Atkinson has moved a step forward in bringing some measure of balance to municipal government with the resignation of Frank Polito the now former Town Moderator.
The Jan. 2009 video from my previous post shows Polito holding court instead of being moderator. In this case he was holding the meeting hostage FOR PERSONAL REASONS instead of allowing debate and votes.
Arrogance is what brought Frank Polito to the point he thought he could stop CNHT photographer Gary Brownfield from quietly taking photos, as any other photographer or journalist would. That arrogance was fueled by one simple thing – or should I say one simpleton, Atkinson Police Chief Phil Consentino.
Consentino runs a nice little deal in Atkinson any political hack would be proud of. He has a now non-profit, but still funded by taxpayers – Elderly Affairs unit consisting of old Atkinson police cruisers outfitted with Consentino as chief driver and vote buyer.
Normally in New Hampshire, voters shy away from giving a political animal, and huge legal liability like Consentino, any more authority or plum deals like a private taxi service for the elderly, but not Atkinson.
Slowly and steadily Consentino has set up a private account for donations to his non-profit and had much of it acquired with tax dollars. He shuttles little old ladies to appointments and collects the type of gratitude that encourages a small band of Deliberative Session “voters” to do his bidding. This is why only a small handful of voters in Atkinson challenge any budget or warrant article. Atkinson is democracy spelled, R.I.C.O.
Notice in the video how in an almost unanimous fashion, self-interested voters in the Deliberative Session cover for Polito and Consentino. They actually vote to deny a gentleman the right to quietly take photos while the whole meeting is being video taped and other people take photos.
By the way, the 10 photos Gary Brownfield took are professional and absolutely non-controversial.
As you attend town and school meetings in NH this year keep an eye out for this elderly affairs scam. What looks like a good deal can be, as Atkinson proves, an opportunity for political hacks to game the system and cost their town untold sums in litigation and credibility.
Until Atkinson sheds the last remaining, in this case bald, head on its political boil it will remain the laughingstock of NH town meetings.