Haverhill vs. Woodsville- The Solution

To the Editor:

The ongoing tug-of-war between the Town of Haverhill and the Woodsville Precinct has lasted far too long. What started out as a verbal disagreement over some issues, has escalated exponentially. It morphed into name calling, threats, nasty mailings, etc. Those lamentable and deplorable tactics serve only to create a wider schism, and further divide the citizens of Haverhill. Fast forward to the present, and the disagreements have descended into lawsuits and counter suits. Who will win? The lawyers for each side! Not Woodsville, not the Town of Haverhill, and not the citizens. It is time (past time) to heal, and not to hurt. We have become a microcosm of national politics. That is the wrong road to take.

A couple of hundred years ago, when communication and transportation were much more difficult, settlements looked unto themselves for a church, a one-room schoolhouse, a fire brigade, road crews, etc. Precincts were the outcome of that localization, and at one time the majority of towns in New Hampshire had them. For various reasons, the concept of precincts has fallen out of favor to the point where today, only three towns still do.

Precincts are divisive. They pit neighbor against neighbor, and precinct against precinct. Duplicating services, governing bodies, police departments, schools, etc. makes no economic sense at all, and when the rivalry between them and the town reaches the fever pitch that exists today, it is bad for everybody.

The solution, therefore, a very simple one. In order to have one town, and have everyone on the same side- eliminate the precincts!!

Ron Willoughby

North Haverhill, N. H.


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