Claremont probing threats against building inspector
By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Staff
Oct 4, 2006


Claremont Word gets around in a town like Claremont, and normally it's nothing to get too excited about.

This time, however, Town Manager Guy Santagate didn't like what he heard" talk of threats,
from more than one source, against Building Inspector Kenneth Walsh.

So he called for a meeting last Wednesday with Police Chief Alex Scott, city Planning Director Anthony Lyons and Walsh, and asked police to investigate.

Thursday morning, tires on a town-owned car used by Walsh were found slashed.

"When we hear, from more than one person, talk of physical steps being taken against Ken, or
talk of someone being shot, even, we take that seriously," said Santagate Tuesday night.

"We explained to Chief Scott the situation, and he's investigating. We want to let people know that if we follow through and get some information and proof, we will take court action. Enough is enough," Santagate said.

Because of increased development in town, Santagate said, a certain faction of people are likely disgruntled over stricter code enforcement.

"If you're out of compliance, we're simply saying you have to bring it into code compliance.
And if you want a new permit, we want a site plan," Santagate said. "In the past, things were
lax in Claremont. We're tightening up. We understand how that causes extra costs to people,
but that goes with getting it right."

But protecting a city employee who is simply trying to do his job has to be his first concern.

"We understand there may be some displeasure, even hostility. We're not thin-skinned about it. But we don't expect physical threats. Now, with the tires being punctured, that ramps it up," Santagate said. "We don't know if these are serious threats, but we can't take that chance; not in this day and age".

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Oct 3, 6:37 AM EDT Union Leader

Claremont building inspector getting threats

CLAREMONT, N.H (AP) -- Police in Claremont (New Hampshire) are investigating a series of threats against the city's chief building inspector.

City Manager Guy Santagate says in recent weeks Ken Walsh has received threats that he will be shot and that he should be careful because he would be the victim of violence. All four tires on his city car have been slashed.

Santagate says Walsh's strict enforcement of city building codes has angered people in the past, but until now, it has never risen to the level where the police needed to get involved.

He says Walsh's year and a half on the job has been an adjustment for residents who were used to more relaxed code enforcement.

 

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