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March 18, 2014

Consentino begins third stint as selectman

Consentino takes his place as selectman

ATKINSON — At 7:30 last night, Philip Consentino took his seat with his fellow selectmen.

And then it was business as usual.

Last night marked the first selectmen’s meeting since Consentino won a one-year term on the Board of Selectmen last week. Consentino defeated former Selectmen’s Chairman William Friel by just 15 votes.

Consentino was terminated as police chief and elderly affairs director for “cause” in February 2013 by the Board of Selectmen. But he is not working with any of the selectmen who dismissed him. Fred Childs lost his bid for re-election to William Baldwin last year, and Friel lost to Consentino. Todd Barbera died last October from cancer.

At the start of the meeting, Baldwin, who is the board’s new chairman, welcomed Consentino and new fellow Selectman Harold Morse to the board. Then the meeting went on without a hitch, no arguments and few disagreements.

“My goal is to just be a productive board and work as a team,” Baldwin said.

Consentino declined to speak to a reporter following the meeting.

He has previously served nine years on the board, in two separate stints. He also worked in the town police department for 45 years until his dismissal.

Consentino faced questions about his dismissal throughout the campaign, but said all allegations against him are “lies.”

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 more.

But that appeared to be off the table and behind everyone at the table last night.

The selectmen discussed a new reverse 911 system that would be free of charge for the town, and they also discussed where the town should purchase fuel. During his campaign, Consentino was adamantly against the possibility of buying fuel from the state Department of Transportation garage in Kingston. Selectmen agreed they would explore the matter further in the coming weeks.

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