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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Atkinson voters asked to back technology improvements

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson voters asked to back technology improvements
By Eric Parry
eparry@eagletribune.com

ATKINSON — The town's Web site could be improved with videos of town meetings if voters approve a $10,000 warrant article next week.

The article to add video to the town's new site is one of three that would improve the town's computers and technology.

Voters also will be asked to approve an $18,000 article that would renovate a storage room in Town Hall to store the town's cable television equipment and servers.

Todd Barbera, chairman of the Technology Committee, said water leaks into the room and potentially causes serious harm to expensive town equipment.

"There's over $100,000 in equipment sitting in less than an ideal environment," Barbera said.

Once the town's Web site is improved, it will feature more up-to-date information like meeting minutes, agendas and town news. Currently, each department has its own Web site with different formats.

"What we're trying to do is bring all those various Web sites under one umbrella," he said.

Even if the article to purchase video equipment isn't approved, the committee is moving forward with the new site, Barbera said.

"If you don't have cable, you can't see those meetings," he said.

There is also an article to make the ad hoc technology committee an official town committee. If approved by voters, the committee would have five members appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Barbera said the committee would act as the town's information technology director and be responsible for all the town's needs.

Voting will take place on March 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Atkinson Community Center.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cleaning out the storage area and removing boxes and boxes of junk is a better alternative to expanding town hall and keeping all the junk, and cheaper.

Anonymous said...

thanks Dale for jamming the taxpayers up the rear. same to you Barbara.

Anonymous said...

I saw Dale at deliberative session and her stories about why the Cable TV fund couldn't be used to pay for Cable TV server room and Cable TV video streaming made her look very out of touch with current technology and reality. But somehow Dale and Fred could justify using the same fundn to pay for an addition to town hall. Let's pork the taxpayers for something they need and you can keep that Cable fund money for a town hall addition we don't need.

Way to go!!!!!!!!

JMO

Anonymous said...

I resent the childs/snicher plan to gut putting up videos to avoid exposure. In this depression Voters are unlikely to go for any spending initiative. I know I am not buying anything including the Subaru for the APD.

Anonymous said...

YouTube or Vimeo are just 2 ways to serve video on the web for FREE. There is absolutely no reason for the town to spend money on video servers when free YouTube videos can easily be embedded into the town's website at no cost. Videos should also be available at the library.

There should be a way to store the equipment in some town facility without building an addition just for this purpose. Caring for this stuff should be an AV course for High School students.

Anonymous said...

YouTube videos have to be less than ten minutes long. The cable crew would have to split the meetings up then post them individually on the town website. This not a sensible solution.

Right now, the town is discriminating against those who have no cable. We should all have the opportunity to view the videos if we can't get to meetings.

No one is suggesting building an addition for the internet videos!! Childs wants an addition but they do not have a good reason to build one if they just rid the place of all the junk.

Read the proposal again.

Anonymous said...

The town is not discriminating against those who have no cable. Meetings are available for all to attend in-person, cable is merely an added convenience.

If meetings were streamed via internet, would the town then be discriminating against those with no PC or internet?

Geesh... everyone's a victim of discrimination these days.

Anonymous said...

There is no addition in the warrant. Convert useless storage space into something that will protect tens of thousands of dollars worth of computers. The pictures shown at deliberative showed a server room getting flooded. I didn't know it was this bad. We'll end up paying more having to replace damaged computers if we don't put them in a better, secure spot.

Every town is doing streaming video of its meetings to make government more transparent to the people. If you don't catch the meeting you have to catch when its rebroadcast and the rebroadcast schedule is as secret as Phil's list of seniors. We need streaming video so we can see what these people are up to whenever we can, on our schedule, not theres. Plus the library secret squirrel stuff. I'd like to see what the heck is going on over there with our new $3,000,000 building. As its set up now, I struggle to keep up with the antics of our town government. Dale's shenanigans were just an attempt to keep everything business as usual. Her and Fred sure don't want more visibility.

too bad we couldn't use the $300,000 Cable TV fund for what is was designed for. Thank yuo Dale Childs! Trustees of the Trust funds screwed the taxpayers as bad as it gets. If the voters vote down the warrants which should have been done at no cost using Cable TV fund money, you'll never get elected again. Stupid is as stupid does.

JMO

Anonymous said...

It is discrimination. Only those with cable can watch the meetings from home. Only about half the households have cable in this town. How do they expect people to get involved when half the households can't see what is going on? The other half can't be paying too much attention either or we wouldn't have so much trouble here.

This is a good idea and I welcome it.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. There isn't a $100k worth of computer equipment in that room! Go look for yourself, it's always open!

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about $100,000 of computer equipment?

Anonymous said...

To 3/3 @ 2:59

You're right, cable broadcasting IS discrimination.

And now that I think about it, how about the deaf. Shouldn't there be a signer at every public meeting?

How about the blind? We need Braille transcriptions for every set of minutes and all correspondence.

Don't forget the Latinos, Chinese and Thais. We'll need translations for them too.

Discrimination? Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

What I heard was the cable tv equipment, computers, servers etc was worth $100K.

Anonymous said...

Oh, ok. Maybe if you add all the equipment together (cable + servers) it's $100k worth but The cable equipment isn't in the same room with the servers and the water leak. The cable equipment is shoved in a tight little space behind the selectmen's room.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some misquoting or unclear remarks in the paper.

Anonymous said...

"Discrimination? Get a grip."

That's nice.

Your examples are ridiculous. They SHOULD be targeting as many households as possible, not half. Half is not nearly good enough. It is preferred treatment for those with cable and it's about time they fixed this.

Blind people can listen BTW, and I haven't heard anyone complaining that they cannot hear the meeting, have you?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it discrimination. People are free to sign up for cable or go to the meetings. This warrant would expand access to many more residents though.

len mullen said...

FWIW, I stream video on DanvilleDelivery.com for $5/month plus $20/yr to manage my domain. I get 1t of space and 7x24 us support. Hostrocket.com is my provider. More people have internet access than cable plus 1t allows me to archive long enough to use their words against them ;-)

Anonymous said...

A question: Did we just promote Lt Baldwin to a Captain?

Anonymous said...

WHAT?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Len Mullen. You sure broke it open for us to understand how simple and inexpensive it is. I wish you lived in my town but regardless I want to get to know you as your leadership is inspirational.

I don't understand the post after yours. A feeble attempt to distract from what you said that was so important I guess.

The technology committee needs to show us how to inexpensively do what you have done. If not a group of citizens can put video on the Atkinson Taxpayer Association web site should the tech committee fail to achieve results at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Len Mullen. You sure broke it open for us to understand how simple and inexpensive it is. I wish you lived in my town but regardless I want to get to know you as your leadership is inspirational.

I don't understand the post after yours. A feeble attempt to distract from what you said that was so important I guess.

The technology committee needs to show us how to inexpensively do what you have done. If not a group of citizens can put video on the Atkinson Taxpayer Association web site should the tech committee fail to achieve results at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Len if I wanted to view a video from the past, how much archiving does your solution offer? How far back do you archive now and how much storage is required for that?

Do you watch the meetings and record it yourself or does your town provide you with a DVD?

I have to think there's more to it than $5 a month. If you have a cost effective solution, we'd love to hear the details.

Anonymous said...

"Penny wise and pound foolish..."

Some people here think voting against any type of spending is some type of intelligent ideology, without even considering whether it's actually giving us a better chance of holding our public officials responsible for their actions.

As I think about it, it would actually make sense for those people that don't want their actions to be seen by the public to dash on here and throw up a bunch of posts saying that this vote is a waste of money: please take the time to think this through...

If we had public meetings on the Net, we could all go back and see Harold Morse bullying the Zoning Board into submission, or trying to bully Tim from the Conservation Committee into backing off wetlands ordinances on the planning board (Tim is a better man, so it never worked, but wouldn't it be informative to see how Sue Killiam just can't support Harold enough?).

We could all go back and watch exactly how Consentino continuously slips through the budgeting and supervisory processes?

Dale Childs was ridiculous in insisting that cable money shouldn't be used for this, but we cannot let this opportunity to hold our public officials responsible for their actions slip through our fingers; THE LIGHT OF PUBLIC SCRUTINY EXPOSES AND KILLS CURRUPTION.

Do not give into the cynical voices of "no" and "nothing" that has filled the first short-sighted posts here: the fact is that the money spent putting OUR public meetings on the web WILL PAY FOR ITSELF SINCE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WILL KNOW THAT THEIR ACTIONS CAN BE PLAYED BACK AT ANY TIME and they will have to explain their actions.

Curt Springer said...

Len's site, DanvilleDelivery, our official Danville town web site, and our unofficial SpeakoutDanville all have the same vendor, HostRocket, and all have the same deal.

Len was instrumental in arranging this for the ToD and SoD sites, then he went off on his own and did it with DD.

But it's not just the cost of storage that you have to think about, especially if you are volunteers working without compensation.

There are the logistics of getting the DVDs from the cable operators and the time required to convert them and upload them to your web site. That is why our town site only does it for the big things like the deliberative session.

For a time Len was putting up a lot of meetings, and I watched some of them of interest to me.

Now one of our town web committee members, Rob Collins, has been putting stuff up on a subscription site called Vimeo. It's $60 a year for unlimited capacity, I think. Somehow it is easier to do it this way than the way we were doing it. I don't know any of the details, have been too busy to delve into it.

You can see our deliberative session and our candidates night with Vimeo at our town web site:
http://www.townofdanville.org

Anonymous said...

March 4, 2010 9:01 AM

The Technology Committee cannot show you anymore before the election.

What you can be assured of, the Tech Comm is made up of some very intelligent people who were appointed for their ability, not their connections. They have also put in a considerable amount of effort, for free. To get the kind of work these folks have been doing professionally would easily cost $600/hr.

What they have asked for is minimal compared to what our other taxes are, less then 1%, and gives the town the biggest bang for the buck.

Not everyone is a subscriber of Comcast, nor can everyone be available in real time to view the meetings. They have a solution, and its cheap.

Now is not the time to second guess and nickle and dime what will be a very important service to the town. It does not matter how Danville, or any other town does it. They can use these methods as guideline but these people have recommended the best solution for US.

Anonymous said...

I hope it gets voted in but when Dale Childs and Barb S put the high price tag on the ballot instead of taking it from the reserve fund I knew that was done to defeat it.

Very clever of them.

Let's see if the voters are scared for their jobs and rising taxes, because the town and schools think money grows on trees.

Maybe only rich people do live in Atkinson and The town plan to defeat the technology committee initiative will fail.

Anonymous said...

Even when ACT20 wants to purchase new equipment that has not been budgeted for, it has to be done via a warrant article to take it from Cable Capital Reserve. Next year the Technology Committee must go the same way if they need to. It is the same way with all Capital Reserve accounts if I'm not mistaken. Each year the AFD asks to put in 60K in Capital Reserve. When the time comes to spend it, it takes a warrant article.

Anonymous said...

hey sherlock, that is what was attempted. dale's position was that as trustee of the funds she would not allow it regardless of the will of the people. she wants the capital fund to be repurposed
because HER interpretation is that the funds cannot be used in this way. this is why we the taxpayers are pissed off for having to spend additional money while the $300k +
sits in an account. she refuses to release $$$ for act to purchase new digital camera's.
understand holmesy?

Anonymous said...

shit can the bitch

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Anonymous said...

ARTICLE SUBMISSION

New Controversy, Same old police chief causing it


The Town Report is out! And on page 53 is the Elderly Affairs Dept. report. Nothing strange there except for Phil's usual Hyperbole about the number of rides his dept. gives, and this year he doesn't even bother to try to make up a number of dedicated users of the program, but what is highly unusual is the claim that;

"If any senior should require assistance with utility bills, prescriptions or minor household repairs, please
give us a call and through the new “Atkinson Police Charitable Fund” we will be able to provide you with
the assistance you need."

Something like this has been in the report in the past, but what is different this year is that there isn't a "town owned, or affiliated" donation account anymore.

The "Atkinson police charitable fund" is not affiliated, owned, or managed by the Town of Atkinson. In fact, the Town of Atkinson has not oversight or affiliation with this fund at all! This fund is the private business corporation of one Philip Consentino, it's president! It is registered with the State of NH as a private corporation. The Town of Atkinson is nowhere named in it's founding documents. In fact; The police chief(Philip Consentino) wrote a letter to the president of this corporation(One Philip Consentino) to give him permission to use the name Atkinson Police in the corporation's name! The selectmen were never consulted nor did they vote to approve this bit of subterfuge.

And there is another discrepancy in this report. The Director of Elderly Affairs(one Philip Consentino) would like to "give special recognition to the following our Elderly Affairs’ Personnel: William Anderson, the
Assistant Director; Richard Magoon, Roger Culliford, Robert Neill, Ted Houlihan, Salvatore Novello, Joanne Consentino, Charles McCarthy and Lynne Cunningham, for without their dedication to our seniors we
would not have been able to provide all of the services that we presently have in place."

The Elderly Affairs dept. has it's own personnel. But Joanne Consentino, Charley McCarthy, and Lynne Cunningham are POLICE OFFICERS, Not elderly affairs personnel.

In fact, Lynne Cunningham was the dispatcher at the center of the misuse of personnel controversy this past summer. She was the dispatcher who was sending out "thank you for your donation" letters on the police dispatch computer, while on the clock as a police dispatcher, oh, and by the way, she was not doing this for the police dept. OR the elderly affairs dept. She was doing this for the private corporation run by her boss(one Philip Consentino)!

That's Right, Folks! YOUR TAX DOLLARS were paying for the equipment, the ink, the paper, and the time for the people working for a private business.

Now I know, you are going to say, "well it is all for the seniors", but is it? How do you know? Nobody knows what money comes into this fund, except its officers, all of them work for Philip Consentino, both inside and outside of this corporation, nobody knows what goes out of this corporation. Nobody knows what the money donated is spent on. The first donation we have seen from this corporation to the town is the money for this New Subaru for the elderly affairs Dept. IF the voters pass it. Phil has already said that if they don't the money won't be donated.

So, how can we be sure when one man runs a corporation that is dependent on the two town depts. he runs for business and donations that his town decisions are best for the town, and not best for his own corporation?

Anonymous said...

fix the leak stupid

Anonymous said...

fix the leak