Is it when most citizens of a town are afraid to ask the hard questions at public meetings because they fear retaliation?
Is it when a selectman has been warned that should his beaver dam break and do damage to town roads he would have to pay for the repairs, yet when it does break and do damage, and he is sent the bill, the selectmen “forgive” it?
Is it when a town board overrides a town commission so that an employee of the board can demolish a historic building and sell the property for big profits, thus permanently altering the character of the town in the process?
Is it when the select board waives most of the expenses for a non-emergency ambulance transport across seven state lines for the sister of a selectman (leaving the town short one ambulance for emergencies) thus “donating” town services that would amount to about $10,000 if they were provided by a private ambulance service?
Is it when a school board violates state law by over-spending the annual budget by more than $300,000 — money that had not been appropriated by the taxpayers, or alternately pre-approved for payment by the budget committee, state education commissioner and Department of Revenue Administration as required by law?
It’s too bad that Winchester’s dirty laundry is just too dirty to be properly washed in Winchester.
But it is clear that none of the dirt ever comes out if the dirty laundry is kept in town and controlled by the same people who get it dirty in the first place.
I understand people wanting to help others. That’s what we have private nonprofit organizations, churches and personal charity for. But government “bailouts” for a privileged few are just as wrong for Winchester as they are for Washington.
When elected officials choose to help their friends, family and cohorts within their tight little circle of influence (or themselves) with taxpayer funds, I say enough is enough. This kind of thing may happen in small towns everywhere. But that’s no excuse. It’s time to put a stop to the wrongdoing.
Please let me know what you think. Call me at 239-8952.
I care what you think, and welcome ideas as to how to reduce the financial cronyism that occurs in Winchester at taxpayer expense.
168 Clark Road