Atkinson Town Hall

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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!

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Consentino to bring fresh corruption to selectmen's office

From the Eagle Tribune; December 24, 2013 Ex-Atkinson chief considering selectman bid By Alex Lippa ATKINSON — Former police Chief Philip Consentino is considering putting his name back into Atkinson’s political circle. Consentino said he is seriously considering another run for selectman. “This is something that’s on the top burner for me,” he said. “I’ve done it all in this town and now, in my retirement, I’ve got a lot of time to do this.” Consentino, 73, retired as police chief after 45 years on Feb. 26. Just one day later, selectmen announced they had dismissed him “for cause.” “Some of the things I see going on in the selectmen’s office, I just don’t know how they are getting away with,” Consentino said. There will be two open selectmen’s seats at Town Meeting in March. Selectmen’s Chairman William Friel’s three-year term will be up for grabs. The final year of Todd Barbera’s three-year term will be open as well. Barbera died in October and Fred Thompson is serving in his place until Town Meeting. Consentino previously served three terms as selectman. He said his primary reason for running is because the town is trying to make the police chief’s position full time in next year’s budget. “People have tried to put in petitions to make it a full-time position,” he said. “They were overwhelmingly told to leave it part time and now they want to make it full time. They should follow the process they’ve done before and should put in a warrant article. Just including it in the operating budget is a sneaky way to get it across.” Voters turned down petitions to change the position to full time in 2000 and 2001. Atkinson is currently looking for a new full-time police chief after acting Chief Patrick Caggiano announced he would be retiring at the end of the month. Consentino said he would be willing to assist in the search. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Al Brackett was sworn in Thursday as interim chief. “The acting chief is gone, another one of my full-time officers are leaving,” Consentino said. “The department is going to be bringing in a whole new kettle of fish. I’d be willing to serve as a consultant, but I would never take the chief’s job in town again.” Consentino would not comment on the effect the end of his tenure as police chief would have on potential voters. “I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “I never got a chance to say what was going on.” Town Administrator Bill Innes said Consentino is allowed to run for selectman. “He cannot be appointed to any town boards or volunteer with the town,” he said. “But that does not include any elected positions.” He would not give his reaction to Consentino considering a selectman bid. Consentino said many residents have already supported his bid. “It seems that everywhere I go, people are asking me to run for selectman,” he said. In addition to holding the police chief’s position, Consentino was also the town’s elderly affairs director. Consentino ran the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund, which assisted seniors with transportation, household repairs and various other needs. Since leaving the department, he has changed the name of the fund to the Atkinson Senior Fund. “We have changed our name so that it is not in conflict with the town’s police department or any part of town government,” Consentino said. The town budgeted $43,000 for similar services this year. They also hired David Paquette to be the town’s new elderly affairs director.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Another interim Police Chief

Contrary to statements made by Innes, the Town cannot hire a full time Chief without going back to the voters for permission. It matters not that they have enough the money in the budget.

December 19, 2013
Atkinson will get new interim police chief
Sheriff's chief deputy will take over in Atkinson
By Alex Lippa The Eagle Tribune Thu Dec 19, 2013, 12:10 AM EST
ATKINSON — Rockingham County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Al Brackett is expected to be sworn in as the town’s new interim police chief today.
Sheriff Michael Downing said Brackett will serve as interim chief until the town hires a full-time chief.
The town asked the sheriff’s department to provide them with an interim chief, after Acting Chief Patrick Caggiano announced he was retiring at the end of the month .
“Selectmen wanted to pick a chief who was appropriate for the position,” Town Administrator Bill Innes said. “We have lots of good people in our department and we wanted to make sure that the officers we had were doing their job with as little disruption to their routine as possible.”
Brackett, 62, works part time with the sheriff’s department and will work on a part-time basis in Atkinson.
“Atkinson asked us for help,” Downing said. “They wanted to know if they had anyone qualified who can temporarily run their department. We have other part-time deputies who are more than qualified, so he’ll go down there and work until they find an adequate replacement.”
Brackett said yesterday he did not want to comment until he was sworn in.
Atkinson will pay Brackett while he leads their department. The money will come from the $31,000 which has been budgeted for the police chief’s position. Just more than $9,000 has been used this year.
Brackett started his career in Hudson as a patrol officer and later became the chief there. He then worked for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Fla., before coming back to New Hampshire in 2003.
He ran the sheriff’s department after former sheriff Dan Linehan resigned, serving until Downing was elected to the post.
Downing said this was the first time any police department has asked them to provide a chief.
“I’m not surprised by anything anymore,” Downing said. “I’m not sure how much notice they had and I know they’re actively searching for a replacement now.”
Caggiano’s official last day in Atkinson will be Dec. 28, but he is on vacation next week.
“(Caggiano) has said he will help through this transition,” Innes said.
The town is just starting to send out advertisements for the permanent position. Innes said the town will use the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police to help narrow down the candidates.
“The selectmen, besides one, don’t have the experience or knowledge of the job to work their way through it,” Innes said. “We want to make sure the candidates have the skills and background to move forward.”
The chiefs association will narrow the candidates down to three to five candidates before selectmen make the final call.
“We want to make sure we do it right and get the best possible candidate,” Innes said. “This process is clean and it’s nonpolitical. There’s also no cost to the town to go through this process, as opposed to a private vendor.”
The position has been part time in the past, but next year’s proposed budget will include money for a full-time chief. Innes said the salary of the chief has not been determined.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Follow the money....

Still clinging to the past and identifying himself as the Chief while talking out of both sides of his mouth and declaring no connection to the Town or the PD. Notice the name of the fund? "Atkinson Senior Fund" - "We have changed our name so that it is not in conflict with the town’s Police Department or any part of town government." REALLY? Notice that it's not a charity now!! "We are not a charitable organization" WOW, as of Dec 2013, the CHARITY is registered as/at #17233 Atkinson Senior Fund 140 Main Street, P.O. Box 484 Atkinson NH 038110484. He even got his own PO Box, now that's big news. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- December 13, 2013 Letter: What Atkinson Senior Fund can do for you Anonymous The Eagle-Tribune The Eagle Tribune Fri Dec 13, 2013, 12:11 AM EST To the editor: I would like to take this opportunity to advise our seniors what the Atkinson Senior Fund can do for them. I must make it very clear that our Senior Fund is not in any way connected to any town agency or any other donation accounts that are being started by the town. We stand as a completely self-governed fund. All funds that come in to the Atkinson Senior Fund are handled by myself as president and the Board of Directors. We have changed our name so that it is not in conflict with the town’s Police Department or any part of town government. We are here to help any Atkinson senior who needs assistance. We will not ask you to fill out a 10- to 15-page financial report. If you need a helping hand to get over a temporary shortfall, we can help. We are not a charitable organization; we are one Atkinson group of residents helping out our neighbor. As the president of this fund I am trying to get our program up and running like it was at the first of the year. We are not involved with any aspect of the transportation services that are provide by the town. If you need some minor household repairs or special medical equipment, we are there to help provide this type of service. I am in the process of redoing the senior contractors list. We are also trying to find someone who can help us set up a website. If we accomplish that task then the contractors list will be posted on that site. In the mean time, once the list has been updated you will be able to pick up a copy at the community center or just give me a call and I will mail out a copy to your home. If you find that you are having a problem and need some assistance I will be more than willing to look into your situation. If I can not resolve your problem I have the resources that would be able to assist you in your time of need. All calls to my home (362-5627) are kept in the strictest of confidence. If I am not home just leave your name and phone number and either myself or my wife Jody will get right back to you. Please do not hesitate to give me a call if you or a senior that you know can use our assistance. Our objective has not changed, and that is that no senior in Atkinson should go without life’s basic needs. I have been a strong advocate in making sure our seniors are well taken care of, and I will always be there to lend a kind and thoughtful hand and assist them in any way I can. Phil (”Chief”) Consentino President, Atkinson Senior Fund