With no plan for Phase 3 in sight, Spokane leaders ask for involvement in next steps

SPOKANE, Wash. – For those struggling during this pandemic, the path forward has been a long process. Phase 3 can’t come soon enough, but how exactly do we get there without a plan?

“We have not identified our next steps. I think we’ll be looking at the science in the immediate future and how it develops,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

Some local leaders are frustrated. Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward believes Eastern Washington should have a say in what its future looks like.

READ: ‘We have not identified that’: Despite statewide progression, Inslee’s plans for Phase 3 remain unclear  

It’s not just city leaders that are frustrated. Restaurants just like David’s Pizza have been struggling to get by during this pandemic. They say they can’t move forward without answers.

“Governor, please react to your constituents, please react to the mayors that want to talk to you, don’t stonewall us,” said Mark Starr, owner of David’s Pizza.

Even though Spokane County is just days into Phase 2, business owners like Starr are anxious about what’s next.

“I firmly believe things are as bad as they’re going to get, that we’re going to continue from this point forward and get some normalcy back into our lives,” said Starr.

However, Spokane leaders say the governor is giving no guidance on how to get there.

“There is no plan that’s currently laid out on what Phase 3 will look like or what metrics will even be used to get there,” said Josh Kerns, Spokane County Commissioner District 1.

“I understand the governor is still working on that. We would love to be part of that conversation,” said Woodward.

It’s a conversation Woodward says has been a long time coming. After several attempts to reach the governor’s office, she says she’s finally made some progress.

“We’re going to have those ongoing conversations now every other week. I think it’s really important that we are working together,” said Woodward.

She’s also asking lawmakers in Olympia to allow Spokane to have more involvement in what comes next, as business owners and the community wait in limbo.

“I would think that they would have communication lines that go back and forth for the betterment of the communities and the state. Apparently, that’s not always the case,” said Starr.