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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

TRSD Seeks to Screw Atkinson, and Atkinson does nothing.

Yes, my friends, the Timberlane School Board, and their employee(puppetmaster) Mr. Metzler is seeking to bend Atkinson over and give it to us hard. THey wish to change the funding formula for Timberlane.

For decades the school has determined their own funding by two criteria, the population a town sends to the district, and the aggregate valuation of the town. This was determined to be fair in the Districts Articles of Agreement with the towns, so as to spread the investment as equally, and fairly as possible.

However NOW the two most powerful, and autocratic members of the School Board are it's Chair, Nancy Steenson(Danville), and resident neo fascisti, Rob Collins(Danville). What most of you do not know is that over the last ten years as the Districts enrollment has dropped dramatically, and the Budget has soared seemingly without restraint or reason, Sandown and Danville have actually increased their population of students, while Atkinson's has declined. Under their new funding plan, Danville and Sandown get to shift their burden onto Plaistow, slightly, and Atkinson get the majority of the hit. The breakdown being as follows;

  • Danville:  -14.18%
  • Sandown: - 13.13%
  • Plaistow: +3.63%
  • Atkinson: +14.14%

Some of you will recall Mr. Sapia's generous attitude with YOUR MONEY, when he claimed that ANY amount the school declares it wants it should get, after all, it is for the children......... Not really.

Mr. Sapia, had the same generous attitude towards the police dept. when he served on Atkinson's budget committee, some of you will remember, telling then committee chair, Mr. Acciard that if the Pd came in requesting $1,000,000 they should get it without question it is for public safety. Seems Mr. Sapia LOVES to give out other peoples money.

NO ONE has yet elucidated an logical reason for this funding formula change, and ALL should go to the meeting TONIGHT at 7:30 to VOICE YOUR OPINION! DO NOT LET ATKINSON be screwed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Atkinson looking to replace three departing employees

By James Niedzinski Eagle-Tribune
ATKINSON — Three town employees are leaving their posts, and town officials already want to get a head start on finding replacements.
The part-time planning and zoning administrator, Susan Killam, is set to retire next year, Selectman Philip Consentino said.
"We're going to have major turnovers within the town," he said.
Killam, makes about $16,000 annually, depending on how many hours she works, according to bookkeeper Sandra LaVallee.
Officials will be taking a look at the position and possibly give the new planning administrator more duties, Selectmen Chairman William Baldwin said.
"We're still in the process of planning for that position," he said.
The incoming planning administrator will not be a full-time employee, Baldwin said.
She plans to retire around June of next year, he said.
Besides Killam, LaVallee, herself, is stepping down and Town Administrator Bill Innes is talking about retirement in the next two years.
Finding someone to fill Killam's shoes will be tough, Consentino said, because she has also been the chairwoman of the Planning Board for years.
"That's going to be a tough job to fill her position," he said.
Killam could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but she previously said she works about 15 hours a week.  The planning office is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday.
Before Killam took over the post about four or five years ago, LaVallee said, the planning and zoning administrator worked full time.
While LaVallee is not retiring, she too is leaving her post; LaVallee said she is set to leave the town at the end of the month.
"It's been a great job, I've enjoyed it totally," she said Wednesday.
LaVallee has no specific plans after leaving the town, but she said a new job is a possibility.
She declined to disclose her age. LaVallee said she earns about $57,000 annually.
She has been at the job for 27 years.
"It's just time to move on, that's all," she said.
The assistant bookkeeper, Kat Macomber, is set to take the reins.
"She's certainly a very capable lady," LaVallee said of her successor.
About three people were interested in the job, Baldwin said, and here is a possibility the town will seek a replacement assistant bookkeeper.
Another employee set to leave is Town Administrator Bill Innes.
He has not set an official date yet, but he said the earliest he plans to retire is two years from now.
But Consentino said he wants to get a jump on finding a replacement to make sure there is a smooth transition.
"I want it all prepared," he said.  "I want the person on board to work with (employees) for at least a month."
When Innes was hired at the end of 2011, there was a 4-month gap between town administrators.
Selectmen hope to have a new town administrator "well in advance before (Innes) departs," Baldwin said.
Officials will discuss filling the other two positions next year, Consentino said.
Between the three, the town is losing valuable employees, Baldwin said.
"It will be a great loss to the community, because we are losing a vast amount of experience," he said.
Innes became the town administrator in 2012.
His annual salary is about $76,000 LaVallee said.
His reason for retirement is simple.
 "I'm old," the 66-year-old Atkinson resident said.
"He's done a fantastic job," Consentino said about Innes.
If he retires at the end of 2016, Innes will be one of the longer-serving town administrators.
The last town administrator, Philip Smith, left in 2011 after less than two years on the job.
Before Smith, the town went seven months without an administrator when Steven Angelo quit as administrator after five months.
Before him was interim administrator Craig Kleman, who worked on the job for about four months. Russell McCallister worked as the town administrator for about three and a half years before quitting in 2008.
Because Innes' retirement is not for another two years, it is too early to start reminiscing, he said.
"Memories are still being built," he said.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What TRHS Doesn't Want YOU to Know

This meeting has been months in the making.

Timberlane Regional High School, School Board members, Budget Committee members, Superintendent Metzler and Business Manager George Stokinger doesn't want you to know how they are wasting your hard earned tax dollars. They have gone out of their way to keep the budget committee from obtaining the financial information needed to do their job and protect our interests. Please attend and bring fellow taxpayers with you. Please remember that it takes a School District to bankrupt a town. Just ask people from Sandown and Danville. This will be the most important meeting you will attend for several years. Help us help you.
All Taxpayers from Atkinson, Plaistow, Danville and Sandown are welcome.
Atkinson Taxpayers for Fair Evaluations Committee (spokesperson)

Town Hall on Draft School Budget: Sunday Dec 7th
by donnagre
Dear Concerned Timberlane School District Citizens:
School Budget Committee members from Sandown, Arthur Green and Cathy Gorman, will be presenting an open Town Hall style meeting

DEC 7, 2014
1-3 PM

This will be their own take on the draft budget. Come hear Arthur's detailed and powerful argument that the district is considerably overstaffed. He bases his argument on an in-depth examination of comparable districts that have better academic outcomes than Timberlane.

Cathy Gorman will speak about Full-Time Kindgarten and its costs.

Donna Green, School Board representative from Sandown, will speak about policy changes and practices at the district that are having a negative effect on school board oversight and transparency.

Please come and bring your neighbors for this "unofficial" take on the budget. Questions are welcomed at the meeting, which will be moderated by Gordon Champion.

Donna Green

P.S. Superintendent Metzler, Business Administrator, George Stokinger and School Board rep from Sandown, Kelly Ward have been invited and have not responded.
P.P.S. We regret that this meeting falls at the same time as a student concert at the high school. The availability of budget information and the town hall did not give us many options with the date.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Commissioner worried about assistant attorney's firing

By Kyle Stucker

Posted Nov. 11, 2014 @ 6:54 pm
Updated at 9:17 PM
BRENTWOOD — Local prosecutors and officials say they are “very frustrated” about the termination of a Rockingham County assistant attorney and whistleblower because they expect it will lead to a costly wrongful termination lawsuit against the county.
On her first day in office Friday, newly-elected Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway fired Jerome Blanchard, a prosecutor in her office and the person who earlier this year tipped off the state to the fact that Conway’s husband, former Salem police Sgt. Eric Lamb, was erroneously marked as cleared on the state’s so-called Laurie list.
“That smells like retribution to me,” said County Commission Vice Chairman Kevin Coyle. “It just really smells bad. To me this is clearly an act of retribution on the part of Pat Conway and others.”
No lawsuits had been filed against Conway or the county as of Tuesday, although Coyle said he expects Blanchard to file suits under the state’s whistleblower statute in addition to civil suits against any individuals involved in the firing.
Coyle said he and others consider Blanchard the “best prosecutor in that office” and said he doesn’t “know of anyone in law enforcement who would cast any dispersions on his ability to prosecute.”
“What I told her is she better hire a good lawyer, because she’s going to need one,” said Coyle, who wasn’t made aware of Conway’s decision until after Blanchard was terminated late Friday.
The confidential Laurie list contains the names of law enforcement officers who have been identified by their agencies as having engaged in misconduct that could affect their credibility if they had to testify in a case.
This information must be disclosed to defense lawyers and the court.
Blanchard notified the state in April that Lamb had been cleared in error. This prompted an investigation and Lamb’s name to be restored to the list after the state found former County Attorney Jim Reams, who later resigned from his post amid controversy, had indicated in letters to the attorney general’s office that Lamb had been cleared.
Conway maintained Tuesday that she had “no idea” Blanchard was the key whistleblower behind the Laurie list investigation involving her husband.
She also claimed that Seacoast Media Group and New Hampshire Union Leader stories published over the past few days about Blanchard’s firing contain “lies” because her decision had “nothing to do with retribution.”
“I had no idea about that,” said Conway. “I never knew about that. When I read that in the paper, that was the first time I ever learned about that.”
Conway also said that she “was not aware” that Blanchard and his girlfriend, former county prosecutor Jacqueline Docko, played key roles in the state’s investigation into Reams for sexual harassment, ethical violations and mismanagement of a forfeiture account.
“I didn’t know that,” said Conway. “I don’t know if that’s true or not. I was unaware of it.”
Reams, who served for 15 years, retired earlier this year after fighting for his return to office following a suspension. He has admitted no wrongdoing.
Conway has said she terminated Blanchard because doing so would be in the "best interests" of the county.
Beyond that, Conway said Tuesday that she “cannot comment” on why Blanchard was terminated because it “would be improper” to do that from a legal standpoint. She also said she couldn’t disclose whether her decision was based on poor job performance or wrongdoing.
Many local lawyers and law enforcement individuals expressed to Seacoast Media Group Tuesday that they couldn’t think of any possible job performance-related reasons for Blanchard’s firing.
“I can tell you that amongst the defense bar we consider him if not the best, but one of the best trial attorneys,” said Joe Plaia, a Portsmouth defense attorney whom Conway defeated during the Nov. 4 election. “I think he’s got without a doubt a fantastic whistleblower suit on his hands.”
Conway said her focus in her new role will be to ensure the office is running “efficiently,” “ethically” and “in a fiscally responsible manner,” although Coyle said it’ll be difficult to do that after her first official act was to “fire the person who made a legitimate complaint” against her husband.
“I don’t know if you’re ever going to bring back integrity to the office (after doing something like that),” said Coyle. “I think on her first day she really blew it with law enforcement and the public.”
Blanchard couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Update to: "Editorial: Spin won't solve Timberlane board's communications problem"

Surprise! Cozy Low Bid for PR Contract
Four bids were received for the district’s proposed Public Relations services.
$50,400 (Massachusetts)
$46,800 (California)
$39,500 (Massachusetts)
$18,000 (New Hampshire)
The low bid is from SERESC, the organization where superintendents go off to their final taxpayer funded reward. About SERESC Our former superintendent, Mr. LaSalle, now heads this organization and Dr. Metzler is one of six fellow superintendents from neighboring SAUs who comprise the Executive Committee. You might remember SERESC as being the organization that gave us Mrs. Metzler as the Spanish consultant for kindergarten.
SERESC is quick footed, if nothing else. They recently managed to snag Jason Grosky’s wife, Gretchen Grosky, as a PR consultant and have proposed her as the service provider in their bid. Mr. Jason Grosky is chairman of the Timberlane Budget Committee.
The Community Relations Committee, which disgraced itself by opening these bids outside of the publicly announced time and place for the opening, will be deciding on their recommendations at their next meeting in early December. Then they will put their recommendation forward to the school board who will bless the committee’s hard work and thank them for finding such a marvelous consultant right in our own backyard! Actually we don’t look in backyards. We climb up on ladders and peer into bedrooms.
Mrs. Grosky is a former journalist and editor who registered her own PR company, GMG Strategies LLC, with the state of New Hampshire in August 2013.
I should stress that no decision has yet been made and no contract has yet been awarded, but I smell her name plate being printed.
Only five short years ago our policy KDCA (student communications) said this:
“The best possible community relations grow from a superior teaching job in the classroom. Enthusiastic pupils with serious intentions, well directed by sympathetic and capable teachers, are certain to communicate with the parents and the community. The School Board believes this is the cornerstone of good community relations.”
That earnest and encouraging paragraph can no longer be found in any of our policies.
See Dr. Metzler announcing that he had given Rob Collins of the Community Relations Committee Mrs. Grosky’s name at the May 29 School Board meeting: FORWARD TO 3: 24: 40 .
Should you be concerned about the independence of elected officials in the district or the SAU, let me reassure you that there is nothing to worry about. It’s business as usual. The wife of SAU board member, Jason Cipriano, was hired as a full-time teacher at Timberlane in August.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Editorial: Spin won't solve Timberlane board's communications problem

The Eagle Tribune

The Timberlane Regional School Board has correctly assessed that it has a problem with communication. But that problem won't be solved by hiring a public relations consultant.
The board would be better served by simply being open and honest with parents in the school district and with the voters who elected them to office.
The board last week agreed to begin the process of hiring a public relations consultant by approving a request for proposals. The board has yet to work out the details of the request or discuss how much it would be willing to spend on the part-time position.
School Board Chairman Nancy Steenson said the consultant would provide an honest and positive voice for the district, which serves students from Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown.
"If we have an opportunity through someone who does this well, then we can present our story correctly," she said, as reported by James Niedzinski. "We don't have the control to make sure everything is accurate all the time."
The two key words in Steenson's statement are "control" and "accurate." They are the obsession of Steenson, the like-minded members of the board, and Timberlane Superintendent Earl Metzler.
The board's primary concern is its inability to control dissident member Donna Green, who represents Sandown, and whether every statement she makes at meetings or on her private blog is "accurate."
Reduced to its core principle, Green's complaint is that the pressure for increasing spending in the district is relentless, even as enrollment declines. The district's spending places a heavy tax burden on member communities, Green argues.
Green, whose campaign for fiscal responsibility won her election by Sandown voters, can be determined and demanding in her pursuit of district financial information. This is generally considered a positive quality in an elected representative. But to Steenson and Metzler, it is a source of irritation.
Green, like many others who question school spending, frequently faces the accusation that she is anti-education. Her quest for information often takes the form of demands under the state's Right-To-Know Law. She writes emails to the board requesting financial documents or that items of concern to her be placed on meeting agendas. She is unafraid to express her opinions on the board's actions during meetings or on her blog.
In response, the board on Aug. 28 issued a formal letter of censure to Green. The letter said Green's actions had "undermined the integrity and credibility of the Timberlane Regional School District and eroded the trust between TRSD and the community."
The letter further cited Green for the "inaccurate, disrespectful and/or inappropriate" comments made on her blog. The letter states that Green disseminated this false and inaccurate information "without contrition" and that she has "never shown any remorse for her actions."
Green has been banned from visiting administrative offices without an appointment while police conduct an investigation into whether she harassed a district employee.
"It's disturbing, the truth is the truth, there is no need to make things up," Metzler told Niedzinski. "We're trying to do the best for our kids here."
All this conflict generates a lot of news coverage. The board wants to be sure that the good news coming out of Timberlane isn't lost in the shuffle. A public relations consultant who knows members of the media could "grease the skids," board member Rob Collins said last week.
Our skids don't need greasing. We have and will continue to report all the good things that the Timberlane district's students are doing.
But we'll also continue to report on the doings of the Timberlane board, asking questions about things like how it came to pass that the consultant hired for $50,000 to implement a Spanish language program for kindergartners was Elizabeth Metzler -- Dr. Metzler's wife. It was a deal that Green's lawyer Richard Lehmann said "was done under the cover of darkness and hidden from public view."
These are also the kind of questions Donna Green finds so interesting.
Rather than attempting to control public perceptions of its actions by greasing the skids with a hired flack, the Timberlane board might try just answering some questions openly and honestly.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Timberlane board members continue to stir the pot.

By James Niedzinski Eagle-Tribune
PLAISTOW — Conflict and accusations continue within the ranks of the Timberlane Regional School Board and administration.
Donna Green, who represents Sandown on the board, is at the heart of much of it.
Even before her election to the board in March, Green challenged board members and Superintendent Earl Metzler a number of times.
She maintains a blog, dedicated to the district's budget, leaders and policies.
Before her election to the nine-member board, Green was on the Timberlane Budget Committee and had a thorny time of it there, too.
Some people appreciate Green's approach, her dogged pursuit of documents and figures, her dedication to keeping spending in line.
But her fellow board members are not among her fans. In July, a majority of the board voted to formally censure Green after they said she was posting misleading and inaccurate information on her blog.
Last month, School Board Chairman Nancy Steenson wrote Green a letter, outlining about 60 specific blog entries she said were inaccurate.
Metzler said the blog continues to be inaccurate. "It's disturbing, the truth is the truth, there is no need to make things up," he said. "We're trying to do the best for our kids here."
Steenson did not return phone calls seeking comment.
This week, Green struck back. Richard Lehmann, Green's attorney, sent letters to school district officials and Plaistow police Thursday. The concerns outlined include awarding a $50,000 contract to Metzler's wife, a security camera video of an incident in the administrative offices and the requirement that Green schedule an appointment before setting foot in the School Administrative Unit 55 building.
"I regret that it is necessary for me to take the step of retaining counsel to assist me," Green wrote, "but the administration leaves me no choice." Green is seeking clarification of the protocol for board members to visit the SAU office; a copy of the videotape school officials provided to Plaistow police; acknowledgement the board erred in its handling of the contract with Metzler's wife; and clarification of the existence of a no trespass order.
Three of those issues stem from a verbal exchange in July between Green and Cathy Belcher, Metzler's executive assistant.
That's one thing everyone seems to agree on, although not necessarily the magnitude of the disagreement. The exchange was captured on video tape, but Green has been denied a copy of that tape.
Metzler reported the incident to police and provided them with a copy of the tape. He said Friday he was unsure if the district still had a copy of the tape and noted there is no audio of the verbal argument.
Green claims administrators are holding her reputation "hostage" by not releasing the security video.
The water gets a little muddier here.
The incident is under investigation by police, acting Chief Kathleen Jones said, but would comment further.
Police Lt. William Baldwin is the former chairman of the Timberlane School Board and may be involved in the investigation.
Shortly after the incident, Steenson emailed Green and told her until the police investigation is complete she would have to schedule visits to the SAU office through Metzler. Green, through her attorney, is seeking clarification.
If there is not a no trespass order, Lehmann asks, then why must Green schedule visits through Metzler. She said it's affecting her ability to carry out her official responsibilities. Having Green schedule an appointment was done for the safety of employees and Green herself, Metzler said. "It's to protect both her and them from having a second incident or third incident," he said. Green also is treated differently, he said, because "other members of the board are currently not being investigated for the harassment of a public employee."
While other School Board members do not have to schedule appointments, Metzler said most do anyway. Finally, Elizabeth Metzler was hired to develop the curriculum for a foreign language program. She was recommended through the Southeast Regional Education Service.
Green claims the School Board violated the state's Right to Know law when approving the contract because they entered nonpublic session illegally.
There was no discussion about a request for proposals or contract, Lehmann wrote, and the contract "was done under the cover of darkness and hidden from public view."
But Metzler said it was a transparent process. Board members knew Elizabeth Metlzer worked for the education service and would likely be recommended for the job, he said. "I know how open and transparent I was about this the whole way," he said. "It was very transparent right from the start."
He said Green's numerous Right to Know requests are putting a burden on the district.
Under the law, he said, the district has five days to respond to a request if the information is readily available. "Everything is not readily available on a desk to hand her in two minutes," Metzler said.
On Friday, Green said she started filing Right to Know requests rather than simply asking for information because of her turbulent past with school officials while she was on the Budget Committee. "Based on that background, I did not have the belief that I would get my requests in a timely fashion," she said. "I felt I was compelled to file Right to Know requests." Green said she still attends board meetings regularly.
She considered how the letters from her lawyer might affect her working relationship with other board members, but it was not her biggest concern. "I have to call things as I see it," she said. "My primary consideration is representing the interests of my constituents."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Plaistow police lieutenant investigated

PLAISTOW — The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office and Rockingham County attorney's office are investigating longtime police Lt. William Baldwin for "irregularities" that occurred during two recent traffic stops, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald confirmed Friday the two agencies have begun looking into allegations that Baldwin, also an Atkinson selectman, may not have followed standard police procedures during the two stops.

But Baldwin said Friday evening he believes he is being unfairly targeted by another member of law enforcement who disagrees with the "discretion" he used during the two stops, both within the last month.

"I do the best to what my discretion allows me to," he said.

Neither Baldwin, Fitzgerald nor interim police Chief Kathleen Jones said they could comment in detail about the traffic stops nor the allegations while the matter is under investigation.

Baldwin, on scheduled time off for the next week, said he's only trying to do his job."It's just disheartening," Baldwin said. "There are two sides to every story, and I take my job very seriously to keep the community very safe." Baldwin said he's not sure who is making the allegations against him.

"I don't know the motive," he said. "I put my life and soul into the job. People just come after you and target you. It's someone who doesn't care for me here."

Baldwin said he's yet to speak to investigators from the attorney general's office or the county attorney's office.

Interim County Attorney James Boffetti said he could not comment on pending investigations. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young could not be reached for comment Friday.

Fitzgerald said he's waiting to receive further reports and had yet to speak to Baldwin, who has worked in Plaistow since 2011. Jones has spoken to Baldwin about the matter, he said.

"We will make appropriate decisions to make sure we keep the highest standards of policing intact," Fitzgerald said.

Jones, who was deputy chief, has led the department since the death of police Chief Stephen Savage in July. She said town officials won't hesitate to act if Baldwin is guilty of any misconduct.

"If anything has been done wrong, we will take swift action as needed," Jones said.

Fitzgerald said despite the allegations against one of the department's highest-ranking officers, Plaistow police do an excellent job serving the community.

"We have an outstanding department," he said.

Baldwin was a member of the Atkinson Police Department for 14 years before leaving for Plaistow.

Earlier this year, he applied for the Atkinson police chief's job after Philip Consentino was dismissed by selectmen. Baldwin later withdrew his application, saying he had doubts about leaving Plaistow.

Baldwin also served in the U.S Marine Corps for 10 years and has been a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, taking leave from his police career to serve in the Middle East.

He is also a former Timberlane Regional School Board member.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Green says censure won't stop her

School Board member accused of misleading public
By Doug Ireland
 The Eagle Tribune Fri Jul 18, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT

PLAISTOW — Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green, who was censured by her colleagues Wednesday, said the reprimand won’t change how she conducts herself.
The Sandown resident said yesterday that even though seven of her eight fellow board members voted to censure her, she will continue to seek “transparency” from the school district administration, especially when it comes to spending issues.
“Censure has no bearing on me,” Green said. “I’m not going to change my behavior.”
Board members said during the nearly three-hour special meeting Wednesday that Green’s behavior is having a disruptive impact on the board and district.
They said Green often makes inaccurate and inflammatory remarks during meetings and in her personal blog on district issues. Her comments are damaging the board’s credibility and integrity, the members said.
Board member Rob Collins, who made the censure motion, said there have been nearly 70 inaccuracies in her blog since she joined the board in March.
The comment prompted Green to rise from her chair and say, “I’m done.” She then left the meeting.
Shortly before Collins’ remark, Green refused to attend a 10-minute nonpublic session called by Peter Bealo to discuss “reputation.”
After Green left, the board voted in favor of the censure — the equivalent of a public scolding. Chairman Nancy Steenson said a censure letter would be drafted for the board’s review at its meeting in August.
Green said yesterday afternoon she didn’t learn of the censure until a friend phoned her and that she had not been notified by the board.
She said she even stopped by the school administrative office yesterday to review district invoices, but no one mentioned the censure vote. She called the vote “a public humiliation.”
Green admitted the move wasn’t a complete surprise, explaining that Collins has said in the past he would ask that she be censured. The special meeting was called by Steenson to clarify the district’s position on key issues Green has challenged.
Those issues included the district’s transfer-of-appropriations policy, a health trust refund and an auditor’s report.
The Wednesday night meeting became heated as Green queried administrators, including Superintendent Earl Metzler, and board members questioned her actions.
Among her concerns was that the board did not have enough control over overexpended line items in the school budget.
“We are falling down on budgeting,” Green said. “We are also falling down on oversight.”
Board members told her administrators retained the authority to make those budgetary decisions. Steenson said Metzler and his staff have followed the district’s policy and done nothing illegal or unethical. Green disagreed.
Board members also said Green refused to attend policy meetings or meet with Metzler in his office to discuss issues.
Green said one meeting was held on Passover and she couldn’t attend. Another was held while Green said she was out of the country. She said she would only discuss district issues in public.
Green issued a statement yesterday, questioning Collins’ claims about inaccuracies in her blog and asking him to outline each one.
She also denied accusations that she would not work with her colleagues and said censuring a member would discourage other residents from running for the board.
“My blog has always been open to public comment and correction should it be challenged,” she said. “The real root of my censure is my is my insistence on financial transparency at Timberlane to get a handle on the excessive cost increases we have experienced while enrollment is plummeting.”
Board member Kelly Ward, also of Sandown, abstained from voting Wednesday but did not say why. Ward later said he did not have enough information to cast an informed vote.
Steenson, the only board member authorized to speak to the media, refused to comment on Green’s censure.
Green is serving her first term on the board. She was elected in March.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Timberlane board censures member

Donna Green censured, accused of misleading public
By Doug Ireland
The Eagle Tribune Thu Jul 17, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT
PLAISTOW — The Timberlane Regional School Board voted to censure one of its own members last night, saying Donna Green is damaging the board’s credibility and integrity.
The 7-0-1 decision came after the board met for more than two and a half hours to explain and clarify its positions on key issues that Green challenged and the public has questioned.
The special meeting, called by Chairman Nancy Steenson, was often contentious as board members debated Green on various issues.
Those included Green’s comments on the district’s transfer-of-appropriations policy and her opinions on a health trust refund and an auditor’s report.
Steenson defended the board’s positions, saying neither the board nor school administration has done anything illegal or unethical.
“I don’t know if you didn’t understand it or didn’t like it,” Steenson said of Green’s views on one policy.
After a 10-minute nonpublic session that Green contested and refused to attend, board member Rob Collins was among those to publicly explain his dissatisfaction with her as a member.
Since her election in March, Green has often disagreed with her colleagues on issues.
“I have some very grave concerns about the behavior of Mrs. Green,” Collins said.
Collins spoke of what he said were nearly 70 inaccurate quotes in her personal blog on district issues. Green then said, “I’m done” and left the meeting with her husband.
Collins then made the motion to censure her. A censuring is, in essence, a public scolding. Board member Kelly Ward abstained from the vote but did not say why.
Collins said Green makes inaccurate and inflammatory comments in and outside the meeting room that hurt the public’s trust in the board.
“The damage she is potentially doing to this district I’m not going to stand for,” he said.

Other board members agreed, including Sue Sherman.
“She is not reflecting our truth,” Sherman said.
“It is really misleading to the public,” Vice Chairman Kate Delfino said.
Superintendent Earl Metzler called Green an “obstructionist,” saying, “She is unwilling to work with us.”
During the meeting, Green criticized the board and administration for not doing a better job of being transparent and handling the district’s business in the proper fashion.
Steenson said a censure letter would be drafted for the board’s review at its meeting in August. She declined to explain the censure process.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Consentino lies exposed in public

Yes last nights Official Town Business meeting was an unusual one. Readers of this blog will remember that in 2005 Phil had to be Ordered by the Court to obey the law. and was found in Contempt of Court for ignoring that Court's Order. Well he is STILL ignoring it.

While he has participated in Police, Elderly, and Town employee matters, regularly, Last night he participated in discussions about the Town Elderly donation account, versus his own opaque Senior slush fund.

At numerous meetings in May of this year he told the Selectmen and the public that he would be dissolving his Senior fund so as not to compete with the Town's fund. After this lie, he promised it would be dissolved by May 31, 2014. IT IS STILL IN OPERATION!!! AND STILL Soliciting Donations, and promising to continue to provide services.

In a mailing that was jam packed with lies, sent out by Phil's "fund" he claimed that it had been in operation since 1993, LIE, it was CREATED 8/20/08. NH Secretary of State office

When Mr. Artus pointed out these lies on camera, Phil resorted to his usual threat of a lawsuit for slander. Hey Phil, that threat did not work with me. it did not work with Wayne Peak. It did not work with Ken Grant, nor did it work with Mr. Artus. As a matter of fact although you have made the same claims in all of these suits going back 33 years YOU HAVE NEVER WON ON THEM!

It was after these repeated threats from Phil, some of you may remember at candidates night when Phil threatened Mr. Artus in front of a room full of people, Phil tried to adjourn the meeting. As always just get it out of the public eye.

AFTER The public cameras were shut off at the selectmen's request, Phil, the man who on year ago was FIRED for Cause pursuant to a sexual harassment complaint from one of the women in the PD, stood up and gyrated his hip while making lewd gestures towards Mr. Artus. Perhaps he is switch hitting now? or just old sexual harassment habits are hard to break.

Mr. Morse and Mr. Baldwin during this circus had been reading the handout Mr. Artus gave them and began asking Phil if he really had dissolved his slush fund. Phil put on a grand display of sputtering and stammering, petulantly claiming he was not the Treasurer and therefore did not know, Neglecting to mention in his attempt to deceive that HE IS THE PRESIDENT!

Clearly PHils private unaccountable slush fund Is still in operation, still soliciting donations, and IN COMPETITION WITH THE TOWN ACCOUNT. This is a CLEAR conflict of interest of the very type that the Court Ordered him to recuse himself from.

As it is evident that Phil can not obey the law without being forced to, it is high time for him to OBEY THE LAW, or resign before he embroils the town in further litigation, The ONLY area at which he has proven competence.


Mark R. Acciard

Please accept as an article submission

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Retirement may bring changes to Atkinson office

Atkinson selectmen to consider changes
By Dustin Luca
 The Eagle Tribune Sun Jun 22, 2014, 12:36 AM EDT
ATKINSON — Planning and Zoning Administrator Susan Killam has said she plans to retire, creating a chance for town officials to take a closer look at the Planning Department.
Killam has led the department for about four years and served on the Planning Board for more than 25. She is its current chairman.
She hopes to retire between 12 and 18 months from now, she said. With the window so far out, a date hasn’t been selected. She said she plans to remain a member of the board after she retires, Killam said.
Killam works about 15 hours a week on average, with office hours Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., she said.
It’s enough hours to “get enough paperwork done, to support the board and all the inspections,” Killam said.
Planning departments are handled differently from town to town. As town sizes change and development needs evolve, so do the demands on a department, she said.
“You walk into the Town Hall in Hampstead, and there’s a sign that says, ‘Assessing and Building Department,’” Killam said. “Here, assessing and building are completely separate, other than using the same computer database.”
Town officials are looking at the department to see how it could change, given Killam’s retirement is at least a year away.
“She has a wealth of knowledge and has been a great asset to the community and town officials,” Selectmen’s Chairman William Baldwin said. “The biggest challenge we’re going to have, really, is to quantify that position and make it to what it’s supposed to be.”
The Planning Board has six regular members with an ex-officio member from the Board of Selectmen and up to three alternates. They’re all appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Planning Board appoints its own chairman.
Killam had no suggestions for changes that could be made, saying changes will depend on what’s going on around town.
“There isn’t anything big going on,” she said. “Development is so slow in Atkinson that we haven’t seen much.”
One area that could use more attention is the town’s industrial district, which Killam said is underutilized.
“We have a very small industrial zone,” Killam said. “There are vacant lots in the industrial zone that have been vacant since the early ‘90s.”
Selectmen haven’t talked about Killam’s retirement or changes to the department yet, Baldwin said.
But he said he could think of a couple tweaks that could be made.
Among them are increasing the pay and hours of the job to attract a stronger field of candidates when the time comes to hire for the position, he said.
“I don’t think we need to make it full-time,” Baldwin said, “but I think we need to make it more hours.”
Killam’s salary wasn’t available, Town Administrator Bill Innes said.
Selectmen will start discussions soon and Killam will play an important role in that, Baldwin said.
“She’s going to play an integral part in how we develop this office,” Baldwin said, “to what it needs to be — or to continue on with it — to make it a better service for our residents.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reams barred from appointing replacement

Conway is a candidate for county attorney
By Doug Ireland
The Eagle Tribune Thu Jun 19, 2014, 12:28 AM EDT
BRENTWOOD — Former Rockingham County Attorney James Reams’ decision to appoint Patricia Conway as his interim replacement is being called an inappropriate and illegal move.
Conway, a longtime assistant county attorney, was chosen Tuesday by Reams to serve until the county delegation appointed his successor or voters elected a new county attorney this fall.
But an agreement reached in April between Reams and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office stipulates that he had no right to appoint Conway, a Republican candidate for the position in the September primary.
The agreement outlines the provisions under which Reams could return to his $85,000-a-year job after being suspended with pay by county commissioners Nov. 6.
Attorney General Joseph Foster also revoked Reams’ authority as a prosecutor in the wake of allegations he sexually harassed female employees, committed ethical violations while in office and mismanaged county money.
Reams stepped down Tuesday after 15 years, saying he decided to retire and accept a $42,000 buyout of the remaining five months of his contract from county commissioners. The commissioners said Reams agreed to resign, prompting him to say their announcement was “erroneous.”
Associate Attorney General Jane Young and County Commissioner Kevin Coyle of Derry confirmed yesterday that Reams had no right to appoint Conway. The move has also drawn criticism from other candidates for county attorney.
The Attorney General’s Office fought to have Reams removed from office, but he was reinstated by Merrimack Superior Judge Richard McNamara. A hearing on his removal was scheduled for Aug. 4, but canceled after Reams agreed to step down.
The three-page agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Reams, approved by McNamara on April 29, set restrictions on the county attorney’s return.
Reams was allowed to reassign the responsibilities of former Deputy County Attorney Thomas Reid, who was also suspended Nov. 6, along with victim-witness advocate Tara Longo. Reid and Longo were later cleared by the Attorney General’s Office, but resigned from their positions.
Young said the agreement “clearly” states Reams could not appoint Conway.
“County Attorney Reams shall not, however, formally install an assistant county attorney as deputy county attorney,” the agreement says.
Young said late yesterday afternoon she could not comment further on the matter and that she was on her way to meet with the three county commissioners to discuss replacing Reams.
“We want to make sure there is an administration of justice in that office,” she said.
Also yesterday, the Attorney General’s Office announced that a member of Reams’ staff, Assistant County Attorney Zachary Cross, was arrested Tuesday on a drug charge.
Cross, 29, was arrested by the New Hampshire Drug Task Force and the Manchester Police Department and charged with possessing Oxycodone, a painkiller. Young said she could not comment further on the arrest.
Young did say that Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti returned to supervise the county’s attorney office yesterday and that Foster is discussing with county legislative leaders the possibility of filling the post.
Boffetti oversaw the office during Reams’ six-month suspension. He will remain there as the 46-member legislative delegation decides if it will appoint a replacement, Young said.
The Attorney General’s Office offered to have a member of its office oversee operations if a replacement wasn’t appointed by the delegation.
Delegation Chairman Rep. Norman Major, R-Plaistow, said his group’s executive committee isn’t scheduled to meet until at least early July. Reams notified Major of his decision to appoint Conway on Tuesday afternoon, saying “she is the most qualified, has the longest tenure and experience of anyone in the office.”
Neither Conway nor Reams could be reached yesterday for comment. Reams defended her in an interview Tuesday.
Conway is the husband of former Salem police officer Eric Lamb, whose name Reams is accused of removing from the state’s Laurie List of law enforcement officers whose credibility could be questioned if they are asked to testify in court.
Coyle criticized Reams’ appointment of Conway, saying he never notified county commissioners of the decision. He also said Conway — one of five county attorney candidates — should not have accepted the position.
“It’s another one of Jim’s shenanigans,” Coyle said. “She should have known better and said, ‘I don’t want any part of that.’”

Editorial: Reams had become an unwelcome distraction

Whether he chooses to call it a resignation or a retirement, the departure of James Reams from the Rockingham County attorney’s office is welcome news.
Following a suspension, investigation and the attempt by county commissioners to force him from office over allegations of mismanagement of department funds and sexual harassment of female staffers, Reams had become a distraction who was not serving the people of Rockingham County well.
Reams, 66, has been accused of a long list of misdeeds and mismanagement in recent months. In November, he was suspended by county commissioners and his prosecutorial authority was stripped by Attorney General Joseph Foster over allegations he mismanaged county money and sexually harassed female employees. The attorney general’s office accused Reams of having inappropriate contact with women in his office, telling them not to get pregnant and retaliating against those who did. The AG’s office also said Reams would also invite employees to bring their bathing suits to his home to use his hot tub, earning him the nickname “Creepy Jim.”
Reams denied the allegations.
Reams was ordered reinstated to his job by Merrimack Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara in April. But Reams’ problems on the job continued, according to county commissioners.
Reams was accused of removing the name of a former Salem police officer, Eric Lamb, from the state’s Laurie List, a list of law enforcement officers with credibility issues that could jeopardize court cases. Lamb is the husband of Patricia Conway, an assistant county attorney who is one of five candidates running to replace Reams in the September primary.
In the letter to the county commissioners announcing his departure, Reams named Conway acting deputy county attorney and placed her in charge of the office.
“Since Jim has been back, the situation hasn’t gotten any better,” Commissioner Thomas Tombarello said. “We were told he wasn’t there to perform his job. I just felt there were a lot of problems in that office.”
Commissioner Kevin Coyle cited an ongoing problem with factionalism in the county attorney’s office.
“Since he’s been back, we’ve had more issues,” Coyle said. “He really hasn’t been an effective leader since he’s been back.”
Reams lambasted the county commissioners for their interference in his management of the office.
“They were constantly doing illegal things,” he told reporter Doug Ireland. “There is no petty thing they wouldn’t do.”
In an agreement announced Tuesday afternoon, the County Commission said Reams had resigned and would be paid his salary for the remainder of the year, which amounts to about $42,000.
Reams disputed the characterization of his departure as a resignation, saying that he was “retiring because they made it worth my while.”
It is now up to the 46 members of the Rockingham County legislative delegation to decide how to handle a replacement for Reams. Their best decision would be to take up Attorney General Foster on his offer to provide interim leadership for the office. Voters are fortunate that they have a field of well qualified candidates from which to choose in the upcoming election.
It is unfortunate that Reams’ 15-year career as the county’s chief prosecutor had to end on a sour note. However, Reams brought this misfortune upon himself.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reams says he retired, not resigned

By Doug Ireland
 The Eagle Tribune Wed Jun 18, 2014, 09:03 AM EDT
BRENTWOOD — Rockingham County Attorney James Reams agreed yesterday to step down, appointing Patricia Conway as deputy county attorney until a replacement is named.
It marked the end of Reams’ tumultuous 15-year career as the county’s top lawyer.
The three-member county commission announced yesterday afternoon it reached a settlement with Reams that he resign, paying the remainder of his $85,000-a-year salary through Jan. 1. That comes to about $42,000, Commissioner Kevin Coyle said.
But Reams, 66, disputed the commission’s account, saying he agreed to retire and that it was “erroneous” to say he resigned.
“It’s a crock,” he said. “I did not resign, I’m retiring. ... I’m retiring because they made it worth my while.”
Attorney General Joseph Foster confirmed Reams is retiring and said his office will no longer pursue the county attorney’s removal from office. A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Aug. 4 in Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, but will be canceled.
Before leaving office, Reams notified the state’s legislative delegation that Conway would oversee the office in the interim.
Conway is an assistant county attorney and one of five people running to replace Reams in the September primary after he decided not to seek re-election.
The County Commission voted, 2-1, to accept the agreement, with Coyle and Thomas Tombarello in favor and Chairwoman Katharin Pratt in opposition.
The 46 members of the county’s legislative delegation must now decide if they want to replace Reams and who that person would be, commissioners said. Delegation Chairman Norman Major, R-Plaistow, said a meeting would be scheduled, but he didn’t know when.
The Attorney General’s Office has offered to have one of its attorneys run the office in the interim, Foster said.
Reams was suspended by commissioners in November and his prosecutorial authority stripped by Foster amid allegations he mismanaged county money and sexually harassed female employees.
The Attorney General’s Office accused Reams of having inappropriate physical contact with the employees, telling women not to get pregnant and retaliating against those who did. He earned the nickname “Creepy Jim.”
He also would invite employees to bring their bathing suits to his home for drinks and so they could use his hot tub, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Reams denied the allegations and said he never touched anyone in his office.
Yesterday, Foster praised the employees in Reams’ office who came forward with complaints about their boss.
“I commend the women who brought these complaints forward,” he said. “It sends an important message that gender discrimination won’t be tolerated.”
Reams was reinstated by Merrimack Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara in April after he and his attorney, Michael Ramsdell, claimed his suspension was unlawful.
Reams said at about 5 p.m. yesterday he had just cleaned out his office and said farewell to his employees.
“Some of them are unhappy I’m leaving and others said they understand why I’m leaving,” he said.
Reams and Ramsdell continued to insist the county attorney was innocent of the allegations.
Reams said he spent more than $80,000 in legal fees defending himself and planned to retire later this year anyway.
“At some point, you have to stop,” he said.
Reams said the County Commission constantly interfered with his running of the office, not allowing him to hire or post positions.
“They were constantly doing illegal things,” he said. “There is no petty thing they wouldn’t do.”
Reams said he’s deciding whether to continue his legal career or spend more time working on his house on Lake Winnipesaukee.
“I have had some job offers,” he said. “But I’ve always said I would be happy pumping gas at a marina.”
Reams disputed commissioners’ allegations that he had a rocky return to office following his suspension.
“There hasn’t been issue with any employee since I’ve been back,” he said.
Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti oversaw the office in Reams’ absence, and is a likely candidate to replace him if the delegation does not choose to appoint a replacement, Foster said.
The replacement must reside in the county, Foster said. Since Reams’ return, Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles has overseen the office
Commissioners said the problems with Reams’ return came to a head recently when the Attorney General’s Office brought new allegations against him. Reams was accused of removing the name of a former Salem police officer, Eric Lamb, from the state’s Laurie List.
Lamb is Conway’s husband.
The Laurie List includes the names of law enforcement officers with credibility concerns that could jeopardize court cases if they are asked to testify.
Pratt and Coyle said Reams offered to resign after the Laurie List allegations came to light earlier this spring. The two sides had been negotiating for the last two weeks before reaching an agreement yesterday morning.
Reams said he never offered to resign and that it was the commissioners who asked him to step down.
Coyle and Tombarello said the commission accepted the offer because they thought Reams had been too much of a distraction.
“Since he’s been back, we’ve had more issues,” Coyle said. “He really hasn’t been an effective leader since he’s been back.”
Coyle cited the Laurie List issue. He also said there continue to be factions in the approximately 40-employee office, with those who supported Reams and those who did not.
Tombarello agreed.
“Since Jim has been back, the situation hasn’t gotten any better,” Tombarello said. “We were told he wasn’t there to perform his job. I just felt there were a lot of problems in that office.”
Pratt said she voted against accepting the agreement because she believed the matter should have gone to court and that settling the issue would send the wrong message.
“The woman who filed complaints deserve their day in court, as does Jim,” she said.
Some of the county attorney candidates issued statements yesterday, including Democrat Joseph Plaia and Republicans Jason Grosky and Michael DiCroce.
They are running along with Conway and Michael Zaino. Both are Republicans.
“As county attorney, I will restore credibility, honesty and fairness to the office to ensure justice is served for all,” Grosky said.
DiCroce said “it’s time for a fresh start and an end to questionable ethics.”
Plaia said Reams made the proper choice to step down and he would provide new leadership if elected.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reams faces allegtions involving officer

Allegations focus on state's Laurie List By Doug Ireland The Eagle Tribune Wed Jun 04, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT BRENTWOOD — Rockingham County Attorney James Reams faces new allegations as he seeks to clear his name in the wake of an attempt to permanently remove him from office. Reams, investigated for sexual harassing female employees, is now accused by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office of removing the name of former Salem police Officer Eric Lamb from the state’s Laurie List. The list, maintained by each county attorney in the state, includes the names of law enforcement officers with credibility concerns. Those officers could jeopardize a criminal case if asked to testify in court, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti. Boffetti, who served as interim county attorney during Reams’ six-month suspension that ended in May, confirmed yesterday that Lamb’s name was recently returned to the list after being “erroneously” listed as cleared. “There is a new issue that’s been raised that Mr. Reams removed someone from the list that should still be on it,” Boffetti said. An internal memo from Boffetti, dated May 1, asks county prosecutors to notify the Attorney General’s Office of any cases they have involving Lamb in which he was called to testify as a witness. Lamb is the husband of Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway, a longtime member of the office and a candidate to replace Reams as county attorney. Neither Conway nor Lamb could be reached yesterday for comment. Boffetti declined to comment further, referring questions to Associate Attorney General Jane Young. She confirmed the new allegations against Reams, but said she could not comment specifically about Lamb or any officer on the Laurie List. The officer’s name was redacted from a 29-page complaint released by the Attorney General’s Office yesterday. Young also would not comment when asked if Conway is being investigated in connection with the case. Only Reams and his legal assistant were known to have access to the Laurie List, but it’s not believed the assistant would make changes unless directed to do so by the county attorney, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The new allegations against Reams, filed three weeks ago, will be presented to Merrimack Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara in August . That’s when he hears the Attorney General Office’s request to remove the 15-year county attorney from office, Young said. In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, the Attorney General’s Office also accuses Reams of mishandling county funds and mismanaging his office. Reams said yesterday he could not comment on Laurie List cases. He said his office has been as “busy as ever” since he was reinstated a month ago. He has decided not to seek re-election in the September primary. Lamb, a 16-year member of the Salem Police Department, was suspended in 2008 and demoted from sergeant to master patrolman after he failed to comply with orders and lied to authorities. He filed a lawsuit against the town, police Chief Paul Donovan and Capt. John Lozowski, accusing the two police officials of trying to force him from his job. Lamb acknowledged in the lawsuit that he was accused of not showing up for a police assignment Aug. 1, 2008, and failing to comply with orders on at least three occasions. He was terminated three months later. Lamb fought for his job and challenged placement of his name on the Laurie List. He and the town later settled the case. Lamb was granted back pay, sick leave and vacation time. He also was reinstated under the condition he agree to resign, but his name was to remain on the Laurie List, according to court documents. Concerns about Lamb’s credibility were raised in 2009, prior to the second-degree murder trial for Scott Hanks, 50 of Salem. Hanks was charged with fatally stabbing William Solberg of Pelham in April 2008. Lamb was one of the first officers to arrive at the murder scene. Prosecutors decided they wouldn’t call Lamb as a witness after learning of the credibility concerns. Hanks pleaded guilty before the case went to trial. Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said yesterday the department could not comment on Lamb’s employment as part of the settlement reached with the former officer. Patten did say the Salem Police Department has been in contact with the Attorney General’s Office. But he said the Laurie List issue involves the county attorney’s office, not his department.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Always the victim, Consentino demands State resources to attack his critics. What about the REAL victim here? Not only the woman but the public.....

ATKINSON — An investigation continues into the distribution of details of a human rights complaint and confidential settlement involving Selectman Phil Consentino.
Consentino also was the town’s longtime police chief until he was dismissed in February 2013.
Both during and after his campaign, Consentino was the target of an anonymous, three-page letter that was widely distributed.
It listed 23 separate complaints about Consentino for behavior that allegedly occurred while he was police chief and elderly affairs director.
The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the case from two angles, Associate Attorney General Jane Young said Tuesday.
“We’re looking at the specific facts of this, including whether there was any criminal act in the distribution,” Young said. “We’re also looking at the authenticity of the document.”
No further information on the investigation is available, Young said.
Consentino declined to comment on the case yesterday, saying matters were “in the lawyers’ hands.”
“They’re working on it and I’m just letting things set,” Consentino said. “That’s what they get paid for.”
Town Administrator Bill Innes said there are no issues with Consentino’s role as selectman.
“He can do what he has to do as a selectman,” Innes said.
Consentino was terminated as chief and elderly affairs director last year “for cause.” Officials have not disclosed why and Consentino was questioned by citizens about the dismissal during his campaign.
Last year, police dispatcher Lynne Cunningham filed a complaint against the town with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights. The details of that complaint are sealed. Cunningham and the town settled out of court for $50,000.
Innes declined comment on the investigation.
Joni Esperian, executive director of the N.H. Commission for Human Rights, said she couldn’t comment.
“For cases that aren’t public, and public cases are cases where cause has been found, this commission can’t comment on whether any case exists here, according to our statutes and regulatory framework,” Esperian said.
Copies of the anonymous letter were both mailed and simply left in residents’ mailboxes. But the U.S. Postal Service is not investigating.
“We’re not aware of any investigation going on at this time,” said Maureen Marion, spokeswoman for the Northeast USPS.
The mailings went to people’s homes, town employees and senior citizens he knew when he was the town’s elderly affairs director, both in stamped, anonymously sent mail postmarked in Boston and handouts dropped in their mailboxes and at homes.
Earlier this spring, Consentino said he discussed the matter with Esperian, who assured him that neither commissioners nor her staff released the information.
He also said he knew who distributed the information in town, because their actions were witnessed by others, but he wouldn’t identify them.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Court: County attorney can return

The Eagle-Tribune The Eagle Tribune
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Thursday that it will not delay suspended Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams’ return to office while the state appeals a lower court ruling that could put him back on the job.
In its order, the Supreme Court denied a request for a stay that would have kept Reams out of office until the appeal from Attorney General Joseph Foster can be argued.
A Superior Court judge ruled April 10 against Foster’s bid to keep Reams out of office until the court hears a petition for permanent removal. The judge postponed the effective date of his order until early next month to allow Foster to seek a stay from the Supreme Court.
Reams may be able to return to office as early as mid-May. Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office is pursuing its petition to permanently remove Reams.
A call to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young after hours Thursday was not immediately returned.
Reams and his lawyer, Michael Ramsdell, have denied the allegations that he used lewd language, inappropriately touched women staffers and retaliated against women who became pregnant.
They also say there’s no merit to charges that he mishandled office funds. Reams has challenged the legality of his suspension from the outset on that grounds that Foster does not have the power to suspend Reams without criminal charges being filed, as was the case the only other time a county attorney was suspended from office decades ago.
The Supreme Court also denied Foster’s request for an expedited hearing.
Reams has said he won’t run for re-election to the office he was first elected to in 1998. His term expires in January.
The superior court trial on the removal petition is scheduled to begin Aug. 4.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Consentino complains that the details got out to the public

Atkinson controversy continues post-election

ATKINSON — Newly elected Selectman Phil Consentino said yesterday he has complained to the state Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Postal Service about the distribution in town and disclosure of details from a human rights case and confidential settlement.
Consentino also said he has hired an attorney who has private investigators looking into the matter.
Consentino, the town’s former longtime police chief, said the information went to people’s homes, town employees and senior citizens he knew when he was the town’s elderly affairs director, both in stamped, anonymously sent mail postmarked in Boston and handouts dropped in their mailboxes and at homes.
It happened before the town election in March and again since his election as selectman.
“I wish they’d leave me the hell alone,” Consentino said.
A complaint Atkinson police dispatcher Lynne Cunningham filed against the town last year with the Human Rights Commission was sealed.
Cunningham and the town reached an out-of-court settlement for $50,000.
Consentino has declined to comment about the Cunningham case.
He was terminated as chief and elderly affairs director last year “for cause.” Officials have not disclosed why and Consentino was questioned by citizens about the dismissal during the selectman’s campaign.
Consentino admitted he was offended by an attachment to a commission document he saw in town that he said read, “predator alert.”
“That’s as close to defamation of character as you can get,” he said.
The information has caused himself and his family aggravation and humiliation, he said. He said there would never be enough punishment for the individuals involved to satisfy him.
Consentino said he knows who distributed the information in town, because their actions were witnessed by others, but he wouldn’t identify them.
“I’m not interested in what it said. My point is, if this letter was sealed by a state agency then how did this information get released?” Consentino asked.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Letter: Anonymous Mailing Defames a good man

The Eagle-Tribune
To the editor:
To the anonymous person who has sent a second and very disgusting letter to the seniors of Atkinson: You have stolen the contact information given to the Police Department in conjunction with senior services. This was not meant for use in your crusade against former Police Chief Consentino. Take our names off your mailing list.
We have known Mr. Cosentino for over 45 years and find him to be of the highest character. He is one of the kindest, most caring persons we have ever know and very professional at all times.
Get a life! Spend your time and postage money helping the poor or the homeless. We would tell you face to face, but you don’t have the courage to give a return address.
Denise and John Murrey

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NH may require meeting agendas to be set 72 hours before meeting

Bill would require agendas to be set 72 hours before meeting

Lawmakers are considering a bill that could mean a major change to public meetings.
House Bill 1591 would require agendas for all public meetings be posted 72 hours prior to the meeting. Currently, they only have to be posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.
“It’s cumbersome,” Pelham Selectmen’s Chairman Ed Gleason said. “If something pops up that requires immediate attention, it’s just going to delay that process.”
The bill was recommended by the House Judiciary Committee last week, 9-8.
The only exception to the law would be under emergency situations. An emergency is defined by RSA 91-A:2 to be an “immediate undelayed action which is deemed to be imperative by the chairman.”
“It’s generally understood that emergencies are only when irreparable harm would happen if the board did not meet,” Plaistow Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Kenneth Weyler, R-Kingston. But Weyler said he doesn’t support it as it is written currently.
“The whole meaning of it has changed,” he said.
The bill was originally written to establish a grievance commission on Right-to-Know issues. But support dried up for that idea and Rep. Rick Watrous, D-Concord, amended the bill to focus on the notice for public meetings.
“Some of the smaller towns post their meetings the day before and you have to be at Town Hall that day to know what they will be discussing,” Watrous said. “In today’s modern world, people need to know things ahead of time to schedule sitters and clear their schedules to be there.”
Cordell Johnston, government affairs counsel for the New Hampshire Municipal Association, said the bill would just create problems.
“We’re very concerned about that change,” Johnston said. “Basically any decision that comes up will have to be delayed three days.”
Johnston predicted that if the bill passed, more emergency meetings would be called.
“They would have to rely on it more, and there would be a lot of fights about what constitutes an emergency,” he said. “Is a personnel decision, which is not a life or death situation, really an emergency? There would be a lot of arguments.”
Another issue is that Sundays would not be counted in the 72 hours.
“That makes it essentially 96 hours,” Johnston said.
Fitzgerald said he believed there would be unintended consequences if the bill passed.
“It hurts the government’s ability to be effective and timely,” he said. “The existing law helps us meet the speed of business.”
Fitzgerald said Plaistow typically posts agendas for its selectmen meetings every Friday. The meetings are held on Monday.
“In the information age, there is plenty of opportunity for the public to see exactly what we will be discussing,” he said.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Marjorie Smith, D-Durham, said the bill was scheduled to be discussed in the full House today.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Atkinson Selectman results will stand

Consentino to be sworn in tomorrow

ATKINSON — Selectmen’s Chairman William Friel said he would not be seeking a recount after losing to former police Chief Philip Consentino Tuesday night.
Consentino defeated Friel, 801-786, in the contest for a one-year term on the Atkinson Board of Selectmen.
“In my opinion, the negative image that would be created by a recount is not in the best interest of the town,” Friel said yesterday. “I respectfully stand behind the results of the election and will fully support Mr. Consentino as our new selectman.”
Consentino could not be reached for comment.
The election results continued to be the talk of the town yesterday as residents discussed Consentino’s victory.
“I think there’s an element of forgiveness in a lot of people,” resident Kay Galloway said. “I think they took into account that he has great respect for the service he’s done for town and they want to give him a second chance.”
Consentino was terminated in February 2013 as police chief by selectmen following an independent investigation. Town Administrator Bill Innes has not commented on why Consentino was dismissed.
Consentino faced questions about his dismissal throughout the campaign, but has said that all allegations against him are “lies.”
Resident Patricia Goodridge said she voted against Consentino.
“I feel really sad for Atkinson with the election of Phil Consentino,” she said. “There is so much information out there that he has been damaging to so many people in town. I just can’t believe that there would be that many people in denial.”
Goodridge said she hoped that increasing the number of selectmen from three to five in 2015 would improve things.
:(Consentino’s) only serving for one year and hopefully a bigger board will balance things out,” she said.
Consentino was with the police department for 45 years. He also headed the Elderly Affairs Department for about 20 years. He has helped seniors throughout the years by providing transportation to medical appointments and with other services.
He also previously served for nine years as selectman, although not consecutively.
Yesterday, Innes said he was getting ready for Consentino to join the board.
“He’s been a selectmen before, he knows the job,” he said. “He’s been elected and he will be seated.”
Consentino and fellow new selectman Harold Morse will be sworn in at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Their first meeting will be Monday night.
Resident Catherine Persson, 83, said she is looking forward to Consentino joining the board.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “He has done so much for the town of Atkinson. It’s unbelievable. There are very few towns that have people that would go out of their way for the people of town. He’s always there if you need help.”
While Consentino does have support from the older population, he has seen his share of controversy in town.
In 2011, the town paid Municipal Resources Inc. to do an independent audit of the police department. That 20-page report included about two dozen recommendations, ranging from updating policies and equipment to hiring more officers.
Earlier this year, police Chief Al Brackett recommended moving the elderly affairs department from the police department to the community center. At candidates’ night last week, Consentino was against that idea.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Seniors, you put the Sexual harasser-in-Chief back into Office

Seniors, I do not necessarily blame you. Your loyalties are admirable, if guided by his lies, and your ignorance of his past.

You know him as the nice man who  gives you rides. You do not  acknowledge that this was his JOB. that the townspeople funded this program that Carol Grant created for you.

Most of  you have never been pressured for votes and support in the cars like some have.

 Most of you have not been refused rides because you criticized him as many have.

Most of you have not been pressured to leave your estates to the "donation account" as some have.

Most of you are unaware that he has been ordered by the NHPELRB to "cease and desist" from "bullying, harassing, and intimidating" his employees.

Most of you are unaware he had to be Ordered by the Court to obey the law, then was found in Contempt of Court for willfully violating it. You probably believed him when he LIED about that order.

Most of you are unaware of his beginning his tenure as Chief by misappropriating funds, resulting in 6 years of legal wranglings with a selectman.

Most of you are unaware of his serial sexual harassment of female employees, even when they work with his WIFE.

Most of you are unaware of him pounding the table  in a meeting he was forbidden by Court Order for being in, and ORDERING his  officers to evict an elderly woman and her wheelchair bound son oout into the winter night without even allowing her to pause to put his coat on, for asking him questions.

Most of you are unaware of his following myself, my wife, and my son through town, or the incessant walk around vehicle inspections, or the frivolous tickets, NEVER given in hand, by Phil but served at my home by a uniformed officer weeks AFTER the alleged incident.

Most of you are unaware of the vandalism to my car and home resulting form his endless diatribes at selectmens meetings.

And Most of you are unaware that one year ago, he was fired pursuant to an 8 page sexual harassment complaint filed with the NH Human Rights Commission by a female employee, detailing almost FIVE YEARS of  continuous abuse, of gestures, comments, offers, innuendo, touching, and groping himself while staring at her, telling her "this  will  only take a minute"

Most of you are unaware that this was investigated by an outside agency, and he was fired IMMEDIATELY upon the selectmen reading their findings. You propbably believed him when he said he "retired", or that he "never got the chance to tell his side of the story" HE LIED, and you believed it.

You see, I can not  believe that the 801 people who voted for him knew any of this, because I can not  believe that you would put a sexual preadtor in an office where h is the boss over the very women he harassed.

Good  Luck Atkinsonians, because whatever happens you VOTED FOR  IT.


Mark Acciard

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Phil's outrageous past dogs his campaign


As we all know a year ago Phil Consentino was FIRED from his position as police chief, and elderly affairs director. And he was fired for  cause. What most Atkinsonians do not know is what that cause was. He was fired pursuant to  a sexual harassment complaint from a female employee. It was investigated by a third party firm, and immediately upon the selectmen reading their findings they decided to fire Phil.

Her 8 page complaint detailed almost 5 years of repeated sexual harassment from Phil. YEARS, of innuendo, suggestive comments, suggestive gestures, touching her, smelling her hair, groping himself in front of her, staring at her while touching himself, were all painstakingly detailed in her complaint.

I would ask what kind of pig would treat a woman this way, particularly a woman who works next to his wife, but we now know the answer to that question.

In his typical dishonest fashion, Phil has claimed for a year now that he never got to tell his side. Initially he said he would fight his firing, for the first time he did nothing. At candidates night he got the opportunity to tell his side, he declined, opting instead to threaten and swear at those asking the questions. Once a bully always a bully.

In case you are wondering about the veracity of the females complaint, it was thoroughly investigated, he was fired, chose not  to  fight it, and to avoid prosecution Phil, the Town, and the victim settled out of court. She was paid $50,000, her lawyer another $50,000, and was sworn to non disclosure.

Now, Phil could have stayed retired and over time people would have forgotten, much like Bill Clinton, and he would have enjoyed the well wishes of  the town, but his ego would not allow that, he chose to throw his hat into the ring for selectman once again. So, Phil you have no one to blame for the questions and information becoming public but yourself.

Over the years of Phils tenure a police chief he has been the direct cause of no less than 9 legal actions. resulting in millions of  dollars in settlements and legal expense. He began his tenure as police chief by misappropriating funds according to the suit filed by former selectman Wayne Peak., this suit and Phil's counter suit for defamation tran for nearly SIX YEARS! Resultinng in, reportedly one of the largest civil settlements in state history, the case is sealed. He progressed onto to numerous labor actions, even being ordered by the NHPELRB to "cease and desist" from "bullying, harassing, and intimidating his officers" HE claimed once again he never got to tell his side of the story.

Over the years Phil has bullied and intimidated everyone who criticized his actions no matter whether they were inappropriate, or illegal.

Atkinson YOU CAN DO BETTER!!!! DO NOT elect Phil to be the boss over the woman he already harassed. It  is nothing but a recipe for future lawsuits.

Thank you

Mark R. Acciard

PS: Phil if you read this and get upset, or want to sue someone over it, you know where to find me. Have a nice day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Political flyer found at Atkinson mailboxes

February 28, 2014
There are several reasons why I
have decided to run for the elected
position of selectman, let me just list a
The way the BoS are making
decisions pertaining to the operation
of town government needs
to be
The purchase of gas and diesel
for all town vehicles was addressed in
a one nights discussion on were the
town will purchase its fu~l. The Board
Selectmen opened the discussion to buy the fuel from the state at the DOT garage in Kingston, N.H •••

The department heads were
never told about this move or even told
how much we would save, even after
numerous requests by the budget
committee. All the Town Administrator
would say is that we would most likely
save some money by making this
change. Why was such a fast decision
made on this issue with out Selectman
Baldwin being present? Now after
from some of the department
heads it looks like they are going to
scrap that idea.
The decision to try to by-pass
the voters on the police chiefs move
from part-time to full-time with out
going before the voters and just
include the needed funds in the
operating budget is a very sneaky way
of doing business.


I have been elected to the
Board of Selectman three different
times for a total of nine (9) years.
When the residents are notified that
the Board of Selectmen's meetings will
start at 7:30, than that is when the
meeting should start.
During that 9 year period I only
missed one Selectman's meeting. I am
right here in town avallable
I will fight as hard as I can to
keep the Elderly Affairs program up
and running and stop the constant
push to destroy the program that I
worked so hard to put in place. Our
town has received numerous citations and complements on our program.

All major issues and votes
taken by the Board of Selectman
should be discussed and voted on at a
regularly posted Board of Selectman's
meeting, and not over a cup of coffee,
or on a Saturday morning which we all
know is illegal.
Over the years I have received great
support from the residents and I hope
that support will continue through this
important election
Thank you

Phil Consentino
140 Main St

Candidate for the one (1) seat on the
Board of Selectmen