Joined by nearly 50 state lawmakers and county level officials throughout the state, Rep. Chris Gildon sent a letter to the governor calling for decentralization of some decision-making as the state begins recovering from the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
“We need a decentralized recovery effort,” said Gildon, R-Puyallup. “Each county is experiencing various levels of difficulties and each is equipped with a different set of resources with which to respond. A one-size-fits-all policy may have assisted with slowing the spread of the virus, but now it will only prolong emotional and economic suffering across the state if continued in the same manner.
“Each county has elected officials and competent medical staff who are capable of leading the recovery effort in their particular areas,” Gildon continued. “They are closer to the problem. They understand the resources available to wage the fight in their communities. They can also be much more responsive to the needs of their individual areas and determine which restrictions to impose or modify, which to remove, and the proper timeframe to do so.”
Rep. Gildon spent many hours reaching out to state legislators, county commissioners, and executives throughout the state to discuss his concept. Gildon sent his sign-on letter to officials on Tuesday. By the time he sent it to the governor Friday, he had received more than 45 signatures.
“The response has been remarkable,” said Gildon. “It shows counties are prepared to lead the recovery efforts in their communities, and we should allow them to do that.”
The letter to the governor concludes with a plea to allow Washington to safely get back to work.
“Governor Inslee, you have done a lot, but you simply cannot do everything. We have capable elected officials and staff ideally situated in each county to take much of this tactical level decision making off your shoulders and allow you and your staff to focus on higher level strategy. We believe it is time to let them do just that.
“After all,” said Gildon, “every business that can safely keep its doors open today will be a blessing for tomorrow!”