by Ed Naile
Wanted: Health Officer, Must Have People Skills, Apply, Town of Washington.
It seems the Health Officer in the Town of Washington, NH, has been either relieved of his duties or resigned a day after trying to force the local store into compliance with an outdoor seating ordinance which does not exist.
The Washington General Store has been around for a long time, a long time. And along with the store comes the picnic table outside. The inside of the store has the standard grill and counter with some tables included. All of this meets all NH state requirements for their liquor license.
Not only is the Washington General Store the only place to eat, have a beer, maybe some wine, fishing tackle, live bait, sweat shirts, sliced meat and cheese, along with home-made stuffed peppers, coleslaw, burgers, chili and so on, it also serves as a drop off point for all kinds of local messages. They even patch up slightly injured local contractors who don’t want to drive to a medical facility. This I know.
After following the lame executive orders handed down from Concord about serving food, the Washington General Store made due, made food, paid workers and struggled along not wanting to be perceived as potentially spreading the Comorbid 19 Chinese Virus from Wuhan, China.
The day after it was known that NH eating establishments could now, once again, serve food outside, the WGS put two tables out where people were accustomed to eating at the picnic table, and truck tailgates.
As if on cue the Washington Health Officer appears at the WGS bent on delivering orders and commanding respect. In return he received logical questions regarding his “powers” and little fear of outside seating being shut down.
He called for police backup I am told.
Oh, he got back up all right. The next day “back up” at the Town Hall Mr. Health Officer enjoyed his last day as the Washington Health Officer.
Life is now back to normal in this quiet little town.
We are all ordering pizzas, waiting for more homemade chicken salad, chatting with the regulars and the out-of-state crowd – in peace.
The former Washington Health Officer can lay in bed at night dreaming of hundreds of new ordinances targeted at one business, cease and desist orders, a new Health Officer vehicle, a secretary, an assistant to the secretary, and maybe a small side arm.
But it won’t be happening in this little town of 1,123.