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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Tower, the Sequel to the Sequel to the Sequel

Yes people, the long dormant TOWER issue is back again! But THIS time it is being pushed as a revenue generator behind the fire station. The "official" story line goes something like this; Cell companies will pay to lease space on a 160' tower in the pristine center of town, OH, AND if our petulant police chief gets his way (he was thwarted the first two tries) he can get his communications equipment up there as well. This time there is no mention of who will pay the $260,000 cost of building the tower, or the equipment to be housed there. But you know who will ultimately be on the hook.... YOU GOT IT! THE TAXPAYERS! This is the regurgitation of the very same debunked arguments from two and five years ago. Five years ago, the police dept. did not put a warrant article forward for the tower, but Billy Baldwin was circulating at town meeting a prospectus for the project which would have been billed as a public safety issue, and an emergency need later in the year. It called for a $260,000 tower, and $510,000 of equipment to go along with it. And NONE of this would have addressed the communications issue of the PD which was low power transmission outages for the shoulder held radios. Experts stated at the time that vehicle repeaters were the most cost effective means of solving this, but Phil would have none of it. You see, with vehicle repeaters the shoulder radios only needed to transmit to the car. The higher power radio in the car, would then connect with the PD to facilitate communications. Phil admitted the cars have no blackout problems. These are used by police depts. across the country and chiefs in those communities swear by them. WE COULD HAVE INSTALLED VEHICLE REPEATERS IN EVERY CAR FOR A TOTAL OF $27,465.00! Not the $770,000 it would take to erect Phils phallic symbol in the center of town. By the way, no one has ever ID'ed or found the communications equipment that the chief got through Plaistows grant 6 years ago, and was certified to have been installed on a tower in Atkinson when in reality it was stored in a closet somewhere. So many question, so much wasted taxpayer dollars, all to feed one man's fragile ego, When will it all stop?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Electioneering, the sequel to the sequel of the sequel.

As it does every election season, this Issue once again rears it's ugly head. And, as always the prime practitioner of this lost art is our Chief of Police! Yes, the very man charged with UPHOLDING THE LAW.....(chuckling).... sorry, could not contain myself at that phrase applied to that man. Many will remember the Chiefs admission that he had petitions signed in the Elderly Affairs cruisers, and that he had people come down to the Pd to sign petitions for his warrant articles. Many more will remember that the Chief of Police owns a private non profit corporation, that although it is not affiliated with the town, and is not accountable to the town for its contributions and spending, is housed in the PD, uses PD personnel, equipment, time, space, and the Elderly Affairs customer list to do it's fundraising. These are valuable town funded resources unavailable to other non profits in the area. Well word has it that another non profit in town has petitioned the selectmen for "equal access to town resources". So far the selectmen have declined to either grant this request or acknowledge the chief's use of his official status for personal political purposes as well as for his own non profit's success. Surely if any other business in town used taxpayer funded town resources for their own gain, there would be an uproar, and the selectmen would put an immediate stop to it, but somehow when the transgressor is the Chief of Police, the public and the selectmen are unusually quiet. So much for their fiduciary responsibilities. It is high time that these quasi illegalities stop. The Chief has spent decades driving a truck through loopholes in the laws, and crowing about this immoral ability of his. This column would admonish him to act honorably, but it has become apparent over the last decade that this unappointed, unqualified, interlocutor has no understanding of that term.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Town wins against Osborns, but THEY win TOO!

Article submission please. Supreme Court Decision of Osborn Appeal . The direct address of the court's home page is: THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE ___________________________ Rockingham No. 2011-085 TOWN OF ATKINSON v. MALBORN REALTY TRUST & a. Argued: June 13, 2012 Opinion Issued: August 17, 2012 Sumner F. Kalman, Attorney at Law, P.C., of Plaistow (Thea S. Valvanis and Sumner F. Kalman on the brief, and Mr. Kalman orally), for the petitioner. McGrath Law Firm, P.A., of Concord (Peter McGrath and Jason Beecher on the brief, and Mr. McGrath orally), for the respondents. CONBOY, J. The respondents, Malborn Realty Trust and its trustee, Daniel Osborn, appeal an order of the Superior Court (McHugh, J.) that enjoined Osborn from occupying property in Atkinson because he lacks an occupancy permit and that imposed a civil penalty for this violation. See RSA 676:15 (2008), :17 (Supp. 2011). The petitioner, Town of Atkinson (Town), cross-appeals the trial court’s failure to award it attorney’s fees. See RSA 676:17, II. We affirm the trial court’s issuance of the injunction, modify its imposition of civil penalties, reverse its denial of attorney’s fees, and remand. The trial court found the following facts. Before 2007, the subject property was a seasonal camp. In June 2007, the Town’s zoning board of adjustment granted Osborn a variance to convert the property to year-round use and to construct a new three-bedroom home. One condition of the variance was that access to the property had to “meet the requirements of the Police and Fire Departments.” In 2008, Osborn applied for a building permit. The Town’s fire chief reviewed the application and recommended that the building permit be conditioned upon the installation of a sprinkler system because the property had poor access to a class V highway. See RSA 229:5 (2009) (setting forth highway classification system). The building inspector adopted this recommendation, and, in May 2008, issued the conditional building permit. On September 30, 2008, Osborn’s wife, Margaret, met with the Town’s fire chief to discuss the Osborns’ plan to improve access to the property by constructing a new driveway. The fire chief agreed that a satisfactory driveway could eliminate the need for a sprinkler system. In October 2008, the Osborns submitted a proposed plan to build a driveway with a 23% grade, which the Town immediately rejected. In subsequent meetings, the fire chief told Margaret that although the required grade was 8%, he would accept a driveway with a 10% grade. The Osborns never submitted a satisfactory driveway plan to the fire chief. Ultimately, without the fire chief’s consent, they installed a driveway with a 13.7% grade. They did not install a sprinkler system. Because the home lacked the required sprinkler system, the Town declined to issue a certificate of occupancy for it. Nonetheless, the Osborns moved into the home on November 30, 2009. According to the Town’s building code, it is unlawful to occupy a building without a certificate of occupancy. On or about December 14, 2009, the Town served Osborn with notice that occupying the home violated the Town’s building code. The notice stated that the Town could bring an enforcement action under RSA 676:15 and an action for civil penalties and attorney’s fees under RSA 676:17. In March 2010, the Town filed such an action. Later that month, following a hearing on the Town’s request for a preliminary injunction, the court ordered Osborn to vacate the premises. He and his family did so on July 1, 2010. After conducting a bench trial and a view of the premises, the trial court: (1) permanently enjoined Osborn from occupying the premises without a certificate of occupancy; (2) ruled that no certificate of occupancy could be issued until a sprinkler system is installed in the house; and (3) imposed a civil penalty of $109,725. The trial court also ruled that the Town was the prevailing party and was entitled to its reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to RSA 676:17, II. Although the court originally awarded the Town reasonable attorney’s fees of $20,000, it later vacated this award in its entirety in response to the respondents’ motion for reconsideration. This appeal and cross-appeal followed. The respondents challenge the trial court’s decision to issue the requested injunction and, alternatively, its calculation of the civil penalty. In its cross-appeal, the Town challenges the trial court’s denial of its request for an award of reasonable attorney’s fees. We first address the respondent’s appeal. For those of you unfamiliar with this case, here are the headlines. The Osborns bought 3 small lake lots up on Valcat ln., and combined them to build a McMansion on the property. Originally they were approved for a 1,400 sq.ft. house because of the lot size, and it's inaccessibility to fire emergency equipment. They PROMISED to install a sprinkler system in exchange for approval for a 2,600 sq.ft. home. ONE condition was that they had to have direct access to a Class V road. They CLAIMED they did, not mentioning that they had to destroy Carol Davis property to lay it across her land to comply. They did, and Mrs. Davis sued, won, and they lost their pretty new illegal driveway. In the mean time, they CHANGED the plans they submitted to get their building permit, hiring Silverlake associates to design a 4,000 sq.ft. McMansion. In spite of the fights with the town, as they tried to wiggle out of their promise to install the sprinkler system, they built the current 4,000 sq.ft. home, while building their driveway across Mrs. Davis' land. Although the town refused to give them an occupancy permit without reducing the grade to comply with their permit (8%), the town later relaxed this to 10%, NEITHER of which they met, They MOVED INTO THEIR NEW HOME! They cut down the top of the ridge along Valcat ln, by approximately 10 ft. in their quest to reduce the grade, but the closest they could come was a 13.9% grade. Not enough for fire trucks to make it up. So to summarize; They applied and got a permit to build a 2,600 sq.ft. home with a sprinkler system, and direct access to a Class V road, with no more than an 8% grade. They then redesigned the home to approximately 4,000 sq.ft., with NO sprinkler system, NO direct access, NO 10% grade, and they DESTROYED their neighbors land to do so. AND they have been living illegally in the house for most of 3 years! They lost their case with Mrs. Davis. They Lost their case with the town. but here is the sad part. The Town SHOULD have received a fine of $275 the first day they were living in the house illegally, and $575 every successive day. BUT, because of how Sumner filed this, and the notification of this fine system the town was shorted this money, only being eligible for $50,000 in fines, and $20,000 in legal fees. Had the town PROVED they were living in the house illegally all that time, the fines would have been around the $500,000 mark. Corruption lives and thrives in Atkinson. As does Crappy Neighbors!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Obama's Green Energy Debacle

President Obama has chosen not to work "diligently" to create jobs, in his first three years. Getting his health care plan passed was of paramount importance to him. He chose instead to "advance green energy" which "will create millions of new quality high paying American jobs". So far this dream has been an economic nightmare. While the Heritage Foundation has done yeoman's work on this issue, here are some details the general public may have missed, as details are the victim of the President's daily lies. Through various programs the President has dedicated over $90 billion dollars to his "green initiative". Under his stimulus plan, there were the various loan guarantee programs(remember Solyndra?, the 1703, and 1705 programs. Under the Dept. of Energy there was the now infamous 1605 programs. Under these programs, initially 26 companies got taxpayer monies. An Additional 13 companies got monies through various spending bill amendments. Out of these companies 80% of them were run, founded, or connected to Large Obama Donors, and bundlers. Most of them are now bankrupt. As to the bankruptcies, 26 green energy companies received $42B, in total. here are the bankruptcies; Solar Trust of America:Filed Bankruptcy in Oakland, CA, April 3, 2012 Bright Source:Bright Source warned Obama’s Energy Department officials in March 2011 that delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar-energy company to close. Bright Source lost billions of dollars but is getting more money to keep trying. Solyndra: Obama gave $500,000,000 (that’s a HALF BILLION!) in taxpayer money to Solyndra who shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 after billions in losses due to failure to make a solar product that works! Barack Obama was not vetted before being elected President and neither was Solyndra before Mr. Obama threw that taxpayer money down the drain of unproven technology. LSP Energy: LSPEnergy LP filed bankruptcy protection and a sale of its assets in Feb 2012 Energy Conversion Devices: On February 14, 2012 Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy Abound Solar: Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from Barack Obama then announced in June, 2012 that it would file for bankruptcy. Many of these failed corporations, such as Abound, donated MILLIONS and continue to donate to Barack Obama’s campaign. Can you say, “Democrat Slush Fund”? Yes this is illegal. But Democrats are being protected from being prosecuted, for now. SunPower: SunPower stopped producing solar cells in 2011 at near bankruptcy then restructured with the help of, get this, oil giant TOTAL, Inc. who owns 60% stake in SunPower. Irony? The company is still struggling. Beacon Power: Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy protection in October, 2011 just a year after Obama approved a $43 million Government loan guarantee. They remain barely in business, still struggling to make energy that makes sense or that works at all. Ecotality: ECOtality, a San Francisco green-tech company that never earned any money and remains on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two loan guarantees from President Obama, who wants to do some more of this kind of Democrat Slush Fund Guarantees after he is elected to a 2nd term. A123 Solar: A123 Solar received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’s Department of Energy loan guarantees even after the Solyndra bankruptcy and is getting another $500M from Obama after a loss of $400M. UniSolar: Uni-Solar filed for Ch 11 bankruptcy in June 20, 2012 after laying off hundreds of workers. UniSolar received even more Obama money after showing now progress, no profits and is still failing… yet they still remain in business with Obama’s help. Azure Dynamics: Azure Dynamics filed for bankruptcy in June , 2012 wasting millions in Obama “Stimulus” money and received abatement on taxes owed and and several tax credits. Azure Dynamics LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the US. Azure laid off 120 of its 160 employees in Oak Park; Boston; Vancouver, British Columbia; and the UK. The Amonix Solar: manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants given by Obama Administration, has closed its 214,000 square foot facility a year after it opened. Evergreen Solar: Evergreen Solar received $527 Million in Taxpayer money from Obama and filed bankruptcy in late 2011. Evergreen, which closed its taxpayer-supported Devens factory in March, 2011 cut more than 1800 jobs. Evergreen’s $450 million factory, turned out to be a colossal “waste” of taxpayer money. Ener1: Ener1 Inc. received a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant from President Obama to make electric-car batteries but filed for bankruptcy protection January 2012 after defaulting on bond debt. Add to this, the rest of the energy loans, and grant from the DOE; Mountain Plaza, Inc. (Dandridge, Tennessee), designed and implemented “truck-stop electrification” technology. Beacon Power Corp: Received $43 million in federal loan guaranteed in 2009 and also received $29 million in PA grants – Bankrupt in October 2011 Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Co. (Berlin, Wisconsin), a private company producing ethanol. Babcock and Brown: Received $178 million in federal grants in December 2009 (4 months after it went bust) – Bankrupt in early 2009 Fisker Automotive: $529 million in federal loan guarantees — Multiple 2012 sales prediction downgrades for first car release, delivery and cash flow troubles; Assembling cars in Finland Range Fuels (Soperton, Georgia), tried to develop a technology that converted biomass into ethanol without the use of enzymes. Johnson Controls: Received $299 million in federal grants in 2009 — Low demand caused cancellation of a new factory, operating at half capacity Raser Technologies (Provo, Utah), geothermal power plants and technology licensing. Nevada Geothermal: Received $98.5 million in federal loan guarantees in 2009 — Defaulting on long-term debt obligations, 85% drop in stock value Spectrawatt (Hopewell, New York), solar cell manufacturer. Thompson River Power LLC (Wayzata, Minnesota), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation. The president likes to tout his green energy street crd, but this is the dirty underbelly of his economic capriciousness, that he will not tell America. This is what happens when Government chooses winners and losers based upon Political considerations, rather than economic analysis.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Atkinson Accounting Abuses

ARTICLE SUBMISSION: From the Eagle Tribune; Anonymous said... June 6, 2012 Atkinson audit shows need to separate funds By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Wed Jun 06, 2012, 01:50 AM EDT ATKINSON — An audit of the town's books turned up a problem in the financial reporting of two different nonprofit funds. The town's yearly audit report, conducted by Tim Greene, partner at accounting firm Roberts and Greene, came out this week. Greene said the audit found the Police Detail Fund and Recreation Revolving Fund were not separated correctly in the town's financial reports. "It has to do with internal reporting," he said. "They report both in one fund. I'm recommending that they track the funds separately. It's two separate activities, so you want to keep them separate." He said the finances of the two funds are not mixed up, but it's an internal issue that needs to be fixed so there is no mix-up in the future. Selectmen's Chairman Fred Childs said the board plans to fix the issue. "We'll change it; it's very simple," he said. "That will be done right away." This is not the first time Atkinson has had an issue with two different town funds being connected in some way. The state Attorney General's Charitable Trust Unit investigated the joint accounting between the Elderly Affairs Department and the Police Department in 2008. The state ruled the two groups had to separate their funding because of a conflict of interest. Childs said the past issues make the board eager to alter the finances of the two funds now. "This is sort of similar to the Elderly Affairs and the Police Department," Childs said. "It's two different accounts, so they can be looked at separately." Police Chief Philip Consentino said he was concerned to hear there was any confusion in that fund, but glad to hear it will be quickly resolved. "It's classified under one fund, where there could be 10 or 12 individual funds," he said. "They want the police department separate from everything, which is absolutely fantastic. It will be rectified and nothing has gone astray. My money is safe." The Police Detail Fund is money that comes from every officer who works an outside detail job, he said. "Every time an officer goes out on detail, X number of dollars from each hourly wage goes to the special fund," Consentino said. "So ,whenever a cruiser is used, $10 goes into the account. That special account can only be used for capital expenses for the police department. It has nothing to do with recreation." Otherwise, the town had no financial problems, according to Greene. "We had no other significant comments," he said. NOTE TO PHIL: IT IS NOT YOUR MONEY! IT IS THE TAXPAYERS, YOU ARROGANT.........

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time to Honor Those who sacrificed for us.

MAcciard said... ARTICLE SUBMISSION PLEASE: On this Memorial Day, when we have young men and women from our town standing in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and still more serving around the world, I would like to take a moment of reflection out of our beach and bar-b-que times to remember and honor those who have ensured that we have this time. A military member is someone who at one time in their life wrote a check to the rest of us; men, women, children, democrat and republican alike, liberal and conservative, black and white, rich and poor, to stand up and do for us what we can not do for ourselves. They wrote a check that stated; "I will pay any amount up to and including my own life to protect and defend the rights and freedoms of the people of the United States of America." Memorial day was originally May 30th and it was called decoration day. That was the day set aside to place wreaths, flowers, flags, and other decorations on the graves of our fallen heroes. Some 40 or so years ago, a compliant Congress at the behest of a strong labor union lobby moved it to the "Monday following the last weekend in May" to effect a long weekend that signaled the start of summer. In that move the meaning of Memorial day has been obscured. I hope that we all take a moment out of our day, today, to stop and think of those men and women who are serving currently, and those who have made the ultimate gift to the rest of us. To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and most of all Marines, I want to take a moment to say, Thank you. Mark R. Acciard

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Search for new superintendent will cost Timberlane $30,000

From the eagle Tribune;

Search for new superintendent will cost Timberlane $30,000

PLAISTOW - The Timberlane Regional School District will be starting a national search today for a new superintendent, hoping to find the right candidate by July 1.

At a meeting last night of the SAU 55 Board, 15 Timberlane and Hampstead school board members voted to pay the New England School Development Council $30,000 to search the country for the right person to replace superintendent Richard La Salle, who announced two weeks ago that he will be leaving this summer for a new job at an educational nonprofit center. La Salle makes $138,679 a year.

Chairman Gregory Hoppa explained the board had four options to search for a new superintendent and they debated each one.

"We can perform a national search for around $30,000," he said. "Next is a regional search by the New Hampshire School Board Association that would cost $10,000 and take 12 to 16 weeks. The next process is an in-house search, which would cost about $2,000. I don't consider anything a coronation, but we do have the option to select an internal candidate if we have someone of merit."

Business director George Stokinger said the district budget could absorb the cost of any of the four search options without a problem. But Hoppa said the real issue for the district is time, since they need a new superintendent to start well before the next school year.

"Other districts have had five or six months to do this," he said. "We have a start date of July 1 and this affects the talent pool. But I'm opposed to putting in someone as an interim superintendent. You gain more time, but that person does not have the authority to do what needs to be done."

Board member Peter Bealo said the board shouldn't shy away from paying more for a thorough search.

"It will cost us more in the long term if we don't make a good decision," he said. "I have great difficulty with this committee doing all the work to hire a candidate. No one on the Timberlane board are seasoned HR pros that can hire executives. I don't believe we can do all of this ourselves."

And Jaye Dimando said it might be possible to get the done more quickly than they might expect.

"Derry started their search for a superintendent in January and had a new superintendent in March," she said. "We could give a deadline."

But some board members did not believe the search process was necessary at all.

"I'm a proponent of hiring from within," Judy Graham said. "Existing employees generally require less training. They're familiar with the staff, the facilities and the culture. They know the people on the board and they can hit the ground running. It will save money. I would not feel bad about making a decision tonight."

She did not name assistant superintendent Winfried Feneberg as her preferred candidate, but did imply that he should have the job,

But other board members urged caution, including Nancy Steenson.

"I don't think anyone here would buy a car without doing research first," she said. "This is so much more important. It would be irresponsible to make a decision without doing research and getting resumes. If we get resumes from in-house candidates we can give them an edge for those reasons. But we need to at least open this up regionally."

Though La Salle is leaving, he also gave his advice to the board.

"As you go through this process, there's a lot of optimism in the beginning but you're going to run into some realities," he said. "The state of New Hampshire pays about 40 percent less than Massachusetts and less than many other states in the country. There is a critical shortage of district administrators. If you look at searches done by local districts, the number of candidates is relatively modest. It's the same short list of candidates applying to the same jobs."


Thursday, March 15, 2012

$80,000/yr. for a 6th full time cop?

The vote are in, and at least 1,000 people believed the chief when he said he NEEDS a 6th full time officer, and a 12th car for the department that routinely has ON OFFICER ON PATROL ANY GIVEN SHIFT!

Our sleepy little town will now have 6 full time officers, and 10 part time officers. to fight crime in a town THAT ONLY HAD 8 DISPATCHED IN THE ENTIRE MONTH OF FEBRUARY!

For years Chief has tried to get his 6th officer. He likes to cite a 1993 FBI report suggesting guidelines of having 1 Ft officer for each 1,000-1,400 people. he ALWAYS neglects to mention that the FBI ALSO considers 2 PT officers to be the equivalent of 1 FT officer. So by the report he cites Atkinson which has 6,646 people, now has 11 FTE (full time equivalent)officers. This is 1.6 officers per thousand. He also neglects to mention that their report speaks of towns with business districts. It does not deal with bedroom communities like Atkinson.

But, hey, the voters are happy to throw money at this empire building megalomaniac. One officer on patrol per shift, but 12 cars to service this.

As former budget committee chair Mark Acciard pointed out at town meeting a few years ago, The PD in 2008 budgeted 20,000 man-hours. There are 8,360 hours in a year. They had enough money in their budget to schedule 2 officers every shift if they wish. And STILL have TWO full time officers left over. But they continued from that time until now to still maintain one officer per shift on patrol. SO although our bill has grown dramatically we are not getting any more protection than we were in 1998 when we had one officer on patrol every shift.

The problem here is one of management. We have an uneducated, untrained, unappointed police chief, who continually demand more while providing less.

And the voters keep buying it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another year, More electioneering by the POLICE CHIEF

Atkinson's chief law enforcement officer, is in full election mode once again. never above using his office, and taxpayer funded resources to tell people how to vote, this year is not different.

Phil has used the Town Report, His title as Elderly Affairs Director, the resources of the Elderly Affairs dept., to advance his cause. Of course ALL of this is a violation of law, but, really, When has that EVER stopped Phil? Laws are evidently for others.

Here is the Statute in Question;

659:44-a Electioneering by Public Employees. – No public employee, as defined in RSA 273-A:1, IX, shall electioneer while in the performance of his or her official duties or use government property, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering. For the purposes of this section, "electioneer'' means to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Now, surely Having his petitions for warrant article signed in the elderly affairs cars during rides violates this.

Surely having elderly people come to the police station to sign petitions as Phil, himself, admitted doing in the Eagle Tribune violates this.

Surely Placing articles in the Carriage Towne News from "the director of Elderly Affairs" and "the police chief" violates this.

Surely his blatant pitches in selectmen meetings for his articles violates this.

Surely his latest postcard, "from Atkinson's Elderly Affairs DEPARTMENT" Violates this.

And of Course his Town Report comments about the warrant articles is much more of a violation the the petty, hope to continue to serve you was, that he demonized Brian Boyle over a few years ago was.

But, as usual with Phil, the recurring issue is that THE POLICE CHIEF IS VIOLATING THE LAW!

I know this is nothing new. Mr. Acciard, six years ago spent his own time and money to get the Court to Order Phil to follow the law, by recusing himself from voting on police matters as a selectman. Acciard stood to gain nothing form this action, and in fact lost alot, But, nevertheless, he won, and Phil was Ordered to follow the law.

Imagine that, A police chief having to be ORDERED by the Court to follow the law. Only in Atkinson. And when Phil ignored the Court's Order, they found him in Contempt of Court!, Again only in Atkinson. Did Phil begin obeying the law then, NO,, in stead he used YOUR money to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. They told him to go away.

Over the years there have been numerous complaints of electioneering by Phil, evidently he does not think the law applies to him. Isn't it time the selectmen did their job, and put a stop to this?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Residents upset at Chief's slander of Hemlock Heights

Anonymous said...
To the Editor

Tired of Neighborhood Put Down

This letter is in reference to a statement made by the Chief of Police during the Town Of Atkinson’s Deliberative Session held on February 4th. During the public discussion of Warrant Article 2012-24 for a sixth Full-Time Officer, a statement was made by the Chief that one of the rationales for the necessity of a sixth police officer was due to ”other occasions in the summer time where we have an awful lot of activity up in the heights, up on Hemlock Heights. Then, instead of just one officer on (duty), we could have two or three officers.”

As a long time resident of Hemlock heights, I know this statement to be erroneous. After reviewing the police log for the past two years, the number of logged incidents represents less than two percent (1.7%) of the overall log entries for the Town of Atkinson. ( 50 Calls out of 3039 and some of these calls involve medical response support.) The police logs are available to the public on the Atkinson Town web site.

For further clarification, Hemlock Heights consists of Hemlock Heights Road, Hemlock Shore Drive, Ledge Road, Palmer Road, and Boylan Terrace. It does not include Chase Island Road, Valcat Lane, and Rocky Point Lane.

Hemlock Heights is a very strong community and very supportive of its neighbors. I must respond to the incorrect and derogatory statement made. It devalues our neighborhood and possibly our homes.

This is not the first time the Chief of Police has slandered the Hemlock Heights community. While I may not be opposed to hiring additional police staff for the overall safety of Atkinson, Hemlock Heights should not be singled out as a factor for that decision.

Noreen Mercier

March 8, 2012 5:37 PM

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Secret Candidates night held tonight.

Well, ok, maybe PRIVATE is a better term. The Bryant Woods Condo Assoc. held a private candidates night tonight at 7:00pm at the Bryant Woods Clubhouse. The Condo Association invited the selectmen candidates ONLY. And the meeting was CLOSED to all but Bryant Woods residents.

It has been reported that other candidates expressed interest in attending, and were told they were not invited. A letter was sent out indicating that the meeting was open ONLY to Bryant Woods Residents.

While this would not normally be unusual, what IS unusual is that Chief Consentino was there. arriving almost together with selectman's clerk Barbara Snicer. If this meeting was closed to anyone not a resident of Bryant Woods, then why were Consentino and Snicer there? Notably Jodi, the Chief's wife, was not there. This is troubling. With the Chiefs admitted and documented history of electioneering, are we to believe that he was not schmoozing the elderly at this meeting? After all, his cousin, selectman candidate Barbera, and his former second in command Billy Baldwin were both in attendance. As Phil has pledged support for both of them(at least to them, he has) this is a concern. Although rumor has it that Phil has also told interim selectman, and erstwhile candidates Shuster the same thing, according to Mr. Shuster, anyway.

So what was discussed? What was so important that the meeting had to be closed to the public? And why, if closed to all but Bryant Woods Residents, did they open the meeting to the prevaricator- in- Chief, and Mrs. Snicer?

Many questions, perhaps some Bryant Woods Residents can post and tell us all what really happened in there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Honor of Jane Cole

It is great sorrow, that the Atkinson Reporter observes the passing of one of Atkinson's greatest citizens.

Jane Cole, passed away this weekend, and services were held this morning at the Atkinson Congregational Church. Pastor Paul turned in his usual stellar performance officiating. I think Jane would have looked with amusement upon the gathering of friends and family paying their respects to an extraordinary woman who touched all of our lives.

For those who were unaware, Jane was a columnist for the Eagle Tribune, back in the seventies. She had an incredible knack for finding the humor in everything. For a woman who had seven kids, and more grandchildren than I can count, Humor was probably a refuge.

For those who have known her over the years, she would also joke about becoming a "Maine iac" every summer, a phrase coined for her by former fellow budget committeeman, Mark Acciard. Jane was also a political junkie, and totally dedicated to Atkinson. Unlike some town officials, employees, Jane never put her own desires ahead of what she thought best for the town. Residents can still to this day find her book; "Atkinson, Then and Now" on display at both the library, and in the town clerks office.

Jane made incredible contributions to the betterment of Atkinson, from her service with the town Historical Society, to her chairwomanship of the budget committee, to her long presence in both the selectman's office, and the town clerk's office, her presence, and piece of mind were always known. Jane was also the first person, to catalogue, and gather together all the town's selectmen meeting minutes, and all of it's capital expenditures, since the 1700's.

Jane those of us who have known you, will miss you dearly. Your wisdom, knowledge, love of politics, history, genealogy, and MOST OF ALL YOUR INCOMPARABLE WIT!

Rest Easy, Jane.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moderator Garrity pulls a Polito!

What a Town Meeting we had.

First there was the discussion about the budget. The selectmen were trying to get a new slush fund of $138,000 in a "legal line" for "forthcoming lawsuits", according to Fred Childs. The budget committee arbitrarily cuts this to $80,000 "feeling" that the original request was too much, but not really knowing as all their requests for information went unanswered, as usual. The budget committee, decided they really didn't NEED to know what the money was for anyways, and approved it without ANY DOCUMENTATION to support the request. THANK GOD they are safeguarding our tax investment in the town! I feel safer already!

Then there was the citizen petition warrant articles, which since the passage of HB77 should be going to the ballot WITHOUT ANY CHANGES to the intent or subject matter of the warrant articles. This was mentioned to Moderator Garrity a number of times(he himself being a member of the very legislature that passed this law) he was in a unique position to KNOW the law's provisions. It reads as follows;

"(c) No warrant article shall be amended to eliminate the subject matter of the article. An amendment that changes the dollar amount of an appropriation in a warrant article shall not be deemed to violate this subparagraph." This became effective February 4, 2011.

Immediately after its passage it was the subject of a lawsuit; Bailey v. Town of Exeter. Rockingham Superior Court issued it's decision on May 27,2011. It stated;

"The Court finds that the only way the phrase no warrant article shall be amended to eliminate the subject matter of the warrant article can be logically read is to conclude that any amendment that made the subject matter of the warrant article a nullity was forbidden. Merely because a majority of voters at deliberative session were more clever in how the amendment was worded to create the nullity does not mean that their action was not violative of the new statute."

This came about because Exeter had two warrant articles on their ballot, that, in true Sapia fashion the deliberative session voters changed the intent by inserting the words "to not". Exeter in losing the case also had to pay legal fees. This was also warned to the Moderator, around the same time Mr. Sapia was making a donkey out of himself by doing THAT VERY THING which Exeter lost in Court on. no longer a selectmen but still capable of causing expensive lawsuits! Some things never change.

We also had a number of warrant article submitted by the selectmen to separate elderly affairs from the PD, and move it to the community center. Along with a competing citizen petition warrant article from Phil Consentino demanding that it stay within the PD. But, Phil, I thought we paid you $5,000 to "separate the two depts." after the AG demanded the same? NOW you claim they are still together? WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR MONEY?

But it gets better. In an article for the Eagle Tribune, in which, Phil Stated;

"We got together 110 signatures," he said. "The petition was explained to people, and they came down to the station wanting to sign it. There wasn't any problem getting the signatures."

Thank you, Phil for ADMITTING breaking the law by "ELCETIONEERING". RSA659:44-a states;

"659:44-a Electioneering by Public Employees. – No public employee, as defined in RSA 273-A:1, IX, shall electioneer while in the performance of his or her official duties or use government property, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering. For the purposes of this section, "electioneer'' means to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." A misdemeanor, Phil. That is an inauspicious way to end your controversial career.

But it gets WORSE! NOW their are rumors that Phil had his elderly affairs drivers getting people to sign the petitions during their rides provided at taxpayer expense. This would be FAR worse. But, at least Phil has matured in his personal conduct at town meetings, having grown from the spitballs he blew into Carol grant's hair at town meeting a few years ago, to threatening, and harassing Mr. Artus while he waited in line for the mic. Phil was overheard to have said quietly, while standing immediately behind Mr. Artus in line;

"get in your car and go home", "You've lost".

THANK GOD there is no credence to those lawsuits alleging Phil bullied people. And the hits just keep on coming.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Atkinson voters face 3 articles about Elderly Affairs

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 26, 2012
Atkinson voters face 3 articles about Elderly Affairs
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — There still are competing warrant articles on the March ballot regarding the Elderly Affairs Department, but selectmen have changed theirs.

It seems the board didn't check with the Recreation Commission before they proposed combining two part-time positions into one full-time job. Selectmen wanted voters to approve creating a single position by merging the part-time Elderly Affairs director's job with the part-time director of Recreation and Senior Programs.

But Selectman Fred Childs said the board changed the article after talking to Noriko Yoshida-Travers, director of Recreation and Senior Programs.

"We didn't talk to the people down at the Community Center before we wrote the article," he said. "Noriko said it wasn't possible to combine the two positions."

After the first draft article, Yoshida-Travers said her job already had too many responsibilities to add more.

"I don't think I can handle that workload for both positions together," she said at the time. "It would be very difficult with my hours."

Now, selectmen have drafted a new article, calling for an annual salary of $25,000 for the part-time elderly affairs job, a position now held by police Chief Philip Consentino — for $100 a year.

Selectmen also drafted a second article, calling for the department to move out of the police station and into the Atkinson Community Center. That articles carries a $1,000 price tag.

Consentino said both articles are designed to separate him from Elderly Affairs. He's been on the job since 1993.

Selectmen and Consentino have long clashed over his dual roles. There's never been a meeting of the minds over the way Consentino handles both jobs. The disagreement reached the attorney general's office a few years ago.

In 2008, the state Charitable Trust Unit found a conflict of interest with Elderly Affairs being intermingled with the police department. The finances were officially separated, but Consentino continues to operate the program out of the police department.

Selectmen want to change that and they are using an independent study of the police department to back up their proposals.

Selectmen paid Municipal Resources Inc. $5,000 last year to review the police department. One of the recommendations in MRI's report was the separation of police and elder affairs.

"That was a recommendation from the MRI report, that Elderly Affairs should be separate from the police department," Childs said. "That was our original plan and it just got pushed back."

From Consentino's perspective, it's just more of the same.

"I couldn't understand why they're creating a job for $25,000 when I'm doing the job for $100 a year," he said. "They're just trying to break up Elderly Affairs, knowing I won't take the job on a full or part-time basis because it's too much work."

That's not necessarily so, Childs said.

"We're going to have to hire someone part-time," Childs said. "That doesn't mean the chief wouldn't have the job."

Consentino said he would wash his hands of the jobif the selectmen's articles pass. Two weeks ago, he drafted a citizens petition, which also will appear on the ballot. That article calls for leaving the Elderly Affairs Department just the way it is.

The chief said he hopes voters recognize what's happening and vote against the selectmen's proposals.

Even Childs acknowledges they probably will.

"I think that people are going to vote against it," Childs said. "The chief has a petition not to do anything with Elderly Affairs and I'm sure that's the one that will pass."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Budget Committee refuses to back added spending

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 18, 2012
Budget Committee refuses to back added spending
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — A personal appeal from selectmen didn't change the Budget Committee's decision on spending at last night's public hearing.

Selectman Craig Schuster asked the committee to change their votes and recommend several more of the warrant articles he said were necessary for the town. But the Budget Committee members were not swayed.

"We appreciate the input from Mr. Schuster, but hold to our votes," Budget Committee Chairman Todd Barbera said.

The board recommended 10 of 19 warrant articles — representing a total of $599,000 less than the $703,000 recommended by selectmen. The board did not recommend $5,000 to increase security at Town Hall and did not recommend $20,000 to renovate the Town Clerk's and Tax Collector's offices to limit direct public access.

Both articles specifically address issues from a 10-page audit that selectmen received in December from the New Hampshire Labor Department. The audit detailed several ways the town must improve the safety and health conditions for town workers in the next year. Schuster asked why the committee did not support warrant articles the Board of Selectmen drafted which were mandated by the audit.

"We need safety precautions inside the town offices to satisfy those audits," he said. "When it comes to public safety, we could open ourselves up to liability. There's some security that we need to improve. Too many people have keys to this building."

But Budget Committee Chairman Todd Barbera said the committee did not feel they knew what the safety improvements entailed.

"On both of those warrants, we felt there was a lack of information," he said.

Schuster also asked why the Budget Committee chose not to support the repair of cracked sidewalks at the Fire Station and Town Hall, at a cost of $11,000 each.

"Why wouldn't you recommend the sidewalks? It's also a public safety issue," he said.

Barbera said the sidewalks are constantly replaced and have become a waste of money.

"There are some cheaper and safer solutions than concrete, which keeps getting eroded by salt and has to be constantly replaced," he said. "We need to look into that first."

But resident William Innes, who arrived at the meeting on crutches, also spoke in favor of the sidewalk repairs.

"It is an Americans with Disabilities Act violation," he said. "I'm worried about tripping and falling this winter."

Barbera said the board's recommendations were simply a matter of keeping costs down and taxes low in town. He went over the town's total proposed budget of $4 million, which is up about $34,000 or less than 1 percent, from last year.

Barbera said he did listen to a request for selectmen for a big increase in the legal department's budget, up 103 percent to $78,000.

"There were some lawsuits as well as some contracts being negotiated," Barbera said. "We granted selectmen their wish to increase this line."

Schuster said unfortunately, there were a number of lawsuits against the town recently.

"This is a different age where people like to sue towns and we need to protect ourselves," he said.

But after the meeting, Schuster said the vote by the Budget Committee and even town residents on the safety issues almost don't matter.

"If the town doesn't vote for it, we still have to do it," he said.

He said because the state has ordered the town to improve safety standards, the town has to comply.

Selectmen Fred Childs said if the items aren't approved, town officials will appropriate money from elsewhere.

"We can take money out of any other town budget for this, fire, highway, whatever," he said. "It has to be done."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Atkinson voters asked to fund station repairs

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 17, 2012
Atkinson voters asked to fund station repairs
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — Work to remedy air-quality problems at the police station is a lot more expensive than selectmen anticipated.

Bids for the repairs were so high, selectmen have drafted a $45,000 warrant article for Town Meeting to fund the needed work.

The warrant article would raise money to "remove and replace the distribution duct work, and replace the ceiling tiles and ceiling insulation disturbed during this replacement."

Selectman Fred Childs said $45,000 was the lowest bid the town received.

"It was a lot more than we expected," he said. "If it passes, we're on track to do it right away — just as long as that company holds to the bid."

There have been a number of delays on the project, which was supposed to be completed over the summer. A report by Municipal Resources Inc. found three types of mold and fiberglass particles in the air at the station, caused by water damage from the leaky roof. Selectmen initially planned to simply to replace the duct work, but more problems were revealed.

Police Chief Philip Consentino said it has taken selectmen more than three years to get someone to come in and take a look at the duct work, so he hopes the project will be completed soon.

"The only thing I'm concerned over is they received two bids, one for $45,000 and one for $75,000," he said. "If they can do everything for $45,000, that will be great. But if they get up there and find they have $1,000 more they need to do, the warrant article is very clear, you can't spend a penny more."

Consentino is optimistic residents will approve the warrant article because it addresses a safety issue.

"Generally, when residents realize it's an employee safety issue, they go along with it," he said. "The town doesn't have much choice. If it's not approved through the warrant, I think the town will have to find the funds somewhere else."

The town is under pressure to complete the work. Selectmen received a 10-page audit in December from the New Hampshire Department of Labor, detailing how the town must improve the safety and health conditions for town workers. The town has until Jan. 13 to send the state a written response, outlining when and how violations, including the air quality problems, will be fixed.

Selectmen questioned whether the moisture problems were really posing a health risk to any employees, but they are still committed to fixing the problem.

"It's all on there, so people can vote on them," Childs said. "We could have taken it off if we wanted to, but we didn't."

There are also warrant articles for a new police cruiser and funding to fund a sixth police officer, which Consentino said he hopes also pass.

Childs said there is a long list of warrant articles this year, totalling nearly $700,000.

"The police station and the Mill Stream Bridge are two things that definitely need to be done," he said. "People can make up their mind if they want to spend money on a sixth full-time officer."

The Mill Stream Bridge has been red flagged by the state as unsafe and the town must repair it. The warrant article asks for $83,965.

Consentino said the air quality issue is the most important one. Police department employees are just hoping to be able to breathe clean air.

"If they fix it, everyone here will be very grateful for their actions," Consentino said.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Atkinson voters will face opposing articles on ballot

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 14, 2012
Atkinson voters will face opposing articles on ballot
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — A petition warrant article directly opposes the selectmen's plan to separate the Elderly Affairs Department from the Police Department.

Elderly affairs director and police Chief Philip Consentino said he decided to protect the organization he founded. He organized a petition warrant article to support keeping Elderly Affairs at the Police Department, with support from the Budget Committee.

"We got together 110 signatures," he said. "The petition was explained to people, and they came down to the station wanting to sign it. There wasn't any problem getting the signatures."

Consentino only needed 25 signatures for the article to make it on to the March ballot.

Last week, selectmen drafted two articles that would completely change the operation of Elderly Affairs. One would appropriate $1,000 to move the department to the Atkinson Community Center, and consolidate the senior recreation programs and Elderly Affairs into one location. The other article would raise $25,000 to combine the responsibilities of the part-time director of Elderly Affairs and the part-time Recreation and Senior Program director into one new full-time position: the director of Senior and Recreation Affairs.

Selectman Fred Childs said the board does not endorse Consentino's article.

"That's their decision," he said. "They got the required 25 signatures."

Consentino said selectmen have been trying to separate him from Elderly Affairs for years. In 2008, the state's state attorney general's charitable trust unit declared there was a conflict of interest in the operations of Elderly Affairs being intermingled with the police department.

The finances of the groups were officially separated, but Consentino continues to operate the program out of the police department.

An independent study by Municipal Resources Inc. in October recommended the town separate the Police Department and Elderly Affairs because of conflicts of interest.

The two articles drafted by selectmen do not have the support of the Budget Committee, according to Chairman Todd Barbera. He said the board voted, 5-1, not to move the department and unanimously voted against creating a new position.

"People felt it was running just fine and we didn't need to add $25,000 to the salary of the Elderly Affairs director when we were getting the job done for $100," Barbera said. "We also had to take into consideration the overall costs of the warrants. You prioritize and try to give a balance."

The Budget Committee also did not endorse some other articles: two addressing sidewalk repairs, the purchase of a new highway department truck and adding money to the Recreation Capital Reserve Fund. But the committee did support buying a new police car and hiring a sixth Atkinson police officer.

Childs said the Budget Committee votes against many articles selectmen endorse.

"It's typical," he said. "The Budget Committee votes and we can only spend the money they approve. I'm not worried."

But Consentino said now there are two different viewpoints on the ballot.

"We'll let the public make a decision one way or another," he said.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Atkinson may separate police, elder affairs

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 10, 2012
Atkinson may separate police, elder affairs
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — Police Chief Philip Consentino may no longer have the title of Elderly Affairs director after March.

Two warrant articles aim to completely change the Elderly Affairs Department and separate it from the police department.

"I've worked for 21 years to put together this program and now they're telling me my job is gone," Consentino said.

The articles both were drafted by selectmen. One article would appropriate $1,000 to move the department to the Atkinson Community Center, and consolidate the senior recreation programs and Elderly Affairs into one location.

The other article would raise $25,000 to combine two part-time jobs into one full-time position. It would combine the responsibilities of the director of Elderly Affairs and the Recreation and Senior Program Director into one new position: the director of Senior and Recreation Affairs.

The elderly affairs programs gives local seniors a hand with rides to doctor's appointments, heating bills and more.

But Consentino said creating the new position is a waste of money.

"They're trying to break off the Elderly Affairs Department from the police department and they're willing to pay for it," he said. "They're going to pay someone $25,000 a year to do what I'm doing for $100 a year."

Consentino said he had no idea selectmen were writing this warrant article, but wasn't surprised.

In October, selectmen paid for an independent study by Municipal Resources Inc. to analyze the police department after numerous conflicts with Consentino. One of the recommendations of the study was to separate the police department and Elderly Affairs because of conflicts of interest.

"Atkinson police dispatchers receive calls from elderly residents requesting rides and then schedule those rides," read the report. "Some interviewed police officers suggested that this program should be moved out of the police station."

The other town employee who would be affected by the warrant articles is Noriko Yoshida-Travers, recreation and senior programs director. She said she was surprised.

"Actually, selectmen never really asked my opinion," she said. "I found out from somebody else."

She said she isn't sure if she's lost her job or will be expected to add many more responsibilities to her job for the additional salary.

"If I am the one doing it, I don't think I can handle that workload for both positions together," she said. "It would be very difficult with my hours."

She works part-time, but said she has a significant number of responsibilities.

"My phone is always busy here," she said. "To get more phone calls to schedule the rides and cover seniors in need would be hard."

Consentino said he works about 15 to 20 hours a week for elderly affairs, so he doesn't understand how one person can do his job, plus another job.

"If this came about, the Elderly Affairs program will diminish," he said. "It can't function without us running it."

He said the money to help seniors with prescriptions, ramps and other medical expenses comes from a separate charitable fund that is not affiliated with the town.

Selectmen could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Atkinson Voter Education Seminar


TO: All Voters of the Town of Atkinson

FR: Gary Brownfield, Spokesperson – Atkinson Taxpayer Committee

RE: Atkinson Voter Education Seminar & Signing of Citizen Petition Warrant Articles

Location: Atkinson Community Center, 4 Main St., Atkinson NH

Date & Time: Thursday, January 5th, 7:30pm to 9pm.

At this Seminar, attendees will have the opportunity to sign new Citizen Petition Warrant Articles (or bring one of your own). The deadline for submission is Monday, January 9th.

Mr. Gary Brownfield will speak regarding the importance of citizen participation, given that Citizen Petition Warrant Articles now go to the voters without any corruption or change in language. Also, engage with you in a dialogue about the new State proposal to change Town Meetings, and in so doing, enhance transparent town government.

Mr. Ed Naile and Mr. Jorge Mesa-Tejada, CNHT Directors, will give an intriguing Atkinson Voter Education Seminar and will cover the 91-A Law, and how to protect the ballot of the legal voter and the power and authority of the legitimate ballot.

CNHT – (Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers) is dedicated to preserving the individual and political freedoms you enjoy in New Hampshire. With an effective statewide effort CNHT seeks to reduce the size of government at all levels, put a stop to judicial activism, provide students and parents with a choice of educational opportunities, expand our job market, and protect our ever shrinking property rights.)

January 2, 2012 11:17 PM