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Officials ask to meet with Inslee on mandates, proclamations

| September 24, 2021 1:00 AM

Editor’s note: The following letter was written by Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, and signed by dozens of elected officials.

September 23, 2021

Dear Governor Inslee,

As elected officials, we are reaching out with dismay and concern with your mandated vaccination orders and the lack of respect for local involvement when it comes to decisions affecting our communities.

We have major issues with the mandates you are forcing upon the citizens and the negative consequences they will have on our communities.

For example, not allowing our health care workers and those in our medical facilities to choose whether to be vaccinated is taking away their freedom of personal choice when it comes to their health care decisions. It will likely decrease our capacity to respond to this epidemic as people unwilling to be vaccinated quit. Forced vaccination is nonsensical as this workforce has demonstrated for well over a year the ability to do their jobs and contend with this virus in a safe manner. We are at a critical time when we need the medical capacity they represent as hospitalizations continue to reach record levels. The same need for response capacity holds true for our first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, state employees and countless volunteers serving communities across Washington state. The vaccines are not 100% effective and by mandating them you are fueling the frustration and anger many are feeling.

The ongoing state of emergency is wearing on us and our constituents. What is happening in our hospitals is critical. However, businesses are open, many have returned to work, students are back in school, sporting events are taking place and yet we continue to operate under an “emergency” declaration – which has exceeded more than 550 days. It feels like the only reason we are continuing under this declaration is so the executive branch of our government can continue to make decisions without the input of legislators, local elected officials, and communities. This is where our frustration and disappointment come from and the citizens animosity is growing, because of this lack of involvement. We all want what is best for our communities and state, but the perception is only one person is making all the decisions.

As far as we can tell there is no public plan to the ending of the state of emergency or goals set forth to achieve the end of this situation. The lack of hope leads to a feeling of a lack of respect for our authority and duties which we want to carry out and be part of the solutions.

Governor Inslee, we the undersigned elected servants of the people are strongly requesting an in-person meeting with you to discuss these proclamations and mandates immediately. We are requesting a response no later than October 1, 2021.

Most sincerely,

Representative Tom Dent, 13th Legislative District

Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District

Senator Judy Warnick, 13th Legislative District

Representative Alex Ybarra, 13th Legislative District

Representative Jenny Graham, 6th Legislative District

Representative Mary Dye, 9th Legislative District

Senator Shelly Short, 7th Legislative District

Representative Mike Volz, 6th Legislative District

Representative Mark Klicker, 16th Legislative District

Representative Keith Goehner, 12th Legislative District

Representative Matt Boehnke, 8th Legislative District

Representative Brad Klippert, 8th Legislative District

Representative Chris Corry, 14th Legislative District

Representative Bob McCaslin, 4th Legislative District

Representative Rob Chase, 4th Legislative District

Bob Bugert, Chelan County Commissioner

Kevin Overbay, Chelan County Commissioner

Tiffany Gering, Chelan County Commissioner

Representative Mike Steele, 12th Legislative District

Senator Sharon Brown, 8th Legislative District

Representative Bruce Chandler, 15th Legislative District

Wes McCart, Stevens County Board of County Commissioners

Mark Burrows, Stevens County Board of County Commissioners

Greg Young, Stevens County Board of County Commissioners

Ryan Rundell, Columbia County Commissioner Dist. 1

Marty Hall, Columbia County Commissioner Dist. 2

Charles Amerein, Columbia County Commissioner Dist. 3

Brian Shinn, Asotin County Commissioner Dist. 1

Chuck Whitman, Asotin County Commissioner Dist. 3

Chris Seubert, Asotin County Commissioner Dist. 2

John Gentle, Pend Oreille County, Commissioner Dist. 1

Brian Smiley, Pend Oreille County Commissioner Dist. 3

Robert Rosencrantz, Pend Oreille County Commissioner Dist. 2

Danny Stone, Grant County Commissioner Dist. 1

Rob Jones, Grant County Commissioner Dist. 2

Cindy Carter, Grant County Commissioner Dist. 3

Garth Dano, Grant County Prosecuting Attorney

Tom Jones, Grant County Sheriff

Arthur Swannack, Whitman County Commissioner

Josh Kerns, Spokane County Commissioner Dist. 1

Scott Hutsell, Lincoln County Commissioner Dist. 2

Rob Coffman, Lincoln County Commissioner Dist. 3

Mark Stedman, Lincoln County Commissioner Dist. 1

Cory Wright, Kittitas County, Commissioner Dist. 1

Laura Osiadacz, Kittitas County Commissioner Dist. 2

Brett Wachsmith, Kittitas County Commissioner Dist. 3

Greg Zempel, Kittitas County Prosecuting Attorney

Clayton Myers, Kittitas County Sheriff