MILL CREEK, Wash., September 30, 2021 – Following an emotionally fueled discussion, Councilman Vincent Cavaleri’s resolution to prohibit mandatory vaccination for the City of Mill Creek employees ultimately did not pass at Tuesday’s city council meeting on September 28.
To view the resolution in its entirety, click here.
“Every employee has the right to come to work and feel safe. Every employee has the right to come to a job where uncertainty whether he’s going to have one or not is not dependent on who his bosses are. This resolution is not about the merits of COVID vaccines. This resolution is not about COVID vaccines being good or bad, right or wrong, you should or you shouldn’t – that’s a personal choice. This is about those in the workplace that are asking to be protected,” Cavaleri began before the vote.
Mayor Pro Tem Stephanie Vignal shared that businesses currently are doing everything possible to keep both their employees and patrons safe.
“It is extremely frustrating that we are sitting here and comparing this to what the German government did….Our businesses are doing whatever they can to stay open. They are required to protect their employees and required to protect the people coming in to purchase their goods….I cannot be in favor of this,” Vignal said.
Adam Morgan, following Vignal’s response, asked City Attorney Grant Degginger to clarify whether the resolution applied to local businesses. Degginger answered Morgan’s question by stating as worded, it applies only to City employees and not local businesses.
Councilmembers Mike Bond and John Steckler advocated for the right of personal choice but ultimately voted no.
“I am in favor of people getting information, working with their professionals, and making a decision that’s right for them. I would never be in favor if we had the authority of directing our city leadership to terminate employment of those opting out getting the vaccine,” councilmember Bond said.
“There is no doubt that this is an emotionally charged issue, and it’s also a personal issue. . . .I think we need to respect people’s decisions, [but] I am not in support,” John Steckler said.
Mayor Brian Holtzclaw, before moving to a vote from council, dismissed Cavaleri’s resolution, adding that there is no existing policy in Mill Creek code that requires vaccines or vaccine passports for city employees, and therefore the resolution, at large, would not have any effect.
“I think this resolution has lots of problems…I’m not going to support this,” Mayor Holtzclaw said.
Cavaleri motioned to approve the resolution, seconded by Adam Morgan, and failed 1-6 with Cavaleri being the only vote in favor.
Other matters discussed
- American Rescue Plan Act funding
- Interlocal agreement with Everett School District
- Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Mill Creek and the Mill Creek Police Department Officers Guild