Wilton EOP or OMG?

The awkward behavior of the Wilton Select Board was again on display in The Cabinet’s coverage of the March 11 meeting. One of the evening’s topics was the emergency operations plan (EOP). This appears to be a rather unconventional document as noted in one section stating, “…Generally, people will cooperate with official regulations restricting the use of essential resources during as emergency. State Law, RSA 21, provides that private property may be commandeered or appropriated for the common good. Owners will be reimbursed as soon as practical following the end of the emergency situation.”

Kermit Williams was correct in questioning this statement. In fact, in the prior week’s EOP discussion, he stated he read RSA 21 and found no such reference. I too searched RSA 21 and agree with Kermit. Additionally, he wisely recognized this statement as governmental over-reach. As reported, Emergency Management Director David Boissonnault followed up by agreeing that “commandeer” is a strong word and “appropriate” was suggested instead. Either way, it remains over-reach. What this is telling citizens of Wilton who properly prepare for a disaster is that their supplies are up for grabs at the whim of the Town of Wilton.There goes my six month cache of Cheerios!

Some of the bizarre assertions made by Kellie-Sue Boissonnault included “We’re not doing anything outside the norm” and “We don’t need to rewrite if to focus on our little town.” Well Kellie-Sue, what’s the EOP for? Having a plan does not guarantee disaster funds just by its presence. Having an “appropriate” plan in place helps, but offers no surety for receiving said funds. And the most subjective of the statements recorded by The Cabinet was Kellie-Sue accusing Kermit of being against the plan “because my husband is the director.” Such pre-adolescent intonations are inappropriate at any level of government.

So what about the rest of the EOP? I’ve only been able to see one small section. In the paragraph preceding the alleged RSA 21 reference it opens with “The Town of Wilton will require such resources as are necessary to maintain essential industries and services to support key personnel working within these facilities and to provide citizens, both affected and unaffected by the emergency, with at least austere levels of survival resources such as food, water, housing, medical care, fire and police protection, etc.” Who talks like this, let alone writes like this? The Wilton Select Board were unanimous in their approval. So, let’s see the plan so Wilton citizens can prepare for the plan, Oh, and the Town’s risk management vendors may want a peak, too.