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March 26, 2013

Baldwin takes his seat as Atkinson selectman

ATKINSON — It took a couple of years, but Bill Baldwin has finally took his place with the rest of the selectmen. Baldwin had his first meeting as selectman last night after being elected at Town Meeting.

“It feels wonderful,” Baldwin said. “The people were overwhelmingly supportive of me and I don’t take that for granted. I hope to do the job they elected me to do and then some.”

Baldwin, 42, said he is trying to get a feel of what is needed out of him and the dynamics of the board in his first couple of weeks. The new selectman said one of his first orders of business was addressing the state of the Elderly Affairs Department and Police Department following the firing of former police Chief Philip Consentino.

“I want to be as proactive in possible in having the programs move forward and having it be even greater than it was,” Baldwin said.

Since the police chief vacancy opened up, Baldwin said he has been encouraged by many to pursue the job. But he denied all interest in the job last night.

“I want to be part of the process and help lead the community in the direction that they want it to go in,” Baldwin said. “At this point in juncture, I have no interest in that police chief position at all. I’m happy where I’m at in Plaistow right now.”

Baldwin worked in Atkinson for 14 years before moving to the Plaistow department in 2011 where he is a lieutenant.

Because of his position in Plaistow, Baldwin said he’s heard skepticism that he won’t be able to vote on certain topics due to conflict of interest. But he doesn’t anticipate there will be any problems.

“I don’t see any conflict,” Baldwin. “I’m a resident here. I don’t work for this town anymore and I have experience and knowledge in other areas which will lend itself here.”

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