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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Triumverate of Corruption- the return of the Neo Fascisti

Evidently expanding the BOS to five members did not result in a reduction in the level of corruption evidenced by this board. The Board is still dominated by The paragon of corruption Mr. Consentino, and his elderly elected minions, Grosky and Baldwin.

Mr. Grosky seems to have happily and willingly settled into his role as Consigliere, to Consentino's wannabe Don. He enthusiastically perverts and twists the law, in reasonable sounding letters which he fires off to any board or committee that has the temerity to offend the Bully in Chief.

The latest hapless victims of Mr. Grosky's legal perversions is the Conflict of interest committee, and by extension the Budget Committee. It is Consentino, Baldwin, and Groski's position that ONLY the Selectmen have authority to add, remove and insert amounts on line items within the budget during it's preparation. This is a CLEAR violation of RSA 32:5. None of these three Neo Fascisti, care. They only demand OBEDIENCE. The State budget law clearly states that ONLY the budget committee has authority over the preparation of the budget. The Selectmen have none beyond, consulting on their budgetary needs.

This began with the latest in a long and storied history of conflict of interest complaints against Mr. Consentino. The very man who has been the subject of so many of these complaints, and Ordered by Rockingham Superior Court to obey the town conflict of interest ordinance on multiple occasions, not that he ever OBEYED said order. In fact he was found in CONTEMPT OF COURT for disobeying the Order of the Court. Notable for a "Chief law enforcement officer" and "officer of the Court". In this case Mr. Consentino violated said Order AGAIN, by voting upon a matter that affected his wife. Yes, this has happened numerous times prior, and he has been told numerous times he can not do this, but He just does not care what the plebians think. He is Don Consentino! This is HIS TOWN! However, in this case there were three complaints and given his  long track record of ignoring the law, the conflict of interest committee recommended removal. This is where it gets interesting.

The LAW under which the conflict of interest committee was established is RSA31:39-a, and it clearly states;

"31:39-a Conflict of Interest Ordinances. – The legislative body of a town or city may adopt an ordinance defining and regulating conflicts of interest for local officers and employees, whether elected or appointed. Any such ordinance may include provisions requiring disclosure of financial interests for specified officers and employees, establishing incompatibility of office requirements stricter than those specified by state law or establishing conditions under which prohibited conflicts of interest shall require removal from office. Any such ordinance shall include provisions to exempt affected officers and employees who are in office or employed at the time the ordinance is adopted for a period not to exceed one year from the date of adoption. The superior court shall have jurisdiction over any removal proceedings instituted under an ordinance adopted under this section."

NOTE the emboldened text. Now had the Neo Fascisti on the BOS actually followed the law, they would have referred the question of removal to the Superior Court, but, no they could not do that, given the history of these matters before the Court, it is likely that the errant accused sexual predator fired for cause, but elected Selectman might be removed, NO, can't have that. INSTEAD, these men a majority of whom have personal relationships with Consentino, and should have therefore recused themselves to avoid "the appearance of any conflict" as stated in the Ordinance, voted instead to ignore the law, and ignnore the recommendations of the conflict of interest committee.

Consigliere Groski's estwhile defense of Mr. Consentino presumed that he merely "knew" the potential School Board candidates "as he knows thousands of other residents". An outright LIE. Tell us Mr. Groski, were "thouands of other residents" involved in lawsuits with Mr. Consentino? Were thousands of other residents litgants suing Mr. Consentino for violating their rights? Were thousands of other resident victims of Mr. Consentino's abuse of authority while police chief?  Consigliere Groski also claimed that MR. Consentino's vote on benefits, did not matter because his wife would  have been eligible for them anyway. This "did not matter" defense was employed by Mr. Consentino in 2005 in Rockingham Superior Court and failed it test them, as Mr. Groski should well know.

This resulted in the conflict of interest committee discussing engaging in litigation against the Selectmen to force them to follow the law. They attempted to ask the budget committee for a $100 legal line in their budget. The BOS went nuts. They are attempting to punish the COI committee by claiming their  non public discussion of this impending litigation violates RSA 91-A:3, while the BOS uses this very same provision to shield its conversations about legal desires, which should be public. They have chosen to punish the Budget Comittee by refusing to approve a minor budgetary overexpenditure which AT THE VERY SAME MEETING THEY DID OVER 40 TIMES FOR OTHER DEPARTMENTS! They claim that the Budcom needed permission to overexpend a line item, something that they never demand from any other dept.. WHo remembers when Consentino overexpended his cruiser lease line item 8 days after town meeting to buy a Ford Explorer without budgetary or selectmen approval?  And to top it off, These corrupto crats forget the BudCom DOES NOT SPEND MONEY!!! ONLY  THE SELECTMEN DO! If a line item is overspent, it is the selectmen who spent it by signing the vouchers.

The PROPER course of action would have been for the BOS to refuse to engage in any discussion of removal and forward it to the Rockingham Superior Court,

The PROPER course of action with regards to overspending a line item would be to treat the budcom in exactly the same manner they treat the PD,

but, this board so rarely does the "right" thing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Defense in Atkinson marijuana case argues medical need

By Kiera Blessing Eagle-Tribune

PLAISTOW — An Atkinson couple charged in October with cultivating, possessing, and intending to distribute marijuana pleaded not guilty in Plaistow District Court

Monday, where their defense attorney argued the growing operation was never meant as a business, but as a means of relief for a man battling cancer. Robert and Valerie Zdrada, aged 65 and 60 respectively, were arrested Oct. 19 shortly before 9 a.m. after police seized more than 7 pounds of marijuana, along with seeds, plant stems and cultivation tools from their Crown Hill Road home.

The couple was given a hand summons to return to court in December and released.
In court, the couple's lawyer, Alan Cronheim, refuted the allegation that the Zdradas were running a criminal enterprise and implied that the marijuana was solely for Robert Zdrada's personal use, as he suffers from cancer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                "I think as more is known, the direction of this case is going to dramatically change," Cronheim told Judge Sharon N. DeVries. "We're anxious to get to the facts of the case but recognize today is not the day."                                                                                                                                                                                                

The prosecution told DeVries the couple is facing one charge each of intent to distribute because of the amount of marijuana found. When the statute allowing medical marijuana use in New Hampshire, passed in 2013, goes into effect, each patient and caregiver together may only posses 2 ounces at any given time. Even the distribution centers, once opened, will be allowed only a 5-pound back-stock and an additional 6 ounces per patient. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                The prosecution also noted that medical marijuana identification cards allow for possession only, while the Zdradas were illegally manufacturing their own cannabis.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Cronheim disputed the distribution charge, noting that police found no records, measures, scales or weapons — "nothing consistent with distribution." He added that Robert is "awaiting the state to finally implement the law passed three years ago" allowing for medical marijuana use. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                "This is a case about a man with cancer who is trying to survive," Cronheim said. The state is not distributing identification cards until the dispensaries open, Cronheim said, currently slated for the end of March.

Last month, an Alstead woman, Linda Horan, won her case in Merrimack Superior Court after she petitioned the state to issue her a license in New Hampshire so she could obtain medical cannabis in Maine. The court's ruling, however, ordered a license be issued for Horan only

The Zdradas were again released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail, with the condition that they continue living in their Crown Hill Road home and that Robert Zdrada follow his doctors' treatment recommendations.

"Obviously, it's not in my interest to see that you're following what your doctors said or not," DeVries told Zdrada. "I'm just saying if they recommended you use medical marijuana that you follow that as part of your bail order, so that protects you in that regard."  

Following the arraignment, Cronheim reiterated that "This is a medical case, not a criminal case.  

"It's my hope that they (the prosecutors) will understand the medical circumstances and a make a decision appropriate to those facts."