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Welcome Message and Mission Statement

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!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Atkinson to start town administrator interviews

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson to start town administrator interviews
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Selectmen plan to begin interviewing town administrator candidates next week and to hire someone as soon as possible.

The candidates have been recommended by the Local Government Center, a municipal agency that found former Town Administrator Steven Angelo.

"We're anxious and diligent in finding someone for the job," Selectman William Friel said.

Selectmen said the salary range for the position depends on the person, but Angelo was making $75,000 per year when he left in January. The previous administrator, Russ McCallister, made $63,000, plus benefits. Angelo did not receive any health or retirement benefits with his salary, Friel said.

Selectmen said they can't wait to hire a new administrator because they must handle the day-to-day operations of running the town without someone in that position.

Selectman William Bennett, elected earlier this month, said he spent four 12-hour days dealing with town business last week. Friel said he spends an average of two to three hours in the selectmen's office each day and then more time at home.

"It burdens the three of us much more," Friel said after last night's selectmen's meeting.

Angelo, who started in September, left abruptly in late January, citing difficulty selling his Cape Cod home and the need to spend more time with his family. McCallister left in February 2008 to work as a government adviser in Iraq. Craig Kleman was hired in April as an interim administrator but left last summer to take a similar job in Plaistow. He has since left Plaistow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Atkinson to begin searching AGAIN for a new Town Administrator.

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson to start searching again for town administrator
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON, N.H. — The fourth search for a new town administrator in a year will be underway soon.

Selectman William Bennett said the town is contacting the Local Government Center about a new search this week. The LGC was hired to find the last administrator, Steven Angelo, who left in January after less than five months on the job.

Last month, selectman said they wanted to wait until a new selectman was elected to the board before hiring a town administrator or even an interim.

Bennett, who was elected earlier this month, said officials want to know if they will have to pay the LGC another fee since Angelo's stay on the job was so short.

"I would think the fee paid before would cover another search for candidates," Bennett said.

The decision whether to hire the LGC for the search could be made as soon as next week, he said.

Since Angelo left in January, a temporary administrative employee, Dani Carville, has been helping administrative assistant Barbara Snicer in the selectmen's office.

Angelo was hired in September, but left abruptly, citing difficulty selling his Cape Cod home and a need to spend more time with his family. He was the third person to leave the job in a year.

Former administrator Russell McAllister left in February 2008, to work as a government adviser in Iraq. Craig Kleman was hired in April 2008 as an interim administrator but left last summer to take a similar job in Plaistow. He has since left Plaistow.

Town officials have been relatively tight-lipped about both an advertised salary and Angelo's pay scale. McAllister was earning $58,000 a year when he left the post.

Correction to the Trib, McAllister was making $63,000/yr. when he left! Angelo was making $75,000/yr.!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Atkinson vendor reports offer a good look at town spending

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson vendor reports offer a good look at town spending
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Three pages in the 75-page town report are devoted to the 615 vendors the town paid in 2008.

The Timberlane Regional School District only takes up one line on one page, but the town wrote a check to the district for $11.6 million, the lion's share of the $18.7 million the town paid out last year.

Payments were as small as $4 and as wide-ranging as a $29 subscription to Firehouse magazine and a $2,000 donation to the Cpl. John Lapham Fund.

Tax Collector Debra DeSimone said Atkinson collected $14.9 million in property taxes. From that amount, the county got a check for $879,153. The county tax rate is 5.7 percent of the town's $14.86 tax rate.

The town's second-largest expenditure was $1.7 million paid to Bauen Corp. for the construction of the new Kimball Library. That expenditure was approved by voters at the 2007 Town Meeting.

The town also paid $747,110 to TD Banknorth for interest on the library bond and the final payment on the fire station built in 2000, according to selectmen's Chairman Fred Childs.

Interest payments will be less expensive in future years, Childs said.

Other large payments were for trash collection and paving projects. Waste Management was paid $558,934 and Busby Construction got $351,926 for paving work.

Although trash collection ranks as the town's fifth-largest expenditure, Childs said the cost was actually $500 less than in 2007.

"That was the best deal we could get," Childs said.

But next year, the service will cost more. Last year was the first of a three-year contract with Waste Management and the cost in the second and third years will go up 3.5 percent each year, Childs said.

Busby Construction won bids to repave Walker Road and Washington Drive last spring and summer.

Of the 615 vendors on the list, 123 recipients were paid less than $100.

Just about every town official and employee is on the list, but mostly for mileage or travel reimbursement, Childs said. Those payments do not include employee salaries.

Planning Department administrative assistant Shirley Galvin received $148 for traveling to a job-related conference in Concord, Childs said.

Recreation Director Noriko Yoshida-Travers pays for department expenses on her personal credit card and then is reimbursed by the town for things like senior trips to Foxwoods.

"It looks like $32,000 in vendor fees, but she actually got nothing," Childs said.

The smallest expenditure made was for $4.04 for Ralph Pill, a local electrical supply business.

Childs said the town doesn't have an account with the business and the purchase was probably for a light bulb.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank you Selectman Friel!

It is about time someone told former selectman Sapia to sit down and shut up!

Someone should ask him;

Why are the signs illegal?

Where are you getting your legal opinion that they are illegal? ( because we all know that town counsel told him to leave the signs alone last year, look at the "Jack Busted" video on the front page)

And Why are you so worked up over these signs, but you don't care about the Open House signs, and the political signs?

It couldn't be that Jack doesn't want people to find out that this blog exists, could it?

If you haven't done anything wrong, Jack, What do you have to fear?

Atkinson girl to compete in state geography bee Atkinson girl chosen for state competition

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson girl to compete in state geography bee Atkinson girl chosen for state competition
By Margo Sullivan

ATKINSON — Kayleigh Larin, an eighth-grader at Timberlane Regional Middle School, has been named a semifinalist in the New Hampshire Geographic Bee. But don't ask Kayleigh for the secret to her success.

"I don't even know how I did this," she said Wednesday, one of only 100 students in the state to make the cut. "Geography's not usually my forte."

Kayleigh, the daughter of John and Anneliese Larin of Atkinson, competes at Keene State College on April 3 for the right to represent the Granite State in the national finals.

Her path to the semifinals began by first winning her school's competition and scoring high on a written test, her mother said.

The National Geographic Society invited the 100 students with the best New Hampshire test scores in the fourth through eighth grades to vie for the state title. The bees are held in all 50 states.

State winners receive $100, an atlas and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a chance to become the national winner.

Kayleigh isn't thinking that far ahead.

"I'm really a little nervous. I don't want to be the kid who gets there and gets knocked out on the first question," she said. "I don't want to be the kid who doesn't know where Paraguay is."

Her favorite subject is language arts.

"I'm a big word nerd," the 13-year old said.

Ironically, Kayleigh outdid her past spelling bee performances in this year's geography bee.

"I guess I did a lot of guessing," she said.

Her mother questioned that analysis.

"Are you really completely guessing?" she said. "Or was it educated guessing?"

Kayleigh estimated half of her answers might have been educated guesses.

"She continues to amaze us," her mother said with a laugh.

Ann Barrett, spokeswoman with the National Geographic Society's press office, said 11 other local students are also New Hampshire semifinalists. They are: Joseph Ronca, a sixth-grader at West Running Brook Middle School; Aiden Masson, a seventh-grader at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, Brandon Kinnane, a fifth-grader at East Derry Memorial Elementary, and Mia Santagati, a fifth-grader at Grinnell Elementary, all from Derry; Mallika Tiyer, an eighth-grader at Hampstead Academy; Jacob Hudgins, a fifth-grader at Hampstead Middle School; Nathan Mackay-Wright, an eighth-grader at Londonderry Middle School; Joseph Minichiello, an eighth-grader at Pelham Memorial; Steven Beninati, a fifth-grader at Barron School, Sabrina Totty, an eighth-grader at Woodbury Middle School; and Cameron Cain, a fifth-grader at Soule School, all of Salem.


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Sample geography bee questions

Mexico City is located on the site of Tenochtitlan, the island capital of what empire that was conquered by Spanish explorers in the 16th century?

Answer: Aztec Empire

Approximately 40 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line despite an oil and gas boom in which country where Baku is the capital?

Answer: Azerbaijan

You can visit an aqueduct built by the Romans in Segovia, a city located approximately 40 miles northwest of Madrid in which country?

Answer: Spain

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Letter from Chief: Thanks for vote of confidence

From the Eagle Tribune;

Letter: Thanks for vote of confidence

To the editor:

I would like to thank the residents of Atkinson for their vote of confidence during last week's voting.

Article 32 requesting that the Police Department's command structure remain as it presently is with a part-time police chief overwhelmingly passed with 1,146 voting yes and only 261 voting no. This is about a 5 to 1 margin.

Again, to the residents of Atkinson I say thank you for your vote of confidence.

Philip V. Consentino

Atkinson Police Chief

Director of Elderly Affairs

What our police chief once again chooses to ignore is that it was not a vote of confidence. For the majority of voters who do not pay attention to deliberative session, they saw an article asking to change nothing, It is like having one name on a ballot, OF COURSE they voted for it.

Chief, ask yourself, how would the people have voted if your friends, like Jack Sapia, hadn't moved the article forward to be discussed immediately after lunch, then quickly demolished the original petitioned article on town floor, and then quickly moved the question before there could be any debate.

It is easy to claim a win when you didn't face a challenger. Try standing toe to toe with someone as determined as yourself, before you claim victory.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Timberlane teachers go public over contract talks

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane teachers go public over contract talks
By Margo Sullivan

PLAISTOW — The teachers union is going public about its standoff with the Timberlane Regional District School Board.

Contract negotiations broke down because the School Board refused to discuss some issues related to working conditions, said Suzanne Judd, president of the Timberlane Teachers Association.

Judd said the union has 321 members, but the contract would cover all teachers and specialists working in the school district. That number is 409, she said, referring to the Timberlane Regional School District's annual report.

School Board Chairman William Baldwin did not return requests for comment over the past two days.

Judd released a letter Monday thanking voters for their past support and saying the teachers "express grave disappointment" the collective bargaining agreement did not appear on the March 10 ballot.

In an interview yesterday, she said union members wrote the letter to let the public know where the contract talks stand. The letter made it clear the breakdown was not over wages.

"Our teachers approached these negotiations understanding the economic difficulties facing our communities," the members wrote. "The board was presented with a number of proposals regarding working conditions for which there was no cost attached and the board simply refused to discuss those items."

The letter also said the teachers now will have to work under their current contract at least until March 2010, and the teachers will continue to provide the same "high-quality education" to the students.

Judd did not go into specifics about the sticking points because the issues probably will have to be negotiated if talks resume. She said she sees a "good chance" both sides will go back to the bargaining table.

Judd said the talks started at the end of the summer with the expectation an agreement would be ready for voters March 10.

That didn't happen.

"We did have a mediator come in, but we were at an impasse," she said. "It was very distressing, but both sides felt strongly about their issues. We walked away."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Atkinson will get two new fields

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson will get two new fields
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Construction of two new fields will begin next month on East Road after voters approved funding a portion of the project last week.

Voters approved a $40,000 warrant article at Town Meeting for the East Road recreation area, but they didn't support giving the project an additional $25,000 that would have paid for a 50-car parking lot and a walking path around the two athletic fields.

Recreation Director Noriko Yoshida-Travers said the $25,000 warrant article may have failed to gain voter support because it wasn't supported by the Budget Committee. It failed, 567-1,092.

The Recreation Commission now only has $85,000 to spend on the project and plans to put another warrant in front of voters next year to finish the project, Recreation Commission Chairman Patti Mangini said. That money will go to the construction of a multipurpose field and a lacrosse field.

Mangini said after the fields are built, they can't be used for another year because the grass has to grow.

"Hopefully, we get to start using them in the spring of next year," Mangini said.

Before Town Meeting next year, Mangini said the athletic leagues and the Recreation Commission will fundraise to help ease the burden on taxpayers.

The Recreation Commission met with the lowest bidder last week and construction could start as soon as in two weeks, Mangini said.

Yoshida-Travers said the entire cost of the project is around $150,000.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Timberlane voters nix school consolidation Operating budget squeaks through

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane voters nix school consolidation Operating budget squeaks through
By Margo Sullivan

PLAISTOW — It was unanimous. Timberlane Regional School District voters nipped in the bud a plan to close Sandown Central School and move the students into a new eight-classroom addition at Sandown North Elementary School.

All four towns in the Timberlane Regional School District — Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown — rejected the warrant article which would have paved the way for the Sandown Schools Consolidation Project.

Building the addition would cost the district $4.6 million, but would ultimately save money, School Superintendent Richard La Salle said previously.

The warrant article asked for $455,000 to pay for plans, studies and permitting fees prior to construction. It went down by more than 2-1. The tally was 1,562-3,183.

The $60.6 million operating budget squeaked through. The 62-vote victory — 2,395 yes to 2,333 no — came thanks to the Atkinson vote.

Voters in Danville, Plaistow and Sandown rejected the spending package, leaving no doubt they meant to slam the brakes on spending.

If the budget had failed district-wide, the defeat would have forced school officials to run the schools using the default budget. The savings would have come to about $100,000.

Voters in Danville and Sandown also nixed banking up to $100,000 in a capital reserve fund for future land purchases and building construction. But Plaistow and Atkinson favored the capital reserve installment, which ultimately prevailed, 2,536-2,231.

In the only contested candidates' race, Elizabeth Kosta defeated Joanne Pagel for the Plaistow School Board seat.

Voters also decided to post the annual report on the school district's Web site, instead of mailing it to all residents. All four towns went for the change, which passed 3,609-1,089, and was estimated to save $10,000 in postage. Residents will be able to pick up copies of the booklet at town halls or the superintendent's office.

Bennett wins Atkinson selectman race

From the Eagle Tribune;

Bennett wins Atkinson selectman race
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — William Bennett beat write-in candidate Valerie Tobin by a large margin for a seat on the Board of Selectmen in yesterday's town election.Bennett received 1,031 votes for the three-year term to Tobin's 358 votes.

Leon Artus dropped out of the race two weeks ago, but his name still appeared on the ballot and he received 146 votes.

Bennett said he was happy with the results because Tobin was a tough competitor despite entering the race late.

"She put a lot of bang into that run," Bennett said.This was Tobin's third run for the seat, and some residents said they admired her positions.

Resident Jim O'Neill said the biggest reason he voted yesterday was to support Tobin.

"She represents a difference from the way the Board of Selectmen are doing things now," O'Neill said as he left the Atkinson Community Center yesterday afternoon.

Of the five contested races, three incumbents held onto their seats.

Incumbent Road Agent Ted Stewart was re-elected to another two-year term, beating challengers Rick Picone and Neil Hamel.

Even though Stewart has been head of the town's highway department for 17 years, he said elections are always difficult.

"Going up for re-election, you never get used to it because you have so much to lose," Stewart said. "It's my livelihood, now I can have health insurance for my family."

Incumbent Town Clerk Rose Cavalear earned 993 votes to Patti Mangini's 731 votes for the town clerk position. Cavalear was appointed by selectmen a year ago after Linda Jette resigned. But Mangini also has experience in the clerk's office. She worked under Jette as deputy town clerk for three years.

Resident John Valvanis said he supported Mangini because of her previous experience and volunteer work in town.

"I know her from when she worked in Town Hall before and I think she'll do a good job," Valvanis said.Incumbent Tax Collector Debra DeSimone also beat her challenger, Sharon Boyle, by 594 votes.

There were no candidates listed on the ballot for the Conflict of Interest Committee but Joyce LaFrance won the seat with 58 write-in votes. About 31 percent of registered voters cast ballots yesterday and approved most warrant articles, including all of the zoning articles, a $4.1 million operating budget, and a petition article to post tax information on the town Web site.

But there were several warrant articles that failed, including a three-year union contract for police officers and a $25,000 request for the town's recreation fund.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Write-in candidate to win Atkinson seat

From the Eagle Tribune,

Write-in candidate to win Atkinson seat
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Even though today's ballot shows two openings on the Conflict of Interest Committee, there is only one available seat.

But since there are no candidates, the two-year seat will go to whomever receives the most write-in votes.

Town Clerk Rose Cavalear said the mistake was caught after the ballot was printed, so the secretary of state's office told her the person with the most write-in votes will win.

Committee Chairman Richard Smith said he and Cavalear were mistaken because they thought David Hammond was up for re-election. Hammond's term will not end for another year, however. Jason Dubois decided not to seek re-election so he could spend more time with his family, Smith said.

Even though he has fielded a lot of questions about the lack of a candidate, Smith said he doesn't know why nobody wanted the job.

"I wouldn't even make a guess," said Smith, who has been chairman for three years.

If the election doesn't provide a candidate, Smith said the committee may appoint its own member. Normally, appointments are made by selectmen but Smith said his committee has the authority to appoint its own members.

Although the panel has not met very often in the past year, it received three petitions in the last month. The group only meets when a resident files a petition with the committee or to approve meeting minutes, Smith said.SClBThree residents recently filed petitions regarding Planning Board members possibly benefiting from warrant articles on today's ballot.

But Smith said the committee found there was no conflict of interest because the votes taken by the Planning Board were only to place articles on the ballot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Atkinson town critic's home vandalized

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson town critic's home vandalized
Second major incident reported at former official's residence
By Jill Harmacinski

ATKINSON — State police are investigating a second major vandalism incident at the home of Mark Acciard, an outspoken critic of town selectmen and police Chief Philip Consentino.

Acciard, a former Budget Committee member who lives at 6 Christine Drive, filed a $3 million civil-rights lawsuit against the town, Consentino and local officials. The case is still pending.

Acciard said last night he was at his daughter's cheerleading competition in Concord on Saturday when a neighbor called to tell him his house was vandalized. "Move ... Leave Chief Alone ... Move," was spray-painted in red, foot-high letters across the front of his home, which Acciard said he recently painted a butter cream shade.

"It really, really stood out nice," Acciard said sarcastically.

Acciard said he immediately called Atkinson police, who later referred the case to state police based at Troop A in Epping.

The investigating trooper was off duty last night and could not be reached for comment.

Atkinson police Chief Philip Consentino confirmed the vandalism was reported to his department. But, when reached last night, Consentino declined further comment and referred all questions to state police.

In August, when Acciard discovered his car was scratched more than 300 times, he vowed to "get out of town."

Every panel of Acciard's 2006 Chrysler 300 was keyed with messages about his lawsuit.

"No $" and "3m no way" were scratched in the trunk. "Leave the chief alone," ran down the roof and "move" was keyed into the hood and driver's door.

Despite the vandalism, Acciard remains in the home his father built.

"I have lived in that house for 41 years. I grew up there," he said. "When the Air Force was sending me all over the world, I knew I would come back to Atkinson, to that house, to raise my kids."

But after his car was vandalized last summer, his wife became upset and moved to Derry, he said.

"It's definitely driven a wedge between us," Acciard said.

Police never made any arrests after the first vandalism incident. Last night, when asked who he suspected of vandalizing the home, Acciard said, "I have no idea. Probably the same people who did the last one."

Acciard has long tangled with Consentino, trading accusations and lawsuits for nearly five years.

In January 2008, Acciard filed the $3 million suit against the town, Consentino, Moderator Frank Polito and former Selectman Jack Sapia for incidents he said occurred at selectmen's meetings over a three-year period. Acciard claimed he was defamed and a trial was scheduled for June 2009.

Last night, Acciard said the events in recent years, including the vandalism, have taught him "a valuable lesson." "I should just keep my mouth shut," he said.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Town Resident's House Vandalized

Yes, it is true, it is not a hoax as some have said on this blog. Mark Acciard's house was the target of vandals. For those who may have wondered, the article submission on this subject was deleted because of it's formatting, for some reason, in the middle of the submission there was pages of blank space. For that reason, this blog chose to address this in an article instead of through comments.

Apparently, sometime during the night, vandals wrote "MOVE" "LEAVE CHIEF ALONE" on the front of Mr. Acciard's house on Christine dr. This is truly a sad day in Atkinson history. Mr. Acciard is known both in town and on this blog, for his comments, and for explaining the budget and its process, in laymens terms. He is more widely known for his ethics complaint against the chief of police. It would appear that Mr. Acciard's criticisms have had an impact.

For those who have read this blog for a while, you may remember last year when Mr. Acciard's car was vandalized in his driveway, with similar language. It would appear that these attacks are connected.

We are certain that this will be investigated by the Atkinson police dept., but maybe this would be better handled by the State Police.

We wonder what public comments the chief of police will have regarding this atrocity. We remember that last year when this happened to Mr. Acciard's car, our chief of police, instead of taking advantage of the situation to appear professional, and make a statement about taking crime seriously, and this kind of stuff not being tolerated, chose instead to make the following cheap, petty comment;

"I'd say that someone has a personal vendetta against him," Consentino said. "He probably has a couple ideas of who it could be, but I can tell you it's not any of those people."

It is clear that this town is not big enough for the chief, and his more prominent critics to peacefully co-exist. This is truly a sad state of affairs.

Trucking facility approved in Atkinson

Article Submission:

Trucking facility approved in Atkinson

By Emily Moffett

ATKINSON — The Planning Board granted approval for a 24-hour trucking facility on Industrial Way last week, angering residents concerned about the noise the business will create in their neighborhood.

More than 30 residents from Atkinson and Salem were on hand as the board voted 3-2 on Wednesday in favor of P.J. Murphy Transportation Inc.'s proposal. Industrial Way is located near the Salem town line.

The main concern for Christine O'Hara Tremblay and Keith Wolters, both of Salem, is the noise from the company, which is expected to have heavy truck traffic in the early morning. But residents' opposition to the trucking facility wasn't enough to sway the board.

"What they have essentially approved is the use of any amount of trucks and any hours of operation," Wolters said.

To minimize the noise, Planning Board member Paul DiMaggio proposed an amendment to limit the number of vehicles the company can operate to seven trucks and 14 trailers. But that amendment was rejected.

Board member Ted Stewart, who is also the town's road agent, said an influential factor in the decision not to include the amendment was that Dickie Construction, another trucking company, has been in the area for eight years without restrictions on the number of vehicles it can operate.

"There's no legal stipulation that limits the number of trucks a trucking company can own." Stewart said. "To limit one company and not another without any legal stipulation doesn't seem fair."

Residents said Dickie Construction is too far away to be a disturbance.

Stewart, who voted for the project along with board members Mike Fletcher and Joe Guischard, said he stands by his decision and wants residents to know he took their concerns seriously.

"I was really put back by how strongly people were offended," he said. "The amount of hate and discontent astonished me. ... We didn't really break new ground anywhere. People were concerned with the noise and they got an 8-foot berm and a 5-foot fence. So to me, everyone won."

But neighbors are not convinced the barrier will block sound.

Wolters, who lives on Christine Lane in Salem, said the town's consultant, Robert Berens of Acentech Inc., reported there was still a potential for disturbing noise.

"People on the board would not listen to logic," Wolters said. "They wouldn't even listen to their own consultant." Even DiMaggio, a board member who voted against the proposal along with Tim Dziechowski, admitted his board was in error.

"I think the Planning Board made a bad decision," DiMaggio said. "I'm absolutely baffled at the process. Major concerns were totally ignored."

Some residents said they doubt the company, based in Methuen, Mass., can legally operate at the site. DiMaggio said the zoning was originally intended for an outgrowth of home businesses and that he believes it has been misinterpreted by the board.

"Transportation terminals are not on the permitted use list" he said. "And if it's not on the list, it's not allowed."

In addition to the noise, Tremblay, who lives on Christine Lane in Salem, said she is concerned about the potential hazard the company poses to neighboring wells since the trucks would transport fuel.

Wolters said abutters will likely challenge the decision before the zoning board.

"We're hopeful that a different group will take a different approach and be open-minded and willing to listen," he said.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

About the Town Report....

As many have noted, the Town Report is out and available on the Town Website;

The cover pictures are beautiful. Linda used to take exceptional pride in the presentation of our town report, always competing with other towns across the state for the coveted status of best town report. The dedication to Peter Lewiees, and the memorials to Joe DeRosa, Dianne Kinney, and John Lapham, are classy, and wonderfully done. To whoever put that together, thank you from the Atkinson Reporter.

Now to the meat of the report;

Beginning with the selectmen's report;

What 3 lawsuits? And how were they settled, or won? and on what terms? and at what cost?

What separation, and lack of mystery in the donation account? Everything is still run through the PD, and Phil circumvented the intent of the AGO, by setting up his own private slush fund, with no accountability, to replace the public slush fund, where withdrawals at the very least had to be lied about in public to withdraw money for items other than what you discussed....

The budget committee report does a nice job of describing the budgetary process, without giving any specifics as to why some items are as high as they are, but that is probably to be expected.

We wont discuss the warrant here or the MS-7 as those were discussed at and after deliberative session. Who knew Teddy could be so eloquent, and Chief where are the crime stats and call breakdown for this year. This is the first year those have been missing. Wonder why?

The ZBA report is interesting in that it lends insight into why it's chair fancies himself the unofficial town consigliere. Thank God that board was not acting on emotions when it's then- chairman ordered the cameras turned off so that he could scream at his board that they were F***ing Idiots, a couple of years ago...

And the hits just keep on coming...

The Town employee list...

And the Highest paid Town employee is??????

(Drum roll please)

For the 3rd?, 4th? straight year in a row...

Lt. Baldwin at $70,890.50!!!! WOOO HOOO!!!

This blog only has one question... how can you make over $70,000 on a SALARY of $60,340.?

We remember when chief explained to the selectmen how much more cost effective it would be paying Billy a salary, rather than hourly and overtime, because he worked 50 hours a week. So, how is it he gets SALARY, plus Overtime, Details, Training, and whatever else? Plus a car with gas, insurance and maintenance, and benefits?

WOW, Thats a great gig, if you can get it!

And Phil Consentino made $4000.00 as a vendor? what did he sell to the Town?

And for the Teddy detractors, he made $56,054.78 renting his equipment/drivers to the town this year! You guys are right it IS a fortune!

And to the Elderly Affairs section;


ALL ON $24,189.00!! WHAT A BARGAIN!!! IT only costs Atkinson $12.13 / ride!!! and it says they went to all of the Boston hospitals and the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA.

And that with drivers wages at $11.00- $13.00/hr. and gas at over $3.50/gal most of the year! How the hell did that happen? Methinks somebody is LYING HERE!

And onto the Community Center page;

There it is again;

And, once again, the Atkinson Elderly Affairs Department and “Life is not
Done Yet” Foundation sponsored two 11-week sessions of Senior
Wellness Exercise classes.

Hmm, I remember the AGO looking into this fictional "life is not done foundation" that our chief gives out checks from........

So, what did YOU find interesting, objectionable, or worthy of discussion in this years Town Report?

Inquiring minds want to know?

Atkinson resident nabs and holds suspect

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson resident nabs and holds suspect
By James A. Kimble

ATKINSON — A Derry man caught rifling through a car was apprehended by a homeowner and held until police could arrest him.

Joshua Decarolos, 21, of Island Pond Road in Derry was charged with attempting to commit theft, prowling and criminal trespassing Monday morning.

Decarolos was searching a 2004 Ford Expedition parked outside a home on Old Coach Road, police said.

Decarolos was with a friend, who was not charged in the case. When he tried to flee in his truck, it got stuck in the snow around 6:30 a.m., said police Lt. William Baldwin. He said the closest police officer was on the other end of town at the time.

"This was a good job by the residents of the community," Baldwin said. "Although I don't recommend it all the time, they called the police and did what they had to do. It's a good example of the community working hand in hand."

Police said Decarolos told them he had been driving around Salem and Derry, and he had no particular reason for picking the truck he went through. He found the door to the truck unlocked.

Decarolos faces three misdemeanor charges. He was released after he was arraigned in Plaistow District Court.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'd Vote for Valerie- From the Plaistow Town Crier

From the Plaistow Town Crier;

I'd Vote for Valerie

If I were a resident of Atkinson, I'd write in Valerie Tobin's name for Selectman. You fell for one of the Chief's buddies last year. You're going to look pretty stupid, falling for another one this time around? I ask you, could Valerie possibly do worse than the Selectmen you've got in there now? The men over in Atkinson's government seem to be practicing a strange form of political perversion, called dictatorship. Ask them about democracy and civil rights and they shrug. It took eight women to muscle through the Vietnam War Memorial, when it should have been a no-brainer. It's going to take a lot more than eight women to muscle Valerie in. Women of Atkinson, unite against the male oppressors in town government!

And on a side note. Whoever files the next civil rights lawsuit against the town of Atkinson, please, please, please have the American Civil Liberties Union represent you. They have an office up in Concord. That way we don't have to listen to all this criticism of Ed Naile, Chuck Douglas and the CNHT from all the progressives and liberals in your town. The ACLU is a liberal group that fights for your civil rights too.

And on another side note. Where the hell is Chaz Proulx? Guess he and his liberal friends at DemocracyForNew Hampshire (DFNH) couldn't care less about civil rights in Atkinson. You're lucky Ed Naile, the CNHT and Chuck Douglas have taken an interest in your rights as citizens of Atkinson. Chaz doesn't care or he'd be there.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Text of the Newest Lawsuit against the Town is now available!

So Finally, there it is!

The question that each of us should be asking ourselves is; How would WE feel, what would WE do, if these things were done to us?

What would YOU do if you saw a selectman who is also a police chief VOTE on police matters?

What would YOU do if you worked to get signatures for a petition warrant article for a full time chief, and the chief of police called your signers, and intimidated them into attempting to withdraw their names?

What would YOU do if the Town Moderator, in the commission of his official duties, prevented you from exercising your right to photograph the meeting?, And misquoted law to you, then threatened you with removal if you kept trying to use your rights?

What would YOU do if after all these things happened to you, you were talked about at meetings? or sued? or labelled as a crank, or a troublemaker, because you decided you were not going to take it any more?

The answer is we all reach a point where we refuse to take the abuse any longer. This is the point where lawsuits are the only option left. When the selectmen refuse to act, when one corrupt individual can drive in his supporters to get anything he wants passed, or destroyed, where do you go for justice?

When one man can abuse the authority of his badge to write official threatening letters, and the town does nothing, it is time for the silent, the afraid, the meek, the intimidated to rise up and put an end to this corruption in our town.

Here are some of the highlights;

III. Factual Background
13. This case arises out of the defendants’ violations of the plaintiffs’ and other Atkinson citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and to petition and have fair access to their government officials and proceedings, as guaranteed to them by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and New Hampshire law.
14. The defendants have engaged in an organized conspiracy to suppress the views of the plaintiffs, which are critical of the defendants’ conduct in their official positions. The conspiracy involves the Atkinson Chief of Police, its current and former Selectmen, and the Town’s current Moderator. Each of these individuals has taken part in organizing and furthering the purpose of the conspiracy, which is to intimidate, humiliate and oppress the plaintiffs and other similarly-situated Atkinson residents for attempting to voice their opposing viewpoint to certain decisions of their police chief and local government.

16. Despite being certified only as a part-time police officer, Chief Consentino defends his “turf” as head of the police department and Elderly Affairs Director with an iron fist, using and abusing the authority granted by his position to intimidate, bully, and retaliate against citizens who question his actions or oppose his views on various issues.
17. Chief Consentino’s intimidating and retaliatory actions have been the subject of a multitude of lawsuits and other official adjudications since 1981. Despite the multiple monetary settlements and findings that Chief Consentino has inappropriately abused his position as police chief, the Town of Atkinson has established a pattern and practice of permitting Chief Consentino continue to violate citizens’ constitutional rights – particularly their rights to free speech and to petition their government – with virtual impunity. He runs the Town of Atkinson like a stereotypical southern sheriff of the 1920’s.
18. The instant case is just the latest in a long line of well-documented violations of citizens’ rights by Chief Consentino, which have been allowed and approved explicitly or tacitly by the Selectmen of Atkinson. Leon Artus, Gary Brownfield, Steven Lewis, and other Atkinson citizens in their positions are but the latest victims of Chief Consentino’s flagrant abuses of power.

22. The citizen-signed petitions were filed at the Atkinson Town Offices on January 13, 2009. Within an hour of the petitions being filed with the Town Clerk, and before the petitions had even been verified by the Town Clerk, Chief Consentino had been provided copies of them by other Town of Atkinson officials, and was phone-calling citizens who had signed them.
23. Many of the citizens who received calls from Chief Consentino were elderly, and thus reliant upon the Elderly Affairs Office for services. It is known that Chief Consentino angrily demanded from one citizen an explanation as to why his family “signed this shit?”
24. Not surprisingly, within 24 hours many of the citizens who received the intimidating and angry phone calls from Chief Consentino began calling Mr. Artus, Mr. Brownfield, and others who worked to have the petitions signed, as well as the Town Offices, to request that their signatures be removed from the warrant article petitions.
25. Chief Consentino’s use of his authority as Police Chief and Director of the Elderly Affairs office to intimidate Atkinson citizens into remaining silent on issues which affect his public positions constitutes an abuse of his office and a violation of those citizens’ and Mr. Artus’ and Mr. Brownfield’s First Amendment rights to petition their government.

B. The Atkinson Select Board’s Complicity and Tacit Approval of Chief Consentino’s Suppression of First Amendment Freedoms through Official Intimidation:

26. Chief Consentino’s conduct with regard to the citizen-petitioned warrant articles filed in January of 2009 would be alarming enough if it were the first time it had ever happened. However, it is not the first time that Chief Consentino has been allowed to abuse the authority of his official position to jealously protect his interests, to the detriment of Atkinson citizens’ rights.
27. To the contrary, the Town of Atkinson has a nearly three decades old record of allowing Chief Consentino to engage in abuses of power and coercion of citizens who dare to stand up to him, without any meaningful consequence to him.
For instance:

a) In 1981, a civil rights lawsuit was filed against Chief Consentino by then-Atkinson resident Wayne Peak, alleging that the Chief had engaged in a plan to discredit, disgrace, and coerce Mr. Peak by repeatedly charging him with baseless motor vehicle and criminal complaints, resulting in Mr. Peak being forced to move out of state to avoid Chief Consentino’s harassment. The harassment began after Mr. Peak filed a writ of mandamus seeking to compel Chief Consentino to account for monies collected by the Police Department. Upon information and belief, this lawsuit resulted in a significant monetary settlement in Mr. Peak’s favor. Despite that, the Town of Atkinson did nothing to change or eliminate Chief Consentino’s propensity for retaliating against political opponents or abusing his power as police chief.

b) In 1999, the Public Employee Labor Relations Board ruled that Chief Consentino had engaged in a pattern of harassment, intimidation, and coercion against members of the Atkinson Police Department who sought to unionize. The PELRB’s Order of December 23, 1999, stated that “[s]uch fears, interference, domination and coercion must be abated. The Town’s conduct, through its agent and employee is, taken as a whole, violative of RSA 273-A:5.” Despite this documented finding of overt bullying toward even his fellow police officers, the Board of Selectmen continue to this day to allow Chief Consentino to go on abusing his position of power and trust. See Tab C attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.

c) In 2000, plaintiff Steven Lewis circulated a petition for a warrant article to have a full-time police chief appointed. See Tab D attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. The warrant article in question was much like the one that Mr. Artus circulated this year. Chief Consentino responded by visiting Mr. Lewis’ office, leaving his cruiser running outside. Inside the office, he loudly and abusively castigated Mr. Lewis for having the audacity to initiate the petition. Chief Consentino then followed up by contacting a local police chief and attempting to torpedo Mr. Lewis’ son’s application for employment. This incident was widely reported, and yet Chief Consentino still holds his position as Chief.

d) In 2005, Chief Consentino flagrantly violated Orders of the Rockingham County Superior Court in a case initiated by resident Mark Acciard that required Consentino to leave Selectmen’s meetings at any time the agenda turned to matters involving the Police Department or Elderly Affairs Office. See Tab E attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. He ignored the judge’s order and was found to be in contempt of court by Judge McHugh. See Tab F attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. Chief Consentino retaliated against Mark Acciard by charging him with trumped up traffic offenses and contacting vendors for Mr. Acciard’s business to tell them that Mr. Acciard was “under investigation by the Atkinson Police Department.” Chief Consentino’s retaliatory behavior against Mr. Acciard resulted in yet another defamation and civil rights lawsuit being filed against the Town, which is currently pending in this Court as Docket No. 07-C-1039.

e) Also in 2003, Chief Consentino retaliated against Atkinson resident Leigh Komornick after she raised concerns about an illegally established firing range used by the Atkinson Police Department near her property. The Chief of the Haverhill Massachusetts Police Department taped Chief Consentino calling Leigh Komornick a “f—king whackjob” or words to that effect in an attempt to silence and embarrass her into dropping her complaint about the illegal firing range.

f) In 2006, former Selectwoman Carol Grant filed a petition to have Consentino removed from his position as Chief of Police. Her petition cited a lengthy history of rogue behavior which would have justified removing Chief Consentino from the position which he so frequently abused. See Tab G attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. Among other things, Chief Consentino unlawfully taped Ms. Grant during a conversation, in violation of New Hampshire’s wiretapping statute, and then destroyed the evidence of that illegally taped conversation. Despite these serious violations of the law, the Selectmen took no meaningful action to curb Chief Consentino’s flagrant abuses of his official position. A lawsuit filed by Ms. Grant resulted in the Town being forced to pay out another settlement because of the Chief’s outrageous conduct, yet he still holds his position and continues to abuse it with the knowledge and apparent complicity of the Select Board.

g) Also in 2006, Chief Consentino angrily erupted during a Board of Selectmen’s meeting when a citizen, Brian Kaye, read a prepared statement concerning his opposition to Chief Consentino’s plan to expand use of a communications tower near Kaye’s property. Consentino’s rude and belittling responses to Mr. Kaye’s concerns were then followed up by his sending Mr. Kaye two threatening letters, on police department stationary, demanding that Mr. Kaye provide him copies of his prepared statement. This is yet another example of the Chief abusing his position to intimidate a citizen who dared to speak out against him. See Tabs H and I, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. When Mr. Kaye’s attorney wrote the Selectmen to complain about Consentino’s conduct the letters were ignored and went unanswered for over a year. See Tabs J and K attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.

h) During the early 2008 election cycle, several temporary political lawn signs put up by the “Atkinson Reporter Blog,” a website dedicated to observing and reporting on matters of public interest in the Town of Atkinson, were taken down by order of the Atkinson Board of Selectmen. The Atkinson Reporter Blog supported candidates opposing the sitting Board of Selectmen and Chief Consentino, and publicized criticism of the actions of Chief Consentino and the Board. Some of the removed signs were seen in the Atkinson Police Station. Then-Selectman Jack Sapia claimed that he obtained clearance from the Town’s counsel to remove the signs – a claim which was later publicly refuted by Selectman Paul Sullivan. The advice had been not to remove the signs.

Read it and judge for yourself, if those things had been done to you, What would YOU DO?

Is it RIGHT for a public official to act in this manner?

Why have WE as a Town allowed this Reign of Terror to continue for 30 years?