JASON RANTZ

Bellevue Deputy Mayor: It’s ‘difficult to run a business’ with uncertainty of rollback

May 6, 2021, 12:01 PM
rollback, maskless, vaccinated masking, mask...
Social distancing and mask requirements remain in place across Washington. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Governor Inslee has paused any phase rollback in Washington for the next two weeks, even though the numbers in King County and elsewhere now look identical to the numbers that forced Pierce County back to Phase 2 just weeks ago.

That’s not something that’s gone unnoticed by Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, or by Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson.

“When you have Seattle influence, it gets you a long way,” said KTTH host Jason Rantz. “Now of course, the beneficiaries of this, not just Seattle, any city within King County.”

Another local leader who is the beneficiary, if you want to call it that, of the rollback pause is Jared Nieuwenhuis, a councilmember from the city of Bellevue and the city’s deputy mayor.

“I was shocked by the pause but, you know, thrilled that Bellevue and King County are not being rolled back given the governor’s past statements and decisions, which I thought prior to the press conference was almost a certainty,” he said. “At times it’s all about the data and the numbers, but [this decision] seemed rather arbitrary.”

“Now one that I supported, obviously, but it’s very difficult to run a business and to manage employees given those dynamics,” he added.

Nieuwenhuis says it’s challenging to keep up with the changing rules, and he thinks most counties or cities would like to have a greater say in some of the rollback decisions, or at least a seat at the table.

“I just don’t think that at times [Inslee] recognizes the impact and the anxiety that these decisions have on business owners and cities,” he said. “Just look at his comments regarding the restaurant industry [Tuesday], he dismissed any criticism about his decision and the impact that the restaurant owners have to make these crucial decisions about people’s careers and their incomes. But his statement was simply you should feel lucky that you can still be open, or you can still be open at 50% or 25% capacity. I don’t think he understands the greater issue at hand.”

Nieuwenhuis told Jason he wishes he had an answer as to why the governor seems to be so insulated from what’s happening on the ground more than a year into the pandemic, but he doesn’t get it.

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

If Nieuwenhuis had more control the local level or county level, he sees it as important to keep up the communication in terms of the importance of getting vaccinated, but he disagrees with the creation of vaccinated sections and other privileges that force people to show their vaccination card.

“Well, I wouldn’t, as one of the reporters said, start offering hats and T-shirts if they get their shot,” he laughed. “… But I think it’s important to keep up the communication in terms of we need to get vaccinated. I know you’re vaccinated, I’m halfway to being vaccinated. I think the vast majority of those most impacted by this pandemic, of people 65 over, are close to being fully vaccinated.”

“I think, based on the numbers [Tuesday], 54% of those eligible have at least had one shot in the state, and 38% are fully vaccinated,” he said. “Now, there is a little bit of softening in terms of the demand, and I think partly due to pausing the Johnson & Johnson shot. And I think those that were concerned or hesitant to get the shot, that probably fed into their thinking that maybe they wanted to wait either even further now, but creating these vaccinated versus unvaccinated sections at sporting events or churches or a house of worship, I’m not a fan of that. It feels like we’re segregating people unnecessarily.”

Rantz: Inslee brings vaccine passports, segregation to stadiums, churches

He says he could understand a requirement like when traveling.

“But it certainly doesn’t feel like that’s something that, at the local level, we should be walking around with our card and presenting it at a moment’s notice,” he said.

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.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

troyer...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: State AG charges Pierce County Sheriff with 2 misdemeanors after ‘unusual’ move

Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office is readying misdemeanor charges against Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer. The filing could come as early as Tuesday.
1 day ago
police, consent decree...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle mayor downplays crisis, falsely says only 24 officers didn’t turn in vaccine paperwork

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told reporters on Monday that "only about two dozen officers have not put in their [vaccine] paperwork" ahead of the midnight deadline.
1 day ago
unvaccinated officers Seattle...
KTTH staff

Seattle mayor: ‘About two dozen’ SPD officers have yet to submit proof of vaccination

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and interim Chief Adrian Diaz both submitted final pleas to unvaccinated officers over the weekend. 
1 day ago
trooper...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Trooper tells Gov. Inslee to ‘kiss my…’ in final sign-off before vaccine mandate

A 22-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol signed off from his final shift with some parting words for Governor Jay Inslee: "Kiss my..."
2 days ago
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, unvaccinated officers, seattle police...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle Police Chief asks officers to submit vaccine paperwork

As the Oct. 18 deadline to prove COVID-19 vaccination or risk losing a job looms, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz sent a heartfelt memo to officers letting them know he doesn't want to lose them.
3 days ago
Bothell Mayor...
KTTH staff

Former Bothell mayor cautions ‘defund the police’ is on November ballot

Former Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb breaks down November's municipal elections, and why the city has to mobilize against 'defund the police.'
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Bellevue Deputy Mayor: It’s ‘difficult to run a business’ with uncertainty of rollback