10 mayors from South King County ask Inslee to reopen construction industry

Take safeguards, but economy needs boost

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and nine other South King County mayors sent a letter Wednesday to Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to reopen construction of residential and commercial projects shut down because of the stay home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reopening construction, even in phases, will ensure residential and commercial structures that were already underway can be completed,” according to the letter signed by the mayors. “It will relieve some of the pressure put on our unemployment system, create jobs, stimulate the supply chain economy and ensure more Washingtonians don’t end up without a roof over their heads in the middle of this crisis.”

With health and safety for workers as a priority, the mayors support a plan the labor and business communities have developed requiring documentation that is posted at each job site and fully complied with, including inspection of the sites to ensure compliance, according to the letter.

“Reopening construction, while it won’t save our entire economy, it will provide some relief to local government,” the letter states. “We ask that you please consider this request, along with calls from the labor and business community, county executives, mayors and elected officials across the state to reopen our construction industry.”

The letter was signed by Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner, Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone, Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro, Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg, Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta, Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier, SeaTac Mayor Erin Sitterly, Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

When asked why Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell had not signed the letter, city spokesman Tyler Hemstreet replied via email: “The mayor and council decided that we are going to work on our own letter to the governor. We as a city are engaged on these issues and we are going to discuss them, as well as the content of the forthcoming letter, more thoroughly at the May 5 council meeting.”

The city of Kent posted to Facebook the following message:

“In a time where the federal government has bailed out airlines, cruise lines have requested support, large business, some small business, states, counties and large cities – they’ve left cities our size on our own. It means there’s no magic money coming to cover the millions of dollars of revenue lost – we must phase in our local economy to generate revenue our residents will lose programs and critical services they rely on.”

Inslee said in a Tuesday address that given encouraging signs that the spread of coronavirus is likely in decline, prohibitions could be lifted soon on some elective surgeries, residential construction and much of the outdoor recreation “that is so much a part of our Northwest identity, as well as our physical and mental health.”

But he also said moving too fast, too soon to repeal restrictions across the board could be “disastrous” and lead to another outbreak.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

File Photo
LA Fitness to reopen all locations Aug. 10

Gyms will follow state guidelines

Stock photo
New program to help ensure safe start compliance in restaurants, taverns

Launched by Public Health – Seattle & King County

BMW X3 xDrive 30e. Courtesy photo
BMW X3 xDrive 30e | Car review

With forces like BMW pushing, it’s only a matter of time before… Continue reading

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. Courtesy photo
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT | Car review

OK folks, buckle your seatbelts. This week’s tester is the 2020 Dodge… Continue reading

Federal Way’s Red Robin to close July 12

Closure is due to the incoming Sound Transit Link light rail extension set to open 2024.

Stock image
King County to provide Safe Start kits to small businesses in July

Federal Way Chamber of Commerce to host pick up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at El Centro de la Raza in Federal Way.

A new measure from the King County Council could increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas of King County. File photo
County measure would increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas

Staff report Legislation the King County Council passed June 23 could lead… Continue reading

24 Hour Fitness to close clubs in Kent, Auburn, Renton

Panther Lake Kent location scheduled to reopen next month

Westfield Southcenter Mall to reopen June 15

Modified hours; safety protocols

Goodwill to reopen donation centers, stores in King, Pierce counties

Including Kent, Auburn, Federal Way locations

Members of Federal Way’s Business Task Force meet virtually on June 3. Courtesy photo
Federal Way businesses given more opportunities to serve customers

Federal Way City Council approves use of parking lot spaces outside of businesses to be used as socially distanced service areas.