SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The mayors of Snohomish County cities issued a joint letter to the community:
It’s now been over a month since our communities closed down following the statewide orders to stay home, stay healthy, changing life as we knew it. Governor Inslee’s and our community’s early and decisive action, while difficult, has protected the lives of countless Washington residents.
As your mayors of Snohomish County, we want to acknowledge what a tremendous burden this has been on all of our residents, and the great sacrifices we’re all having to make. Those sacrifices, however, and our collective adherence to public health guidelines, are achieving the intended result. Our efforts are working. Though new cases of COVID-19 continue to emerge each day, there are hopeful signs that the rate of transmission is slowing down. Our county is, in fact, leading the state in flattening the curve. We’re proud of our communities for taking this public health threat seriously and doing their part to keep us all safe. Thank you.
Each day that passes, though, is another day that some of us are without work, our kids are out of school, our businesses are pushed to the brink of survival, or in many cases forced to close. All of us are wondering how much longer? When will it be safe again? There is a strong desire, that we as mayors agree with, to better understand the governor’s plan for a path forward to return to work, recreate, shop and worship again in our communities. There is a strong need for a logical, fair and equitable return to a “new normal” when we can safely do so. As mayors, we owe it to our community to be able to communicate to them a transparent and realistic plan that will provide them a roadmap to survive economically in the wake of this pandemic. The governor’s direction is essential to our ability to do this and today we are offering him our direct assistance in this effort.
We’d like to assure you that we’re working hard to get ready for the next phase of response in this pandemic, which is economic recovery and bringing vitality back to our communities. We’re working in coordination with Snohomish County executive and councilmembers, the Snohomish Health District and key regional partners to develop a plan for dialing our economy back up as soon as it is safe to do so. Our plan will be tailored to meet the different needs and characteristics of our cities, but aligned in principle and process. It calls for a sector-based, gradual and phased approach – with testing, tracing, monitoring and evaluating – to ensure we don’t inadvertently cause a resurgence of COVID-19 in our communities. The last thing we want is to re-open too much, too soon, and undo the great progress we’ve achieved in fighting this disease together.
We’re also advocating at the state and federal level for economic relief for our local businesses and nonprofit partners.
We don’t yet know the timeline for when the governor will ease the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, but when he does, we in Snohomish County will be ready.
In the meantime, we urge your patience and continued cooperation in staying home and physically distancing when you need to go out. We’ve come so far in slowing the rate of infection and reducing the tragic loss of life. Let’s see this through to the finish line and become the first region in the country to effectively and lastingly shrink the threat of this deadly virus.
Signed by Mayors:
Barb Tolbert, City of Arlington
Liam Olsen, City of Bothell
Bob Colinas, City of Brier
Dan Rankin, City of Darrington
Mayor Cassie Franklin, City of Everett
Matt Hartman, City of Granite Falls
Mayor Brett Gailey, City of Lake Stevens
Nicola Smith, City of Lynnwood
Mayor Jon Nehring, City of Marysville
Geoffrey Thomas, City of Monroe
Kyoko Matsumoto Wright, City of Mountlake Terrace
Jennifer Gregerson, City of Mukilteo
John Kartak, City of Snohomish
Leonard Kelley, City of Stanwood
Russell Wiita, City of Sultan
Carla Nichols, City of Woodway