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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.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tell the Blog the direction it's future should take...

There has been mush debate lately about the direction this Blog should take in the future. The Blog Moderators, and Administrator are interested in hearing genuine ideas, and debate upon this topic.

Let's hear your suggestions.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you should continue to post articles from the ET and we can blog here. I don't trust the ET and won't blog there.

I hear so many comments now around town about the frequent lawsuits against the same people, the increased taxes when the economy has tanked, the lack of cut backs in the town budget - esp. the PD/EA. When are the town officials going to start taking the bull by the horns and making changes to save money on taxes, insurance and promote some goodwill?

I want this blog to continue but I would like the blog moderator to moderate and not post comments that are offensive and merely attack the posters.

Anonymous said...

Tough to say. I think this blog has completely, and sadly, wore out it's usefulness. Consider the videos of all the town officials allegedly breaking the law. Or the picture of the Chief's car in WalMart.

Perhaps you should consider more of a forum with different rooms and areas we can go to for news, discussion, etc.

I actually think the way Curt Springer has the Danville blog going is a better way than what this has turned into.

Anonymous said...

Stop regurgitating everything from the Tribune. An occasional article, as it relates specifically to Atkinson, is fine but they're the norm rather than the exception at this point.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for asking!

The most aggravating thing - to me - are the childish and redundant comments. It's sort of like "You did too" "Did not" etc.
Perhaps the blog moderator should moderate, eliminating all those that are not pertinent to the subject or relative thereto.

Reading 50 or more stupid comments adds absolutely nothing to anyone's new information on a topic.

Anonymous said...

then you get the complaints about the moderator deciding who gets to post and who doesn't, it is a no win situation

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that you like the blog as having moderators and an administrator. We know one of them is Mark, despite his denials. So honestly, how can we expect this blog to be fair and objective if the people running it have personal gain at stake?

MAcciard said...

No one has ever answered the question I asked at deliberative session and took heat for asking;

Why does it take $771,000 this year to run the PD, when we ran everything last year for $643,000?

Nothing was not done last year, and we ran efficiently, why the $100,000 increase this year? And more importantly, why didn't the budget committee draw a hard line on this?

Anonymous said...

Mark, I'm sorry, but I am confused by your question. It is off topic.

However, your question was answered at Deliberative Session, the problem is you do not like the answer and refuse to accept it. It is similar to the discussion we had last year about the Timberlane school budget.

Your calculations are too simplistic.

So why are you no longer a team member of the blog?

MAcciard said...

The comment was in response to the first comment posted.

As for the calculations being simplistic, that is a facetious comment, and that was Fred Thompson's comment at town meeting, but he never went into detail about what was simplistic about it.

I submitted an article to this blog where I went through all of the numbers. Once you take the personalities out of it, the numbers do not lie. They are what they are. And I can find no justification for a $100,000 increase.

Read the Article then comment.

http://atkinsonreporter2.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-is-truth-about-police-dept-budget.html

Henry said...

I think the moderator(s) first must decide what YOU want from this site since you do the work.

Do you want a forum to promote your own point-of-view (as it is today, with your one-sided videos & polls, and the snippy lead-in posts)?

Or do you want to administer a site with no visible point-of-view so that the point-of-view comes from those who post?

My preference is that you take the latter course and leave opinions to the rest of us, but it is your call.

My beef as it is today is that your Mission Statement purports a set of values you do not live up to.

Anonymous said...

To Henry,

Sounds like a selectmen’s meeting complaint to me. The videos you are talking about are what they hate. They hate the fact that the videos are of them in action. Can't run from that now can they! They HATE the fact this blog catches them in the act

Anonymous said...

Keep the blog just the way that it is. It works well sooooo well. So well that town officials spend all their time trying to discredit it. HA.

Anonymous said...

I think the owner of this blog should do what he damned pleases with this blog.

I think each and every person who voted to keep Brownfield from his right under 91-A should be sued along with the moderator and his henchmen!

I can't believe they DARED to vote like this. In a state where we are so concerned about 'gay' rights, we have a long way to go when town moderators are allowed to blatantly break the law like this!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! It is time to change this blog. It is soooo redundant now.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

During deliberative session, they did offer an explanation as to the budget increase and how your breakdown of cost/hour (as you list on the blog topic you link) was too simplistic. Perhaps you would have been satisfied if they went through the budget line item by line item?

So a question for you: how do you know the Police Department ran efficiently last year? What proof can you provide to back this up? They lost two officers and needed to cover their shifts. Perhaps they were overworked and stretched thin. Who knows?

Look, I understand you are a CNHT guy and cut/reduce spending is just part of your "mission," but this is public safety we are talking about. We all know they lost two officers and need to replace them. Sorry, but you come off as a little callous here.

Anonymous said...

Until this town's government becomes more open and honest, I think the blog needs to keep doing what it's always done. We still have a ridiculously outsized police fleet, little financial control over the PD, a town government largely afraid and unwilling to try and control the chief, and town boards dominated by special interests (builders and developers).

Our ethics committee is a sad joke and is run by friends of the people it should be controlling and censuring. As long as we have all these issues I think the blog is needed.

The problem is that we don't have people like Mark and Leon contributing new material and facts and figures lately, so the blog has just turned into occassional posts from the Eagle Tribune. Also, we've been infested with several troll(s) that defend the chief through empty attacks on the blog, resulting in long sections of comments dealing with that, and disrupting the flow of the blog, which is exactly their aim.

I think we need more original reporting, but know that's time consuming. I also wish there was a way to limit the amount of troll posting here (as far as I'm concerned these posts could be deleted entirely, but that's a slippery slope).

Anonymous said...

Anon, 10:56 AM,

I see. So by your standards, you suggest we keep everything as is and the only problem is the "trolls" (aka Chief supporters.) So I guess you are OK with open discussion as long as it's one-sided.

Do you realize how much you sound like the people you criticize?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the moderator(s) should add a folksy new topic called the Town Dump. And all those pointless "You did too" "Did not" comments can be archived there for posterity. Then at least all the trolls and trollets in town will have a place to go to pick through each other's garbage. It's less of a slippery slope then sending them off to web hell.

Anonymous said...

June 13, 2009 10:56 AM

So, by your logic, a critic of the blog is a troll. Consequently, a troll is a supporter of the Chief.

Please, enlighten us. How does criticizing the actions of the moderator automatically make that person a supporter of the chief? Please, tell us, how are the two even remotely related?

Are you saying only people who do not support the chief are welcomed here? Are you saying that only one sided discussions should be allowed?

Please, clarify your position for us.

Anonymous said...

Word is Brownfield is trolling for another lawsuit. I guess he's not talented enough to make a living on his own. Now THERE is a troll!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the Blog become "fair and even," but even if the moderator tries to do this, people will continue to make unfounded comments like "Our ethics committee is a sad joke and is run by friends of the people it should be controlling and censuring." It is a "Conflict of Interest Committee" and not an "ethics committee." Its members are freely elected, and is made up of concerned citizens that took the effort to run, and are not "friends ot the people it shoudbe controlling..." and its charter is not to "control anyone." There is a vacancy that the ignoramus that made the comment could fill, if they felt like really contibuting to the community, than just unfounded bitching on a blog that could serve a more useful purpose.

If the blog is not "fair and even" all that will eventually be left is like-minded individuals who reinforce their own paranoia with half-truths and unfounded innuendo. Too bad--the blog could be "fair and even" and be an important venue for reasoned discussion--instead of just sniping and personal assasination.

Unbaised polls would be a start...

Anonymous said...

The PD used part timers in those officers places last year, at a cost savings of 100,000. why couldn't that be done this year?

And I heard budget committee guy say that Acciards numbers were simplistic, but he just threw out some quick excuses about sick time and holidays, and the article that Acciqrd quoted put those excuses to shame.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55,

There are many instances where it is preferable to have someone who works full-time rather than part time. In some cases, it can actually cost less in the long run to have a full time employee.

Would you prefer a full time or part time mechanic do a major repair on your car (like the transmission, for instance). If you needed major surgery, would you prefer a full time or a part time doctor did the surgery? Again, we are talking about public safety here and not flipping burgers at a fast food chain (and there is no disrespect to fast food workers by this comment.)

And maybe you do or do not remember, some of the money was being used to recruit new full-time officers to fill the position. However, Mark's numbers do not reflect that and even though I am sure he heard the comment during deliberative session, he conveniently disregarded it when putting together his blog post of the PD budget.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Atkinson and Iran is freedom to voice your opinion?

In Atkinson free speech and citizen rights are under attack.

"Today, the Iranian dictators closed universities in Tehran, blocked cellphone transmissions and access to Facebook and some other Web sites, and for a second day shut down text-messaging services."

What are they afraid of? Their own people saying what they think, or what they are allowed to know?

Some critics in Atkinson spend hours and many dollars to discredit free opinion ---and say that to be a blog moderator or voice an opinion anonymously IS WRONG.

“We are not disposable things to be thrown away,” said Mahshid, 20, an Iranian student who declined to give her last name because she feared repercussions from the authorities."

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:36,

This is an incredible comparison you make. You are comparing Atkinson to Iran?!

And then you all wonder why this blog has a credibility problem...

Anonymous said...

In Atkinson free speech and citizen rights are under attack.

Anonymous said...

Well, you are entitled to your opinion. Although I definitely do not share that viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Please, I want to understand this. How is criticizing the blog and blog moderators when they do some foolish and irresponsible as attacking Atkinson's citizens free speech and citizen rights?

And, we still don't have an answer to why it is assumed that a critic of the blog is automatically assumed to be a supporter of the chief?

Nowhere in any of the criticisms of the blog did I see any reference to the chief. That association was only made by those attacking the critics. If someone tries to discredit what a critic has to say by saying he is a chief supporter, that makes it true?

Anonymous said...

You should suck it up and show up at public hearings, meetings, etc. and actually get involved. Stop hiding behind your computer as an anonymous jerk! That's all!

Anonymous said...

"You should suck it up and show up at public hearings, meetings, etc. and actually get involved. Stop hiding behind your computer as an anonymous jerk! That's all!"

What prompted that? What part of my questions offend you.

And BTW, "actually get involved." How do you know I'm not involved. Why do you make that assumption?

It was people making assumptions based on absolutely data to back them up that led to such an outpouring of criticism. I could call you a jerk also and make the same accusations , but that would wrong because I probably don't know you and you may actually be a great person.

So, what is your issue?

Anonymous said...

Above is an exchange that demonstrates one the things that is really wrong with the blog.

A person asks some difficult questions, points out something that may be wrong, asks for some detailed answers.

And, what happens? This person is attacked by the blog supporters and accused of all sorts of things, many that are probably false. They are called names and insulted.

One poster complains our rights and freedom of speech are be are being attacked, but isn't that exactly what the blog supporters are encouraging?

Do what I say, not what I do.

Freedom of speech does not exist if only one view is tolerated. If this blog and its supporters are to obtain credibility it desires, it neeAds to tolerate criticism.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for the Blog. Good work, folks.

Anonymous said...

"Thank God for the Blog. Good work, folks."

What good work. For all intents and purposes nothing has changed. The moderators post unsubstantiated rumors, and support them with more rumors. Blog supporters show little tolerance for dissent and start calling critics names and accusing them of having all sorts of positions, again, with no proof to back them up. Most every topic seems, somehow, to revert back to the same topic, the chief.

There is free speech here only to the extent the critical posts are not deleted. Other than that, the supporters support free speech only as long as it is theirs. Rather than debate, they counter by calling people names.

Unless this changes this is not a forum of the people but digest of ET articles, repeats of the same old issues (RTK and assessments) and a place to bash the chief.

If the moderators and the supporters are happy with that, the mission statement needs to be rewritten clearly stating this and making it clear dissent is allowed, but at your own peril.

MAcciard said...

Please accept this as an article submission;

Why does it take $130,000.00 more this year to do the same job as last year?

It will be easier for everyone to focus on the issue at hand, if you remove personalities from the discussion. This is not about the police dept., or the fire dept. or the highway dept. for the purposes of this discussion it is dept. X.

Dept. X, performed ALL of their duties and responsibilities admirably in 2008 for $643,000.

This year Dept. X wants $771,000 to do the same job. It is not attacking to ask why. It is not slanderous to demand that our tax dollars be spent as efficiently as possible. Now here are the details;

Dept. X has both part time and full time employees. The ONLY reason we can have this discussion, or that we know the dept. can run on $100,000 less is that two of it's employees lost their lives last year, and the dept. increased their utilization of part timers to fill in for this loss.

Full time employee cost between 40-80% more than part time because of the higher wage per hour, and the cost of benefits.

This dept. currently has 5 full time employees and 17 part time employees, however only 8 or so part timers work shifts on a regular basis.

Every year Our dept. X budgets 10,400 full time hours, 8,760 part time hours, plus PT dept. head who is limited by law to 1,300 hours per year, and his right hand man who it has been stated many times works 50 hours per week, or an extra 500 hours per year. This gives us a total of 20,960 man hours per year.

The hours listed are PATROL hours, they do not include hours budgeted for dispatch, clerical, school crossing, et.al.

There are 8,360 hours in a year! So we are spending 21,000 man hours to cover 8,360 hours. I know the math doesn't work out, does it?

We heard the budget committee's Fred Thompson try to explain away this vast difference by saying it was taken up with Vacation, sick time and holiday time, but that math doesn't work either.

You have 5 FT employees that get benefits.

2wks. Vacation(80 hours) x 5 employees= 400 man hours.

11 paid holidays(88 hours) x 5 employees= 440 man hours.

10 sick days(80 hours) x 5 employees= 400 man hours.

So here is the math;

20,000 man hours budgeted

-8,360 man hours spent patrolling the town.

-1,240 man hours covering vacation, holiday, sick time.
__________
10,400 man hours we have paid for, but are unaccounted for.

Take out the 2000 hours for the Lt.

You still have 8,400 hours unaccounted for. That is an ENTIRE YEAR OF PATROL TIME WASTED!

So much for simplistic calculations, lets look at the money;

It has been argued that the $130,000 included money to hire replacements for the lost employees, but a few hundred dollars for an ad does not explain $130,000, nor does this facetious argument about sick time, holiday pay, etc. That has been explained above.

So the original question still stands unanswered;

Why the extra $130,000?

And please don't bother trying to "shoot the messenger here" I am not interested, if you have a response to deal with the numbers and answer the question, I would love to hear it.

Thank you for your time.

Mark Acciard

Anonymous said...

More Iran\Atkinson comparisons.

Mr. Ahmadinejad dismissed the opposition’s allegations, saying that the victory had given him a bigger mandate than ever.

He criticized Mr. Moussavi, the main opposition candidate — who remained at home on Sunday with security forces closely monitoring his movements — in a veiled statement that many here saw as a threat.


Mr. Ahmadinejad said of his rival during a news conference at the presidential palace. “He ran a red light, and he got a traffic ticket.”

Anonymous said...

Well blog owners, have you made a decision yet? Henry and Anon June 14, 2009 7:55 PM have shown you the path to a free and open Blog.

Or, do you continue on the current path where unfounded rumors are allowed and supported, continue with your highly biased polls, support peoples positions that if anyone criticizes the blog or it owners they automatically must be a supporter of the chief and accused of all manner of things.

Is this to be a blog focused only on what the moderators want, or truly open to all opinions, popular or not?

Is this to be a blog that when the moderator makes a mistake he truly apologizes, or one where he says nothing or offers up weakly worded statements?

Is this to be the town's attack dog or a place of actual debate?

You need to decide. As Henry says, recent actions are not consistent with the blogs mission statement. Do you continue to support that mission statement and follow it up with action, or do you need a new one?

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Heard it before.

Anonymous said...

"Yawn. Heard it before."

Great. Then you're familiar with the topic. Shows you're paying attention. Give us some answers we'll stop asking.

But remember, the moderator asked for input. We're doing what he asked.

Get some sleep.