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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Atkinson chooses town administrator

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson chooses town administrator
By Eric Parry
eparry@eagletribune.com

ATKINSON — A police chief from Salem has been hired as the next town administrator.

Selectmen announced at their meeting last night that Phillip Smith, most recently the police chief in Alton, has been given a three-year contract.

Atkinson will have a town administrator for the first time in more than seven months.

"I think he's going to do a good job and people will like him," Chairman Fred Childs said.

Smith has lived in Salem for most of his life, Childs said. He will begin work at the selectmen's next meeting Sept. 14 and his first full day is Sept. 15, the chairman said.

Smith could not be reached for comment last night.

Selectmen refused to reveal Smith's salary or the specifics of his contract until next week.

Smith was interviewed by selectmen several times over the last several months.

Selectmen advertised for the position in late May and received about 30 applications, which they reviewed for several months.

Smith began his law enforcement career with the Salem Police Department in 1984 and was promoted to sergeant in 1997 and lieutenant in 2001. He was hired as Alton's police chief in November 2007, according to the town's Web site.

Smith has a bachelor of arts degree in social science and history and a master's in criminal justice. He is certified in law enforcement physical fitness, the Web site said.

The town administrator job has been vacant since late January when Steven Angelo resigned abruptly.

In August, the three selectmen met with six former selectmen to review applications and discuss who might be ideal for the job.

A candidate, whose name was not released, was offered the job in April. When that person gave notice to his employer, Atkinson's offer was matched and then turned down.

That candidate had remained from the search conducted when Angelo was hired. No specific salary range was stated in the job advertisement.

Prior to Angelo, Atkinson went through two town administrators in a year.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

oooooooh, an actual police chief, with a degree and everything, as town administrator. I like it. I like it a lot.

Way to early to put the cart before the horse but this could be the beginning of some wonderful things.

We have a BOS, who in my opinion, finally "Get's it", and a town administrator who knows a thing or two about law enforcement. Did I just feel the earth move?

Anonymous said...

My first reaction....Our chief isn't going to get away with ANYTHING! The Selectmen will get all the information our chief won't provide...the Budget Committee will too. Lt. Baldwin will get the amount of money he's supposed to get. One guess....our Chief will retire by the end of Lt. Baldwin's stint in the Coast Guard. And Lt. Baldwin can submit his application along with all the other applicants. It's going to be awesome.

I'm trying to reach some of the people I know on the Salem PD for my own, personal references on Mr. Smith. I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

I've been poking around Alton's web site. What really catches your eye is the bio's of the PD, http://www.alton.nh.gov/Police.asp .

This guy seems to be in a whole different league than our guys, and he didn't have to sue Salem to get promoted.

I think this is going to be the kind of guy who is not intimidated easily and not going to put up with any of the crap that seems to accompany others who make waves. All I can say is, wow.

Anonymous said...

Smith began his law enforcement career with the Salem Police Department in 1984 and was promoted to sergeant in 1997 and lieutenant in 2001. He was hired as Alton's police chief in November 2007, according to the town's Web site.

Smith has a bachelor of arts degree in social science and history and a master's in criminal justice. He is certified in law enforcement physical fitness, the Web site said.

WOW! My first reaction was "can we get him as chief?"

But then I thought...

By Atkinson standards, he must really suck as a cop if it took him 13 years to make Sgt., then another 4 to make Lt.

Officer Baldwin made Sgt. 3.5 years after graduating the police academy, and then Lt. 3.5 years after that.

Either we promote too quickly and for no reason, or this guy has a problem, but looking at his accomplishments, I am now asking why we have a Lt. that had less than 8 years as a cop before getting promoted?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, the Lt. sued his employer, us, to get the Lt. position.

I don't think you're going to find many departments, anywhere, who promotes a newbie as fast as Atkinson did. Which, BTW, is why so many have difficulty thinking of him as chief after such a short tenure. Nice guy aside, in this day of age the position of chief requires someone with the education and experience. In other words, someone who has paid his dues.

Salem is a much bigger town with far more action than Atkinson will ever see. In the real world you don't get promoted just because you are on the job for so many years. If he sucked as a cop he would not have remained in Salem, and he would not have been promoted through the ranks. And I also highly doubt our Lt. would be hired as a Lt. by any other department with such a short tenure under his belt.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, it will be very interesting to watch. Wait until this guy sees how our PD is actually managed. Wow he's in for a treat! A guy who really went through the ranks and actually has credentials with education and experience behind it. I'll take a wild guess and bet somebody at the PD ain't gonna be happy!

Anonymous said...

The sucking as a cop part was sarcasm. sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Maybe once this guy gets established we can actually start posting with our names, and not worry about Phil following us around town, or our houses getting sprayed

Anonymous said...

September 9, 2009 3:19 PM -

I didn't see it as sarcasm (and I'm usually pretty good at spotting it) because I think your comments, and slant on them, clearly shows the disparity between how Atkinson has done things and the way the rest of the world does them.

I guess this means one persons sarcasm is another's truth, sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I think the BOS just hired our next chief.

If this was their intent, what a brilliant move.

Anonymous said...

Why can't he be a full time town administrator, AND a part time chief?

There would be less of a conflict than there was with a part time chief and selectman!

Anonymous said...

Even if he stays on as TA, he will have the insight into the PD.

Anonymous said...

This is going to fun to watch.