public forum such as today. has anybody researched frank's claim that an individual has the right to refuse his pitcture being taken? does a person or doesn't a person have this right? if someone has the knowledge to research this question then we would know where we stand on this matter. it could very well turn out they are both corect. thus clearing frankly

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for all these proud citizens. I feel blessed to live in such a dysfunctional town where people think our moderator can break the law and generate lawsuits and its just a great place to be! I can't wait for chief to harrass someone and drum us up another lawsuit! Give him a month. I love these lawsuits with all the great entertainment value you can only get in Atkinson.

Anonymous said...

i be proud to !

Anonymous said...

how bout you?

MAcciard said...

I don't care if the article are ammended or not, but did you notice the way they jumped up quick to move the question and end debate before it began?

Thats what bugs me. Every warrant article should have its opportunity to be debated. Every townsperson there should be able to speak their mind from the floor.

Then the articles should be voted upon. Never should a handful of oligarchs be able to shut down dissent and debate.

And I love how it is now Mr. Artus AND Mr. Acciard. hmmm, because I signed 3 of the petitions, they were now MY articles? odd but if that is your belief, so be it.

Curt Springer said...

Anon at 9:00 PM wrote:
The real news is that the petitions failed. They had very little support. I think the people sent a very loud message to Mr. Artus, Mr. Acciard, et al.

I'm just trying to understand what exactly happened, why do you say that the petitioned warrant articles "failed". Were they amended to make them meaningless or ineffective? That's really all you can do at a deliberative session. How many people attended the deliberative session? 100? How many voters will vote on March 10? Several thousand?

Anonymous said...

ahhh what do you care Mr. Accaird?
You will be moving to Derry soon...bye bye..:)

Anonymous said...

Mark, I think they did move quick to question. However, this also happened at the special deliberative session in which we voted on the HAWC large groundwater withdrawal. I also think citizens were given ample time to express their opinions on the issues.

Mr. Springer, yes, most of the articles were amended to ineffectiveness.

Anonymous said...

Dear Curt,
Yes most of them were amended to mean nothing. Which i am ok with ...but the problem is not many show up for these meetings because they usually take all day and we have children who need to be here there and everywhere. Most of us work all week and have little time to be with our children. I feel I should attend but always have conflicts.

Anonymous said...

I believe Mr. Acciard will have the last laugh after he cashes that $3 Million dollar check.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha..doubt it..don't count you chickens before they hatch!!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there should have been better PR for this meeting -- because I am sure the voters who vote on March 10th would support this article.

It is know that all the cronies are packing the town meetings... There should be babysitting services in another room.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone looking for Frank's RSA?
Curt?

Anonymous said...

buck,buck,...buck

Anonymous said...

This article would not pass no matter what..and guess what IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!

Anonymous said...

Im trying to figure out where the real problem is. Is it the people who sue the town or is it the town officials that keep providing them with reasons to sue the town? If people didn't believe they were harrassed, oppressed, intimated and otherwise have their civil rights violated, maybe they wouldnt file the lawsuits? So maybe if the moderator had just ignored the guy with the camera, there would be nothing to talk about. But he couldn't control himself and went out of his way to have a group vote against one guy over what looks pretty clear in the RSA that a camera is allowed no matter how goofy Frank interprets the law. And what did he prove? I think it proved the source of the lawsuits begins with some strange thinking officials that feel above the law and can do whatever they wish. They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:31 a.m.,

Is that really necessary? While I have not always agreed with Mark, he clearly cares about our town. In addition, he has never conducted himself than anything other than courteous on this blog and in person.

Anonymous said...

Well this man that cares about our town has filed a 3 million dollar lawsuit against it so hmm idk is it necessary?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there should have been better PR for this meeting -- because I am sure the voters who vote on March 10th would support this article.

Are you kidding me? There was an all out PR assault that took place these past couple of weeks. The AR2 signs went back-up, the well-timed lawsuits, the posts on this, and other town blogs, articles by Ed Naile of CNHT talking about how he was going to ride into Atkinson on his white horse and "free" us.

In my opinion, there was more ample awareness of the deliberative session. What was lacking, clearly, was the support for the petitions.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Mark has been a victim of this mob because he is so smart and knows so much especially about you know who and they would like nothing more than to see him go because he is a big time threat to them. That is obvious. The biggest threats get the most attention. I read the complaint in Mark's lawsuit on the Atkinson Taxpayer website and he cites a lot of selectmen meeting footage as evidence. They are very much afraid of Mark and as well should be.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of hearing this mob crap...ahhh whatever. I for one will be glad when he just moves to Derry and is gone.. not because i think he is a threat but because i am tired of hearing the whole sob story on how he picked on..hello this is not high school get over it and grow up...sorry but true.

Anonymous said...

As U look for frank's law think paparazzi. The answer is obvious. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Paparazzi always photographs outside so think wrong.

Anonymous said...

double nuff said.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 9:35pm,

You stated, "I feel I should attend but always have conflicts."

Unfortunately, this thinking is pervasive with many parents. In the end, it is all about priorities. What is ultimately going to be of more benefit to a child - to attend, let's say, a sporting event, or for his parent to attend deliberative session and speak up for issues in which he believes?

It's one day a year. Yes, there are some who may not be able to make it no matter what, but there are many parents who just choose to not make it a priority.

FYI: I am a parent, I work, AND manage to make it to deliberative session.

Anonymous said...

To anon: 10:14 PM
you are right..and i did try to attend and if we had not have just started our own business and on emergency call. My husband would have taken over the children s responsibly s but unfortunately this is the case here and its a matter of survival. so my priorities are where they need to be. I regret not attending but some thing are unavoidable. but thanks for your advice.

Curt Springer said...

To anon@9:35:
Thanks for the clarification. I'm particularly interested in the article to elect the planning board.

To anon@9:46
I don't know of any RSA that would require you to get somebody's permission before taking their picture in a public place. I wouldn't know what part of the RSAs even to look in. I did take a look through the titles of the RSAs. After all, if you go to a HS basketball game and take a picture, do you need to get permission from all the people who are in the picture, players, coaches, and spectators.

Anonymous said...

Curt,

If memory serves, they may have left the planning board article as is. This was due to the fact that they felt that as it was written, it had no teeth.

Anonymous said...

10:13, 10:14
Not true. Wishing it wern't so won't protect U from stupidity

Curt Springer said...

I'm surprised that somebody didn't offer an amendment to rewrite the planning board article to make it conform to state law.

If it passes unchanged on March 10, it will be messy. I would think that your selectmen would seek a declaratory judgment confirming their continuing authority to appoint planning board members. More legal expenses, but probably cheaper than potential lawsuits about the legitimacy of the planning board.

Anonymous said...

what's another one at this point?

Anonymous said...

i wern't wishing, i were a dreamin

Anonymous said...

I was there. I saw it all. My 2 cents worth.

1) I was in favor on Leon's petitions but he did commit two serious errors in there execution. a) He clearly did anticipate that a strategy would be in place to have them defeated. You think it was just chance that Jack was always first up at the mic. b) I've said this many times in previous comments, but, if your are going to present a citizens petition, ESPECIALLY ones that soaked in the controversy as these were, YOU MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SEATS FILLED WITH ENOUGH SUPPORTERS TO OVERRIDE ATTEMPTS TO AMEND. He, and his CNHT's brain trust, did not prepare for this.

2) No matter what a lot of you think, I think Mark has a valid reasons, and evidence, to pursue his lawsuit. If you take just 30 seconds and put yourself in his place and what he's endured, would you not do the same, or just turn the other cheek?

There is one very good way to avoid lawsuits: STOP BREAKING THE LAW. It has become obvious the only way to get this town to do the right thing is a lawsuit. As long that same old group are the only ones who attend the deliberative session, that forum is useless for effecting change.

For the reason stated in "a" above, I cannot trust Leon to hold public office. His intentions are good, but he is clearly ineffective at bringing his attempts for change to fruition. I also find it telling he did not get up do defend his petitions. I was most disappointed with this.

I respect Mr. Bennett for his tireless work on the water issues. However, it dismays me that with a man of his obvious intellect, can support the chief given the abundance of documented abuses committed by him. However, given the choice between Leon and Bill, I have to go with Bill. My sincerest hope is that Bill will do what so many others have not done: Hold the chief accountable. If he does something wrong, call him on it. It will not fix the problem but it will show the citizens he is not free to do whatever he d*** will feels like doing.

Agree or disagree. I don't care. What I do care about is this town and I think it is broken. Bill, you're an engineer. Please help fix it.

Finally, agree or disagree, the form of government we have in this town is not democracy. It is too easily manipulated. You want real, and effective change, then advocate a change in the way we are governed. Without that, what we saw today, saw last year, will continue in years to come.

Anonymous said...

"I'm surprised that somebody didn't offer an amendment to rewrite the planning board article to make it conform to state law."

Someone did but they voted it down stating that they wanted to make it disfunctional. Planning board members were involved so you can now see the mentality of Atkinson government

Anonymous said...

Curt - You were not there. Believe me, when it comes to citizens petitions, they are doomed. The people who always show up see to it. In some ways, the fix is in. If you can get your hands on the video, it will become obvious.

Site all the RSA's you want. During the session, only the ones the moderator sees fit to recognize apply.

I'm asking you nicely. Tensions are high. Nerves are raw. Please, stay out of this. Whatever you say will not be heard.

Anonymous said...

Curt - You were not there. Believe me, when it comes to citizens petitions, they are doomed. The people who always show up see to it. In some ways, the fix is in. If you can get your hands on the video, it will become obvious.

Site all the RSA's you want. During the session, only the ones the moderator sees fit to recognize apply.

I'm asking you nicely. Tensions are high. Nerves are raw. Please, stay out of this. Whatever you say will not be heard.

Anonymous said...

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Anonymous said...

Dear curt,
please continue your advice i feel it is level headed. by all means do not listen to this nonsense we have some hmmm how can i say this nicely..idk loons in Atkinson.........I'm asking you nicely. Tensions are high. Nerves are raw. Please, stay out of this. Whatever you say will not be heard...it will be heard because i am listening. thanks

Anonymous said...

is leon running for selectman?

Anonymous said...

I heard Leon is running for Selectman but I also feel he is ineffective but his heart is in the right place.

He lost more credibility today and should have expected they'd have a strategy, obviously he did not have options planned.

I fear Bill Bennett because he's the Chief boy. It shocks me that anyone with a degree from MIT could be so stupid, but you know what they say, some engineers can't function around people.

Anonymous said...

So it was stated that they moved the question on EA and the FT Chief before is was modified, thus the two articles go to ballot as written.

Not a defeat. We could get signatures to change the article to fit the Lt. if people choose that, have a special election and get rid of the Chief anyway. Sounds like a win win to me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Curt. I listen to all opinions posted here if they are supported by facts and logic.

Curt Springer said...

Thanks for the replies. Clearly each town has its own political culture.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26 writes:

Curt - You were not there. Believe me, when it comes to citizens petitions, they are doomed. The people who always show up see to it.


Remember folks. During the special deliberative session regarding the large groundwater withdrawal, there were many attempts to amend the petitioned articles to ineffectiveness. This was blocked at every turn by the legislative body. It all boils down to support, and with respect to yesterday, clearly, this was lacking.

LegalBeagle said...

To Anonymous @ 9:22;

No no town official or person participating in a public meeting has the right to refuse to have his picture taken. If you dont want to be videotaped, or photographed, dont attend

Anonymous said...

I am note sure if Mr. Polito was correct or not in his refusal to be photographed during yesterday's session. However, I do see Mr. Polito's point that -- given where Mr. Brownfield was sitting and how he was conducting himself -- he was disrupting the meeting. Perhaps if Mr. Brownfield choose to sit further back in the auditorium, this would not have become such a big deal.

Anonymous said...

It was a big deal because he is part of Leon's crowd, and Frank can't sstand them, and maybe he is right now that he is being named in another lawsuit.

But that personal dislike didn't give him the right to act like an ass in front of the whole town.

Nor did it give him the right to hold this man up to ridicule, in front of the town, right after lunch, when Frank had the law wrong, again!

Anonymous said...

"Anon 12:08 AM writes:

I fear Bill Bennett because he's the Chief boy. It shocks me that anyone with a degree from MIT could be so stupid, but you know what they say, some engineers can't function around people."

Perhaps someone from MIT is not as "stupid" as you think. Mr. Bennett worked tirelessly on the groundwater withdrawal. And he was smart enough to work with Rep. Garrity to work towards changing state legislation to reinforce the rules the town is altering on a local level. If you recall, Jack Sapia's argument against the groundwater withdrawal petition was that it was not legal.

From what I can tell, Mr. Bennett has the intellect, independence, and drive to make Atkinson a better place. In addition, he seems well-liked and respected by those in office and hopefully, will work well with them. He certainly deserves serious consideration for BOS.

Anonymous said...

INJUNCTION!
because the actions may have been of a nature that not only affected mr. b but invalidated the entire meeting. Atty. Douglas should first look to obtaining an injunction against the town and require a new and fair meeting. A "DO OVER".

LegalBeagle said...

Try this on for size;

91-A:2 Meetings Open to Public. –

II. Subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, all meetings, whether held in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner, shall be open to the public. Except for town meetings, school district meetings, and elections, no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot. Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras, and videotape equipment, at such meetings.

What the Moderator did was clearly a violation of this statute.

Now look at the violations chapter;

91-A:7 Violation. – Any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may petition the superior court for injunctive relief. In order to satisfy the purposes of this chapter, the courts shall give proceedings under this chapter high priority on the court calendar. Such a petitioner may appear with or without counsel. The petition shall be deemed sufficient if it states facts constituting a violation of this chapter, and may be filed by the petitioner or his or her counsel with the clerk of court or any justice thereof. Thereupon the clerk of court or any justice shall order service by copy of the petition on the person or persons charged. When any justice shall find that time probably is of the essence, he or she may order notice by any reasonable means, and he or she shall have authority to issue an order ex parte when he or she shall reasonably deem such an order necessary to insure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

Now look at the remedies chapter;

91-A:8 Remedies. –
I. If any public body or agency or employee or member thereof, in violation of the provisions of this chapter, refuses to provide a governmental record or refuses access to a governmental proceeding to a person who reasonably requests the same, such public body, public agency, or person shall be liable for reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in a lawsuit under this chapter provided that the court finds that such lawsuit was necessary in order to make the information available or the proceeding open to the public. Fees shall not be awarded unless the court finds that the public body, public agency, or person knew or should have known that the conduct engaged in was a violation of this chapter or where the parties, by agreement, provide that no such fees shall be paid. In any case where fees are awarded under this chapter, upon a finding that an officer, employee, or other official of a public body or agency has acted in bad faith in refusing to allow access to a governmental proceeding or to provide a governmental record, the court may award such fees personally against such officer, employee, or other official.
I-a. The court may award attorney's fees to a public body or public agency or employee or member thereof, for having to defend against a person's lawsuit under the provisions of this chapter, when the court makes an affirmative finding that the lawsuit is in bad faith, frivolous, unjust, vexatious, wanton, or oppressive.
II. The court may invalidate an action of a public body or agency taken at a meeting held in violation of the provisions of this chapter, if the circumstances justify such invalidation.
III. In addition to any other relief awarded pursuant to this chapter, the court may issue an order to enjoin future violations of this chapter.

Now take a quick look under the criminal code;

643:1 Official Oppression. – A public servant, as defined in RSA 640:2, II, is guilty of a misdemeanor if, with a purpose to benefit himself or another or to harm another, he knowingly commits an unauthorized act which purports to be an act of his office; or knowingly refrains from performing a duty imposed on him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.

If I were Mr. Brown's lawyer, I would be filing for an injunction against the town, on Monday morning, on the grounds that the Moderator, while performing an official function, with intent to harm Mr. Brown, assualted his civil rights, and deprived him thereof.

Atkinson's town officials appear to be incapable of placing the TOWN'S best interests above their own.

Anonymous said...

Jack Sapia and the officer who tried to take the photos from Mr. Brownfield are also both town employees who violated civil rights. Might I suggest that they colluded to deny Mr. Brownfield his civil rights.

Also, it is apparent to me that after schduling the articles in numerical order, to jump ahead and make motions out of order (again Jack and Frank) they tried to interfere with the established process by acting off the schedule that the rest of the town, including Mr. Brownfiled, had to follow. Clearly this is a reason to invalidate the entire meeting. I would hope that Mr. Brownfield tries to get the court to order a new meeting.

Anonymous said...

I think it's so sad that the town keeps getting involved in lawsuits due to the bad behavior of a handful of people, however I think it's much worse to allow this to happen and to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Brownfield does take this to court. In my opinion, he will lose and we can put this whole divisive chapter to rest once and for all. There is plenty of documented evidence that Frank warned him he was being disruptive. In fact, he gave him two warnings about his actions and said he would have him removed from the meeting if he had to stop the meeting to speak with him again.

Fellow citizens: a do-over request is typical from the anti-tax crowd. They may now try to use the courts and subsequently, our tax dollars, to push their agenda through. I will refer you the following link from The Exeter News-Letter editorial secion here. I also refer you to this editorial from The Portsmouth Herald here. In both articles, they cite CNHT as wasting taxpayer dollars through the stubborn use of lawsuits.

Consider the timing of their notification of the lawsuit: days before the session (and let's not forget all the griping on this board that the Eagle Tribune hadn't published an article about it! Can we say free publicity?) The timing AR2 signs going back-up. They through everything they could at us to encourage supporters to come to the meeting.

I submit to you that they may have realized they did not have enough support and staged this whole distraction. I wouldn't put it past them. For those of you who taped the session, listen closely to who Mr. Brownfield cites as his witness of his civil rights violation. It is none other than Ed Naile, chairman of the CNHT.

Fellow citizens, should Mr. Brownfield choose to sue the town, this adds to the list the personal lawsuit Mr. Acciard has against several of our elected officials and potential lawsuit Mr. Artus is threatening. All three of them are supporters of what organization? Coincidence? That is for you to decide.

Yesterday, it was made clear that this small, yet vocal group is in the minority of our town democracy. Should they continue to attempt to govern by petition (as someone pointed out yesterday) or by lawsuits, their actual intentions should become clearer and clearer to the majority. The question is: at what cost to the taxpayers of Atkinson?

Anonymous said...

What surprises me about Bennett is that he supports a PT Chief, and this particular Chief is a financial and legal burden to the entire town. It ooks like Mr. Bennett is putting his personal view of Consentino ahead of what is best for this town. There is no way that he can be paying attention to what's going no, watching these meeting and still supporting the Chief.

This has nothing to do with other issues Bennett may have been involved in. Positives only wipe out negatives in Math, not in life.

Sorry, he's got a degree but not an ounce of sense.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I heard a person using an argument that starts with "they are one of THEM", I know I'm listening to a bigot. Just because someone is of one political party, one race, one sex, one group, doesn't mean that he is cut from a mold as the previous poster claims. This is so biased and ugly.

Anonymous said...

The moderator is supposed to be a neutral party to this process but his contempt is always obvious. He ignores the outbursts of the Chief and others who sit in the back and heckle and insult people who disagree with them. I've never seen Frank try to reign them in but the minute someone else looks at him wrong, he's threatening to throw them out. This town is crippled with hatred and is a total disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Polito, as usual, made no effort to control those hecklers in the audience, including Consentino, who would shout out when people they disgreed with, tried to speak at the mic.

Carol Grant called the heckling to the Moderator's attention and asked that he not tolerate the rudeness at this Deliberative Session which he has allowed at other sessions.

In response to her very valid "point of order", Polito briefly said to the hecklers to cease, but then when they continued, including Consentino, Polito did NOTHING, making it clear that he had no intentions of controlling them. When they continued to heckle, he should have asked them to leave, but that would have required integrity or backbone on his part which he lacks.

Polito again proved that he is the "boy" of that crowd just as Bennett proved, each of the many times he went to the mic to destroy petition articles, that he is the "boy" of his election sponsor, Consentino. As one of Consentino's former police officers, Bennet showed that his loyalty is solely to Consentino.

The town just got rid of Consentino butt-kisser Sapia. We still have Consentino butt-kisser Childs. The last thing we need is new Consentino butt-kisser- Bennett. Why do you think Consentino wants one of his former police officers in as selectman and is supporting and sponsoring his election bid?

Pond Skipper said...

Why does Mr. Brownfield or Mr. Naile want the pictures? Mr. Brownfield obviously did not have a good reason. When he came up to speak all he could do was shamelessly plug his business. He came across like a child caught doing something wrong.

Unless Mr. Brownfield can state why he wanted to take the pictures. I can only guess that he wanted to do it to be disruptive or to create a scene.

Anonymous said...

I dont see how the petitions failed. They are still going to be on the ballot...just because there was not discussion, does not mean the people wont vote for them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:07 AM,

Yes, the AMENDED petitions will be on the ballot. NOT the original petitions. The petitions were amended to be meaningless.

LegalBeagle said...

With all due respect tot he townspeople;

1.) Mr. Browns(Brownfields?)right were violated by town officials acting in their official capacities.

2.) Mr. Brown(Brownfields?) does not need a reason to take pictures or videos, the law says he can do it, just like none of you need a reason for the opinions you have.

3.) Were Mr. Brown(Brownfields?) to sue for his civil rights he will surely win. What would he win is the question. A "do over" is highly unlikely. An injunction against the bad behavior of the town officials is highly likely. Something similar to what Mr. Acciard won in 2005, an Order of the Court expressly directing the Town and it's officials how to act properly, as was won in 2005. And with the proviso, as was in Mr. Acciard's Order, that failure to comply will result in being found in Contempt of Court, as the chief of police was in 2005. The Court also has the ability to impose many different forms a sanctions against the bad actors.

As to Anonymous @ 8:51am's comment; Correcting the Moderator in an effort to utilize your Constitutional rights, can NEVER by law be disruptive, legally, unless some type of force is brought to bear. Mr. Polito was clearly wrong, and compounded his error, by enacting an official vote to supress Mr. Browns rights. And knowing Rockingham Counrty's Judges, as well as those on the Federal Bench here in NH, The Town is unlikely to prevail.

MAcciard said...

I am reading many comments about the cost of my lawsuit to the town, and many seem to think that it was wrong to be filed, so let me inform you, then ask you this;

1.) The Town of Atkinson is no longer a defendant in my case. My case is proceeding solely against the chief and Mr. Sapia. The question you should be asking is why is the town's insurance company still representing the individuals?

2.) As it stands right now, even if a jury sided completely with me, it costs the town nothing more than they have already paid, except for the ongoing legal fees, for representing the individuals.

3.) As for the filing, before it came to this stage I tried on 7 separate occasions by formal letter, and by attorney's letters, to get the selectmen to reign in the chief's excesses, they did nothing.

4.) The suit is in response to the towns lack of restraint upon the chief, after he has;

A.) Called my customers and suppliers to tell them that I am "under investigation by the police dept." There was no investigation, merely chief trying to prove that I lied when I didn't. He launched quite an involved investigation into whether or not I lied when stating my work van had a remote starter. He pulled the carfax report on my van all the way back to 1999, when it was new. He contacted previous owners even in other states. He called my supplier. He wrote to NH Dept. of Safety about it. and We the taxpayers paid for all of this.

b) He sent me threatening letters on town stationary

c.) He sued me personally for slander, and then pulled the suit only weeks before trial date. An obvious harrassment objective.

d.) he has visually inspected my vehicle 13 times in 2005 and 2006, detaining me while he walks around my vehicle looking for violations.

e.)He scared the shit out of my son by having a uniformed officer hand serve a ticket to my house for unattended vehicle, a week after the incident had happened. He did not issue a ticket at the time, and routinely ignores vehicles parked and running at the village store.

f.)His many false statements about me and my motivations at selectmens meetings have destroyed my reputation in town.

g.) He spent 15 minutes at one meeting falsely accusing me of many criminal violations of law without even a shred of evidence that they ever happened.

And there is much more;

Now if you had sufferred through all of that, had your car vandalized in your own driveway over this, had your wife leave over it, and you had repeatedly asked the selectmen to make it stop, after all it is their job, what recourse do you have to make it stop OTHER than to file suit?

Why should I have to move from the town I have lived in for 41 years because my police chief is in my opinion as evidenced by the above, a bully?

Anonymous said...

Ed Naile Says:
Hello Atkinson, and the two lovely young ladies who gave me my Visitor badge.
Thanks for the opportunity to attend the Atkinson Debilitated Session. It was quite a childish show once the moderator lost his cool and tried to intimidate Mr. Brownfield, who I asked on Friday evening to take pictures for me. They are my pictures.
The mob, and that is what a group of people who try to trample the rights of a minority are, was apparently not satisfied to have an overwhelming majority of votes at the meeting, they wanted to VOTE to prevent Mr. Brownfield from taking pictures.
I am used to New England liberals with situational ethics running small town meetings but this town has, gleaning from his extensive record of losing suits, a thug for a police chief with a cabal of willing sycophants. Yes he has a great vote buying scheme in the Elderly Affairs program, but that comes with a cost.
Apparently the Moderator thought he could stop a citizen from taking pictures and show he had power over the minority as well.
Thuggishness is contagious.
Edmund Burke said: "Once criminal means are accepted, they soon become the norm." Just replace criminal with thug and you have an Atkinson Meeting. Human nature never fails.
Kudos to Gary and Leon for putting up with your mob.
And this Frank fella, the Ethics Expert, who just seems to never have enough limelight at the microphone.
In my years of experience with town meetings I would have to say he just might a self-worth problem. This is what sparks him to comment even on his own endless comments - or brown-nosing.
You see a lot of people like this at different town meetings, on planning boards, ZBA's, and Ethics Committees. It is most often a feminine trait, but hey, it takes all kinds.
I have been trying to explain to the minority in Atkinson they no longer have to win at a stacked meeting. As usual, their opposition has delivered them the source of their redress.
Another town CNHT has been working with for three years will be hitting the papers soon - stay tuned, the town is Windsor.
I believe Atkinson will be our next win.
Congratulations to the mob. You won an irrelevant series of votes at a meeting which is a very small part of a larger issue.

Mr. Brown said...

Dear Legalbeagle,

While Mr. Brownfield (and it was Mr. Brownfield not Mr. Brown) may have a right to take the photos he does not have a right to be disruptive. There is a fine line between what you are legally able to do and when you do things to only be disruptive. If Mr. Brownfield had an opinion or was truly there to exercise his rights. When he had the chance to speak he should have stated them or demanded his rights what ever they were.

The fact that all he could state was that he was a photographer and he could take very good pictures clearly showed that his only intentions were to be disruptive.

Anonymous said...

Fellow citizens:

Behold Mr. Naile in all of his glory!

I am used to New England liberals with situational ethics running small town meetings...

On Frank Polito: It is most often a feminine trait, but hey, it takes all kinds.

This is classic Ed Naile. He wrote it. He owns it.

You won an irrelevant series of votes...

Mr. Naile is a sore loser. Had yesterday's meeting gone a different way, he would not be calling the votes irrelevant!

This is the type of individual Mark Acciard, Leon Artus, and Gary Brownfield have introduced into our town. He'll thinks nothing about personal attacks on his target.

I direct you to this report on what CHNT did to individuals in the town of Bedford here.

Mr. Naile lost this battle and as evidenced by his snide remarks, it's personal now. The town had better plan on increasing the line item for legal fees in the budget. It's how he rolls...

Mr. Naile, I suggest you take a close look at Atkinson's voting record in the last national election before you label us a liberal New England town. What we are not is extremist. Which, clearly, your group is!

Anonymous said...

Here is the link I am referring you to:

http://www.democracyfornewhampshire.com/node/view/1244

Apparently it is not working in my previous post.

Carol Grant said...

As a former selectwoman and high school Civics teacher, I just want to say that it is very sad and harmful to the town what happened at yesterday's Deliberative Session.

Senate Bill 2 or not, the democratic process is dead in Atkinson because of an arrogant few. There are legalities and there is morality and what happened in Atkinson yesterday, while totally legal, was also totally immoral. A small group abused "legality" to act immorally and in a totally self-serving and self-centered fashion. Atkinson was hurt and most of her townspeople were the losers.

Senate Bill 2's intent was NEVER to replace Town Meeting ballot voting with disruptive power abuses and power tactics by a few at Deliberative Session. I just feel so sad at what is happening in my town.

Years ago, when we voted on whether to adopt Senate Bill 2, one of the main pro-arguments was that it would make the whole process more democratic and representative of the will of the people.

Those unable to attend Deliberative Session because of having to work Saturdays, or because of having small children, or were ill, or who, for so many other legitimate reasons were unable to attend, would NOT be cut out of the democratic process because they would still have all day on Town Meeting Day to cast their ballot.

And while not able to attend Deliberative Session, if they got cable TV, they could hear live or during re-runs, the pro's and the con's for each warrant article so that they could then make informed Town Meeting ballot decisions.

Senate Bill 2's intent was never for an arrogant, self-centered few to deny the rest of the town the opportunity to vote on warrant articles by eliminating certain warrant articles from the Town Meeting ballot. I refer to the three shameless people who made amendments to obstruct three warrant articles from going to Town Meeting ballot by amending each of them to remove all words after "To see if the Town." And when they did this shameful thing, they made a joke of it and acted so pleased with themselves for having thumbed their nose at so many Town Meeting voters who would now be denied their right to vote on those articles.

Yes, under Senate Bill 2, it was certainly legal to amend aticles, but what was done was not positive amending-- it was nothing less than deliberate destruction of warrant articles which they disagreed with and knew would very probably pass if they reached Town Meeting ballot. The amenders' supporters knew they had the votes at Deliberative Session to shut out the townspoeple at Town Meeting and they very shamelessly did so.

Those amenders and their supporters should properly just stated reasons why they opposed the articles and why Town Meeting voters should vote "no" on them.

Those amenders and their supporters
should then have themselves voted "no" on them on their Town Meeting ballots. They did not have the right to deny others not present at Deliberative Session their equal right to vote "yes" or "no" on the ballot.

This was "legality" vrs "morality and ethical behavior." What they did was not against the law, but it was wrong. It was immoral and a shameless thumbing their noses at the many Atkinson residents unable to be present at Deliberative Session.

And you defenders of those arrogant few, please spare me any mindless defending of immoral behavior by saying that these self-centered people got away with it because of those not present -- by blaming the non-present victims of their immoral behavior. As I pointed out, many people had valid reasons for not attending, while others, now disillusioned, thought that they would have the opportunity to vote on those articles at Town Meeting.

I just wish people would act honorably at Town Meeting, which a certain few repeatedly do not. Those few were responsible for two Special town Meetings at which their tactics and actions were repudiated.

And while I'm at it, it's rude and so thoughtless and inconsiderate to fellow town residents to "Move the question" while there are still people who have been patintly standing in line waiting their turn to speak. Whether for or against a warrant article, they had the right to speak and be heard.

End of comments from this former high school Civics teacher.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this statement ...well said..thanks.

Mr. Naile, I suggest you take a close look at Atkinson's voting record in the last national election before you label us a liberal New England town. What we are not is extremist. Which, clearly, your group is!

Anonymous said...

Let's get the same warrant articles signed again and have a special town meeting. Add a couple other articles to prevent those at deliberative session from doing this again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

I have always considered you to be a voice of reason in our town, and I continue to do so. However, I must respectfully disagree with you regarding those who chose not to attend yesterday's deliberative session. There was a very large turnout for the groundwater withdrawal deliberative session. Why? People felt very strongly about this issue and made it a point to be there and be heard.

Behavior aside, what was so different about yesterday's session? The crowd was considerably smaller. However, I suspect it most likely represented how the town would have voted on the original articles come March.

I agree with you that call to question was premature. However, I do not know Robert's Rules of Order well enough to comment adequately on this subject.

I do have a question for you: as you are a former high school civics teacher, I would like to know your opinion on the CNHT group that has been working with certain individuals in our town. Especially given the fact that if you visit the merchandise section of the CNHT website, you can purchase t-shirts that say: All I want is Justice... Souter's House or All I want is Justice...Breyer's Log Cabin. Or the wonderful "It takes a school to bankrupt a village" bumper sticker.

LegalBeagle said...

To Anon @ February 1, 2009 10:59 AM;

While I didn't see your meeting, from what I have read, Mr. Brownfield(thank you for the correction) did try to correct the Moderator on his rights and was denied those rights anyway. According to the law, Mr. Brownfield needed no reason or justification for taking pictures, the law says he can do it. And the moderator does nto have the right to deny those rights nor does he have the right to decide what is a good reason versus a bad reason.

The law is clear. See my previous post.

Anonymous said...

Any person can take pictures, and a 10 year moderator and former selectmen before that knows it!

He didn't want Brownfield to get his way, and once he started chewing him out, he had to see it through because it was in public.

But he still denied his rights, did it officially, and did it publicly, and did it while allowing others to take pictures, thus denying him equal treatment under the law. All while they have been notified that a civil rights suit is being prepared.

How stupid do you have to be to give the lawyer preparing the suit more to sue about?

Dont get mad at the resident who are sick of being treated like this get mad at the official that keep doing it.

Anonymous said...

Frank didn't seem to have a problem with the ET taking pictures at the meeting did he? Consentino in full color on the front of the local section - I may frame it.

Anonymous said...

LeagleBeagle,

As you admit you did not see the meeting, how you can state with certainty that Mr. Brownfield's rights were violated and he will win his lawsuit? If you go solely by the comments on this blog, your anticipated outcome of a lawsuit is flawed. There are many out here stating their interpretations of what took place yesterday. It's best to leave it to the court...if it goes that far.

Mr. Polito pointed out that the whole meeting is videotaped as a record people can go back and review. I suggest you do that before posting your verdict on this issue.

Anonymous said...

In the good old days of old-fashioned Town Meeting, people complained that the town was controlled by the few people who attended Town Meeting, and the majority had no say. Now comes SB2
where the minority dictates the way the town is run and the majority's vote is meaningless.

Moreover, at Town Meeting, we often had people to fill Dyke Auditorium, because they knew their vote would count. Yesterday's SB session didn't exactly look crowded.

This is democracy in action?

adillon said...

I don't want to get into the debate over whether Mr. Brownfield should or should not take pics of the deliberative session. However, he stepped way out of line in putting his hat over the lens of one of the ACTV 20 cameras. I realize he was trying to prove a point, but that was totally unneccessary and didn't win him any brownie points. If he had done it to the camera I was working I probably would have decked him!

Anonymous said...

IRONY: Two "elections" yesterday:

Iraq and Atkinson. It appears the "Blue Fingers" are much more democratic than the "Brown Nosers".

Anonymous said...

Mr. Naile, if I were you I'd be careful driving through Atkinson.
Lawsuits appear to have no impact on the mob leadership you refer to. Just refer to the moderator's unchanged behavior after the town was given notice by Atty Douglas. The mob legal fees are paid by taxpayers so they bear no personal financial risk. The arrogance is palpable. Taxdollars are used to buy senior votes and then taxdollars are used to defend the votebuyers and abusers of the badge. They have nothing to lose. Indeed, the system rewards their behavior. I would contend the system is seriously broken. The couragous few who speak up and or file lawsuits are harrassed, intimidated and painted as the lunatic fringe. They lack access to taxpayer monies and free legal counsel like their opposition has access to. Our town counsel is in bed with them as well and all he does is incite more lawsuits so he can make more money. Our attorney is Summner Kalman and he makes almost 3x more annually than he did a few short years ago. He does not represent the town's interests. There is no incentive for average citizens to get involved. It is a losing proposition. I just don't see any changes occurring that will benefit the town as a whole or the average taxpayer. If Chuck Douglas gets involved, it may have some limited impact but he does not understand the level of support that is bought and paid for via the senior voting block through the Elderly Affairs program. It would take some monumental legal change in NH to occur and frankly, I don't see that happening in our states good ole boy network. You have a significant task ahead of you. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Anonymous said...

One last comment regarding the system being broken. If people work within the system and the law does not put a stop to it, then from any external appearance they don't appear to be doing anything wrong. A casual observer like most town people are might say they have a brilliant scheme going. If there's no law against it, what's wrong with buying votes. Politicians do it all the time. Its the American way.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Naile, why did you ask Mr. Brownfield to take pictures for you? Why couldn't you do it yourself? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Dear 12:10pm;

You said;

"CNHT website, you can purchase t-shirts that say: All I want is Justice... Souter's House or All I want is Justice...Breyer's Log Cabin. Or the wonderful "It takes a school to bankrupt a village" bumper sticker."

What about those sayings are wrong?

Justice's Souter and Breyer are the US Supreme Court Justices, who consulted "international law" to arrive at the "Kelo" decision, which gave municipalities the right to confiscate your home through eminent domain, to give it to a developer who development would bring in higher property tax revenue.

And it DOES take a "public school" to bankrupt a village. Just look at Timberlane with it's $13,256/ child cost. It's budget is more than the towns of Atkinson, Plaistow, Sandown, Danville, Hampstead, and Kingston operate on combined!

LegalBeagle said...

It appears from all the comments here that the Town Moderator ordered Mr. Brownfield to stop taking pictures, then he had the town vote to stop him from taking pictures, then he allowed others to take pictures, then he demanded his pictures be deleted, and Mr. Sapia did the same, even bringing over a police officer to add more intimidation to his bullying tactic.

If all of the above "facts" are correct, characterizations aside, then I stand by my previous assessment, and citations of law.

Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting, and I was sick at the way the chief's friends, jack and Bill Anderson, jumped up to close off discussion.

I have read that letter from the attorney, posted here, and Yes, I remember all of those things happening. And it was all wrong. And it is as much my fault as it is Phil's, because when he was doing all of this, I thought only of him, and never stopped to think how his actions hurt those who complained about them. I was wrong, and because of that I will never trust him, or call him for rides again.

tim dziechowski said...

If you google "photographer's rights", the top two links take you to a discussion of what photographers can and cannot do within the law.

Mr. Brownfield is entirely within his rights to photograph anything and anyone in public, and does not need anybody's permission to take and even publish their picture. Nobody has the right to ask him to delete his pictures.

Frank, however, as moderator, has the right to quell disturbances at town meeting.

If any of this gets as far as court the tape of the meeting will decide what happened.

Anonymous said...

yes unfortunately Frank, decided that Brownfield was disturbing the meeting because he was disagreeing with Frank's faulty interpretation of law. Brownfield, was not loud, nor threatening in any way. And he took his photos from his seat, towards the back of the room near the door.

Carol Grant said...

To Feb. 1, 12:10 p.m.

I can't fairly comment on them because I've never dealt with CNHT and know next to nothing about them.

Curt Springer said...

These comments pertain to Atkinson at the present time, but they also pertain to past events in Danville and other SB2 towns.

I agree with Mrs. Grant when she writes:

Senate Bill 2's intent was NEVER to replace Town Meeting ballot voting with disruptive power abuses and power tactics by a few at Deliberative Session.

A couple of years ago, we had a petitioned warrant article to rescind SB2 in Danville. It didn't really have a hope of passing, and the sponsors knew it. But at least it led to some thoughtful discussion. Our moderator, Wally Fries, who is well respected statewide and who works closely with the NH secretary of state's office on ballot issues, said that this business of amending warrant articles into meaninglessness was a flaw that everybody acknowledged, but for which nobody could propose a solution that was not worse than the original problem.

There are only about 5 weeks between the deliberative session and the ballot vote. So you couldn't possibly write any legal restrictions as to what could be done to an article at the deliberative session, for you would have to allow legal appeals, and that would clog the court system and blow up the calendar for town meeting. So it all depends on the people at the deliberative session acting in good faith.

In a similar vein, I would like to suggest that the process for submitting petitioned warrant articles is also dependent on good faith. There is no requirement that petitioned articles be technically correct or that they only cover subjects that are actually under the power of the town meeting, because that might be used as a smokescreen by the selectmen to keep things off the ballot that they don't like. Ultimately, it would require legal review, and could also blow up the town meeting calendar. So the system is dependent on people submitting valid articles.

I think that when you submit a warrant article to your fellow townspeople and ask them to vote on it, you are implicitly saying to them that you personally guarantee to them that you have made reasonable efforts to ascertain that the article will be legally effective and enforceable if voted in. If you haven't looked up the laws, or haven't hired a lawyer who routinely handles NH municipal law to give you an opinion, I think you are acting in just as much bad faith as people who destroy articles by amendment at the deliberative session.

To make up a hypothetical example, suppose somebody petitioned a warrant article to ban hunting in the town (yours or mine), contrary to RSA 207:59.

Which would be worse, allowing the article on the ballot as posted, getting people all roiled up over something they actually have no power over, or killing it by amendment at the deliberative session? Who would be the greater offender against municipal democracy, the lead petitioner or the people at the deliberative session? I'm not sure.

I would try to amend the article at the deliberative session to make it clearly advisory, i.e., "sense of the town". I think that would be in keeping with the purpose of a deliberative session as I understand it.

Anonymous said...

I plan to write more about this in the future, but here is why I think all the warrant articles went down in flames:

1) Many of them were poorly written

2) The people who come here were given no chance to offer any input to them, and so they weren't very invested in the articles, and didn't show up to support them

3) There were WAY too many of them.

Poor planning = Nothing passed

Anonymous said...

Ed Naile Said:
Curt, I helped write SB2 back in 1995.
The statute says that warrant articles whose wording is prescibed by law may not be amended at the deliberative session. (Usually enabling legislation)
A citizens petition has wording prescribed by law as well once it is signed and turned into the municipality. Try taking your name off a petition accepted by a town - you can not. It stays the same until the traditional town meeting where ALL voters can attend and should for an SB2 meeting.
It is unconstitutional and discriminitory to amend a petitioned warrant article, example:
Say you are a handicapped taxpayer who can not attend meetings. How can you defend a petition BEFORE it gets to the entire legislative body (voters)?
I explained this to Weare voters several years ago when their thug police chief Miles Rigney tried to circumvent the petition to make his position ELECTED, RSA 41:47, after a police commision wrote him an open ended contract for life.
Former chief Rigney tried to bully petiton signers at the deliberative session by telling everyone present, including the press, he had done criminal background investigations of all the petition signers. What a dope.
He lost that battle and that town chose to now elect their chief, something not done in almost 100 years.
The Rigney nightmare is over.
CNHT was interested in seeing if Atkinson would do the same with a police petition at this deliberative session, thereby giving an oppressed minority no hope of dealing with a bad chief.
Evidence like this would go a long way to pass legislation in Concord to address the so-called "flaw" in SB2.
With the help of Rigney and Consentino as examples of bad behavior we may have a shot!
THAT is what my presence at the Atkinson meeting is about, ask Leon and Gary.
I was deliverd as well a childish civil rights nightmare in the process.
I should tell the Franks thanks.

Curt Springer said...

Ed,
Thanks for the clarification about articles whose wording is prescribed by law. This year Atkinson had (at least) one such, the article about an elected planning board. But the article as petitioned actually did not comply with the wording prescribe by state law.

I don't think there is any basis for saying that petitioned articles are prescribed by law simply because they are petitioned. There is no legal difference between petitioned articles and articles placed on the warrant by the selectmen once you get beyond how they came to be on the warrant.

Regarding the Atkinson article about the police chief, the most important thing is that the hiring and staffing of the police department is under the authority of the selectmen, not the town meeting. The town meeting has budgetary authority. Do you disagree? No matter what happened at the deliberative session, the article could have had no more effect than a "sense of the town" vote. Can you cite RSAs that counter this?

Anonymous said...

And it DOES take a "public school" to bankrupt a village. Just look at Timberlane with it's $13,256/ child cost. It's budget is more than the towns of Atkinson, Plaistow, Sandown, Danville, Hampstead, and Kingston operate on combined!

Now Mark, do you really want to reopen debate on this figure? Don't you remember yesterday's meeting when the Budget Committee told you your figures were too simplistic?

Anonymous said...

10:53
I didn't think they were "simplistic". Creative accounting is Democratic not democratic. would you belive there is no cost because it is an investment? KISS not kiss butt.

MAcciard said...

Nice try, but It wasn't I who wrote the Anon, comment you are quoting, although I agree with it for the most part, But I will make it simple for you, Here is the simple math;

According to the TRSD website the 2009 budget is;

$59,464,070.00 for 4653 students enrolled

Do the math;

$59,464,070/4653= $12,779.73

That is a lot of money for the quality of education received.

And yes Fred Thompson referred to my numbers as a simplistic approach in an attempt to justify the excess hours budgeted, but the numbers hold.

20,000 patrol man-hours do not equate to 1 patrol officer on duty for 8360 hours per year. And although Mr. Thompson's argument about sick, vacation, and holiday time, all of those combined do not equal 2,000 man- hours, let alone 11,640. But my point was not that the hours are being wasted, my point was that Mr. Sapia, said it is a shame that we only have one officer on patrol per shift, I was trying to point out that is a function of scheduling, not budget.

Look at it this way, our police budget is only $40,000 less than Hampstead, and they are 40% larger, have 5 times the business, and 2 more full time officers.

Go figure.

MAcciard said...

Nice try, but It wasn't I who wrote the Anon, comment you are quoting, although I agree with it for the most part, But I will make it simple for you, Here is the simple math;

According to the TRSD website the 2009 budget is;

$59,464,070.00 for 4653 students enrolled

Do the math;

$59,464,070/4653= $12,779.73

That is a lot of money for the quality of education received.

And yes Fred Thompson referred to my numbers as a simplistic approach in an attempt to justify the excess hours budgeted, but the numbers hold.

20,000 patrol man-hours do not equate to 1 patrol officer on duty for 8360 hours per year. And although Mr. Thompson's argument about sick, vacation, and holiday time, all of those combined do not equal 2,000 man- hours, let alone 11,640. But my point was not that the hours are being wasted, my point was that Mr. Sapia, said it is a shame that we only have one officer on patrol per shift, I was trying to point out that is a function of scheduling, not budget.

Look at it this way, our police budget is only $40,000 less than Hampstead, and they are 40% larger, have 5 times the business, and 2 more full time officers.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

So Mark. Does it take a Police Dept. to bankrupt a village too? What other depts. do you have issue with?

By the way, your figures on the cost of education ARE overly simplistic. We debated endlessly on your equation last year. Fred Thompson pointed out that your numbers were too general and did not consider many factors that you did not have knowledge of. This is similar to what you are doing with Timberlane's figures.

Did you ever stop to think that your stubbornness to accept what people tell you is your problem? You can't always be right Mark.

Anonymous said...

Timberlane uses a formula for calculating the cost of education that eliminates the cost of the buildings and there maintanence, and some other things. Timberlane claims a cost of $9906.

But mark is right we really pay the 12,000 figure he said. when timberlane figures it a different way so it sounds better doesnt change how much they are given in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Ed Naile said:

Curt:
The selectmen (governing body) have statutory authority and obligation to place warrant articles in the warrant.
With a citizen it is a constitutional right to redress to address the voters (legislative body)done through a petition process. If you can not attend, you still have rights. THAT is very simple.
Two entirely different things, much as Frank Polito claiming to be a citizen who doesn not want his picture taken while running the meeting as the moderator, an elected position.
If you don't get that, brush up on individual rights as opposed to rights as a public official or even employee.
The deliberative session is not the annual meeting. In fact, we could dispense with the deliberative session with a simple change in RSA 40:13.
When SB2 first passed some schools saw 300% increases in turnout. Some towns tried to limit the parking and amount of voting booths by only opening one polling place. We had to correct that attempt at minority rule and will address the abuses at deliberative sessions some day as well. Hopefully with abuses such as Atkinson displays. We took most of SB2 from Vermont law. They have no deliberative sessions and NH used to vote like this years ago.
Voters have a say in police departments with a simple vote of RSA 41:47. I mentioned that and you seem to have not paid attention.
One other point on a different subject:
Polito stopped Gary from taking pictures because of his personal desire not to be photographed. THAT is what he said, not that Gary was causing a disturbance. This is what will be heard in court. Defending Polito by using some other excuse will not fly. The tape will show that.

MAcciard said...

The sad fact is that by state law, the Moderator has broad authority during deliberative session. He is answerable to no one in town except the people.

He can decide what a disturbance is. The problem for him, is that if this gets to Court, and a jury looks at what happened, they are going to see a guy sitting in his chair calmly taking pictures of the BOS, The Moderator, and the head of the room. They will see the Moderator call him out, and incorrectly cite law, and with force of law, and threat of removal, stop him from taking pictures. It will be obvious to anyone watching this that Mr. Brownfield did not start the altercation, nor did he create and disturbance, by any objective standard, and Frank will be left to try and develop a rational excuse for why he ignored a law he has been well acquainted with over 20 years in town government.

Just my humble opinion, but we will watch and see.

MAcciard said...

The thing is it was so easy to do the right thing. Pictures were being taken by the Eagle Tribune, the session was being videotaped, what was the big deal for a guy in the audience to take a couple of pics?

And why did Frank have to blow it all out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

Well maybe they feel someone might use these pic on other sites. to I don't know deface them like other photos i have seen on some sister web sites. Come on people grow up.
Lots of childish behavior. If all you have to complain about is your right to take someones picture. You really do need to get a life and I don't know focus on something that is of a little more importance. wow it really is amazing to me the things people will find to complain and whine about..Really this blog is a comedy show.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are not the point. The point is if they can restrict your rights with impunity, then what is to stop them from restricting your speech? or your right to vote?

This is merely the most convenient first step.

Anonymous said...

RE: February 2, 2009 6:55 PM

If the pictures were to have been altered to the point of slander, Frank would have a case. But, Frank could not know if this were to happen, and the law is clear. Mr. Brownfield was within his rights. However, unless he was actually trying to create an incident, more discretion on his part would have been wise.

Two things went wrong here. 1) Mr. Brownfield may or may not have done something to attract Frank's attention. From where I was sitting, I could not tell. But, Frank really started it, elevated it to a fever pitch, and used an inaccurate version of the law, and the audience, to support it. You would think that a man facing a civil rights suit would act more prudently. He should have kept his mouth shut.

2) Mr. Brownfield may have been within his rights, but he blew any credibility to his claim had when he blocked the video camera.

Both acted like asses and should have known better. Frank already has troubles. Why add fuel to the fire. Mr. Brownfield, you knew the temperament of the crowd. If it was your intent to create an incident, you should have had a copy of the law with you. It was like last year when you could not get the projector working. YOU WERE NOT PREPARED. You and Leon have valid claims but both of you are doing yourselves no favors by your behavior. The key here to gain public support is to take the high road but both of you are stuck in the swamp.

There is plenty of blame to spread all around. It was embarrassing to all of participants and to the citizens.

I used to say I was from Atkinson with pride. Now days this town has become such a joke I just say I'm from Southern NH. Everything that happened Saturday just made things worse.

Anonymous said...

I still want to know why Ed Naile, who was at the session needed Mr. Brownfield to take the pictures for him. Why couldn't he take his own pictures? It's almost as if they were looking for a problem...

Anonymous said...

OH MY God! I just saw the video on Atkinson Factor on this site of moderator Francis Polito chewing out Mr. Brownfield. Oh My God. It is frightening. I saw it on youtube too under FRANK POLITO BREAKS THE LAW.

Copy and paste THIS into your browser!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkQoEEy_lTo&eurl=http://atkinson-factor.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

II. Subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, all meetings, whether held in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner, shall be open to the public. Except for town meetings, school district meetings, and elections, no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot. Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras, and videotape equipment, at such meetings

OK then, then tell me, what was going through Franks head on this "Photo" issue? Just days after being notified on a Civil Lawsuit, Frank just opened his mouth and inserted his BigFoot. Stopping photo's from being taken by a citizen, but letting a Eagle Tribune reporter take pictures? Man, or should i say Geese,this is a ridiculous example of bully behavior of a (one way) political machine in Atkinson. This is just a piece of the video to come.

Anonymous said...

Gees! Talk about intimidation. There you have it.

Anonymous said...

Soooo. Is Frank going to get this snippet of his mistake at deliberative session also deleted? Gosh, and it got broadcast on TV. Its gonna take some big time editing to get rid of it all. Isn't that illegal? A lot of arm twisting to remove evidence today? I wonder.

Anonymous said...

The law in the United States of America is pretty simple. You are allowed to photograph anything with the following exceptions:

• Certain military installations or operations.

• People who have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is, people who are some place that's not easily visible to the general public, e.g., if you shoot through someone's window with a telephoto lens.

That's it.

You can shoot pictures of children; your rights don't change because of their age or where they are, as long as they're visible from a place that's open to the public. (So no sneaking into schools or climbing fences.)

Video taping has some more gray areas because of copyright issues, but in general the same rules apply. If anyone can see it, you can shoot it.

And yes, you can shoot on private property if it's open to the public. That includes malls, retails stores, Starbucks, banks, and office-building lobbies. If you're asked to stop and refuse, you run the risk of being charged with trespassing, but your pictures are yours. No one can legally take your camera or your memory card without a court order.

You can also shoot in subways and at airports. Check your local laws about the subway, but in New York, Washington, and San Francisco it's perfectly legal. Airport security is regulated by the Transportation Security Administration, and it's quite clear: Photography is A-OK at any commercial airport in the U.S. as long as you're in an area open to the public.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Anonymous said...

If the pictures were to have been altered to the point of slander, Frank would have a case.


so I suppose the chief has a case then because i have seen some slandering pictures of him from other web sites linked to this one...so

Anonymous said...

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AS A PHOTOGRAPHER IF HARASSED. If Someone has threatened, intimidated, or detained you because you were taking photographs, they are liable for crimes such as coercion or theft. In such cases, you should report them to the police. You may also have civil remedies against such persons and their employers. The torts for which you may be entitled to compensation include assault, conversion, false imprisonment, and violation of your constitutional rights.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that the Eagle Tribune reporter and photographer were present at Deliberative Session and they did not have the common sense to speak out or heaven forbid -- advise Mr. Polito or another town official of their liability? Were they deaf and dumb to the conversations about photography rights, civil rights, freedom of speech and intimidation going on right in front of them? Was it just ignorance? And will they report correctly and legally the events that occurred that day in their newspaper? Is the press responsible to protect our rights and freedoms? Why did they not speak out? It is shameful. The Eagle Tribune reporter can do a far better job of representing his profession and his newspaper. The photographer could have shut off the camera in protest, but did not.

Anonymous said...

Gary Brownfield, if you are reading this, why did you have to take pictures for Mr. Naile? Why couldn't he take his own pictures?

Anonymous said...

Fellow citizens,

I believe Mr. Springer has nicely allowed Mr. Naile to further reveal his MO. Consider Mr. Naile's comment:

"In fact, we could dispense with the deliberative session with a simple change in RSA 40:13."

In other words, if we can't get what we want through deliberative session, let's work on changing the state law so we "dispense with the deliberative session." I guess democracy doesn't work when you are on the losing end of such a proposal, as Mr. Naile and his Atkinson supporters were.

Regarding RSA 41:47, why didn't you petition to do this? Mr. Naile will tell you -- endlessly -- that HE successfully ended Miles Rigney's career in Weare. Why did you petition to direct the selectman to make the chief's position full time? Is it because you feared that PC would be elected if you tried the same tactic you employed in Weare? There's that darn democracy working again! How can the minority figure out a way to overturn the majority?

Finally, I refer you once again to Mr. Naile's reprehensible comments and inferences in his previous message. He now refers to Saturday's meeting as the Debilitated Session.

I written in an earlier post that I greatly respect the insights and feedback of Ms. Carol Grant. Several times during Saturday's session, Ms. Grant reminded people to be polite and respectful of others. Mr. Naile, I suggest you follow Ms. Grant's wise advice and keep your snide, mean-spirited, vindictive comments to yourself.

Curt Springer said...

Thanks anon@February 3, 2009 8:15 AM
for your comments. I was going to respond directly to Mr. Naile's points but I ran out of time and you covered some items.

I don't approve of clobbering warrant articles at the deliberative session but I equally don't approve of submitting warrant articles that are technically defective or not enforceable under state law.

Eliminating the deliberative session would not be a solution to abuses that happen there. That would mean that any crackpot in town could write any crazy article and force a vote on it, as long as s/he could get 25 people to sign a petition for it.

I don't think the legislature has not acted because they are not aware of the problem. I don't think news from Atkinson is going to cause any changes in Concord. Everyone knows the problem, but nobody has a workable solution. Mr. Naile, besides abolishing the deliberative session, what is your specific suggestion to improve the process, and how will your proposal avoid the possibility of the March ballot vote being delayed indefinitely pending a court decision about whether a deliberative session amendment is valid and what should go on the printed ballot.

Also just because the word "petition" is used in the legislation, there are no constitutional rights at issue here. The First Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances ends at the door of the legislative body. You have a right to petition, but the legislative body is under no obligation to vote on specific legislation. If there were, both the US Congress and NH General Court would be in violation of the US Constitution, for neither has any provision for citizen initiative petitions to force consideration of specific legislation.

The current right to submit warrant articles by petition subject to amendment by the deliberative session is only a statutory right. The legislature could vote tomorrow to abolish it and to require that all warrant articles originate with the selectmen or the planning board. There would be no violation of the constitutional right to petition.

Anonymous said...

Ed Naile Said:
Curt:
Interesting, you are wrong an every point you made.

1. You don't approve of "clobbering" warant articles but don't like unenforceable articles.
So you would much rather have the smartest people in town submit well reasoned, legaly enforcable warrant articles? How would you deal with, say, Frank Polito if he submitted a warrant article about Right to Know? He obviously has no understanding of the statute and CIVIL RIGHT offered by the NH Constitution. Yet he is the Atkinson Moderator.
Also, we have CITIZEN'S petitioned warrant articles all the time that are unenforcable but make a political statement.
It's called The Democratic Process.

2. As for any "crackpot" submitting petitioned warrant articles you are correct, liberals do submit the most of them. But NO ONE is FORCED to vote on them or pass them.

3. My solution to citizens petitions would be the intention from the start of SB2 and the process legal NOW in traditional meetings - let a CITIZEN'S petitioned warrant on the ballot. The actions of Weare and Atkinson chiefs will be an issue when we have legislation to correct this injustice. I promise you that becaue I will submit it as proof of abuse.

4. I love this one: "The First Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances ends at the door of the legislative body."
You have the State Legislature and Town Meeting mixed up lad. The STATE is REPRESENTATIVE - Town Meeting is DIRECT DEMOCRACY, or as I like to say Mobocracy, as PROVEN in Atkinson, 51% is always right - until you cross constitutional or legal lines.
As I said before, brush up on this stuff it is interesting.

5. You show your elitist side with this comment: "The legislature could vote tomorrow to abolish it and to require that all warrant articles originate with the selectmen or the planning board. There would be no violation of the constitutional right to petition."
Curt, are you aware that some of the dumbest people in any town often wind up on the ZBA? ZBA and Planning Board warrant articles are overturned all the time and they are constantly re-writing them over and over to pick up past mistakes. Sheesh, you are not up on municipal government. Only school boards are more inept.

For the conspiricy theorist worried about why I would make a secret plot with Gary Brownfield to have him take the controversial photos instead of me (don't tell anyone, but here is the reason.... I did not feel like hauling my camera along.) Pleeeeeez don't let the town lawyer know.

Anonymous said...

Fellow citizens,

Please observe the progression of Mr. Naile's posts. When he first started posting to this blog, he politely wrote that he was going to ride into our town and "free" us. Now, his posts are more and more arrogant and mean-spirited.

Please note that anyone who disagrees with Mr. Naile is a liberal. The problem with the Ed Naile's of the world is they will do their best to paint people who diagree with them and their issues as black and white as possible. There are no grays with Ed and CNHT. It's easier to tear you down that way.

Mr. Naile, thanks very much for your explanation about the camera. I find it ironic that, for someone involved in the lumber industry, that it is too much for you to "haul" your own camera to Atkinson.

Ed, you may have thought you would ride into town on your white horse, but you are sure looking like the other side of said horse now.

Anonymous said...

I like how Mr. Naile calls Curt Springer an elitist yet he writes:

"So you would much rather have the smartest people in town submit well reasoned, legaly enforcable warrant articles?"

"As for any "crackpot" submitting petitioned warrant articles you are correct, liberals do submit the most of them."

"are you aware that some of the dumbest people in any town often wind up on the ZBA?"

"Only school boards are more inept."

Who's the elitist here? I've never read such language from Mr. Springer.

Curt Springer said...

I tried interweaving Ed's latest points in italics with my responses in plain text, but I guess there were too many html tags.
-------------------

ED:
Curt:
Interesting, you are wrong an every point you made.

CURT:
I don't think so.

ED:
1. You don't approve of "clobbering" warant articles but don't like unenforceable articles.
So you would much rather have the smartest people in town submit well reasoned, legaly enforcable warrant articles?

CURT:
I think anybody who submits warrant articles should do their best to submit well reasoned, legally enforceable warrant articles.

ED:
How would you deal with, say, Frank Polito if he submitted a warrant article about Right to Know? He obviously has no understanding of the statute and CIVIL RIGHT offered by the NH Constitution. Yet he is the Atkinson Moderator.

CURT:
Well of course there is no provision of RSA 91-A that allows any local option whatsoever. So necessarily it would be legally unenforceable, which would annoy me if it happened in my town.

ED:
Also, we have CITIZEN'S petitioned warrant articles all the time that are unenforcable but make a political statement.

CURT:
People who want to make political statements should post in blogs or write letters to the editor. Town meeting is for transacting the legitimate business of the town.

ED:
It's called The Democratic Process.

CURT:
No, it's called a subversion of the process and also I would call it a lawyer's relief act.

ED:
2. As for any "crackpot" submitting petitioned warrant articles you are correct, liberals do submit the most of them. But NO ONE is FORCED to vote on them or pass them.

CURT:
Your answer sounds as if I had written that "liberals" submit most of the petitioned warrant articles. Please don't put words in my mouth.

Yes, we are FORCED to vote on them. We get a ballot with the technically incorrect or unenforceable warrant article on it and we have to read it make a choice as to whether to vote yes, no, or skip over it. I for one resent having people waste my time with crap on the ballot. If I read something that says "to see if the town will do X", I should be able to expect that the town has the right to do X and that the article is correctly worded such that X will actually happen if the article passes. You seem to think that I should have to figure out on my own if the town can actually do X or if somebody in my town would just like to express the sentiment that the town should do X even though it clearly can't do X. I just have no patience for nonsense like this, and I don't want to pay the town lawyer to straighten things out after the vote.

ED:
3. My solution to citizens petitions would be the intention from the start of SB2 and the process legal NOW in traditional meetings - let a CITIZEN'S petitioned warrant on the ballot.

CURT:
You seem to be saying that selectmen warrant articles should be able to be changed at the deliberative session but that citizen petition warrant articles should not able to be changed.

Well guess what, the selectmen are citizens too, and they have their friends and supporters. Over time you will have fewer and fewer selectmen warrant articles and more and more petitioned warrant articles because the selectmen will just submit their articles as private citizens on petitions to get the same protection against changes at the deliberative session.

ED:
The actions of Weare and Atkinson chiefs will be an issue when we have legislation to correct this injustice. I promise you that becaue I will submit it as proof of abuse.

CURT:
One would think from reading this that you are a state rep or senator. I just checked the roster and didn't find your name.

ED:
4. I love this one: "The First Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances ends at the door of the legislative body."
You have the State Legislature and Town Meeting mixed up lad. The STATE is REPRESENTATIVE - Town Meeting is DIRECT DEMOCRACY, or as I like to say Mobocracy, as PROVEN in Atkinson, 51% is always right - until you cross constitutional or legal lines.
As I said before, brush up on this stuff it is interesting.

CURT:
"Lad" ?? Please don't talk down to me. I think I am less than a year younger than you. I took civics in junior high too.

ED:
5. You show your elitist side with this comment: "The legislature could vote tomorrow to abolish it and to require that all warrant articles originate with the selectmen or the planning board. There would be no violation of the constitutional right to petition."

CURT:
I did not advocate abolition of petitioned warrant articles.

ED:
Curt, are you aware that some of the dumbest people in any town often wind up on the ZBA? ZBA and Planning Board warrant articles are overturned all the time and they are constantly re-writing them over and over to pick up past mistakes. Sheesh, you are not up on municipal government. Only school boards are more inept.

CURT:
I guess I must be pretty dumb as a member of the Danville ZBA. :-)

ED:
For the conspiricy theorist worried about why I would make a secret plot with Gary Brownfield to have him take the controversial photos instead of me (don't tell anyone, but here is the reason.... I did not feel like hauling my camera along.) Pleeeeeez don't let the town lawyer know.

CURT:
Whatever -- I have nothing to add to that discussion.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Naile, you have been posting on this blog, and others, about how you had your sights set on Atkinson and how you were going to take down Chief Consentino the way you took down Chief Rigney or Weare. In fact, you advised us to "...start shopping for a new chief as well. Its always best to be prepared." You cited RSA's and citizen's petitions as your blueprint for your campaign.

I am quite sure you were looking forward to writing your series of articles about how you worked with a small group of citizens in our town to remove the chief from his position. In fact, I would not be surprised if you already wrote a few articles in advance. However, that was not the case in this instance.

Since your organization was not successful, you've now turned this into your crusade to dispense with deliberative sessions -- or at least with respect to citizens petitions. Previous to Saturday, you've made no mention of your issues with SB2 in your writings here.

Mr. Naile has a bad case of sour grapes going on here folks and gives the appearance that he cannot accept the fact there was a majority vote that went against the petitions. We all witnessed democracy working, but for those on the losing end, the majority is nothing but a group of thugs, mafia, and Nazis. Mr. Naile led a group of citizens in our town to believe he could show them how to govern by petition and, in turn, the group led Mr. Naile to believe they had far more support than they actually did. They were quite a match for each other!

Ms. Grant and Mr. Springer both have valid points that we now have to vote on meaningless articles, which is a shame and a waste of our time. However, the question everyone reading this should be asking is this:

If the Atkinson citizen's group, under the guidance of CNHT, were successful on getting the petitions unchanged and on the ballot in March, would they be writing today about how we need to change the SB2 rules at the state level?

If your answer is no, this would not happen, then I believe you have witnessed a glimpse of the type of opportunistic extremists -- and mark my words, they are extremists -- we are dealing with here.

Anonymous said...

We did NOT witness the "people" supporting their chief overwhelmingly.

We witnessed a group of 60 or so town employees, their families, town officials and their families, and elderly people who have never had Phil's vindictiveness directed towards them, pull forward, ammend, and end discussion on articles before any other townspeople were allowed near a mike.

This was not a groundswell of support, but political manuevering by insiders bent upon maintaining their control.

Anonymous said...

"majority vote that went against the petitions"

Lets not ignore the face that this majority was less than 200, mostly elderly, residents.

I mention this in another posting, but what the chief has done very successfully is blur the line between his role as Chief of Police and Head of Elderly Affairs. I have little doubt that many who attended Saturday were supporting the Head of Elderly Affairs, not the Chief of Police.

Shame on those who did not attend. And shame on those who completely ignored the Chief's numerous and documented misdeeds. But, I cannot totally blame them. They probably don't know all the facts. Many probably don't even own a computer. All the information they have comes from the Chief, which you can assume is biased in favor of the Chief.

For instance, the Warrant Article to expand Elderly Affairs. I completely fail to understand that those who would benefit from it, voted against it. Unless, the Chief convinced them it was bad. They are dependent on his services, hence they are dependent on him. I'm not beseeching their intelligence, but, and please excuse the term, their ignorance, to what is really going on. Ignorance does not mean they are dumb, only misinformed. Big difference.

So, spare us the crap about the "Majority Voted." If 500 or 1000 people had been there, I would agree. But less than 200 is not a majority in this town.

To be fair, a great deal of blame can be placed on those who did not attend. Some could not, but many could have, and they could have changed everything. The system is broken when a few can dictate what the majority is allowed to choose. But, that is the system we have.

Jack Sapia complained long and loud how special sessions cost the town. Well, here is a reminder to Jack; special sessions work because they are targeted to specific issues. The best example is the last one that dealt with the water warrants. Who could be against protecting our water. Well, Jack was most vocal in his opposition, and started his whole discourse with a lie about his not being able to attend his son's championship game, when his son was actually on the practice field out back. No championship games are played in August. Well, guess what, all the warrants passed intact and were approved by the voters. And this big scare he and others proclaimed that they would result in massive lawsuits was simply a smokescreen. At this moment there is a bill in the state legislature that would make the warrants legally enforceable.

So, the question is, why would a majority of attendees to the Deliberative Session vote against warrants that would clearly benefit them and others. All I can conclude is that they were convinced that evil doers amongst us would eliminate the services they need. This insults the intelligence of the attendees, but the belief in necessity can easily overcome logic.

I have to give credit to Phil for one thing. He must have studied history. This same scenario has been played over and over again throughout history. Times change, people do not. The really sad part is that he has turned the town's elderly into his own voting block. Despicable does not begin to express my contempt.

Anonymous said...

So, the question is, why would a majority of attendees to the Deliberative Session vote against warrants that would clearly benefit them and others. All I can conclude is that they were convinced that evil doers amongst us would eliminate the services they need. This insults the intelligence of the attendees, but the belief in necessity can easily overcome logic.

I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion. I believe that although the turnout was smaller than some had hoped for, it was still representative as to how the town as a whole would have voted.

I've posted several times about the very large turnout we were able to get for the special deliberative session on the large groundwater withdrawal. Why? People WILL come out if they feel strongly about the issue.

I am not sure why there are those on this board who refuse to consider this. The support was just not there. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:34,

You write: We witnessed a group of 60 or so town employees, their families, town officials and their families, and elderly people who have never had Phil's vindictiveness directed towards them, pull forward, ammend, and end discussion on articles before any other townspeople were allowed near a mike.

I am amazed at the short memory you all have. During the large groundwater withdrawal deliberative session, many citizens opposed to amending the petition quickly called to question before those against the petitions had a chance to speak. No one seemed to take issue with this at that time.

Anonymous said...

"I am not sure why there are those on this board who refuse to consider this. The support was just not there. It's as simple as that."

Not quite. Isn't the town required to mail to every household a copy of the warrants along with the date, time and location of the meeting? They did last year, though only 2 days before the session. I believe the law says 1 week.

This year, no mailing, hence no official notice. Those with a vested interest sure knew about it. But it is a safe bet the larger population did not.

Now, why do you suppose there was no mailing???

And as far as the water withdrawal special session - There was plenty of discussion, and plenty of attempts to amend the petitions into obscurity. Recall Paul DiMaggio's attempt to gut one by amending it to remove all wording after the first sentence.

There are also two video's available on this site showing residents giving their input. Sorry, the "Call the Vote" technique was used, but only after considerable discussion.

What we saw Saturday was execution of a preplanned strategy to stifle discussion and defeat the two chief related warrants. All you had to do to conclude this was to watch who was always standing in line and what they said. The only thing that prevented the "Call The Vote" technique sooner was the new rule that you had to stand in line and wait your turn to do it. Jack was moving around so much that day I swear he ants in his pants.

Anonymous said...

So this is a good point! Why were citizens not notified by mail about this? How can we prevent this from happening again?

Atkinsonres. said...

Question:

Di our Moderator, Frank Polito violate the State open meetings law?

The answer is YES. As previously posted ANYONE can use ANY FORM OF RECORDING DEVICE, CAMERAS are specifically named, to record ANY public meeting!

Did he have a right to privacy, as he stated?

NO How can you expect privacy when you are conducting a PUBLIC meeting, on VIDEOTAPE? He just didn't want Brownfield to have his way. Childish, but thats Frank.

Did he implicate the Town?

YES, by doing it during the commission of his official duties, and having the town vote on it, it was official.

Should he have known he was wrong?

YES. he has been a moderator for over 10 years, ZBA chairman for about the same, and a selectman before that, He KNOWS how to run a meeting.

Therefore there is no excuse, and all the rest of this is fluff!

Frank, your arrogance put the Town in jeopardy, and for that you owe all of us an apology!

Anonymous said...

Frank

Not only do you owe us an apology but should be forced to pay back what the court award the plaintiffs!

Because of your “Superiority Complex” you should never be allowed to hold any political position (let alone Town Moderator) anywhere in this universe again.

Is this why you moved the warrant article regarding “Limiting Legal Fees” so fast?

You knew before hand that the Selectmen were paying Consentino’s legal fees, after the court ruled that the Town had no liability to do so.

Mr. Paul Sullivan didn’t want the public to know he was doing this, by objecting to Leon’s revelation at town meeting. (Let’s make Leon Artus the scapegoat)

Does anyone think that Frank Polito, Paul Sullivan, Phil Consentio other selectmen are self-serving and not part of the Atkinson Mafia? Its called CYA!

It’s called promote and protect the political agenda.

Paul: Is this why you did not run for re-election? My guess is: You will not escape the wrath of “we the people” for your actions………………in-actions.

What book did you say you just finished reading Paul? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

PS

Frank: Didn’t Leon insist that you step down as Moderator because you didn’t want your picture taken? Please tell us the RSA that enabled you to not meet that request. Please?

Anonymous said...

I think this whole issue is crazy. If there is evidence that Mr. Brownfield was being disruptive, then I don't think they have a chance. It's up to the judge to decide, but to look at it strictly from the photographer's rights point of view is only giving you one side of the picture. Pun intended! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Frank Polito was flustered by the demand that he step down as moderator at deliberative session. Watch the tape. It took him 10 minutes to regain his composer. Why? Because he knew he was in the wrong, never to admit it. (Just like Consentino when he is wrong)

Instead, he continued on with the meeting like nothing ever happened or was illegal. (Still think he is a smart man)?

Proven many times: A PERSON (to be politically correct) may have the HIGHEST IQ, but no COMMON SENSE) I’m not promoting that Polito has a HIGH IQ, but I'm promoting he has no COMMON SENSE.

I am promoting that a man (regardless of his IQ) in a position of authority with no common sense (especially if he were to be promoting a political agenda) has no business being a Town Moderator.

I am promoting that Polito is Consentino's puppet, which is pulling Polito's strings. I am promoting that Polito dances to the Chief's agenda, for whatever agenda.

Point being............Polito is not working for the average taxpayer that does not attend deliberative session. He is working on a political agenda that works against the taxpayer. (The taxpayer that is not paying attention)

You be the judge, if you are paying attention.