In a decisive and timely move during an emergency special session Saturday night, the Kirkland city council voted unanimously to pass Ordinance 4188, which prohibits any further layoffs at any company within the city limits.
“As the economic crisis continues deepen, Kirkland simply cannot afford to be marred by the destructive connotations associated with layoffs,” said Kirkland Mayor James Lauinger in a prepared statement.
“As the eastside’s premier metropolis, we have a carefully-crafted sought-after upscale image to maintain,” said Mayor Lauinger. “People who work and play in Kirkland do so because of the uniquely sheltered standard of living that Kirkland provides.”
According to Mayor Lauinger, the mounting problem of layoffs has done too much to tarnish Kirkland’s near-utopian lifestyle, and therefore must be stopped at all costs.
In addition to prohibiting layoffs, the ordinance also forbids any company in Kirkland from experiencing any additional declines in revenue or profit. Companies are also barred from bankruptcy.
“We also tossed a provision in there that disallows businesses from relocating out of Kirkland,” said Councilmember Jessica Greenway, “but frankly, with such pro-business measures in place, we’re more likely to face a problem with too many businesses relocating to Kirkland.”
City Manager Dave Ramsay also wholeheartedly supports the new ordinance, saying that it “will bring Kirkland the hollow appearance of economic stability that we so desperately need in order to attract the vacuous overindulgent consumers that our city thrives on.”
Councilmembers of neighboring Redmond and Bellevue were quick to respond to Kirkland’s actions, calling special sessions to swiftly move through similar legislation of their own.
Recent economic studies show that the pool of upper middle class consumers whose self-worth is tied to their zip code has shrunk by as much as seven percent in the last five years, leading to increased competition among cities hoping to attract them and their sweet, sweet tax dollars.
Kirkland’s layoff prohibition will likely give it at least a temporary leg up on its neighboring cities, but in if city officials want to keep the upper hand, it is clear that they will have to think on their feet.
“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to legislate away the economic downturn at the local level,” said Mayor Lauinger. “Whatever. It. Takes.”