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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, October 14, 2009

Atkinson's new administrator plans to stick around

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson's new administrator plans to stick around
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — After a few years of constant turnover, Atkinson may have found its long-term solution for town administrator.

Philip Smith Jr., who was hired for the job last month, said he has no plans to leave town anytime soon.

"Everything you can want in a job is here," Smith said.

After 25 years as a police officer, Smith, 45, said he's still learning the ropes after less than a month in the post.

Prior to being hired in Atkinson, Smith was the police chief in Alton, another small New Hampshire community in the Lakes Region.

Every day's schedule is different, Smith said, and, at the end of the day, he's guaranteed to fall asleep faster than he ever expected.

As a police chief, Smith managed about 15 officers. Atkinson employs 140 people, but only 13 of them have full-time jobs.

"It's a small town. Why is there so much to do?" Smith said.

Part of the reason Smith has a full schedule every day is because the town was without an administrator for eight months before he was hired.

Prior to hiring Smith, Atkinson went through two administrators in a year. The last long-term administrator was Russ McAllister, who worked for the town from 2004 to 2008.

While the town conducted yet another search for an administrator, administrative assistant Barbara Snicer took over many of the administrator's responsibilities. To reward her, the selectmen unanimously agreed to give her a $5,000 bonus last week.

"I can't imagine how she did it all herself," Smith said.

Snicer represents all the people Smith has met in town so far, he said, hardworking and always willing to help him learn his way around town.

"Everyone tries to make this town better," he said.

His desk is right next to the door to the selectmen's office, where any resident can pop their head in to say hello or voice a concern.

That's been one of the best things about the job so far, Smith said, who believes one of his strengths is working with people.

No matter what the problem, Smith said, he will listen and find an answer as best he can.

"They're going to get a pretty good response," he said.

He also said he's not afraid former administrators were forced out of town. One key to working in a small town is working with a competent Board of Selectmen, Smith said.

"I get along very well with all of them," he said of the three-man board.

After two years of driving more than an hour to work — longer during snowstorms, Smith said he's happy his new job is only four miles from his Salem home.

The extra time allows him to spend more time with his family and to attend his children's sporting events and activities.

"It's time to take care of team one," he said.


MAcciard said...

Upon meeting Mr. Smith(no relation to the Capra-esque SMith, that I know of)I found him to be likeable, and apparently competent. Sadly we have never been able to find a TA competent enough to fill Vic Richards shoes, hopefully Mr. Smith will finally satisfy that role.

Good Luck Sir.

Anonymous said...

We'll see if it's not just more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, having been a police officer, he'll have the cojones to speak his mind if the board or the chief try to do something wrong, but I've learned to be a pessimist when it comes to ethics and this town.

Anonymous said...

"We'll see if it's not just more of the same."

"I've learned to be a pessimist when it comes to ethics and this town.'

Such a uplifting votes of confidence.

My advice to Mr. Smith is to avoid this place like the plague. He'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

Mr Smith will NOT be "more of the same". Our previous two - three? -administrators acted as if they were Town Managers, and assumed their job was to run the town, and then tell the Selectmen what to do.
Mr. Smith doesn't seem to have that kind of aspration, or the experience. I believe him when he mentions the shortened drive to work. Must be awesome for he and his famiy. Only problem might be that he'll miss still miss out on a lot of his kids' activities.

I'll join Mark in wishing him good luck.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's not like we've ever witnessed a police chief be overbearing in this town...

Anonymous said...

Like I said, I hope he stays away from here because all he'll see is a lot of whining, conspiracy theories, tales of the mafia and their blindly obedient zombies, suggestions that could only be applied in alternate universes, and wholesale corruption by everyone involved with town government. I'm surprised someone has not already call for his dismissal, because hey, according to some, if you're a part of town government you're evil.

Whatever power this blog had to affect change and frighten some officials to take down the blog signs, has long past.

Best for Mr. Smith to keep a clear and open mind, and this is not the place to come to keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Smith has been a cop in Salem for 18 years then he should be really well acquainted with Phil's shenanigans, and probably has the same level of respect for him that most area cops do.

Anonymous said...

He was a chief in Alton, NH, not Salem.

Anonymous said...

He was a cop in Salem for 18 years before becoming chief in Alton for 4 years.

Anonymous said...

All the Salem cops know our Chief. When they need good laugh, they talk about Phil.