by Ed Naile
The NH State Supreme Court, remember them? They had the distinction of having several members impeached back in 2001 for trying to rig a decision. But as in the Clinton style we have become so used to their antics they are still with us because too many lawyers and lawyer spouses were on the Senate end of that process and not one of them was removed from the bench.
And so it goes.
The latest decision they have careened into once again involves a very simple set of facts they have danced around. This time it is a protected elite community, Henniker.
In Henniker the NH State Supremes have found another way to satisfy the Town/Masters/Fathers with another “don’t dare cross us” ruling.
Let’s set the Way-Back Machine to other NH court decisions involving property rights and Henniker.
A guy with a mechanical repair business that looked too much like a junkyard for the Henniker elites was set upon by the town officials. He lost his cases and was basically evicted and the tow trucks came to take his offending vehicles. For good measure Henniker took the man’s tools as well.
One family had their property on Rt. 114 assessed as commercial and paid property taxes on it as commercial for decades until they tried to sell it. The eco-luddites and elites in Henniker depended on the NH Supreme Court to side with them so the property could not be sold as commercial. Now it sits in all its pristine glory next to the Henniker Post Office (acceptable) right up the road from the Citizen’s Bank which has parking for next to nothing (acceptable).
Now it is Steven Foster’s turn. He was trying to make a business of farming in Henniker but did not know that in Henniker your farming has to consist of a specific type of farming by several selected farmers.
The NH Legislature came up with a law that provides extra agricultural uses for farms such as weddings in a farm setting (unacceptable). But the NH State Supreme Court says that was not definitive enough for their standards. That is known as a “lame excuse.” But I would venture a guess it may only apply to Henniker or some other college town of elites.
Henniker is trying to show its servant taxpayers and the citizen legislature who really runs the show with the help of several Judges. I accept that.
But while we are going down memory lane it may pay to remember a b-slapping they received from our little band of taxpayer activists when Henniker’s eco-elites tried to saddle the town with a sludge-to-compost scheme with Gobin Disposal with a bait and switch. The plan by the Henniker Town Masters was to get a “free” sludge dewatering facility, Phase-1. Then they would put up a sludge to compost facility, for profit, and make Henniker the Central NH Sludge Capitol of NH, Phase-you’re screwed.
Our local guys took them to Merrimack Superior Court, pro se, where we knew we would lose and then began an appeal to the Supra where we would lose again.
But in the mean time another Henniker Town Meeting came up and the now alerted Henniker voters shot it down.
That is the one way to beat Henniker in court. Most other attempts are useless.
And this is also why I would rather live in a town with a nuclear power plant than a college.