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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!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Atkinson releases new town administrator's contract

Article Submission:

Atkinson releases new town administrator's contract

By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Atkinson's next town administrator will be the highest paid person in that position, according to the contract the Board of Selectmen released yesterday.

Philip Smith Jr., 45, will earn $76,000 in the final year of his three-year contract. In the first year, Smith will earn $72,000 and $74,000 in the second year. He will not receive any retirement or health benefits with his salary, according to the contract.

The last town administrator, Steven Angelo, made $75,000 a year without benefits. Russ McCallister, who left in February 2008, made $63,000 with benefits.

Selectmen released Smith's contract yesterday, but announced he had been hired for the job at Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting.

Previously, selectmen refused to release the contract, citing personnel confidentiality.

Smith will be the first person to occupy the job since Angelo resigned abruptly in late January. He will begin work on Monday night at the selectmen's meeting and will start his first full day Tuesday.

Prior to being hired as town administrator, Smith has been Alton's police chief since 2007.

Smith and selectman said this week they are happy to start working together.

"Obviously, the longer the time frame we can keep a sitting town administrator in place, the more beneficial it is to the town," Selectman Bill Friel said.

Prior to working in Alton, Smith was a lieutenant with the Salem Police Department. He began working in Salem in 1984.

As part of Smith's contract, he will receive three weeks of vacation, five sick days, five personal days and 12 holidays per year.

If selectmen are dissatisfied with Smith, the contract allows them to terminate him for "cause," which is defined as "loss of confidence of the majority of the Board of Selectmen," according to the contract.

September 11, 2009 9:08 AM


Anonymous said...

$76,000???? HOLY SHIT!!!

I remember the warrant article that created thisposition,, something like $50,000

Anonymous said...

Hey, does anybody know whats up with this new mirrored window in the police dept. lobby? I used to be able to see the people I was talking to, now it is mirrored. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

A cop said the Chief wanted to prevent the public from looking inside the dispatch room because someone saw something he didn't want to be public. Someone was doing something they shouldn't have been doing and got caught.

Anonymous said...

Mt friend's brother's cousin's mailman's maid's best friend told me the same thing! And I'm reading it here, so it must be true! Mr. Smith, did you get that?

Anonymous said...

Ask Dispatcher Cunningham, she was talking about it.

No sense using your friend's brother's cousin's mailman's maid's best friend, that's just rumor!

MAcciard said...

Dispatcher Cunningham told me that it was put up a little over a month ago, because "we do clerical work and someone saw something and ran with it, and chief wanted that(the mirrored film) up".

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

So somebody saw them doing something they shouldnt do, and Phils response isnt to stop doing it, his reaction is to block the window so they dont get caught in the future?


Anonymous said...

Let's see; having a mirrored glass would make citizens feel incredibly uncomfortable and unable to know if anyone is on the other side...

...but be convenient for the police.

Exactly how shocked are you that he chose the option that's bad for citizens.

To the Zombie that posted above and seeks nothing less than to suck on Phil's toes:

Good job toe-sucker!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see a problem with a police chief who chooses to hide his actions instead of being open and transparent?

A guy with a badge and a gun who time after time chooses to take the bully route instead of just letting the criticism roll off his back like other chiefs do?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's so the Public can't see what his officers have to perform on the Chief, in order to keep their jobs?

MAcciard said...

Ok, THAT was disgusting!

Anonymous said...

Once again nothing to do with the topic at hand...only one post is talking about the thread is about. Great job as usual Mr. Moderator and assorted "Team Members".

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't notice there isn't any moderation on, I dont think there has been any moderation on since this thing started. This blogs critics cried that the "moderator" screened comments and didnt allow any opposing viewpoints, now they bitch that he doesnt remove comments they dont like. Cant please you guys.

Anonymous said...

Since the subject has been raised, would Mark mind telling us how he is a team member of this blog and what that entails?

Anonymous said...

Also, does anyone know the new TA's shoe size?

MAcciard said...

I don't know what "team member" means. I know I have this blog listed on my account as one I follow, if that matters to you, Perhaps you would be kind enough to tell me who is asking, and why?

Anonymous said...


The account info of the moderator of this blog listed you as a team member. A team member gives you admin rights to this blog. When this association was pointed out here, your listing quickly disappeared. So what gives? How closely associated are you with this blog?

Anonymous said...

Mark I commend your spirit. You don't back down to the endless attacks against you. And rightly so based on what I've seen.

The irony is I have yet to see one document substantiating any of the wild claims against you and your evil ways (sarcasm). On the other hand we have a chief found in contempt of court but that's OK. Or our moderator who admits in court documents he did not know the 91-A RSA when he tried to stop a citizen from taking pictures at town meeting.

When it comes down to documented facts, your detractors need to show me the paper. All the hard facts I've seen documented don't point to you as being the lawbreaker. Just my observation.

Anonymous said...

I could care less who runs this blog. Some people are apparently obsessed with who the people are. Why is this so? They should get a life.

MAcciard said...

They are obsessed with the owners of this blog, because they have been so successful at remaining anonymous. It is much easier to "shoot the messenger" when you know who the messenger is. Believe me, I know.

Anonymous said...

So I guess you will not answer the question.

MAcciard said...

Perhaps you would get your question answered if you ask it to me, in other words, identify yourself, or continue to take the cowards approach of casting aspersions from anonymity.

And before you tell me that I advocate for those who do that very thing on this blog, let me respond by saying that I have always encouraged everyone to either post under their own names, or choose a psuedonym, so that you know whom you are having a conversation with, but I have stated that I understand why people post anonymously here, as I have experienced the retaliation for doing so personally.

Remember, the chief threatened legal action against me on behalf of the town(albeit, without the selectmen's permission) for two article on here that I didn't even write.

MAcciard said...

I had the opportunity to meet the new TA today. He seems like a very nice, but knowledgable guy. I wish him all the luck, and fortitude in the world, in his new job.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry, but I fail to see how my asking a simple question about your involvement with this blog could be perceived as an attack, or as casting aspersions, against you. I've read far worse here from other people.

If anyone is casting aspersions in this discussion, it is you Mark, by implying I am a coward for posting anonymously. The rules are the rules Mark and I did not make them. Surely you are logical enough to realize that. If anything, the ability to post anonymously here makes us all equals and as long as the dialogue is civilized, identity should not matter.

Truthfully, I could care less about who owns and operates this blog. The fact is you were listed as a team member of this blog and if YOU wish to post here freely, perhaps it is fair to others here to have full disclosure about what you can and cannot do on this site.

If you choose to perceive this reply as an attack, so be it.

MAcciard said...

I never said it was an attack, what I said was that you are focused on who is behind the blog, just as the Chief is. The point is that it doesn't matter if I wrote every word on this blog, or if someone from out of town did, the result is still the same. This blog is largely critical of town officials because they have earned it.

It doesn't matter that the owner chooses to remain anonymous, what matters is the debate. Hell, I am impressed that they have been able to remain anonymous so long given the amount of work Town officials in general, and the chief in particular have sent trying to find out who is behind it.

Don't you find it disturbing when a government official has to attack people critical of his policies and actions, rather than proudly defend their merits?

As to my status, I didn't know I had one other than someone who reads and posts to this blog, just like other residents do. I don't know how "tam member" got there, or where to find it even.

And if you know me at all, or have ever listened to anything that I have said at public meetings, you would know that I relish the debate. I could care less if you are diametrically opposed to my position, as long as you can defend yours and we can debate the relative merits of our respective positions. However, I feel it only fair to warn you, I WILL try to convince you to convert to my position.

Pseudonym said...


We could debate this endlessly. I've put it as succinctly as possible. I've never once questioned who the owner of this blog is, so I am not sure why you are bringing this into the dialogue. I do find it contradictory for you to state, "It doesn't matter that the owner chooses to remain anonymous, what matters is the debate." Especially after implying anonymous posters who question you are cowards. And by the way, to post under a pseudonym still keeps you anonymous, but for some reason, people who do that are no longer cowards in your book? Doesn't make sense to me.

I'll take you at your word that you are not aware you were listed as a team member of this blog. But I hope you and the other readers take me at my word that you were listed as a team member on the moderator's profile and after that was pointed out, it was immediately removed. That elevates you from a contributor to someone who can control content on this blog and I think those who choose to participate here have a right to know that.

Anonymous said...

To Pseudonym:

Our town has substantial financial and legal problems and you're obsessively focused on whether Mr. Acciard is somehow associated with a blog. I could care less and I'd bet 99% of the people who read here could care less.

What we want are changes to corrupt practices costing every taxpayer in Atkinson. Mr. Acciard's affiliation or non-affiliation with a blog, facebook or whatever is completely irrelevant to the real problems in town. If the our fire chief or police chief were on facebook, would you care? If they ran a blog would you care? I know I wouldn't. ITS IRRELEVANT.

Personally, I'd like to know where Mr. Acciard shops because I bet there's something rotten in Denmark about where he buys groceries.

MAcciard said...

My point about using a psuedonym, is only a method of identifying the conversant. It is a little disconcerting to participate on a conversation with 10 commentators all posting as anon. If anonymity is a must, then the use of a pen name is a means of facilitating conversation. Much easier than "anon@ 0:00pm".

Anonymous said...

I know Mark Acciard only a little as I have spoken to him occasionally. Yet I am very impressed.

I appreciate his memory of facts. He rattles off what I have forgotten from years past. This is amazing.

I also appreciate his sincerity. He always means what he says and gets underneath the obvious to the real importance of an issue. The sincerity extends beyond what he says to what he stands for. I see he values justice and fairness.

I also stand in awe of his courage. I think I admire him for this quality most of all. Where others will back off or stick their heads in the sand, he will stand up and press forward. He takes action and is willing to put himself at risk. This is especially true when the well-being of his follow citizens is at stake. What greater acknowledgment can I possibly make---than THAT!

I think Mark Acciard is a patriot standing in a long tradition of American leadership. A great leader is here. And I know it!

MAcciard said...

WOW! Thank you very much for the very kind words. I am not so certain they are deserved, but I humbly appreciate them none the less. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You might not be aware of the gratitude and appreciation that is out here for you.

There are many of us who admire your tenacity dealing with the problems that have come about just because you want to see our town run properly.

we are not quick to give you the cedit you deserve but I guess you could put that down to human nature. You give us hope.

Just another poster.

MAcciard said...

wow, again, thank you very much, I really do appreciate it. But you do know that our issues in town are really very easy to solve. You simply need to go to deliberative session, and stand up and be heard. If everyone who posted here that feels the same way showed up at deliberative session, that would be the end of these shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Mark I will make it a point to be at the next deliberative session for the entire day.

Carol Grant said...

Two comments:

1. I also was and am concerned about the mirrored window in the police building entry. I stopped in there recently to leave a request for the police to keep an eye on our house when we were going to be gone for a bit, and was really taken by surprise by the "people vrs. police" paranoia as evidenced by the mirrored window. This "police vrs. people" mentality of the police dept. is both sad and inexcusable.
Unfortunately, I think that it's actually "the chief vrs. the people" paranoia.

Everytime we've gone on a trip in
the past, whenever we had to leave notice to the police to keep an eye on our house, I always really enjoyed the interaction with Diane Kinney, our most sociable and friendly former dispatcher who always greeted residents with a friendly smile and greeting. She made you -- all residents --feel welcome at the police dept instead of like a threat or the enemy.
It's very rude, discourteous, sad and an insult to the people of Atkinson to deny them the simple basic courtesy of being able to see to whom they are speaking and for residents to be subjected to such paranoia. It's beyond understanding why our chief seems to deliberately sabotage good public relations with town residents.
No such mirrored window was listed in the budget for the police department. How much did it cost and who authorized it and why?

2. I noted the praising of Mark Acciard by several bloggers. I'd like to add my admiration and praise. He's a man of courage and
integrity which too often has resulted in a few nasty people engaging in personal attacks on him.
To those detractors of Mr. Acciard,
it's a shame that you can't just
civilly disagree with Mr. Acciard without engaging in personal attacks. We're lucky to have a
man of his integrity and honesty
in town. He's never been afraid to speak out against official wrong-doing, even though he has been shamefully subjected to much
abuse by a few for his speaking out. Yet, he's never been intimidated by those vocal few.

I'm sure those vocal intolerant few are now going to attack me for my sincere comments about the mirrored window and the comments about Mark Acciard. That will also be sad and hurtful to the many people who want to blog but fear the attacks on them by those intolerant few who disagree with them.

Anonymous said...


Been a long time since we've heard from you. Gettin a little worried.

I too was taken aback by the disembodied voice at the station. I think it is a very bad idea and does give the impression they have something to hide. I guess when you've created a hole that deep the PD might well keep shoveling.

Anonymous said...

The mirrored window at the police station is just another ridiculous slap in the face to the people of this town; the selectmen should be ashamed that they allow someone who they are supposed to supervise get away with such silly passive-aggressive actions against the citizens who pay his salary.

Anonymous said...

The mirrored window is just another indication of how Phil regards the people of Atkinson and the integrity of his job.

It is the reaction of; Well, next time we will just make sure they don't see us, rather than, I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was wrong, we won't do it again.

It was the same thing with Accard's ethics complaint; instead of saying sorry, I won't vote on police matters again, he said I can do what I want and you can't stop me... until accard did stop him with a court order.

It was the same thing with Peak, 30 years ago, when Peak accused him misappropriating funds, he yelled and screamed about his "good name" and Peak "having a vendetta", and it resulted in a 6 year lawsuit.

This is the man's character, not a mistake.

Anonymous said...


With respect to your comments about Mark Acciard, I think you are making a leap of logic here that I am not sure I agree with. I do not see any personal attacks or insults on Mark by raising the question of his involvement with this blog. In fact, Mark himself admitted in this topic that the questioning was not an attack. If you are referring to the despicable acts that took place at his home, I feel that you may be implying that by questioning Mark here, the writer somehow played a role in what happened to his house, which is completely wrong.

Truthfully, there is quite a bit of verbal low blows on this blog that come from both sides (i.e. September 13, 1:13 PM). Furthermore, just as everyone here has a right to question our town officials without fear of retribution, we should have the same right to question the motives or agenda of this little area here in cyberspace.

Carol Grant said...

To Anonymous Sept. 21, 9:36

Either I wasn't clear or else you misunderstood my intent.

My comments praising Mark Acciard had absolutely nothing to do with
the blog entries concerning whether or not he was involved with the blog administration. Actually, I'm surprised at the number of blog entries that even dealt with such an irrelevant topic.

Also, I certainly would never imply that just because someone criticizes or disagrees with Mr.
Acciard, that automatically they must have been involved with or supportive of the dispicable thuggery of those who vandalized Mark's home.

The sole intent of my comments was to praise a man who has the courage of his convictions--of someone who's never afraid to stand up for or against something he believes and be counted. Whether anyone agrees with or disagrees with Mark, surely we all, and you, all respect and admire his courage and integrity.

As a former Civics teacher, selectwoman, and now just an aging town resident, I can only wish there were more principled, honest and honorable people in town like Mr. Acciard.

Anonymous said...

Back to the mirrored glass.

The story is that the Dispatcher was working on Phil's little private slush fund while on police duty. Someone saw her and reported her to the selectmen and Phil is looking for the snitch. I wonder what the selectmen are going to do about it.

Phil put up the film so no one can look inside and catch them misappropriating town labor again.

Two cops need to be relieved of their duties.

Anonymous said...

supposedly the AG's office is looking into it too

Anonymous said...

Phil is always looking for a snitch of his illegal behavior. Want to bet who will be FORCED out of town next? You KNOW it's going to happen, right?

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

the list of people that have left town because of his harrasment is long but distinguished. Peak, Daniels, Lorden, Rivera, Acciard, Kaye....others?

Anonymous said...

I heard the guy who saw it complained to the selectmen. Then the selectmen called
Phil who called the AG to find out who made the complaint.

Maybe it was Phil who complained to the AG about himself!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't look for any positive or strong action against Phil by the new Town Administrator.

The word is that Phil was on the interview committee and that he strongly urged and supported his fellow police chief for our TA job.

Also, he so much wanted to have a fellow police chief in his pocket as TA that Phil made pressure calls to all three selectmen urging them to appoint Smith.

Phil's self-serving pressure calls were successful and now we have a former police chief with NO TA
EXPERIENCE serving as our TA. With
Smith knowing that he owes his job to Phil, there is no doubt how he is going to handle any issue involving Phil. He is going to be a Phil toady and Phil kiss-up.

Anonymous said...

"The word is that Phil was on the interview committee and that he strongly urged and supported his fellow police chief for our TA job."

I love the part "The word is". Slant it anyway you want but when you put it that way it is a rumor. God knows we get plenty of that here.

Anything you can add to change this from a rumor to a fact?

Anonymous said...

A RTK request will reveal who was on the interview committee.

If Phil was in fact on it, the BOS are doing a severe injustice to the residents.

Anonymous said...

Fact: They said they'd hire an experienced TA and they did not.

Anonymous said...

I just read the three articles pertaining to the new TA and no where did I see the selectmen state that he was an experienced TA. Where are you getting this "fact" from?

Anonymous said...

They said it at selectmen meetings.

Anonymous said...

"As soon as we can find somebody qualified that we like," Friel said.

Selectman William Bennett said they would prefer someone who has experience working in New Hampshire town government.

"We're refining where we want to go and the person we're looking for," Bennett said.

"The town advertised for the position in late May and received more than 30 applications. Over the last month, the three selectmen met with six former selectmen to review applications and discuss who might be a good fit for the town. Friel said they are taking their time to make sure the new town administrator will be a long-term solution."

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous Sept. 23, 11.35

I got ''The word'' from an un-impeachable source, the highest
possible source. If the name of the source is revealed, that source will become Phil's target
and we all know how vindictive and vicious Phil is towards his perceived 'enemies.'