Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

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.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Public Information obviously not a priority for Atkinson

here it is a New Year!

New Hampshire has one of the most comprehensive open meetings and sunshine laws in the country, and yet in Atkinson, our town officials make residents go to great lengths to obtain simple public information. At a time when Sunshine movements across the country are helping town, city, and state governments create transparency websites, with as detailed information as the municipal checkbook available online to the taxpayers, the Town of Atkinson, can not even post meeting minutes.

The town website shows the last selectmen meeting minutes available to be April 6, 2009! Almost two years ago! The budget committee has 2009 season, but no 2008, or 2010. And the 2005 meetings have been deleted.

The last planning board minutes are from January 5, 2010. The last ZBA minutes are from October 14, 2009!

We HAD a technology committee that went through every dept. in town making recommendations for cost savings, and IT upgrades, including the website, but to date, nothing has been done. The website costs the town an outrageous sum per month to host, and the town gets nothing for it, unable to support streaming video of meetings, unable to even get minutes posted in a timely manner. And if you are aggressive enough to take off work, and go to the town hall during business hours, and ask Phil Smith or Barbara Snicer why the minutes aren't on the website, you get told, "we sent them over".

is this any way to run the town?


Anonymous said...

This has been going on for years and nothing new as of this posting. The selectmen and CON-sentino want to keep you "FAT, DUMB AND STUPID" as to the running of Atkinson. If you ask for something in person, you will get your car or home painted.

With CON-sentino in charge of the PD, don't even think of filing a complaint. It will be a civil matter.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for posting something NEW. I agree that the town should be posting minutes in a timely fashion. Would be great if the comments remained constructive here but I suppose I'm asking for too much.

MAcciard said...

Last Time I looked into it, I think the town was paying $39.00/mo for hosting of the town website, which is ridiculous, I have my company website for $6.99/mo. with up to 1200 email addresses, and the ability to post video. The town is getting ripped off. This is aside from the lackadaisical approach to posting minutes.

Anonymous said...

They should be posting these minutes. The excuse is that they send them to Don Roberts and he doesn't post them. Why should he? He did this for us for free for years and since the Technology Committee came to town, he has not been involved and it is his choice.

Why they keep sending over the minutes to him when they know it's not going to get done is silly and no excuse.

I think they want to hide everything, if not they would have the minutes posted on the website every week, for every board.

Anonymous said...

Of course they want to hide everything, Bennett and Friel are both frauds!. Bennett was given the position cause no one else wanted it and Friel got in the way Jack got in, a new fresh face. And boy did that backfire!Anyone ever hear the expression "once a cop always a cop", well that's what you have in the TA office and I'm sure he's padding the way for some coup d'tat.

Anonymous said...

It's not going to get fixed for 2 years, but the process begins this January when someone with some courage signs up to be selectmen to oust Friel and next year Bennett. Anyone hear of any contenders yet?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to run?

Talk about a thankless job... one gets to be out 2 or 3 nights a week... take calls at home on the other nights... get flamed here and elsewhere... for what?

Consider who we have right now. Does anyone REALLY think any of them is on some sort of "power-trip"? To me, they are three guys to be admired for giving lots while getting nothing (good) in return.

Are they perfect? No. Have they (and their predecessors) failed to rein-in an embarassment in the PD? Yes. But they are volunteers doing the best they can in the time they have to devote to the job.

I hope a few others step forward in this year's race as choice is always good. But I think Friel has done a decent job and I encourage him to run again. Whether I vote for him though depends on who else runs.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people that read this Blog know full well who is still running the show.

Reading the inane comments from the people with time on their hands, and like to play with the computer, is just a past time for them.

There probably will be no contest at the March election again.

You know who, will handpick the new Selectmsn. Wonder who the chosen one will be this time.

It's a sure bet no one is going to tell you anything .....anything...!

That goes for any thing pertaining to what used to be our Town.

Anonymous said...

I'll admire them when they start putting up the minutes. It's their job to ensure this happens. Not a lot to ask of them.

MAcciard said...

To 3:12; Have you ever noticed that town officials only get "flamed" on here for their actions, or inactions?

This blog started up about 4 years ago, during the most corrupt BOS in town history. We had an active police chief as a sitting selectman, willfully ignoring the law and doing whatever he wished, Jack who willfully ignored the conflict inherent in the chief's position while trying to hang Teddy for being both road agent and contractor, and Fred Childs who so desperately wanted to hold onto his seat he would ignore anything to keep it.

While this blog frequently degenerates into name calling, and juvenile comments, the articles have exposed incidents, that otherwise no one would have ever found out about.

Look at it this way, if the blog was not at least somewhat effective as a watchdog, why would the selectmen have spent over $10,000 of the town's insurance company's money to investigate the blog's ownership and control?

The point is, that the job of selectman is NOt a thankless job, if someone does it with integrity. As with any public position, even your critics will respect you, if when you make a decision that they don't like, you can at least explain the principle behind your decision, and the facts upon which it is based. It is when you start playing favorites that you lose the respect of everyone.

Anonymous said...

My beef is there isn't much balance, and the blog clouds with its own point-of-view. When was the last time a thread started with some town official or board doing something RIGHT?

Consider the darts thrown at the ZBA (esp Polito) and BOS for their "failure" to "protect" Davis from Osborn's actions in a recent thread. These are totally baseless charges because the town has NO PLACE in a private dispute. But the darts flew time and again anyway.

The town does not get involved in divorces or business lawsuits... why do people think the town should take sides in a private land dispute?

The Selectmen are not a single entity. They are a collection of individuals, each of whom brings different abilities. Am I to understand that you feel ALL Selectmen who have served within the past 4 years are deficient?

I think Friel, Bennett, Childs and Sullivan have served with reasonable distinction. None perfect, but all earnest and well-intentioned. Others from the last 4 years? Maybe not so much.

And yes, while I'd prefer the blog not express its own point-of-view, I do believe the blog serves a purpose. But it sure would be nice if we could lose the name-calling and other juvenile antics and simply have adult debate.

MAcciard said...

To 9:22am;

Yes I am fully aware that sometimes officials are villified for things over which they had little or no control. I, too suffered this fate as Budcom Chair, At least these officials do have a BOs giving an official town meeting forum to personal invective as the BOS did gave to Phil to destroy me.

And No I don't think that all selectmen for the last 4 years have been awful, I think Bill Friel has largely tried to be fair, taking the time to inform himself on an issue before deciding, and that is all that we can really demand, is integrity. I think Paul Sullivan was a good an honest man, beaten down by two colleagues who worked diligently to keep him from even trying to do the right thing. He rose to the challenge on 2 occasions that I can think of, coming very close to calling Jack a liar on camera. I think Bill Bennett has done some good, but ultimately has been torn between friends and loyalties, and what is best for the greater good. I think Fred has been utterly useless as a selectman, only performing better than Jack or Phil because he says and does less.

Unfortunately a lot of the articles critical of the selectmen, bring up serious points;

The Vietnam Memorial Articles
The Articles about the selective enforcement of Zoning regs.
The lack of transparency

When people run for Selectman they should understand that they are running for a job that pays only $3,300/yr. and will take about 20 hours per week to do well.

BudCom pays nothing, and again will take about 15 hours a week during the 4 months of budget season to do well. Maybe someone could explain this to the School district budcom.

Anonymous said...

The blog doesn't have a point of view, it's a blog.. a place for all to share their points of view. If you see a common thread in the postings, maybe iit's because alot of folks have similar opinions. This is not a mob.

Anonymous said...

This blog is not a mob; it's someplace where honest people can express their opinion without being arrested by CON-sentino's police dept. because they disagree with his opinions. The selectmen allow him to get away with arresting those people, and thus they are complicit

Selectmen... Until the selectmen get RID of CON-sention, NO JUSTICE will come to this town............If you want any sort of respect in this town, get rid of CON0-sentino. Until and HE are the problem that exists.

You have the power; now use it for the betterment of the town. Until then, you are as bad as he is.


Anonymous said...

You know, a couple of years ago this blog ran an article on Consentino's history as a chief in Atkinson, it was all referenced and was a real eye opener. Maybe they can reprint it.

Anonymous said...

To the Taxpayers of Atkinson:
I see in the paper today that there is a steady rise in fuel prices. So my question is: Why do the Atkinson cruisers fill up at Mobil in Haverhill where the gas is the most expensive around? I saw a cruiser filling up there on Friday and when I inquired with a town official I was told that they did not know why. Also I see that the same police cars sit idling for hours behind the station. I can see this from my residence. And why do they put so many miles on the car a day? I heard that at the selectmens meeting last week? Stop the crazy spending.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... are you suggesting that police patrol cars should not patrol so much?

Last snow storm, I saw plows running around town wasting gas too. And how 'bout the fire truck the Sunday before Christmas?

Anonymous said...

Why the town doesn't have a fueling station of its own is beyond me. All m/v's could be fueled up at a far lower cost than paying Mass. or N.H. privately owned stations . Each person authorized to use town m/v's could access the fuel needed by a card system not unlike a credit card at the public pumps. Your being a jerk about the police and fire m/v's use when in todays society we need the coverage. I do agree they shouldn't be left running when it is not necessary to do that.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea about EPA regulations for a refueling station or the liability? We are better served by using local gas stations, but we agree with at the lowest price not the highest.

Take Consentino's floating gas card away from him, and make every car accountable for each purchase.

Anonymous said...

Why not look into the EPA regs ,liability insurance, and costs related to having a refueling station in town. The towns safety is at risk when a m/v is out of town at some distance from its borders refueling. Even if it were to pay for itself in up to five or so years it still makes sense to keep m/v with in the town and not some where chasing a "bargain" price on fuel needs. If you haven't noticed gasoline is now at $3.01 plus or minus now and its said to go higher .