Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

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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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Consentino FIRED as Atkinson Police Chief

ATKINSON— Selectmen announced this morning the firing of longtime police chief Phil Consentino.
Town Administrator Bill Innes released a statement from the Board of Selectmen saying they took the action at a meeting Wednesday night.
Selectmen said Consentino’s dismissal was “for cause,” job related and followed an independent investigation.
The dismissal came a day after Consentino announced he would be retiring.
Selectmen said they would have no further comment on the dismissal.
Sgt. Patrick Caggiano will take over as acting police chief immediately. Innes will be the town’s acting director of elderly affairs.

Chief placed on leave earlier

Selectmen mum on reasons, surprised by announcement

ATKINSON — A day after police Chief Philip Consentino announced his retirement, selectmen were still tight-lipped about the situation.
Selectmen’s Chairman Fred Childs said Consentino, 72, was placed on administrative leave two weeks ago.
Childs would not discuss details of that action.
Consentino emailed his retirement announcement to selectmen Tuesday. He cited health reasons for his decision to retire April 2 after 45 years on the force.
He also is retiring as director of elderly affairs, a department he established and has led for some 20 years.
But Childs said he learned about Consentino’s retirement yesterday morning.
“I was surprised when I read it in the newspaper,” he said.
Selectmen had scheduled a nonpublic meeting with Consentino last night, Childs said, but he wouldn’t offer any details about the purpose of the meeting. He did say that meeting was scheduled Monday, a day before Consentino announced his retirement.
Sgt. Patrick Caggiano has been in charge of the police department since Consentino was placed on leave, according to Childs. At the police station yesterday, department employees said Consentino was not expected in.
“The chief is retired,” dispatcher Lynne Cunningham said when asked. “He is not expected to be back.”
It was not clear who was running the elderly affairs department in the interim.
Childs said it was too early to discuss the process for finding Consentino’s replacement for both positions.
Town Manager Bill Innes said yesterday he, too, was surprised to learn of the chief’s retirement plans. He refused to comment on why Consentino was placed on administrative leave.
Consentino’s tenure has been marked with controversy, including complaints to and an investigation by the Charitable Trusts Unit of the Attorney General’s Office in 2008.
But Consentino has his supporters as well. Many senior citizens said yesterday they were upset to learn about Consentino’s retirement.
“I’ve been dreading the day that this man retires,” said Ellen Muller, 73. “He’s done wonders for the town and for me.”
And many seniors are worried about the future of the elderly affairs department.
“We are all worried that the selectmen will not honor the legacy and the standards that he has established,” said Kay Galloway, 73.
For others, shock was the first reaction.
“I was surprised to hear that he would be retiring,” said Connie Bartlett, 73. “He’s been a part of this town for so long.”
Selectmen Bill Friel and Todd Barbera, and town attorney Sumner Kalman did not return phone messages yesterday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Consentino Resigning? Could it be?

The Talk in the Town Hall is that Long time, controversial police chief Philip Consentino may be retiring soon. At over 70 years old, this should have been expected, but the rumors are that this one is not totally by choice. Sources form inside law enforcement were overheard laughing about Consentino's latest foibles, There are rumors of a threatened lawsuit, although the details are being closely held. We will endeavor to keep you posted. One can only wonder what this latest threat could be, given his uncanny ability to enlist his good works with Elderly affairs to provide cover for his shenanigans as police chief in years past. His career as chief in Atkinson began ignominously with an accusation of improper use of funds, that blew up into a six year lawsuit with former selectman Wayne Peak. Then there were legal issues with his officers, labor relations cases with his officers, accusations of union busting during their organization drive, The infamous "Town that hates halloween" story made national news after his boneheaded comment that "his men" will turn cars with Mass. plates around at the border. Illegal, but that is nothing new for chief. Then there were more labor relations suits, his conflict of interest issues, his sleight of hand with donation funds, his conflicts between his numerous hats, his willful disobeying of Court Orders. Yes, Phil's tenure has been both expensive for the Town, and colorful. To the best of our knowledge he is the only part time chief in the state to be found in contempt of court, and to have pleaded the Fifth over 20 times on the witness stand. We can't wait to see what new chapter Phil will add to his legacy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Candidates file for town, school offices in N.H.

Other towns, including Atkinson and Derry, will have plenty of choices on the ballot next month.
Candidates in almost all towns and school districts had until 5 p.m. yesterday to file paperwork to get on the ballot for local elections March 12.

Atkinson has a three-way race for a three-year selectmen’s seat.
Incumbent Selectman Fred Childs is being challenged by William Baldwin and Craig Schuster, both of whom ran unsuccessfully last year.

Incumbent road agent Edward Stewart wants another two-year term, but he’s being challenged by Brian Klimaszewski.

Jean Sanders will try to unseat incumbent cemetery trustee Kathleen Friel for a three-year term.

Michael Turell is running unopposed for a three-year term as treasurer.

Incumbent Raymond Fournier is being challenged for a three-year term on the Conflict of Interest Committee by Jean-MacMillan Foley. Jean Sanders is running against incumbent Joyce LaFrance for a two-year term on the committee. No one filed for a single one-year term spot.

Harlan Cheney and incumbent Budget Committee members Bill Smith and Susan Carroll are vying for two three-year terms.

There’s a race for library trustee, too. James Cobb, Timothy Dziechowski and incumbent Alan Phair are seeking two three-year terms.

Incumbent Adele Dillon is unopposed for a one-year term as checklist supervisor.

Incumbent Helen Galloway is unopposed for a three-year term as trustee of trust funds.