Small town values and they're not good.
The people in charge have gotten their positions and abuse their power. HR especially has biased opinions about possible candidates. If they dislike you, they will not give you a fair shot at the position, even if you are the best candidate. They do favors for friends and family. Even if you worked there before and they think you wronged them along the way, they will fabricate evidence and rationale for not hiring you again in the future.
Think twice about applying here. Unless you're well liked in the community and you haven't crossed the Director of HR, then by all means, apply and suck up.