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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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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Atkinson offers top job to unnamed candidate

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson offers top job to unnamed candidate
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Selectmen have offered someone the town administrator's job and expect to know soon whether he will accept the post.

Selectman Bill Friel said yesterday afternoon they were still negotiating a deal. Friel declined to identify the candidate or the specifics of the deal.

Selectmen's Chairman Fred Childs said an announcement could be made as early as next week.

Selectmen voted Monday night to make an offer to the only candidate they interviewed in the latest round. The interview was conducted last week.

If an agreement is reached, Atkinson will welcome its fourth town administrator in just over a year.

The last town administrator, Steven Angelo, left abruptly in late January after only a couple of months on the job. Before Angelo came onboard in the fall, the post was held by Craig Kleman as an interim administrator. Kleman was hired last April, but left last summer to take a similar job in Plaistow. He has since left Plaistow. The previous administrator, Russ McCallister, left in February 2008 to work as a government adviser in Iraq.

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. McCallister made $63,000, plus benefits. Angelo did not receive any health or retirement benefits with his salary, according to selectmen.

Selectmen said previously that hiring a town administrator is their top priority.

While the selectmen were searching for a town administrator, they apparently mislaid or forgot to pay a $19 bill for the town's Web site domain name and allowed the site,, to expire.

Selectmen said yesterday the bill was sent to a former town employee who hadn't worked at Town Hall for about 10 years. The bill has now been paid and the Web site was back online yesterday morning.


Anonymous said...

I don't like it! I just don't like it and even if I thought I would like it, I wouldn't like it anyway. My town is full of meanies and I am sure whoever they hire will be a meanie too.

Anonymous said...

"Selectmen said yesterday the bill was sent to a former town employee who hadn't worked at Town Hall for about 10 years. The bill has now been paid and the Web site was back online yesterday morning."

Not true. Barbara had the bill.

Anonymous said...

Just what we need. Three selectmen (who don't know what they are doing) interviewing / hiring a person they can't oversee.

Talk about stupidity and a waste of money. This guy will cost us $100,000.00 a year and the job still won't get done.

Hiring a Town Administrator is nothing more than EXPENSIVE WINDOW DRESSING. Just another SCAPEGOAT in the making.

Anonymous said...

If they were sending the bill to someone who hasn't worked at town hall for 10 years, then how did they pay the bill last year, or the year before?

And why can't they tell the truth?

Why can't they just say, hey, we're sorry we misplaced the bill, won't happen again.

Anonymous said...

They are not annual bills. Look at the new expiration data of the towns website domain name and you will see it expires in 2014. Billing for domains is traditionally handled via e-mail, so if a personal e-mail account was used, the town would never have received the notice.

Anonymous said...

RE: April 15, 2009 9:13 AM

I detect a lot of bitterness here, not to mention you have no clue what you're talking about.

Are you just stupid, of did you have a accident that made you that way?

Anonymous said...

They got the email about the bill being due in plenty of time to pay it.

Anonymous said...

The real issue is our elected officials don't know what they are doing and have no system in place to deal with anything. This includes a simple domain bill. We should be asking ourselves how much more money is being spent that we don't know about because of their incompetents? How many more bills are we being fined for that we never hear about. WE NEED CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, NOT more of the same stupid people in office.

Anonymous said...

hey April 15, 2009 5:59 PM

okay..put your money where your mouth is and get involved. Lets see how good of a job you can do..we all know your good at slinging the mud. geesh..kind of sick and tired of reading about what a bad job the selecmen do, instead of wasting your energy bashing do it, show us what you got!

Anonymous said...

I've got a better idea. How about all people that read this blog give me all your money, and I promise to support you and your families in a manner you've become accustom to. I promise I can keep my promise, once I receive your money. Let me know when I will receive it so I can plan for your complete support.


All selectmen in every town in the world.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest. If you have ever been critical of Phil or the PD or elderly affairs, you can not get elected! Phil will demonize you to his precious elderly. He will tell them how you want to cut the elderly program, how you have a vendetta against him, how you are unreliable, etc.

Anonymous said...

To Anon April 15, 2009 7:51 PM

You made my point. No one wants to be exposed to the political machine of the last 30 years. They are the
Whitey Bulger’s of Atkinson. They are SLIME, CORRUPT, and the EVIL that lurks in our town. They are the ones that INSIST that if we don’t like what they do…………..WE must move out of town. If we don’t do what they want………..our house will be burnt down.

Is that what we want for our kids? Bullies with authority or worse yet a badge…running our lives?

Time to put the REAL LAWBREAKERS BEHIND BARS, and take our town back.

Just my opinion, but worth thinking about. After that………..ban together and flush the toilet of the evil.

No one person can do it alone, but together we can do it.

Where do you want to be a year from now?

Anonymous said...

Why does every posting; no matter what the topis turn into something about Phil Consentino? Enough. For once the chief had nothing to do with this.

What you should be concerned with is the no details about the salary and benefits package they offered to this unnamed and unknown person.

What bothers me, is that this will be the fifth TA in seven or so years. Couple that with a guesstimated salary of 60k to 75k a year. Is that money well spent? I mean if the economy was the reason the Selectmen could not give raises to ANY of its town employees..then how fiscally responsible is it to offer an expensive position like this to a person who history tells will probably not be here longer than a year.

Save the town some cabbage...don;t hire a TA and take the money that was going to go to him / her and give the town employees their raises...hell, you could almost fund six years of a police contract for the high end on the TA proposed salary.

Just a closing thought: Instead of having all these "Tea Parties", why don't we - the voters - take the opportunity to vote out EVERY incumbant on every election (local, state, federal, etc) for the next couple of cycles and send the message loud and clear that the pols work for us. Voter enforced strict term limits. Stop making being a politician a full time job.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59 pm, give me a break. You are making a mountain over a mole hill. Have you ever forgot to pay a bill on time? To blame the selectmen for this is ridiculous and to hold it up as an example of their continued ineptitude shows that you do now know what you are talking about. Case in point; Bill Bennet has only been on the job for about a month.

And anon 8:41 p.m. I was watching Bill Freil at the ZBA meeting last night around 9 p.m. This "slime" was working for the citizens of the town when he could have been home with his family. Besides sitting at your PC, casting insults at people who wish to improve Atkinson, what were you doing last night to better our town?

MAcciard said...

To all of the critics of the TA position. If you have ever headed a major committee in town or had to work with the selectmen's office, you would understand that the town really does need a professional manager to handle the day to day activities of the office. The problem here is that, in my humble opinion, the only TA we have had so far that was worth a damn was our first, Vic Richards.

Vic took our sleepy little town where things had been done the way they are done forever, and began to put into place systems, and policies to handle things more efficiently, and professionally. Unfortunately, Vic was taken form us much too soon. And Russ was content to use the selectmen's lack of knowledge to his own ends of empire building. He, in my opinion, gathered through close observation, tried to remake the town ADMINISTRATOR job into a town MANAGER job.

A Town Administrator is legally, little more than a glorified secretary until the selectmen officially delegate him duties. He should be someone who is aware of state laws, and can advise the selectmen of the proper way to do things. He should be aware of state filing dates, state and federal grant monies available, surplus equipment available, and basic HR laws.

The selectmen are part time regular citizens with a variety of knowledge in their given fields, but not necesarily knowledge in all of these fields. This is why a TA is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Article Submission:

Atkinson Zoning Board rejects trucking plan

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON SEmD The Zoning Board ruled a trucking company is not allowed to locate on Industrial Way at a meeting that didn't end until early this morning.

Board members concluded the company, P.J. Murphy Transportation Inc., was not a permitted use in the commercial industrial zone, an area that lies along the Salem town line.

The 3-2 vote represented a major victory for neighbors, who appealed the Planning Board's decision last month to approve the project.

Attorney John Ratigan represented a group of about 10 abutters who appealed the Planning Board ruling, claiming the 24-hour trucking facility should not be allowed in their neighborhood.

"This plan has regional implication," said resident Keith Wolters.

The trucking facility would have operated 24 hours per day and only been closed Sunday mornings. There would be seven trucks and 14 trailers parked on the property, which would also house a small office and maintenance garage, according to Paul Murphy, who was looking to relocate his business from Dracut, Mass. The firm transports petroleum products and water.

Residents, who waited in the audience at Town Hall for more than three hours before the board heard the appeal after 10 p.m., said they were mostly concerned the business would create loud noise in the middle of the night.

Murphy argued that his business included a parking lot, office building and garage - all permitted uses under town zoning - but residents said it was the combination of all these that created the problem.

"The concentration of trucks and traffic are unique to a transportation terminal," said resident Ed Tomasi.

Murphy said he was disappointed with the board's decision, which came shortly after midnight, but planned to file another appeal. He noted the case could eventually end up in Rockingham County Superior Court.

"It's been a tough struggle," Murphy said after the board's decision.

The proposed plans had been discussed by the Planning Board since November but were just approved in March. Members of that board wrestled with the noise issue for months and even had a sound study conducted at Murphy's expense.

Atkinson's zoning regulations specifically identify what is allowed in the commercial and industrial zone, and the trucking facility didn't fit the requirements despite similar businesses being located in the same area, according to some board members.

"Just because something was happening doesn't mean it was permitted," Susan Miner said of other businesses in the zone. Sam Zannini and Sandy Carter cast the dissenting votes.

Planning Board Vice Chairman Paul DiMaggio told the Zoning Board he voted against the plan because he didn't think it was right for that zone. DiMaggio, who was on the Planning Board when the commercial industrial zone was created in the 1980s, said it was intended for home businesses that outgrew residential neighborhoods.

"We are a bedroom community, not an industrial community," he said.

Anonymous said...

To Mark , I agree that a Town Administrator is no more than a secretary but would you explain to the readers what a Town Manager is and what he does. That may be the way to go to avoid the power struggles the town presently is under going. A Town Manager position is most likely the best way to go for the changes that are surely a need to stop the disputes. Readers on both sides of the issues should give this a thought to over come the division w/i Atkinson.

Anonymous said...

Can't help but notice that, since Phil is apparently laying low for a while, you guys nit-pick on EVERYTHING! Town Administrator, bills being paid late, Timberlane vacation schedule, and all kinds of other really important things

Man, you guys need lives!

Curt Springer said...

To anon@April 16, 2009 3:14 PM


Anonymous said...

I've read chapter 37 and it seems to be the way to go . Thank you Mr. Springer

Anonymous said...

Prior to all this TA nonsense the town ran more efficiently, for much less $$$ with a better support system when there was an admin and/or clerk in the office. No TA and no secretary w/benefits.

MMMMMMMMM today's cost - admin 45-50,000 plus clerk 20-25,000 = max of 75,000.

Today TA 70-100,000 and secretary 40-45,000 = 145,000. (both w/full benefits). contest. No TA no secretary w/benefits.......go back to a qualified admin and part time skilled clerk.

MAcciard said...


a Town Administrator has no authority not specifically granted him by the BOS.

a Town Manager, by statute, has fiduciary responsibilities similar to our current BOS. The Town Manager hires and fires, disciplines, manages employees, acts as HR for the town, in some towns he prepares the budget, in others he spends the budget, much as our selectmen do now. In other words, he is a COO, not a low level manager.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it our Legally Brilliant Town Moderator has sent everyone in town government a memo about how to avoid letting people speak at meetings. Is this true, and has anybody seen it.

Anonymous said...

In response to Town or Village District Managers,Chapter 37,where on earth do you suppose we will find any one that will live up to 37:4.

So far we cannot find Selectmen to stand up to their own oath of office. Until the people at the top have honesty and integrity we will never have a BoS
of which we can be proud of or trust. The same people are still in power and don't forget it.

This community does not need all the bells and whistles in order to be run properly. What it needs is some good people that will care about the good of the Town, and not their personal egos.

Our next door neighbors have bigger populations,tons of businesses,and spend less to operate their towns than we do. What's wrong with that picture?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with this picture is: Polito, Consentino, Fred Childs, Sue Killiam, Barbara Snicer, and new Town Administrator, all Selectmen with an agenda, etc.

Taxpayers need to pay attention to town affairs everyday, and form committees for change. Without this, we are stuck with the same old politics.