Every now and then, the Boston Globe goes and really ticks me off. That’s when they prove that they can, occasionally, do a decent job. And when they do that by finding something seriously wrong here in New Hampshire, it’s just that much worse.
The town of Windsor, New Hampshire, is a tiny little town — so tiny I hadn’t even heard of it before now. (As the local saying goes, I haven’t lived in New Hampshire my whole life — not yet.) It’s a tiny little town in the southwestern part of the state, a really rinky-dink speed bump of a town.
It seems that the tiny little town has some hefty financial troubles. It seems that quite a few residents have been ignoring their property tax bills for a few years — and the (now former) tax collector let them slide.
That most of them were her family and friends was, apparently, a wild coincidence.
Meanwhile, other residents — ironically, mainly those not so close to the tax collector — who found themselves in a bit of a jam got the hardball treatment. That wasn’t enough, though, so the town had to borrow money to pay its bills.
This seems to be mainly the “old-timers” of the town — the ones who’ve been there for generations — who have been shirking their responsibilities, while the newcomers — those who’ve got less than half a century or so worth of roots — have been held to a higher standard.
This, quite frankly, stinks. It confirms all the worst stereotypes of small town politics and cliques. A town of less than 250 people should not have over $200,000 in uncollected taxes and simply shrug and say “that’s how we do things around here.”
And if it takes the Attorney General’s office to step in and say “you treat everyone the same, or we’ll come in and run things for you,” then so be it.