Should rollback decisions be made at the state or local level?

May 5, 2021, 5:05 AM | Updated: 10:21 am
Seattle COVID, mask mandate, King County, restaurant workers...
Restaurants continue to require patrons to wear masks, and likely will for the foreseeable future. (Seattle-King County Public Health, Facebook)
(Seattle-King County Public Health, Facebook)

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee made the announcement that he was going to put a pause on the reopening plans and not move any counties in Washington back a phase. But would it be better for these decisions to be made at the local level?

Gov. Inslee announces two-week pause on Phase 2 rollbacks

When Inslee was asked about whether or not he would be willing to relinquish some of the decision-making power to local leaders, he indicated that they’ve expressed they would prefer he have the power to shut things down.

“They sometimes have more difficulty making these very difficult decisions than the state does because when the state does it as a uniform, comprehensive approach, it has the moral force behind it that’s easier to seek compliance with,” Inslee said.

Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring disagrees.

“I wouldn’t agree with that statement. I do think they should be made at the local level,” he told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “County and city and other local leaders have been making their thoughts clear on this, have been trying to communicate the concerns we’ve hearing from residents and businesses and a whole host of others. And so I think the more local control, the better.”

Nehring says he hasn’t spoken with the governor or his staff directly, but says the governor is likely in contact with the county executive.

“But like I said on the show previously, myself and other county leaders and city leaders have sent communications via letters and other sorts of avenues to the governor and we haven’t always received responses to those,” he said. “So I have not had recent communication with the governor’s staff.”

“I mean, I don’t envy having to make those decisions,” Nehring added. “They are tough decisions, but to your point, the people at the local level are the ones who hear the most from residents, from businesses, and kind of get the on-the-ground feel for what the concerns are. And I think those are the people best prepared to communicate those and to make decisions that represent the folks that were elected to.”

Rantz: High school bribing students into vaccines with graduation credits

For now, Nehring is glad to see that Snohomish County won’t have to move back a phase.

“I think the decision today to not move back into Phase 2 at least for Snohomish County was a good one. I think common sense has prevailed in this case, which is great to see,” he said. “But we’ve talked previously about, you know, vaccinations are widely available. The data shows that businesses are not major contributors to the spread. And even recently we’ve had an increase in case counts, but the death rate actually has not risen at all. And so I think if you take all this together, it really builds a case against these sorts of rollbacks and increased restrictions.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Should rollback decisions be made at the state or local level?