Coventry will hire delinquent tax collector

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copyright the Chronicle March 8, 2017


by Randi Morse


COVENTRY — Arsenic-heavy water and the power of the select board — that was the main meal during Coventry’s Town Meeting on Tuesday.

Over 140 people, including those covering the proceedings from WCAX and PBS, filled the small Coventry Village gym in the town offices building likely anticipating a lot of debate due to the ongoing drama surrounding Town Clerk Cynthia Diaz. Ms. Diaz has been involved in numerous controversies in the past nine years, and recently a forensic audit was done, and it appears a substantial amount of money is missing from town coffers.

There was not, however, much debate about Ms. Diaz, likely due to the multiple informational meetings that the select board opted to have prior to Town Meeting. Even though Ms. Diaz wasn’t the main topic of conversation, there was plenty to discuss.

The first matter of business was to see if the town would give the select board the power to hire someone for the position of collector of delinquent taxes. That post has been voted on by town members and held by Ms. Diaz. Some of the concerns about her involve how delinquent taxes appear to have been handled since she has been in charge of them.

“I’ve been to most board meetings since moving here,” said Dave Barlowe. “I’ve read the reports and a lot of issues in this town are because of the improprieties, alleged, of the delinquent tax collector. It’s very important that this situation be straightened out right now, not 12 years from now. Let the board have the authority to hire someone who is highly qualified to fix this problem.”

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