LETTER. Dear Half Moon Bay Community,
I thought this was a good time to check in with everyone, and let you know what’s been going on at the City. As you know, things are changing daily – and I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I truly appreciate the effort each of you is putting in to support one another, stay home, and keep each other safe.
Before we get into some City updates, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be conducting virtual office hours this week using Zoom. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, or just chat. I’ll be available this Thursday, April 2, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We’ll be scheduling five-minute slots. If you’d like to participate, please contact Jessica Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get you scheduled.
As Mayor, my priorities for the next few weeks continue to be:
- Proactive and regular communication with the community.
- Moratorium on evictions for small business owners – this is being discussed at the County level.
- Encourage all residents to participate in the 2020 census – Census Day is April 1! Be counted by filling out the 2020 census. The deadline for completing your Census has been extended to August 14. #TogetherWeCount
- Continue to spread the word about resources that can help with your health and wellness, education and life-long learning, families, and small businesses.
- Virtual Office Hours starting this Thursday.
Parks Closure Information:
As you’re likely aware, the City closed all City-owned beach parking lots in conjunction with the State of California closing parking lots of State parks, and San Mateo County closing County parks. These actions were taken in response to the influx of crowds we saw on the coast recently, despite the social-distancing advisories. Our outdoor amenities are certainly well-loved, but we must all do our part to mitigate the spread of this virus. Do get outside for some fresh air – be it a walk or bike ride along the coastal trail, or within your own neighborhoods. But be certain to practice physical distancing when out and avoid areas where you see other people gathering.
The Santa Mateo County Shelter-In-Place Order has been extended through May 3. While not unexpected, this is important information as we plan ahead. The Governor’s Order does not currently have an end date. City facilities remain closed, and programming and events are canceled as we’ve previously let you know. Staff is working remotely but is available to answer your questions or help out in other ways, so please feel free to reach out.
Updated guidelines of the Order are as follows:
- Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited. These areas must be closed to public use.
- Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited. These facilities must be closed for recreational use.
- Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment must be limited to people in the same household.
- Requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3.
- Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response; affordable housing, including developments with at least 10% income-restricted units; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency; shelters and temporary housing; projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals; construction necessary to secure an existing construction site; and limited essential residential or business repairs. Staff is reaching out to local contractors.
- Funerals limited to no more than 10 people attending.
- Essential businesses expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, Realtors, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities.
- Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only.
To read the Order in its entirety, please visit www.hmbcity.com/covid19.
Many of you are aware of the City’s COVID-19 Daily Updates (www.hmbcity.com/
covid19dailyupdates), where we post a relevant item concerning the pandemic. Of course, anything of urgency will be communicated through our eNews and social media as well – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor. And if you have not yet heard, we launched the #WaveofStrength campaign to show support for the community and everyone involved in the COVID-19 response. Consider placing a blue ribbon on your door, trees, fences, etc., as a show of support, unity, and gratitude to first responders, healthcare workers, teachers, public safety, retail and restaurant industry workers, utility workers, volunteers, nonprofits, and all in the community who have come together to support each other.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors this week approved $3 million to seed a fund called San Mateo County Strong to support residents, nonprofit organizations and small businesses through this crisis. The fund will be used to help cover basic household expenses for residents, help local businesses avoid layoffs and stay open, and support nonprofit organizations that take care of our most vulnerable populations. If you are interested in donating to this fund or applying for economic help from this fund, visit their site for the latest updates. San Mateo County has also approved a resolution establishing a temporary, countywide eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent by residential tenants whose ability to pay has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For our local businesses, there are several resources available to assist, including the following:
- Small Business Association (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (Federal);
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development programs (State);
- General Resources and Business Resources (Local) for economic relief identified by San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA); and,
- San Mateo County Strong, a San Mateo County initiative in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which will support directed donations to specifically benefit San Mateo County residents, small businesses and non-profit organizations.
The City Council and City staff are gathering new information daily and relaying it to the community as appropriate. There are a variety of daily briefing calls that councilmembers and staff participate in. Again, if you have any specific questions, let us know and if we don’t have the answers, we will connect with people at the County or State level that do.
Message for Our Youth:
As a father of young boys, I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to the children on the Coastside as well. To all the kids out there: I know that everything has changed. You’re not seeing your friends, you’re not going to school, family vacations have been canceled. There has been a lot of change very quickly. Please know that your cooperation and involvement during this time is just as important as what the adults are doing. We all need to stay home and do our part to protect our parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, nurses, and everyone else involved. You guys are helping a lot by staying home, and I appreciate and thank each of you for doing your part! Thank you for helping your parents work from home, for sacrificing your usual day, for doing math class around the kitchen table, and for trusting in science. We’re in this fight together!
I appreciate everyone who has been following the shelter-at-home and social distancing orders – you’re really doing your part to help our entire community. I remain fully confident that we have what it takes to endure this crisis and thrive when it’s over. As always, feel free to email me with any comments or concerns.
Together in partnership,