Be careful out there

We had a communications failure and I need to address it. Over the past week, state, local, and county governments have been in uncharted territory on important issues. Can we still register cars, what happens with evictions, if I am self employed can I get unemployment? There is more, but these logistical issues have been occupying a large portion of our time. I sent an email entitled “NH State Resources” to the governments of my six towns that began:

“It probably does not feel like it, but the situation has stabilized greatly over the past few days. I am sure that you all know about the series of executive orders in place during this period. They can be found here –

The audience was the personnel in local governments, not the public. On Monday, we did not how to answer a lot of these questions. Now we do. For those of us responsible for getting this information out, in that sense, the situation has stabilized. We have most of the resources that we need and did not get a flurry of new executive orders today. The pandemic has not changed.

Unfortunately, it was forwarded to the public and some interpreted it as “crisis over”. It is not. You still need to practice social distancing. You still need to employ extra sanitary precautions. You still need to limit travel. You still need to be extremely careful to not expose the infirm and elderly. None of that has changed. What has changed is that we have more answers to questions and mechanisms to help people. I am sorry if the email was misunderstood. To be clear, when we are able to resume our previous normal lives, that will come from the appropriate state agency and the Governor, not me.

I want to thank the person who called me to let me know about this for being willing to listen even though she was pretty upset. That is a great model that we should all follow.


About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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