10 mayors from South King County ask Inslee to reopen construction industry

Take safeguards, but economy needs boost

10 mayors from South King County ask Inslee to reopen construction industry

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and nine other South King County mayors sent a letter Wednesday to Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to reopen construction of residential and commercial projects shut down because of the stay home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reopening construction, even in phases, will ensure residential and commercial structures that were already underway can be completed,” according to the letter signed by the mayors. “It will relieve some of the pressure put on our unemployment system, create jobs, stimulate the supply chain economy and ensure more Washingtonians don’t end up without a roof over their heads in the middle of this crisis.”

With health and safety for workers as a priority, the mayors support a plan the labor and business communities have developed requiring documentation that is posted at each job site and fully complied with, including inspection of the sites to ensure compliance, according to the letter.

“Reopening construction, while it won’t save our entire economy, it will provide some relief to local government,” the letter states. “We ask that you please consider this request, along with calls from the labor and business community, county executives, mayors and elected officials across the state to reopen our construction industry.”

The letter was signed by Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner, Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone, Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro, Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg, Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta, Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier, SeaTac Mayor Erin Sitterly, Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

When asked why Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell had not signed the letter, city spokesman Tyler Hemstreet replied via email: “The mayor and council decided that we are going to work on our own letter to the governor. We as a city are engaged on these issues and we are going to discuss them, as well as the content of the forthcoming letter, more thoroughly at the May 5 council meeting.”

The city of Kent posted to Facebook the following message:

“In a time where the federal government has bailed out airlines, cruise lines have requested support, large business, some small business, states, counties and large cities – they’ve left cities our size on our own. It means there’s no magic money coming to cover the millions of dollars of revenue lost – we must phase in our local economy to generate revenue our residents will lose programs and critical services they rely on.”

Inslee said in a Tuesday address that given encouraging signs that the spread of coronavirus is likely in decline, prohibitions could be lifted soon on some elective surgeries, residential construction and much of the outdoor recreation “that is so much a part of our Northwest identity, as well as our physical and mental health.”

But he also said moving too fast, too soon to repeal restrictions across the board could be “disastrous” and lead to another outbreak.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A heatmap showing the inclusivity of each state, which is based on the total Business Climate Score. The green states are the most inclusive, while the red are least inclusive; yellow and orange fall in the middle. Courtesy of Out Leadership.
Washington ranks 13th in State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index

Washington’s lowest score was 13 out of 20 points in the Work Environment and Employment section.

tsr
Dick’s Drive-In to open new location in Federal Way

This will be Dick’s ninth burger restaurant; plans to open in 2023.

(Left to right) Bill, Nina and Tom Contoravdis, co-owners of Athens Pizza and Pasta, pose for a photo in front of their restaurant that is set to re-open for take-out on Friday, April 1. Photo by Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
After 16 months, Athens Pizza and Pasta re-opens on April 1

A fire forced the restaurant to close after 40 years of business in Auburn.

Auburn has embraced Sea Axe, the first ever axe-throwing range ever to settle in the city, as this band of customers demonstrates. Photo courtesy of Duke Managhan
Business partners hit the bullseye with Auburn’s first axe-throwing range

At first, Duke Managhan and his close friend and business partner, Vance… Continue reading

Photo by Robert Whale/Auburn Reporter
Zola’s Café owner Matt Noesen is ready for normal times and business to resume at his downtown Auburn eatery.
Downtown Auburn cafe among businesses awaiting the return to ‘normal’

After all this time, Matt Noesen’s feet and back ache, and the… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Volatility and disciplined planning in 2022’s stock market | Guest column

The stock market in January experienced significantly increased volatility. In the first… Continue reading

Teaser
SeaAxe Throwing is coming to downtown Auburn

‘It’s kind of like darts on steroids,’ says co-owner.

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The forces behind our current COVID-induced inflation | Guest column

Recent inflation numbers have been quite high and at levels not seen… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The ‘year end’ elements of financial planning | Guest column

With the end of the year fast approaching, we remind clients that… Continue reading