Tri-Cities mayors send letter to Gov. Inslee after Sunday’s announcement

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Concerned for their constituents, the four mayors of the Tri-Cities sent a detailed letter to Gov. Jay Inslee in response to new restrictions.

“This time of season is already stressful. I worry about the increase in drug use, depression, alcohol use, crime,” Mayor Don Britain said.

It’s quiet in downtown Kennewick. Businesses and restaurants like Foodies Brick and Mortar should be getting ready for a bustling holiday season, but, they’re not.

They’re waiting for customers to eat outside.

“Everyday we strive to stay in business and figure out what we can do to better our service,” General Manager

The change comes after Governor Jay Inslee made an announcement on Sunday. The new restrictions in place close dining rooms and lessen stores’ capacity. It will last for four weeks.

READ MORE: Gov. Inslee revamps restrictions

Mayor Britain said in response, he had a letter crafted and the other mayors in Tri-Cities joined in agreement.

“We don’t agree with that decision, that there could have been other avenues that he could’ve taken. The surge in positive cases of COVID-19 are coming from small gatherings, not from the businesses. Why are we shutting down the business community that are enforcing the current safety protocols?” Britain said.

Their concern? Now, people will just gather at home instead of going out to eat.

“In our opinion, all that does is take away the enforcers of the safety protocols and is actually going to increase the amount of small gatherings that aren’t monitored,” the mayor said.

Britain, who had COVID-19 in April, said they are not diminishing the virus or asking to rollback safety measures.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee addresses ‘third wave’ ahead of holiday season

“We want our community to be safe, we want our citizens to be safe and healthy and we want our businesses to operate in a healthy manner and a profitable manner,” Britain said.

Anthony Angelo with Foodies Brick and Mortar said he just thankful for a mayor who’s standing up for them and, both Foodies locations will continue to comply with safety protocols to keep patios open.

“The community was great coming in and supporting us this entire time and we hope that they continue to do so,” he said.