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Mar 13, 2017 12:28 PM

Atkinson tax collector debates with Board of Selectmen over lock on door in town hall

ATKINSON — The battle between state law and previous practice at the Atkinson Town Hall arose between the Board of Selectmen and a tax collector.

READ: Regular babysitting at Atkinson Town Hall banned after tax collector brought baby to work

The board voted to keep town offices open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday to accommodate for Tax Collector Debra DeSimone's schedule. The board previously voted to prohibit regular babysitting by employees and elected officials who work at Atkinson Town Hall after DeSimone babysat her granddaughter at the town hall.

DeSimone approached the board on March 6 when she realized the Friday before that a lock had been placed on the door connecting the town clerk and tax collector offices, for what she claims is the first time since being elected in 1999.

Selectman William Friel said the lock was placed on the door due to an RSA to secure town clerk records.

"If we are going to leave the office open that door has to be secured if the town clerk isn't there," Friel said.

"There's no question that it's silly. The door's been like that forever then suddenly, out of the blue, for some reason, they change it," Chairman Harold J. Morse.

Selectman Jason Grosky claims the lock did not come out of the blue but instead was forced upon the board since the town hall is open later to accommodate for DeSimone's schedule.

DeSimone claimed she needed the door unlocked for her safety.

A motion passed 3-2 to keep the door unlocked until further discussion.

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