Benton County Commissioner proposes reopening resolution

KENNEWICK, Wash. – During Tuesday morning’s meeting, Benton County Commissioners discussed a resolution proposed by Commissioner Will McKay.

McKay, the Commissioner for District Three, presented a reopening resolution that states why counties should have power over reopening metrics. This happened just a day after Governor Inslee’s new phases were announced.

“It’s basically saying, ‘Governor, let us control our county, let us be responsible for our constituents,’ and then at the end of the day, let it be the customer’s choice whether you wanna go into a Costco or you wanna go into a restaurant,” Commissioner McKay said during the meeting.

The resolution lays out what Benton County has experienced during the pandemic and why the county should be in charge. However, the proposal was met with some concerns from other commissioners.

“People I think are misinterpreting that, if we sign this, then all the sudden we have the executive power to turn around and actually open everything up, and we don’t have that,” Commissioner Shon Small said.

McKay agreed and said that is not the purpose of the resolution.

“It’s not us telling you ‘hey, go open up your business right now and oh by the way you get a $10,000 L and I fine, and then come and we’re gonna pay for it,’ that’s not what this resolution is saying,” Commissioner McKay said.

Other commissioners did agree with the resolution, but asked McKay to clarify some of the language. They will discuss it at their next meeting.