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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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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Atkinson selectmen hope to cut spending further

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson selectmen hope to cut spending further
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Selectmen are looking to trim spending by 5 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to help ease next year's budget.

Selectmen called for a 2 percent spending cut in the town's $4.1 million operating budget two weeks ago. No department heads complained, so the board decided to go a bit further Tuesday night, according to Selectman Bill Friel.

Over the next two weeks, Friel said, the selectmen will meet with department heads to see how much they can save.

If each department saved 5 percent, it would amount to about $205,000.

Selectman Bill Bennett said it's tough to predict revenue for the end of the year, but he knows some areas will likely come in lower than expected.

Car registrations is one area with revenue coming in at less than expected because people are registering more used vehicles than new ones.

The town is still collecting property taxes without a problem, but Bennett said he knows there are some people in town who are hurting financially this year.

"I know there are some foreclosures and some people who have lost their jobs," he said.

The money saved over the next three months will go to lower next year's tax rate, which the selectmen said would likely increase.

This year's tax rate is $14.86 per $1,000 of valuation. The town's portion is $2.15.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see how some of the moonbats around here spin this into something negative...

Anonymous said...

Does the PD union have a contract? If so, it likely includes raises for the next two years. Will the police hold the town to those raises? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

If you have any understanding as to what a contract is, you wouldn't ask such a ridiculous question.

Anonymous said...

Did they ever install the generator for the PD?

Anonymous said...

Just another "Dog and Pony" show put on by the selectmen using their contacts at the ET to be the forerunner of their PR show.

NO raises or Contract negotiations increasing pay should be allowed by the selectmen during these though econimic times, but they will allow it for their voting base.
Watch and see if this doesn't come ture.

Taxpayers of Atkinson: Believe none of what you hear from these guys, and only half of what you see. They ARE NOT working in your best interest.


Anonymous said...

Neither are you Juicy Moist Orafice.

Anonymous said...

What are the exact figures for the town's unemployment rate and foreclosure rate?

If the town was so concerned with the fiscal well being of the wouldn't have hired a TA at wouldn't have given a 5k bonus...

Wake up people...they started at 2% and moved to 5%...first that then other services get people voted for the town budget to be "X" number of dollars...make sure that the money cut from town departments is accounted for down to the last cent.

To answer a question earlier, the PD does not have a contract, they are working off of the expired contract...with no rasies or bonuses...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

October 4, 2009 6:26 PM - Your prediction was right on.

October 4, 2009 8:23 PM is obviously delusional and apparently has no real contact with reality. Probably to busy ripping strips of paper from magazines.

BTW - October 4, 2009 7:53 PM mentioned the generator. The BOS has no power to eliminate expenditures voted on and approved by the voters. All they can do is review the bids and make sure they chose the lowest one that fulfills the requirements. Beyond that, their hands are tied.

People should keep this in mind when they vote on articles at the Deliberative Session. Don't blindly accept everything article put before you.

MAcciard said...

By State Statute The BUDGET COMMITTEE has sole responsibility for preparing the budget. You could conceivably have a situation where the selectmen wanted something in the budget that is diametrically opposed to the budget committee's thinking, and the selectmen have no authority to assert their wishes.

The selectmen ONLY have authority to spend the budget after the budget committee has created and the voters approved it.

Anonymous said...

"Nope not negative but WHY ISN'T THE BUDGET COMMITTEE TAKING THIS STANCE? IT IS THEIR JOB! Not the selectmen's"

Ah, not quite.

It's always helpful if before you make wild armchair quaterback comments, that you actually understand NH law. But that hasn't stopped anyone on here before, so why start now? ;)

As Mark points out, once the budget is prepared by the budget committee, and the voted on by the voters, the budget committee is out of it for that year. That group has nothing to do with it after it's voted on. But the selectman still have control over spending.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the budget committe and those who want to its power expanded...they already overstep their bounds as it is...but that is neither here nor there...the issue is that the selectmen are robbing peter to pay paul...look at the 200k figure they propose for cutting department budgets by first 2% then 5%...maybe I'm paranoid...but if you start to dig a little you may find things in the budget that the were voted on but there was no money to pay for what do you do? start slashing budgets to get the money you need...rumor was that there was no cabbage to pay for the east road rec fields which were about 76k for a TA...5k for a "bouns"...see where I'm headed?...the question I have is two, why don't or can't the powers that be use money in the capital reserve to make up for shortfalls...and two, is there a "rainy day" fund?...if not, there should be...but, being that this is the blog...the logical points I made will be ignored and the focus will be on the comment made about the budget committee and / or how this is phil consentino's fault...

MAcciard said...

I don't think anyone mentioned the Chief. However I will respond to your points.

1.) There is a mandated by State Law cushion or contingency or "rainy day" reserve. I don't remember the exact amount, though.

2.) How has the budget committee "overstepped their bounds"? Their duty is simple. They have sole responsibility for the preparation of the budget. Selectmen and dept. heads submit their requests, and explain why they feel they need their requests, but it is ultimately the budget committee, and no one else who must come up with the final numbers. The selectmen have no authority during the preparation phase of the budget. They may on their own come up with a completely different budget and it doesn't matter because only the budget committee's budget goes to the voters. The budget committee is required to seek any information they feel they need to accurately verify numbers provided by the selectmen and dept. heads, and the selectmen and dept. heads are REQUIRED BY LAW to provide any and all information requested by the budget committee.

3.) There is no "capital reserve" to make up for budgetary shortfalls. And there should be none. Capital reserves are set up for a purpose, like buying a fire truck, or building a library, or buying land, and can only be spent for the established purpose. As for shortfalls, there shouldn't be any. Once the budget is set, if a dept. needs to overexpend a line item, ie: road salt in a particularly ad winter, that dept. head comes to the selectmen in open meeting and requests permission to overexpend. The selectmen then grant the permission, and move the money from some under expended line item to cover it.

Hope this helps explain the process. I have advocated an "expansion" of their powers, merely that they do their jobs as mandated by State Law.

Anonymous said...

"Once the budget is set, if a dept. needs to overexpend a line item, ie: road salt in a particularly ad winter, that dept. head comes to the selectmen in open meeting and requests permission to overexpend. The selectmen then grant the permission, and move the money from some under expended line item to cover it."

If this is so, why has the Elderly Affairs budget been overspent and covered by the PD budget without a public request and a public granting of the request?

This has been going on for years and the Chiefo has publically admitted it.

Isn't moving money between budgets only for emergencies?

Isn't this misappropriation? If so, it's criminal, correct?

Anonymous said...

nope, no, not it. keep the chief out loadbox luie and stick to the facts

Anonymous said...

chief is the only dept. that has repeatedly been allowed to overexpend line items in his budget without having to ask permission first!

In 2005 or 2006 he overspent his entire budget, NEVER asked first! other chiefs in this state have been fired for doing that!

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to give their rights over to 3 people to protect?

Give me 3 of your rights, and I will show you how I can screw you.

Anonymous said...

This just in...

Reps. Susan Almy and Terie Norelli have invited foundation-funded outsider groups to discuss our NH tax structure. One group, ITEP, has already testified for an income tax and will be there again. The public cannot talk but they can come and show opposition. There isn't much room inside, but you can gather outside.

Actual Time(s) of Event(s):
Wednesday - Oct 21 from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM in LOB 202-4
Thursday - Oct 22 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM in LOB 206-8

Optimum Times to Gather Outside the LOB:
Wednesday from 8:30-9:30, 11:30-1:00, and 3:30-4:30
Thursday from 8:30-9:30, 11:30-1:00, and 2:30-3:00

BRING SIGNS with APPROPRIATE and CONCISE ANTI-BROADBASED TAX Messages! These won't be allowed inside but they tell me they have stickers to wear on your lapel.