Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
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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.

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.