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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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Friday, September 4, 2009

Atkinson police lose second-in-command for a year

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson police lose second-in-command for a year
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — The Police Department will be without its second in command for a year soon with Lt. William Baldwin scheduled to be deployed as a member of the Coast Guard Reserve by the end of the month.

Baldwin's deployment also will leave the Timberlane Regional School Board without a member for the year he will be gone.

This will be Baldwin's second deployment in recent years. But this one will be easier for his wife and two children to take, he said.

"They understand it a little better now," Baldwin said of his two children, Mackenzie, 10, and Brittany, 14. "I want them to be proud of their father."

Baldwin's last deployment brought him to Kuwait from 2003 to 2004. He was a gunner on a ship in the Persian Gulf, patrolling supplies for other troops. He said he doesn't know where he will be deployed this time or what his responsibilities will be.

He said he wanted to thank the residents of Atkinson for supporting him as a police officer and as a member of the Coast Guard Reserve.

"I live my life serving, whether it's my country or Atkinson," Baldwin said.

He said he doesn't plan to leave Atkinson permanently anytime soon. In fact, he said his goal is to become Atkinson's first full-time chief some day.

"Hopefully, the people will support it," he said.

He has been a member of the Coast Guard Reserve since 1995. He's been a member of the Atkinson Police Department since 1997. Prior to working in Atkinson, Baldwin was a Marine for 10 years.

Baldwin's absence means that police Chief Philip Consentino and the other 23 members of the department will have even more responsibilities. There are five full-time officers.

Consentino said he would be taking on most of Baldwin's duties and Detective Phil Farrar would become the second in command.

"It's going to make a little bit more work for all of us," Consentino said.

Baldwin said one piece of the job he'll miss the most over the next year is working with the fifth-grade students, Baldwin said.

Last year, he became the DARE officer at the school. He said he was looking forward to this school year because he has become closer to those students in the last year.

The Plaistow Police Department, which covers dispatch duties in Atkinson on nights and weekends, will cover the DARE responsibilities at the school.

"We're going to try to work it out so it's manageable for both departments," Baldwin said.

Baldwin, who is also in his third term on the Timberlane Regional School Board, said the board has agreed to leave his seat vacant during his absence. That will leave the board with eight members, but Baldwin said he doesn't expect the even number to present too many problems in his absence.

"Hopefully, they won't have any split votes," he said.

Baldwin is in the start of the first year of his third term on the board.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the voters have to vote to make the chief job full time first?

And hasn't it been phil for the last 5 years always claiming that the chief's job isn't a full time job? And that a part time chief makes the most sense for the town?

len mullen said...

I know the school board and your top cop have little respect for the law, but I believe RSA requires Mr. Baldwin be replaced...


671:4 Board. – A school district which is not a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1 may have a school board of 3, 5, 7, or 9 members, as it shall determine by vote at any annual meeting. They shall serve for a term of 3 years. Insofar as possible, an equal number of the members shall be elected at each school district election. Whenever such a district determines to change the number of board members, it shall also determine the number of members to be elected each year. Such change shall not take effect until the school district election in the year next following the one in which the change is voted. The board will increase or decrease in membership so that there will always be an uneven number of members until the desired number is reached. The school board of a district which does not otherwise vote shall have 3 members.

Anonymous said...

I wish Lt. Baldwin all the best in his second deployment. Thank you Lt. for keeping our country safe!

Anonymous said...

OK really the guys is going to fight for our freedom. Lets leave the slandering remarks out!!! Good Luck Bill, come home safely. Most of the residents of Atkinson will Miss you. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

What slandering remarks?

Anonymous said...

Len, they didnt replace him last time. Atkinson was without a school board rep for over a year.

Anonymous said...

I am not talking about Baldwin here, but if the dept. can survive for a year without him, then why do we NEED 5 full timers. Or a Lt. for that matter?
I am asking just from a money standpoint.

Anonymous said...

remember in 2003 when he was last deployed we got along fine for a year without him. Didnt have to hire anyone to replace him for that time. If you cant work for a year without somebody, then maybe you don't really need that position anyway.

Anonymous said...

There have been discussions in other topics regarding the moderators problems with his "Heard Around Town" comments, and their embellishments.

The Lt.'s situation has been known around town hall for 3 weeks, and it was not a rumor.

How'd he miss this juicy one? Maybe his sources have stopped talking to him.

Len Mullen said...

Anon, I realize they did that. As I said, the District and School Board have little respect for the law or the rest of us. Just wanted to point people to where the law is and what it says.

For more lawlessness, read about the handling of the pedophile problem -- there are Baldwin comments at the bottom.

Anonymous said...

maybe thats why the PD needed an extra $130,000 this year, nobody ever answered that one either.

Anonymous said...

no, I'll bet they needed the extra $130k to pay for all the work the officers do for the chief's private slush fund, and elderly affairs.

Anonymous said...

Ask Congress, it is hard to buy votes without money to hand out.

Anonymous said...

Another Groundhog Day?

Wasn't there a big controvercy over the compensation Atkinson had to pay Lieutenant Baldwin to make up for the difference in salary between the military and the town the last time he was called to serve? Wasn't there a tiny overstatement of the delta on the part of the Lieutenant? Is this going to be deja vu or is someone actually watching this time? Listen, none of us are getting any younger. Soon we'll all need rides from the Chief to the clinic or the mall. And this service is anything but cheap. Watch the money this time!

Curt Springer said...

My comments on Len's citation of RSA 671:4

Len Mullen said...

Yes, turns out it's OK to stifle dissent in a co-op. I guess, since the school board only has to read the superintendent's script, it doesn't matter how many members there are or if they show up to meetings -- probably why they have to pay 'em.

Curt, what do you think about sealing the 3/20/09 nonpublic session minutes for 99 years? Do you have a legal rationalization for allowing a confessed pedophile to prowl the corridors of the middle school for more than a year?

MAcciard said...

It is my reading of 91-A:3 that you can only seal minutes for as long as they will continue to be eligible under 91-A:3,II.

Meaning that if they sealed them to protect the potential reputation of Buatti, there is no longer anything to protect, and they need to be unsealed.

Curt Springer said...

My comments on the 99-year thing, posted elsewhere, are in agreement with Mark's, above.

Macciard said...

To Anon @ 12:34am;

You are correct, in 2003 then Sgt. Baldwin was deployed to Kuwait. The Board of selectmen, at Brian Boyle's request advanced him 6 weeks pay, $5,900.00 when he left for Boston, so that his family would not suffer any shortfall. The Board asked him to give them his LES(Leave and Earnings Statement) Which details all pay for military members, so that they could reconcile accounts. The Board pledged to pay Sgt. Baldwin the difference between his town pay, and his military pay. Instead of his LES which would show ALL of his pay, Sgt. Baldwin gave them a letter from his commander stating only his "base pay", which, as anyone who has served knows, is about half your actual pay when deployed.

This went back and forth for several months throughout the summer, see the minutes for 5/19/2003 and 6/9/2003, chief is asking board for $511.51/week which HE claims is the difference in military pay. Baldwin did not supply an LES to the town, he refused. Board sent him a letter asking for either his LES or for him to return the $5,900. To date I don't believe either has ever occured. So, basically the chief, and by extension the Lt. were asking for $2,200/ mo. from the town. The actual difference in pay was approximately $450.00/mo. according to

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mullen,

While I appreciate your willingness to admit you were incorrect in your understanding of the law. I fail to see the connection between your first post and Buatti. It appears to me your agenda is to keep finding fault with the school board, regardless of the topic. And I think we all know by now what this is really about.

Since there are repeated pleas for Mr. Springer to go away and mind his business as he is not an Atkinson resident, perhaps the same rules should apply to you as well!

Anonymous said...

Of course, God forbid we have a discussion, or any dissent.

God forbid someone have an opinion other than your own and be allowed to express it.

The fact is your school board doesn't represent you. It doesn't look for ways to cut your taxes.

It doesn't even exercise it's supervisory duties over the superintendant, it gets led around by him.

The fact is your school board acts like little more than bobbleheads nodding at Superintendent LaSalles latest proclamation.

The fact is that people are paying to send their kids out of the district to get them the education that Timberlane used to provide.

The fact is that Timberlane get over $13,000/kid to educate our kids, while you can send your kid to Pinkerton for $8,900. and get a better education. You can send your kid to Central Catholic for less and get a better education.

And when the school board keeps a suspected child pornographer in the classroom, and coaching our kids in sports, for 14 months after being notified by the FBI, and when it is discovered all the Super has to say, is he just found out. (a lie) than there are problems there that need to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

"Baldwin, who is also in his third term on the Timberlane Regional School Board, said the board has agreed to leave his seat vacant during his absence."

Since when is it up to the board that the seat representing one of Timberlane's communities may be left vacant? This means to me that it is OK with them that Atkinson is not fully represented during that time. That is not fair to the taxpayers of Atkinson nor its students.

The right thing to do here (though doing the "right thing" in Atkinson has become an oxymoron) is for the Lt. to resign from the board and allow the citizens of Atkinson to elect a new representative.

The law requires that his job be held for him (and I don't believe this applies to part time jobs). That does not apply to an elected position.

So, here's a test for Lt. Baldwin. What is more important; that Atkinson have full representation on the school board, or, you keep you seat and we don't have full representation?

If you are a person of good character, the answer should be simple, don't you think?

Curt Springer said...

Just a suggestion: Peter Bealo of Plaistow has set up a discussion forum for TRSD topics where people can post without getting into who is from which town.

I think the Baldwin absence from the School board is a topic for Atkinsonians to discuss (or not). If anybody in Atkinson is unhappy with his intent to leave for an extended period without resigning the seat, it appears that they have no recourse other than to contact him directly and ask him to resign so that somebody else could be appointed to serve until the March 2010 election.

Anonymous said...

He should resign the seat. That is in the best interest of Atkinson residents.

Anonymous said...

God bless him for serving our country but let's make objective decisions. If he's gone there's no representation. It was his decision to join the military.

We should respect those serving our nation however, when the respect and political correctness exceed what's in the best interet of the population he was elected to serve, then common sense dictates he must resign from the school board. He can always run again for election. Don't we have school board elections annually? Let's use some common sense.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, he said his goal is to become Atkinson's first full-time chief some day.

"Hopefully, the people will support it," he said."

I don't believe this is a goal. I believe this is the plan. Yes, I know he's well liked by many but as any businessman will tell you, being well liked is not necessarily a qualification.

Compare his years of experience with the chiefs of surrounding towns. It pales in comparison.

This is not about the chief. There is nothing new that needs to be added. This is about bringing the Atkinson PD and many other aspects of town government into the 21st century. When the chief retires it will be in the town's best interest that the BOS conduct a proper search for a new chief.

Set objective criteria. Publicize the opening. And just as the BOS used former selectmen to help select a new town administrator, the BOS should ask ranking officers from neighboring towns for their input.

The Town of Atkinson is a public community, not a family run business. There should not be a heir apparent for any position in a town government.

If the Lt. meets the criteria and objectively deemed a better candidate than the rest, fine, the job is his. But this is not a monarchy and he should not get the job just because he's next in line.

MAcciard said...

That's funny, That is what I thought too, but I remember at town meeting last year, and in articles here on this blog, when a warrant article was put forward for a full time chief, with screening based upon objective standards such as education and experience, people complained that those standards would not allow the Lt. to compete, and that they should be lowered to reflect his education level and experience level.

When people like me asked if this was a discussion about qualifications for a job, or about creating a job for a specific person, we were called names, and derided as people who ate the police dept.

My philosophy has always been, Remove the personalities. If a given situation is in the town's best interests, it is in the town's best interests, regardless of who it affects.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! Somebody is pulling our legs! How could Baldwin have been a Marine for 10 years, and in the Coast Guard since 1995, AND working for Atkinson Police Dept. since 1997, when he didn't graduate Timberlane until 1990? I know, I graduated same year!

You can't serve in two branches of the military at the same time! Somebody is padding their resume.

Anonymous said...

I learned long ago in situations like this, no matter what the decision is someone is going to bitch and moan about it. It's lose-lose.

The BOS should be use to this and I've seen evidence that they beginning to do what is right, not what is popular.

Never, ever, should standards for a job be lowered so that someone who does not meet them suddenly becomes qualified. Standards are in place for a very good reason. You want the most qualified person, not just the most popular.

A good deal of space in this blog is dedicated getting rid of the chief. It should be obvious by now that he's staying put, short of being arrested, until he retires.

His replacement should not be preordained nor should it be a popularity contest.

I think there is hope. We may actually have a BOS who feels the same.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Atkinson HAs no printed job standards or qualifications for ANY town job.

They don't even have job descriptions for most of them.

Anonymous said...

Now that Atkinson has a new "Town Administrator" we can see a WHOLE NEW BALLGAME! Right???

Anonymous said...

I don't know about a new ballgame but I know the selectmen have been putting in massive hours making sure the town continued to function.

With a town administrator in place and their workload decreased perhaps they can now spend time on the more cerebral issues, like setting criteria for our next chief.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the new TA is not a buddy of PC or it will be more of the same indefinitely. I hope he's a truly honest former cop with integrity that can reel in the PD.