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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bennett wins Atkinson selectman race

From the Eagle Tribune;

Bennett wins Atkinson selectman race
By Eric Parry
eparry@eagletribune.com

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.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Bill. I'm sure you can expect to be sued any day now.

Anonymous said...

wow the police contract got it's butt kicked, I hope the residents don't end up paying more than they bargained for......

Anonymous said...

The police dept will benefit from

$25k for a generator

$124k over last year's PD budget

$10k over last year for Elderly

Maybe the residents couldn't afford to spend anymore on the PD and had to forego the raises.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Rose won. She does a good job, and I couldn't see any reason to have her lose her job in this economy. Patti has a job, no?
Same goes for Debbie DeSimone. It's nice to see Teddy re-elected as well.

Anonymous said...

wow the police contract got it's butt kicked, I hope the residents don't end up paying more than they bargained for......

How so?

Anonymous said...

The $25k passed for the generator that will be used maybe once in the next 10 years?

Anonymous said...

Stewart also won, he better not forget about the hazardous waste day that never happened last year.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see teddy get the road agent. He has done a wounderful job and the towns people must see that he also has a hard working staff. Congrats Teddy!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Chief asked for $56k for a generator and it was nixed down to $25k. There are no quotes either, they pulled the number out of a hat.

Anonymous said...

An extra $159k in the PD budget.

I don't understand how anyone can rationalize this.

Anonymous said...

With all the increases maybe I can get a ride to the poor house from elderly affairs/pd

Anonymous said...

Congrats Teddy! you do a great job and I for one, would rather pay you for the use of your equipment than some other person who may not be the resident of this town. Its a win win situation for all of us. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

$25k and the number was pulled out of a hat? Is this town full of idiots? You know darn right well were the extra money is going! The records will be manipulated and the surplus cash will be in the chiefs own account.

The next time your spouse needs to buy something, have them say "honey, I need $1000 dollars to buy a clothing item I want". And will your response be "Well how much does it cost?" or will it be "Sure, go into my deep wallet and help yoursel?"

This is just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

chief ALWAYS pulls a number out of a hat! Do you REALLY believe he gave 2000 rides last year?

Do you really believe he gave 8 rides every single weekday of the year? EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Anonymous said...

if the PD could do the job last year for $643,000, why is it taking $767,000 this year?

Anonymous said...

To the residents of Atkinson: Please do not take your frustrations out on the rank in file cops. If you are upset with the chief, then take your fight up with him. It is a shame that the officers had to take it on the chin because of one mans antics. We all know that times are tough right now, but even in the good times the police union has been bad mouthed by the chief - who plays both ends against the middle. The truth is, that every SWORN member of the police department holding the rank of patrolman benefits from the union contract...so its was not simply four officers...it was roughly thirteen officers who would - and are - covered by the contract. Better luck next year boys...don't let the bastards get you down...and please continue to serve this town with the dedication and professionalism you have always shown...even in the face of adversity that seems to be put forth by a lone individual who has overstayed his welcome.

Anonymous said...

To March 11, 2009 7:30 PM

Do you think some of this money is being used for the taxi service? Same with the so called $25k generator that will be used only ONCE perhaps.

The citizens should demand after ALL is said and done and the bloody thing (generator) is installed to have the remainder of the monies returned to the town and be reflected in writing for all to see.

We should have access to who installed it, the cost of materials and everything else. People need to be accountable!

Anonymous said...

The other day I saw an elderly affairs car waiting outside the liquor store in plaistow. I waited to see who came out and got in the car. It was an elderly gentleman getting his medications!

MAcciard said...

The problem with the generator is two fold. One; Today I can buy a 20,000 watt generator, and have it installed with the standby transfer panel for under $11,000.00

Two; We already have one powered equipped emergency communications and 911 center in town and it is in the fire station. Whenever there is an emergency and the town is without power for a protracted amount of time, all communications go through there.

Why do we need two?

I do not blame the chief for this, he came into the budget committee with his wildly inflated number of $56,000. They did nothing to research or reduce it.

It was selectman Childs who said, "we can do this for alot less" and reduced it to $25,000. And the chief said "OK" no argument.

It was the budget committee's job to research what generators cost, the installation and maintenance costs, and if it was necessary in these times, with the emergency system in the fire station.

They failed!

There was a time when the budget committee did this type of due diligence before recommending money warrant articles, but that time is apparently past.

MAcciard said...

And to the poster who made the comment about the cost of the PD budget, that is exactly the point I raised at deliberative session, and the budget committee said the numbers were simplistic, but have failed to answer the simple question;

"If ANY dept. demonstrates that they can do their job, well, last year, on $130,000 less than they are budgeting now, regardless of how they did it, why do they need the extra money this year?

Anonymous said...

So then why was it taken out on the police officers and their contract? It was their LEAST expensive contract in the last six years. 6.5% over three years, as compared to 9% over three years for the last two contracts. I know times were tough, but if they were os bad, then why did ANY monetary items get passed? It seems pretty unfair towards the cops. And, it seems it is all over the peoples displeasure with the chief

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but I see rejection of the police contract as fairness to all the other town employees, who did not receive any increase at all. Chief Murphy stood up at town meeting to speak to the raise for police, while the Fire Department received none. Teddy spoke to it, too. They're right. On this economy, we all take our knocks. And, we'll all deal with it. 2010 is another year. Maybe things will be better.

Anonymous said...

The issue with the generator is that the building is three phase. It's not as simple as installing a home generator because of this. Perhaps you should do your research and understand the issue before thinking you can install a Home Depot purchased generator for 5K. And to Mark, this was researched, hence, the much lower figure than what the chief put forth. You may also note that the chief deferred ownership after being told it could be done for much less. There may be other issues to be critical about, but I don't see this as one of them.

Anonymous said...

to March 12, 2009 8:48 AM

It could be converted from 3 phase for less money, so it could be a simpler system. The point is, no one should be going to the people for money without the backup information. This should also include information about all solutions. This was not done.

Anonymous said...

" It is a shame that the officers had to take it on the chin because of one mans antics. "

Why don't the officers do something to correct the real problem? They must have enough evidence and witnesses to force a change.

Anonymous said...

Why is such a small building, the PD station, three phase? That is usually reserved for industrial use.

Anonymous said...

On the generator and 3 phase, there was discussion at one of the BOS meetings. The 3 phase was currently used in in the building HVAC that came along with building to start. The cost of converting the HVAC system and all to single phase was judged more that the cost delta of the single to 2 phase generator. I don't know if the detail is in the minutes, but I heard it, it was discussed.

Anonymous said...

The generator should only be used to supply electricity for the essential items such as radios, electrical outlets etc. If this is all for the air conditioning, that is something that they can forego. Moreover, a supplemental heat system that is a lot cheaper can be employed for when there is a power failure during a storm. Lets face it, we never had this luxury before and now all of a sudden it is a "must" have. How did we ever get by all these years!

Geesh!

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 8:48;

Although the PD is 3 phase they only use two phase power, and even the town elecctrical inspector says they should have a converter. But hey smart ass, I didn't call home depot. I did my research. I called tow commercial electricians, and looked online as well.

Here maybe YOU should educate yourself;

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/shopping_cart.php?osCsid=
6951a08ceac53eb33194214dd350e3ae

22Kw 3 phase standby generator= $7,999

Transfer panel= $1,200

Installation, including wiring and plumbing= $2,200

TOTAL= $11,400

BUT WAIT.....

WE DON'T NEED THIS!

WE ALREADY HAVE AN EMERGENCY STATION IN THE FIREHOUSE!

We are paying because Phil doesn't want to have to go to an operation where somebody else is in charge! We are paying for his EGO again!

Anonymous said...

DO you know how many hours Selectman Friel and the others put into negotiating this contract> I believe they started in Sptemeber and ended in December. Maybe the other town employees should put a uunion together and become organized so that they , like the cops, can present a unified front and attempt to get the benefits the cops get.

It works better than an individual going to the selectmen and asking for a raise. By the way, a union isnt free.

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 6:11.

If you really believe this solution will work, why don't you present it to the board of selectmen? Regardless of whether you think it's needed or not, the voters have spoken. If you believe that it can be done for less than half of the 25K, go present your findings! Otherwise, this is nothing more than a useless whine on a blog and not really constructive. You can, however, change that.

Mutual Aid said...

Regarding the generator: while I cannot speak of the cost factor or 3 phase vs 2 phase vs single phase, I can say that there is an absolute need for a generator at the PD. Having one at the FD is not going to help at all when the PD resources are needed. Arrests are sill made and reports still need to be completed when the power goes out. To 3/12/09 5:14 - despite your sarcasm, I actually don't know how they got by all these years without one. There are time when reports and other paper work ABSOLUTELY need to be completed by the end of an officer's shift - difficult to do with no power, no?

Anonymous said...

Please tell us, how has it been done for the last ten years? The police station is only open to 4pm its not open 24-7. The last big power outage took place ten years ago. This is a waste of money. And the crime rate in this town justifies this?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait til the special meeting and vote when the contract is up again. As Sapia said at deliberative session, it would have cst the town 6900.00 now it will cost the town 16,900.00. If that isn't fuzzy math I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

The one thing you always need to remember about Jack Sapia is the old lawyer joke, "How do you know a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving."

Jack has wonderful at oratory. Only thing missing is the Bible thumping. He would have made a wonder tent preacher. Just keep in mind, he has been caught more than once lying to the public. He does it so freely, with no hesitation in his voice, that I cannot believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.

I have not a clue what his motives are. He may actually have the towns best interests at heart. But to me, if you lie, and keep lying, best interests mean absolutely nothing.

Why he continues to have so much influence is incompressible. Maybe it is because he attends the BOS meetings with such frequency. This from a man who said he was not running for reelection because he wanted to spend more time with his family. I cannot begin to express my anger at this statement.

Go view his presentation at the Special Town Meeting last August. It is on the front page of this blog. Listen to the first sentence out of his mouth. Then, think about it. Think about the timing of what he claims. Then consider it is all false. His son was on the practice field out back.

If you have the best interests of the town at heart, you need to be honest to be credible.

Regarding the generator - let it go. It is done. All the questions posed should have been made at the deliberative session, TWO MONTHS ago. If you did not attend, or did and did not ask these questions, they mean nothing. How many times does this need to be said? You want a voice in the petitions, ATTEND THE DELIBERATIVE SESSION AND ASK QUESTIONS THERE. Asking questions after the vote MEANS NOTHING.

I voted against it. Considering the size of that building, a portable to serve the necessary functions would do just fine. If the PD would simply begin to realize, WE ARE IN A DOWNWARD ECONOMY. People are losing there jobs left and right. People are losing their homes. The PD appears to be completely out of touch with this reality.

I will tell you this. Change is coming. You may find it hard to believe, but I know it. Business as usual is coming to a end. Just words for now, but watch.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone whining about the generator...what difference does it make..really why bother defending this...It was passed the majority voted for it. BOTTOM LINE...gee

Anonymous said...

I think folks are ripped about the generator for the simple reason it was a budget guestement. Do you think anyone would have voted for it if they wrote on the ballot "The sum of $25k dollars (so we think) to acquire an emergency generator that (we think) we need"

If this is how the generator was handled as a budget item with a price pulled out of a hat, imagine the other pork that got voted in. People voting for this stuff have the trust that the individuals pricing this have done their homework rather than guessing at it. I wonder how much fluff is in the mosquito control or other items that passed?

In times of a sagging economy you need to put an effort into finding the best price for the best product. If you cannot even do that, don't even put it on the ballot to see who votes for it. Moreover, get someone else on the budget committee that will do the job.

So the reason it got voted in? Nobody is paying attention to how things are elected for recommendation.

Anonymous said...

I can understand people are mad about the generator. Too late. People should have gotten mad before and during the Deliberative Session. It happened with the tower last year. People got up and asked some hard questions. That alone did not do it in. The cost is what killed it. But the questions were hard enough it got the Budget Committee to change their recommendation.

What makes me angry about the PD is they seem to want the Cadillac for everything rather than consider a sub compact. The tower was one outrageous example. The new entrance to the parking lot. Tell me again why they needed that? Same for the generator. A $1000, 8 KW portable is more than enough to run radios, lots of lights, and a couple of space heaters. But Noooooo. They are not paying for it so why not ask for the world.

We have a Budget Committee, don't we? How about doing some budgeting?

The generator is a dead issue. What people need to do is get involved so that the PD's next wish list item does not get rubber stamped again.

Anonymous said...

There were vacant slots on Budget Committee and Conflict of Interest Committee but nobody signed up to run.

Its appointment season and there are spots coming open on Zoning and the Planning Board plus you can always volunteer to be on other committees.

Until people get involved, nothing will change.

Lots of whiners on the blog but nobody stepping up to the plate. I like to gripe too but quit whining and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This blog is just text on a web page and will change nothing if action does not follow words. nuff said.

Anonymous said...

To Mutual Aid

The PD has a generator already but they want a bigger one to handle the heat and A/C, not just lights. They also have propane space heaters. As far as the paperwork goes, they can do it anywhere, it's just that paperwork, none of there stuff is digitized, it's all pen on paper. So yeah, it IS pretty easy to do without power.

Anonymous said...

If people are ripped over the generator, what do they think about the other $134k the PD is going to get this year? Why do people vote for this stuff?

Anonymous said...

Because every time somebody asks Phil hard questions, thy get pegged as having a vendetta against him or the PD. The public who doesnt pay attention, buys it, after all a 30 year police chief wouldnt lie, would he?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the paperwork is not pen to paper, it is done on a computer.

Anonymous said...

No.

When they return to the station, they have to copy the report data from the forms they fill out (by hand) and put it in the computer.