Dear Governor Inslee,
We will make this short to the point as we are sure you are receiving an abundance of correspondence these days. Let us start off by saying the Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative was a very appropriate and necessary action and we applaud your timely and thoughtful action. That said, we would like to respectfully ask that you take the same timely and thoughtful approach to reopening, with an emphasis on timely. While we have been focused and successful in limiting the negative health effects of COVID-19, we also don’t want to create other crises of a failing economy.
As the legislative body for Whatcom County, we would like you to consider that there is a certain expectation from our constituents that we will lead our citizens through this process. Currently we have very little leeway in doing the job that is expected of us. Moving forward, we would like you to consider modifying your order to allow County Governments that have well-established health departments , administrations, and functional legislative bodies to be more in control of their own futures as we reopen. Just as is acknowledged with the Growth Management Act, local control and planning is very beneficial because each County has its own strengths and unique challenges. We believe these challenges can be best met by granting local governments more leeway in determining their future. Please consider providing counties with a menu of options to reopen employers’ businesses as long as we can document a thoughtful process and appropriate mitigation factors that pertain to the COVID-19 emergency.
Barry Buchanan, Chair
Whatcom County Council