Proclamation by the Mayor of Selah, Washington, in Regards to recent Proclamations by Governor Jay Inslee

WHEREAS, Governor Jay Inslee’s recent Proclamation No. 20-05 – known as the  “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order — and also his numerous follow-up Proclamations have caused much confusion and much worry for residents and businessowners in Selah; and

WHEREAS, a number of Selah residents and businessowners have expressed doubts as to whether the Governor’s Proclamations are constitutional, both under the federal Constitution and under the state constitution, because the Proclamations significantly infringe inalienable rights including the right to free assembly, the right to the free exercise of religion and the right to form enforceable private contracts; and

WHEREAS, a number of Selah residents and businessowners have become increasingly concerned that the Governor’s Proclamations are now indefinite in duration, that the Proclamations continue to ignore inherent differences between sparsely populated areas and densely populated areas (thus imposing the same restrictions on rural, small town Selah that are imposed on urban, large city Seattle), that the Proclamations are inflicting massive economic losses with each passing day, and that the Proclamations continue to be based on flawed academic models and unsound rationales; and

WHEREAS, a number of Selah residents and businessowners have asked whether Selah’s Police Department is obligated to actively enforce the Governor’s Proclamations and, similarly, whether Selah’s other municipal employees are in any way obligated to enforce the Governor’s Proclamations;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, as the Mayor of Selah, I am hereby issuing my own Proclamation in order to clarify City policies and alleviate concerns.

The Governor does not have the legal authority to force Selah’s municipal employees — including its police officers — to take action against anyone.  Irrespective of whether the Governor’s Proclamations are or are not constitutional and also irrespective of whether such Proclamations are or are not logical, the simple fact is the employees of Selah do not work for the Governor.

Those wishing to operate or patronize a business, to conduct or attend religious services, to use park facilities or to take any other action that was lawful prior to the Governor’s Proclamations, will not be harassed, investigated or punished by any City of Selah employee.

All departments of the Selah municipal government remain open for business.

My prior Proclamation issued on March 13, 2020 — which declared a state of emergency in Selah due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) — remains in full force and effect.  The state of emergency still exists.  Municipal employees will continue to take measured and prudent steps to reduce the potential of exposure to the virus.  Likewise, residents and businessowners should do the same.

DONE this 8th day of May, 2020.

 Signed:  Sherry Raymond, Mayor

ATTEST: Dale Novobielski, Clerk/Treasurer