New proposal sent to Gov. Inslee to reopen the Tri-Cities

KENNEWICK, Wash — The Kennewick City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night calling for Governor Inslee to let local elected officials decide COVID-19 regulations in their counties.

The 5-2 decision came after both the Franklin and Benton counties approved the same resolution last week, adding that health officials in the Tri-Cities should make decisions regarding coronavirus closures.

Will McKay, the Benton County commissioner for District 3, who helped draft the resolution, said it was for the community.

“What the resolution is basically saying is please let the local jurisdiction control our county and our local area instead of him controlling the whole state,” McKay said. “This is for the voice of the people. And that’s Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, everything.”

According to McKay, this resolution will help benefit both businesses and Tri-Citians.

“We’re human beings, we like to socialize right? Well we’re socializing at home at places that aren’t set up for COVID-19 safety. So the safe places really should be the restaurants, the stores that are set up that way not at home,” McKay said. “It should be your choice, it should be the owners choices it should be our choices, customers coming into that establishment whether we feel safe or not so it should be our choice to do those things.”

Jerome Delvin, the Benton County Chairman, said he agreed the only way to move forward was by having local control.

“The school boards have that authority, they can open and close their schools as they want based on what they see. I think, you know, city councils and commissioners should be able to, along with the health district, make those determinations if they can safely open up,” Delvin said.

You can read the entire resolution starting on page 95 here.