Thursday, September 24, 2009

Has The BOS Committed a Crime Against The Community?

Last year we voted down a Warrant Article asking if we should approve $10,000.00 for a new police cruiser. The Warrant Article was defeated by ballot. By going behind the backs of the citizens of Winchester and giving the thumbs up to the Police Chief to purchase a new cruiser; despite a NO vote on the warrant article the chief submitted, has the board, under RSA 32:10, I(e), committed a crime and should they be immediately dismissed ?

Now going back to the minutes of that meeting, some excerpts:

Chief Phillips would like to take $10,000.00 from the budget, and the rest to come out of the Outside Activities Fund.

Chief Phillips explains that the Warrant Article from March’s Town Meeting, asking the people to place $10,000.00 in the Police Cruiser Capital Reserve Fund, was voted down by a small margin.

Selectman Tedford makes a motion to buy a new police cruiser by taking $12,000.00 from the operating budget ..
Selectman Berthiaume seconds the motion and it passes 5-0.

Despite the law being very clear on what they can and can not do, once again reading the minutes of the BOS workshop meeting of August 26th, 2009 you will see that this is still an ongoing situation and that our selectmen have very little regard for how you may vote and how they may spend our tax money ..

Board of Selectmen Work Session Minutes 08/26/2009

6th Order of Business: Update on Summer Projects
Highway Superintendent Dale Gray would like to give the Board an update on summer projects. They have used 1,650 of the approved purchase of 1,850 tons. All the work has been done except Bolton Road, which should happen next week. Dale would like to chip seal Ashuelot Street, Burt Hill Road and Forest Lake next spring, not this fall. Dale fears the chip seal may fail again if they do not give it 6 weeks of hot, dry weather. Dale spoke with All States and they will guarantee this work for next year. Dale explains he has a total of $209,000 with Highway Block Grant, the tarring account, and sand & gravel account funds. Selectman Berthiaume read from a Legislative Update that towns would lose a lot of grant money, such as Highway Block Grant funds, to which Dale was told that the town would not suffer a decrease in funds. The Board would like to have this information available before budget time and to get the State Reps involved. Dale would like to shim Bolton Road, the first part of Scotland Road, Piney Woods Road around the sandbank, and a bad spot on Old Chesterfield Road with a 600-ton mix. Dale says if he does not chip seal, and does the shim work he will carry over roughly $50,000.00. Dale will propose a warrant article to chip seal everything that has been shimmed in the last two years at an estimated cost of $250,000.00 to take care of 10 miles of road. These roads were shimmed within the last two years and would guarantee their durability for another 8-10 years. It takes money to upkeep roads and this would give the people an opportunity to participate. If you don’t chip seal what you put down, then it won’t hold up. Selectman Fraser makes a motion to continue shimming with the 600 ton of blacktop. If the warrant article fails, use Highway Block Grant and tarring money, and in the spring do the chip seal. Selectman Gardner seconds the motion and it passes 4-0.

So what do we do? How do we get them to follow the wishes of the townspeople and the law? It's very clear, under the law, "No" means "No" .. except it seems in Winchester.


really steamed said...

Unbelievable! We vote no and they do it anyways and I see that the old unreliable junk cruiser that was not good enough for police detail work is now going to be used for town employees to jaunt around in. Doesn't make any sense to me at all. If that cruiser was unsafe for police work, how can the town's employees use it. I guess we need to get the county attorney involved into looking into this. You would think they'd be smart enough to realize they can't keep doing whatever they want when we say no. They work for us, not the other way around! I don't know about the rest of you who keep getting fed a line of bull from the town; but this is pretty clear and right on the mark. This website is providing enough truth and facts that we all should be up in arms over the conduct of our town officials and looking at ways to stop this misconduct and remove those who continue disregarding us.

fishercat said...

Section 32:12
32:12 Penalty. – Any person or persons violating the provisions of this subdivision shall be subject to removal from office on proper petition brought before the superior court. Such petition shall take precedence over other actions pending in the court and shall be heard and decided as speedily as possible.
Source. 1993, 332:1, eff. Aug. 28, 1993.

fishercat said...

Budget Committee
Section 32:22
32:22 Review of Expenditures. – Upon request by the budget committee, the governing body of the town or district, or the town manager or other administrative official, shall forthwith submit to the budget committee a comparative statement of all appropriations and all expenditures by them made in such detail as the budget committee may require. The budget committee shall meet periodically to review such statements. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to mean that the budget committee, or any member of the committee, shall have any authority to dispute or challenge the discretion of other officials over current town or district expenditures, except as provided in RSA 32:23.
Source. 1993, 332:1, eff. Aug. 28, 1993.

fishercat said...

Budget Committee
Section 32:23
32:23 Initiation of Removal Proceedings. – Upon receipt of the reports provided for by RSA 32:22, the budget committee shall examine the same promptly, and if it shall be found that the governing body or town manager have failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter concerning expenditures, a majority of the committee, at the expense of the municipality, may petition the superior court for removal as provided in RSA 32:12.
Source. 1993, 332:1, eff. Aug. 28, 1993.

Anonymous said...

The cruisers are always on details - up in Keene yesterday again - what are we hiring police to do details now?
Paying for all the extra benefits, extra retirement, extra insurances, they need a car, more wear and tear, they need gas.
Maybe it's time we subcontract out our police department like other towns do.

Anonymous said...

A NO vote is a NO vote regardless of how close it was. It is time to CUT SPENDING period. When taxpayers vote, that vote counts. To supercede the voice of the voters is irresponsible and blatantly shoving costs we voted against down our throats. It is time to stand up to the BOS and make each and every one of them accountable to the citizens of Winchester.

Anonymous said...

The thrill and elation of having certain items on the ballot defeated - lasts just a short while. Then we find ourselves asking,
"Why bother?"

They're just going to ramrod us with it anyway. Talk about making your blood boil and mentally depressed all at the same time. And now we are back into budget sessions.

Anonymous said...

Gary Phillips 1st -

It's time to make these people accountible, it's not the time to give up and just accept what gets sent our way. If the Chief of Police disregarded and disrespected the voters vote and took it upon himself to go against the voters then that’s where it starts.

Phillips went to the BOS on his own.

The Budget committee needs to get involved, they need to explain this to us.

It's clear this vehicle wasn't needed.

If a new vehicle was so necessary he should have been responsible to the voters and had HIS unmarked car lettered for $450 and used the cruiser he gave the town for his use.

He puts hardly any miles on the unmarked car because he only goes back and forth to home and the dept and he takes it on details to Keene. What does he put on it 10 miles a day? 5,000 miles a year?

You never see anyone using it riding around town patrolling.

No one can use it at night because he has it at his house. So why did he need it?

This town never had an unmarked car before Phillips and doesn’t need one now just to send Phillips back and forth.

If he needed a vehicle so bad he should have made do with what he had like we voted that he do, and use the car now sitting at town hall for himself and put the unmarked on the road for the whole dept to use.

We have to make do, why didn’t he?

What gives him the right to tell us NO to what we vote for? – It’s not his taxes, he isn’t on a fixed income – he doesn’t even live in this town.

He deliberately went against the voters and he wants people to believe what he has to say is true? That he has a well run dept with reputable people in place.

Fat chance.

It's time for an investigation.

Budget committee?

Anonymous said...

Okay so now what! I would assume (but that may not be the case) that members of the budget committee are following all of the blogs. If the BOS has broken the law then we have to do something. I am so sick and tired of the attitude that "I am from Winchester" and rules doe not apply to me. Enough! Yes, as a former teacher in this system I saw that quite frequently.
Please let us know where the petitions will be set up so that we can sign them. No one can afford another year like this. I am just so frustrated that they don't understand that NO is NO.
Thanks for the blog and listening!
Yes, I am considering running for office at least I can count!

fixed income said...

If detail work is so good for Winchester, let the money coming from detail work buy the cruisers.

Anonymous said...

The people of Winchester are not mad enough yet to do anything about the taxes and the selectmen know it.. Here is a slap in the face for you….. Wait till you see the purposed town budget for 2010-2011 with employee raises and all the budget increases.

Anonymous said...

The selctmen use hocus-pocus science..they smile in your face get you to watch one hand while they pick your pockets with the other.

Anonymous said...

Where is the money coming from for all these mistakes? Who's going to have to pay the price and how? Nobody ever seems to think about those things. They do what they want and then look the other way.

Anonymous said...

Intereting.As I just posted my post above someone else posted at the same time so it seems that there really are people out there who think the same way and do read this.

Anonymous said...

It looks like it's the budget comm court. How does this get conveyed to them?

Anonymous said...

This town and it's government need a spotlight on it. I think these people must think the live in another county.

Anonymous said...

Before the old cruised was taken out of service,Paul McCoomb was asked by a selectman about the old cruiser's condition. Paul told the selectman the cruiser was in good enough shape to keep in service for at least another year. Certainly Paul's assessment of the old cruised was a good one since he has always done a good job maintaining all the other cruisers. Why would the selectmen go against what said especially when they spoke to paul before purchashing the new cruiser.

???????????????? said...

Speaking of cruisers, the 4x4 that we only use in emergency's and bad weather was in Swanzey getting fuel Sunday. Did we make a special trip so it would be ready for detail work on Monday?

Anonymous said...

What would have made more sense in having an unmarked car would have been to have it available for use by the department as a vehicle, instead of for the police chief’s own personal vehicle to commute to and from his house 6 miles away 5 days a week.

Nonsense Excuses...... said...

Yeah - that would make sense, wouldn't it? Instead of the nonsense excuses the taxpayers keep getting?
Then the Expedition or the ex-cruiser sitting in the town parking lot, the one that's no good anymore, not road worthy, the one that could have been used in a more sensible manner.
But hey, that's just my 2 cents worth - not to be confused with sense.

Want to bet said...

With all the money thats being spent, one has to wonder if the alleged gift giving is still going on?

confused taxpayer said...

I keep hearing about this "detail work" our cops are doing in other towns all the time instead of being here to answer the calls they are getting paid to do. Why do they take a cruiser and not their own vehicles or why not take the so-called official town car instead? Can someone who knows explain?

another concerned taxpayer said...

Why don't they use a squad car from the town they're performing the service for and wear their cruisers out instead of ours? Oh wait.. the comment above and this one would require good common sense, something that's missing in our town officials thinking. Time to make some changes and time for more people to start getting involved. Maybe we should put together a Citizen's Watchdog Group to keep an eye on our selectmen ( if you can find them ) and our police dept. It's quite evident something needs to be done and done quickly.

sad state of affairs said...

Don't know about gifts at the present time, but the gifts of the past to some of the dept. heads where rumored to be substantial. The pd detail work pays a lot of money, its like a second job. The problem is it uses up vehicle, inflates there retirement{ the state is short millions}, and if the officer comes back to town to work he or she may be to tired to stay alert. And as its been stated before if its such a good deal why is it almost always Winchester. I talked to a town administer from an area town who told me that there taxpayers could not afford pd detail work.

Anonymous said...

It's always the same people doing it. Jette and Phillips you can always count on. It's cost us taxpayers a lot of money for extra benefits when they are not working for the town. And who pays if someone gets hurt or a cruiser gets smashed up? Even if insurance pays there's a deductible.

Detail - Fishtail said...

What's with all this "out of town" DETAIL work? Let those cruisers be seen around our Town for a change. Catch those perps that are laying rubber all over our back roads, and not so back roads. Watch for the drug runners and buyers that fly in and out at all hours around here. Never see much Winchester police action posted in the Sentinel like other towns. Why is that? Is it NO action?

Some things never change... said...

This the same type of deceptive budget practices that Gary Phillips was accused of in Jaffrey! Fudging the numbers to get what he wants and not what the voters say? Is it possible that no one can tell the truth but these guys? I doubt that is true. Sounds like he can’t be trusted with overseeing our money and sounds like he hasn’t changed any.

Anonymous said...

Well, the EXPEDITION, blue lights flashing, and one of "our" officers spent at least part of this afternoon in Keene on traffic detail at the intersections of Island and Winchester streets...FYI ??

???????????? said...

Must be there was snow in the forecast, you don't think our chief would lie do you?

not laughing said...

The budget com, better watch this guy, he would have made a good magician. The selectmen can't ignore the police problem forever, we are the laughing stock of Cheshire county law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Here you have it folks. The Expedition and a Winchester Police officer working a detail in Keene. Again, violating WPD Off Duty policy. Talk about blatant disregard for policy and procedures. How stupid are the BOS? What is it going to take to get the BOS off their backsides and take action against the Chief, Supervisor(s)and Officer(s) intentional disregard and deliberate violation of department policy.What is it going to take folks? What is it going to take? What a joke! Does Keene PD know they are contributing to Winchester's off duty problem. Maybe the policy manual should be checked to see if Phillips wrote a new off duty policy.

Anonymous said...

The BOS aren't stupid they just have too much to hide -

Gus Ruth getting state police involved when he wanted Terry Qualters arrested for stealing his campaign sign for instance. Turns out Ruth's wife stole a sign off Qualters property so she would have been arrested too - but for theft and trespass. Ruth finally backed down but only because his wife would have been arrested with Qualers.

Sherm Tedford - not good enough to be the next Chief? How many cases went the wayside Sherm because of your incompetence? How come you didn't take the cases to court? Now you sit on the BOS and pretend to know all about the police dept and share all this with the other BOS. Do you really have a clue as to what your Police Department is doing? I think not.

Ms. Fraser - well let's just say we've discussed enough about her for now.

Mr. Gardner follows Tedford around like a puppy dog and seems to believe any line he's fed and Mr. Berthiume doesn't have an ounce of integrity as he of all the selectmen has been confided in by police officers who have gone out on a limb to show him and tell him of the corruption, but he chose to ignore what he was told. Maybe he has an ounce but that ounce he has comes from somewhere else.

They are all corrupt.