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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, September 30, 2009

Atkinson gives $5,000.00 bonus to administrative assistant

Article Submission:

Atkinson gives bonus to administrative assistant

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON, N.H. — Atkinson recently hired its fourth town administrator in the last two years. Throughout that time, one person has worked countless hours to make sure the town's business has been taken care of.

On Monday night, Barbara Snicer, the town's administrative assistant since 2007, was recognized by the Board of Selectmen for taking over the town administrator's responsibilities and her own.

"It's incredible, the amount of work she's been doing," Selectman Bill Bennett said.

To reward her, selectmen unanimously approved paying Snicer a onetime bonus worth 15 percent of her salary. Bennett said the bonus is about $5,000.

Town employees did not receive any pay raises this year and selectmen said it would be inappropriate to single out Snicer for a raise. But this bonus was the next best alternative.

"It's really small compared to the effort she's put in," Bennett said.

During the latest seven-month absence of a town administrator, Selectmen's Chairman Fred Childs said he would go to Town Hall just about every day to help Snicer. But, he said, she deserves most of the credit for running the day-to-day business of the town.

Town Administrator Philip Smith was hired two weeks ago, but the job had been vacant since late January when the previous administrator quit suddenly.

Snicer has been involved in town government for years as a member of the Budget Committee, the Building Needs Committee and head of the town's television studio, according to Childs.

Whenever a new selectman is elected, Childs said Snicer helps them learn the rules and responsibilities of the job.

"She's got to teach these guys, even if they have experience," Childs said.


Anonymous said...

Well deserved!!!

Anonymous said...

Funny that every time I ask her about something, I get the blank look and I'm sent elsewhere.

She doesn't deserve to be singled out this way over others who did not get a raise.

Anonymous said...

Some people in town do a good job. They should be recognized and rewarded. They're hard to keep.

Anonymous said...

Proves we can get things done for 5k without 70k plus with a TA. None of them know what they are doing so why the extra expense?

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me, a bonus. This town is ridiculous. She was paid to do the job, and in this economic time we give a bonus. No other town employees were given a bonus. How about the fire department or the police department who spent days working in the ice storm with little to no sleep. where was the selectmen then? This is absolutely insane. I will not be voting for any of these three again. Thanks for wasting my tax payers dollars. This will come back to bite the town in the butt. You started a bad precident.

LongTimeRes said...

Your an idiot "Are you kidding me.." She was paid to do her Job, not two jobs. 5K is a small price to pay for a workload way above and beyond her paid work load. I wish I could vote you out of time but every town needs it town fool!

Anonymous said...

The only reason Barbara (Snitch) Snicer has her position at town hall is because of her relationship to Don Consentino. Their lonoooooooooooooooog time relationship got her a job she is not qualified to do. Her only job is to report back to Phil ANYTHING she perceives that will hurt the DON.

Many people cover more than one position at work when short handed, but don't get a bonus of it. A 5K bonus for reporting situations back to the DON, is nothing more than legalized prostitution.

Go eat another sandwich Barbara. Other than answer a phone and call the Don, that’s all you do everyday.

That’s my opinion of a no brain secretary for the DON. Whatever you do don’t ask her a question and expect the correct answer, she will shrug her shoulders and say: “Duh, I DON’T KNOW YOU’LL HAVE TO ASK THE SELECTMEN”.

She needs to be FLUSHED.

Anonymous said...

Longtimeres. Thanks for the kind words, but you sound like the idiot here. Spoken like a true selectment Mr. Bennett. Look at todays article in the tribune, they want to cut the budget by 5% or a total of $205,000. Hmm they would only have to cut it by $200,000 if the had not given out a bonus. So now the departments will have to suffer more because of her budget. I would like an outside inquiry on how a government body can give out a raise. Mr. Acciard I call on you to ask how this is even legal in the states eyes?

Anonymous said...

Article submission

Atkinson officials work to clean up paper trail
Donors gave $150,000 for new library

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Kimball Library opened a year ago, but the selectmen recently asked the library trustees to reveal all construction costs that were paid by a group of anonymous donors.

Residents approved spending $2.7 million to build the new library and tear down the old one, but that would only cover the bare necessities. To make up for extra items on the trustees' wish list, some 300 people donated about $150,000 through the Friends of the Atkinson Library to help pay for energy-efficient lights and carpet upgrades.

The problem is the extras were paid for by residents directly to the contractors, according to Selectman Bill Friel.

"None of the paperwork went through the town," Friel said.

The town needs to know exactly how much donors spent on the construction project and what improvements they paid for.

Selectmen also need to see all warranties, contracts and other documents associated with work paid for by the donors.

"The whole paper trail is missing," Friel said.

Until March, only the selectmen were given the authority to accept gifts and they couldn't do so without documentation, Friel said. At Town Meeting in March, residents approved a warrant article that gave library trustees the authority to accept gifts.

Once they have all the requested information, Friel said, the board won't have a problem accepting the donations retroactively.

But library trustees said at a meeting Tuesday night that they had already provided the selectmen with the information they requested.

"Their difficulty is they have a wretched retrieval system," trustee Chairwoman Kay Galloway said.

Ron Lamarre, the architect for the library, said the lowest bid came in about $200,000 more than what the town had approved, so that's why the donations were needed.

A ceremonial shovel, stained-glass window and an exterior clock all were donated to enhance the library, Lamarre said.

"I think there are many people who were happy to be part of the legacy fund," Galloway said.

Miscommunication between the trustees and the selectmen is nothing new.

Galloway said the selectmen were invited to all trustee meetings starting in 2006 during the planning for the new library until after it was opened in October 2008.

"One of the difficulties we've had is a selectmen's liaison that has been absent more often than present," Galloway said.

To resolve the issue, trustees said they plan to hold a meeting to make sure selectmen have all the information they need.

Friel said a meeting would be scheduled soon.

MAcciard said...

Selectmen have broad powers to administer employees. RSA Chapter 32:10 in the state budget law forbids anyone from questioning how they move money around the budget based upon "circumstances unforseen at town meeting", in practice; although that is the opening line of the RSA, the DRA does not enforce it unless the selectmen exceed the bottom line of the total budget.

The selectmen have the authority, legally, to give an employee a bonus.

As Barbara Robinson, of DRA, told me during my tenure as Budget Committee chair, "technically the day after town meeting the selectmen could decide to move every dollar in the budget into a single dept., say police or fire, if they wished, and it would be legal. There would probably be political fall out in town, but it would be legal."

There is a vast difference between what is technically legal, and what is right.

MAcciard said...

PS: what the selectmen do not have the authority to do is create a NEW employee position, within the town without voter approval. That was the root of the controversy when the selectmen created the town's first full time police LT. spot, not only were the voters not consulted, but the position was never advertised and screened as per town ordinance. That was also why the TA position initially had to be on a warrant article.

Anonymous said...

So what's up with the library article. Front page news in the paper but not on the front of the blog? No censorship right?

Anonymous said...

They don't want to highlight the libraries illegal activities. People are not allowed to hire contractors on behalf of the town.

Anonymous said...

BURP..... burp.... oops some bucks
burped out of my butt. Kay, sweep it up my sweets and re serve it cause its always tasty bucks i like... JMO