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Bremerton Massage Ordinance - Part 2

4 Aug 2019 10:00 AM | Government Relations (Administrator)

WSMTA has emailed its proposal to the City of Bremerton City Council, City Attorney, Mayor and Chief of Police on Sunday August 4th.  To read WSMTA's proposal, click here.  

Last week we did a lot of research.  During the January 2019 WA State Board of Massage meeting, an assistant city attorney and a detective from the City of Kent had been invited to present to the Board of Massage what they did in November 2018 to shut down 18 suspected prostitution and human trafficking entities posing as massage clinics in their city and how they have continued to keep them out.  Fortunately, one of our members had been present at this Board of Massage meeting to hear their full presentation.   What Kent did and how it used it's ordinances became part of the basis for our proposal.  We contacted the City of Kent assistant city attorney who had presented to get more details and then contacted our advisor on prostitution and human trafficking, Lavon Watson, for information on other municipalities which had been successful at keeping out illegal massage businesses within their city limits.  We also researched a lot of municipal ordinances in western Washington.

As a result of our research, we decided to use the City of Bellevue ordinances as the model.  Boiling down the language, the ordinance is simple:  only licensed massage therapists can do massage in city limits and if the persons doing massage are not licensed massage therapists then that is a misdemeanor offence.  Business owners who employee non-licensed massage therapists also receive a misdemeanor and business licenses can then be revoked because of the misdemeanor.  We provided other supporting state regulations along with steps that the City of Kent had done to enforce its regulations and to work with the business community after these illegal businesses were shut down.

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