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

(Seattle Police Department)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Victim died as medics waited for critically understaffed Seattle Police to arrive to scene

Due to critically low staffing, Seattle Police were unable to quickly respond to a deadly hit and run as medics waited to be cleared to treat the victim.
1 day ago
Police officers block a street as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) ar...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Did Seattle councilmembers abuse police help, while defunding department?

I didn't come up empty-handed because I have no idea whether or not it's true. In this case, I was stopped from doing a part of my job.
5 days ago
Slides from Kirkland Middle School's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Presentation  from April 28...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School used unsubstantiated hate speech claim to push kids into equity training

KiMS principal alleged there was an "an increase in use of racial and identity slurs." The incidents were "pervasive rather than an isolated incident."
6 days ago
A volunteer collects heroin syringes from a homeless encampment on March 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washi...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Progressives push drug legalization lie, amidst fatal OD surge and past failures

Instead of combatting the drug crisis, left-wing activists hope to legalize drug possession under the guise of treatment by lying about their plans.
7 days ago
Homeless Light Rail...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Shocking video shows light rail train used as homeless shelter

A Sound Transit employee took shocking video that shows approximately 30 homeless people using light rail as a homeless shelter.
8 days ago
Space Needle Needles...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Space Needle turned into syringe with new paint job

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Space Needle,  the city of Seattle returned the roof to its signature orange hue. The color has taken on new meaning.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week 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