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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where is the information?

A quick read of the town website show absolutely NOTHING!

For over TWO YEARS the budget committee has not posted minutes of their meetings. TWO YEARS! We remember selectman Sapia railing about former Budcom chief Acciard not posting minutes, but he was the first person to get the committee's minutes on the town website, and updated them each week.

Our illustrious board of selectmen, with their new $76,000 Town Administrator has not posted minutes since APRIL!

By the way, this is not something that is difficult to do, they attach the already approved minutes to an email to Don Roberts, and he posts them. VIOLA!

But that is probably ok, since there is little other information on the town website either. No demographical info about the Town. No historical info about the town. No videos of meetings. No recent minutes of meetings. NO INFORMATION!

But that i in keeping with our town officials traditions, of restricting access to public information as much as possible. If not, outright restrictions on access, then setting a price on the information too steep for most to meet.

Our current board of selectmen has been better than the last in supplying public info to the public, but, then again, they could hardly be worse than the Sapia/Consentino/Childs board. THAT board set the unlowerable standard for refusal to answer anything.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it is a riot that there is a ton more information on the Atkinson Taxpayers website than on the town website.

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Are you 3 always so negative about everything in life? Every cross your mind that maybe the info has been sent, and the updates are not getting done? Don is a volunteer after all. Perhaps if you would like to see it work better, you would volunteer your time to help out. But nah, it's easier to sit and just b!tch about everything someone else isn't doing (according to your twisted view of reality).

Anonymous said...

Hey f-nut,
Why not submit a 91-a rtk request
and then post the docs on the Atkinson Taxpayer site? Selectman
are not restricting access as your
mindless attempt at spin leads us.
Put up or shut the f-up.
JMO, duh

Anonymous said...

No one should have to pay to get meeting minutes under the RTK law. If the BOS is sending the data to someone and they are not getting any response, maybe they should do something different. If Don hasn't put any minutes up since April, one can assume that he is NO LONGER VOLUNTEERING!

I'll volunteer my time and post the minutes if they want. I think that this is important and should be done as quickly as possible.

Anonymous said...

The more info they post, the more info we can use against PC.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they ask their Technology Committee to do it?

Anonymous said...

New subject. hief has a warrant article for a new SUV for seniors. How many is he getting rid of? Zippo. That makes 12. Ooh goody.

MAcciard said...

I know that I had this conversation many times with Russ when I was on Budget. I would send our minutes over to Don via email as soon as they were approved, and he always had them up within two days. Without fail.

Russ usually said it was not a priority for him, and that he waited until he had a "batch" of them and sent the "batch" over, and even then when sent they were posted in a timely fashion.

Now, they are not being sent.

Anonymous said...

To Anon December 1, 2009 5:19 PM

Friel stated in last Monday nights Selectmen's meeting that they had to get the minutes done that night, because they were so far behind and people were asking questions.

Please consider that Don can't post minutes if they haven't been approved yet.

Question: How many voounteers would you like to post minutes that haven't been done yet?

If you watched a few meeting, you would realize how stupid you sound. Then again considering the source, what else would someone expect of you?

Anonymous said...

Stupid?

What is stupid is a town that only broadcasts the meetings to those with cable. This is one third of the households only.

I'm certainly not stupid and this is a problem for the BOS to solve. They cannot expect people to be watching these meetings when they are still living in the past and not keeping up with a changing world. They owe the residents an opportunity to watch and get involved but we cannot with the outdated procedures. They need to bring the meetings to everyone by streaming them on-line and storing past meetings where we can access them.

This is not done by getting the cable committee to make copies for each and every person who wants to watch.

Anonymous said...

Stupid?

What is stupid is refusing to do your job in a responsible manner and post meeting notes and police logs then making every citizen file a legal right to know request or lawsuit against the town to get the information.

Do you want to avoid lawsuits or stay stupid?

Good question. Or maybe just a country lawyers opinion.

Anonymous said...

Stupid?

What is stupid is refusing to do your job in a responsible manner and post meeting notes and police logs then making every citizen file a legal right to know request or lawsuit against the town to get the information.

Do you want to avoid lawsuits or stay stupid?

Good question. Or maybe just a country lawyers opinion.

Anonymous said...

Where is the information about the missing federal grant equipment?

Where is the equipment they never installed?

Anonymous said...

And what about the police people working for his private business?

When are the selectmen going to do something about that?

Anonymous said...

Knowing that your employee is breaking the law and not doing anything is unethical and they implicate themselves.

The dispatcher.

The BOS.

The other cops who saw this.

Curt Springer said...

I can speak to some of this as I am the chair of the web committee in Danville and one of the 2 people who do all the work.

Our first priority is to post upcoming events, including agendas, announcements and calendar entries. Minutes are posted after that. We almost always post minutes the same week they are received except if both of us are on vacation or something like that.

It sounds like Atkinson and Danville are the same in that we are dependent on people sending us stuff. Some committees send minutes promptly, others do it sporadically in "batches". It's a pain to post 2 months of minutes because then you need to allocate a bigger block of time to do it.

There is no concept of "approved" minutes in the law, and no reason that minutes can't be posted on the town web site as soon as they are created in accordance with RSA 91-A. If your boards and committees are in compliance with the law, then somebody on each committee is creating minutes that are available for public inspection within 5 business days of the meeting. If somebody can read these "unapproved" minutes as the legal record of the meeting, there is no reason that they should not be able to read them on your town web site.

We have dispensed with "approval" of the minutes on our town forestry committee. I write the minutes and get them to the town clerk within the statutory requirements. Then as soon as possible after that I post them on the town web site and email them to the other members. If anybody cares to comment on the minutes at the next meeting, they could do so, and I would record their comments in the minutes of that meeting. But nobody ever does.

Anonymous said...

Approving the minutes only gives the committees a chance to rephrase things to hide stuff and smooth things over....at least on the committees I worked with.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and it's call “Sanitizing The Minutes”. It’s always better to record each meeting to have the real truth of what happened, as compared to the minutes where you only get what they want you to know.

Anonymous said...

Sanitizing the minutes equates to eliminating anything that can get your corrupt Atkinson F'dup group in trouble for talking about stuff you don't want people to know you said.

Anonymous said...

So one night I was in town hall (early in the year) and I over heard a meeting going on in another room. Dick Smith of the Conflict of Interest Committee said that the most complaints came from the same few people in town: Acciard and Grant) and he went on to say how annoying it was to hear from them yet again. I was surprised to hear that this committee was biased since htey are supposed to be above this stuff.

Apparently they received a letter from a Grant about something and instead of reading the letter he wanted to just shelve it as 'more of the same'.

Thanks God we now have a new head of this committee and I hope he does a better job of it.

Anonymous said...

How the selectmen can sit back and allow this conscious restriction of information is really a shame.

Aren't they elected to fix things?

Do they really think this is OK?

Curt Springer said...

A friend of mine who usually is correct on stuff like this told me that it is actually illegal to change the minutes after they have been filed for public availability within 5 business days after the meeting. The reason is that the original minutes are a public document that the public has a right to see. So if minutes are filed, and then at the next meeting the committee votes to amend the minutes, they may add the amended version to what is shown to anybody who asks to read the minutes, but they may not remove the original version.