Councilmember George Hurst makes a difference during pandemic by staying home to stay healthy
By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
While some Lynnwood City councilmembers are taking active roles in the community during the coronavirus pandemic, councilmember George Hurst is doing his best to stay home, as avoiding the illness is especially critical for people who are most vulnerable to a severe form of COVID-19.
With the transmission and COVID-19 infection are cause for concern for everyone, Hurst’s age has added an extra layer of susceptibility for the councilmember.
“We’re in a unique situation because my wife and I are in the age group supposed to stay in place and not go out,” he explained.
For now, Hurst is staying home with his wife and two cats. He jokes that his cats wonder why he’s spending so much time in their house. Although the impacts of isolation and a lack of social contact are challenging, he’s doing his best to stay in touch with people through virtual platforms and is supporting local restaurants with take-out orders.
The councilmembers have been virtually attending city council meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay home, stay healthy mandate, banning all types of gatherings. Hurst says that his role in addressing the COVID-19 impacts on the city and its residents is of top priority.
The COVID-19 induced economic impacts experienced by city households and businesses are close to home, says Hurst.
“I can sympathize with people because our family’s been hit pretty hard by COVID.”
He explains that his day job’s company, outside of his position on the city council, has furloughed some employees and implemented a 20% pay cut for the remaining staff. Two of his adult children are now on unemployment benefits, while another one has had their work hours reduced.
The first-hand experience of COVID-19’s financial impacts has influenced Hurst’s opinions on how the city should mitigate the economic consequences and support community members.
“I’m sympathetic about what’s going on out there,” repeated Hurst. “That’s why I’ve been trying to make an effort for the council to create an emergency community fund that would provide some resources to our folks, but I can’t seem to get traction from the council on that yet.”
To learn more about the Lynnwood City Council’s discussion about a city-sponsored community relief fund, visit https://lynnwoodtimes.com/2020/04/28/city-council-split-on-city-sponsored-relief-fund/