Winlock formalized its critique of Gov. Jay Inslee this week, passing a proclamation detailing Mayor Brandon Svenson’s “sincere belief” that the Democratic governor requires a “professional medical intervention” for narcissistic personality disorder and is “undoubtedly unfit for office in his current mental status.”
The document — approved by all present city council members on Monday — resembles those recently passed in the town of Mossyrock, 30 minutes away. Those pandemic-era proclamations declared the city would “not recognize” COVID mandates imposed by the state and decried “vaccine segregation.”
But Winlock’s proclamation is more creative in its resistance to Inslee, listing symptoms of the personality disorder, including “inflated sense of self-importance, expecting special treatment, exaggerating achievements, reacting negatively to criticism.”
It goes on to say the city of about 1,800 “will not comply with any and all illegal and or unconstitutional mandates, orders or requirements.”
When asked about the proclamation, Inslee spokesman Mike Faulk said the people of Winlock “deserve better leadership.”
“This foolish and childlike behavior really speaks for itself. They wasted taxpayers’ time passing something that does not advance any ideas or solutions to the COVID crisis in our state or in their community,” he said in an email. “It’s even worse that they would trivialize people’s medical wellbeing in the middle of a deadly pandemic.”
While no council members voted against the resolution, one highlighted his own lack of medical expertise to diagnose someone with a personality disorder. To that, Svenson — who also lacks medical expertise, instead listing a background in construction and management during his 2019 campaign for city council — reminded his colleagues that the proclamation is a statement from the mayor, not the council.
Before reading it aloud, Svenson took aim at new vaccine requirements, which now extend to all state workers and contractors, health care and long-term care workers, and school staffers.
Recent mandates have been handed down amid Washington’s largest-ever COVID-19 spike that’s leaving hospitals stretched to their limits caring for COVID-19 patients, mostly unvaccinated. Inslee has paired new requirements with frustration that a portion of eligible Washingtonians — now about 25% — still haven’t gotten a shot.
The new proclamation is in line with previous efforts by Svenson, who has distinguished himself as a staunch conservative and earlier this year called the all-Republican Board of County Commissioners “RINOs.”
The mayor, who also serves as the chair of the Lewis County Republican Party, made waves this year in refusing to wear a mask to county meetings, in one instance forcing the cancelation of a meeting of local mayors and in another opting to protest outside instead of attending.
More recently, Svenson has waved anti-vaccine and anti-mask signs at local rallies.
Svenson did not immediately respond to The Chronicle’s requests for comment.
City proclamations against the state’s health measures and requirements haven’t held water or superseded state law, and new vaccine mandates are intended to be enforced by state officials and employers, not cities.