LETTER: May 26, 2020 – Letter from Mayor Adam Eisen:
Nothing has changed in regard to the County’s public health order since last week. The Governor has relaxed additional restrictions, however. Hair salons and barbers, religious services, in-store retail, and a few other sectors were given the green light – of course with modifications and protocols in place. San Mateo County, through its health officer, is one of 11 counties in the state (including most of the Bay Area) that has decided not to move forward with relaxing those additional restrictions at this time. There are key indicators and benchmarks in place to signal that we’re ready, and those have not yet been met. We’ll be sure to let you know once that changes.
This weekend was a tough one, wasn’t it? As much as we love living here in our own paradise, it often comes with a price, once summer hits. Add to that the current pandemic environment, and we see what we saw this weekend.
I want you to know that I share your frustration! I was out in the neighborhoods all three days – I rode my bike from Redondo to the end of Miramar and witnessed many of your complaints first-hand. I saw mounds of trash, people parked throughout neighborhoods, people using lawns as restrooms, walking through sensitive habitat, walking down the Poplar stairs that are under construction, eroding cliffs, creating new routes to the coast… the list goes on. I am committed to taking the appropriate steps to prevent the activities of last weekend from occurring in the future.
To that end, please know that staff has been working on a plan to reopen parking lots and restrooms along the coast, which should alleviate many of these problems. We were hoping to have this done prior to the holiday weekend, but with so many agencies involved with coastal access, it simply could not be accomplished that quickly. This critical issue continues to be our priority, and one that we are aggressively pursuing, with the goal of having things well in place prior to this weekend. We will send out a Special eNews later in the week once we know more.
Our #1 priority overall is to keep Coastside residents safe. The next priority is to help our local businesses sustain themselves as much as we possibly can. Our current environment is constantly changing, and with that, we must be flexible, pivot as needed, and adjust accordingly.
With all this said, I do want to take a moment to restate that we are all in this together. Let us be kind to one another and show some patience and grace as we try to navigate through the changes. We ask ourselves questions daily. After this weekend – how many people outside of the county are aware of our SIP order? How many understand it? What can we do to try and make the situation on the coast enjoyable for everyone? How can we help our local shopping centers, where increased takeout orders are causing an overflow of trash? I am sure each of you have asked yourselves questions as well.
We are monitoring, adjusting, and trying to move forward while taking all perspectives, opinions, and questions into account. There are a lot of moving parts. Please be patient with us as we continue to figure things out.
So far, the federal aid packages have overlooked cities of our size – we must be self-reliant moving forward. And in that light, we’re looking forward to having some productive discussions and roundtables with our residents and business owners on the local recovery and support needs that lie ahead. Stay tuned for information about how to get involved.
We appreciate your feedback as we continue to engage and update the community on Half Moon Bay’s local recovery needs.
I am pleased to report that our Sustainability Division has secured a 2020 Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant. The City of Half Moon Bay is being granted $10,000 to install cigarette butt recycling receptacles and some accompanying education on how to recycle and properly dispose of cigarette butts, 200 pocket ashtrays, and 200 portable auto ashtrays for distribution. Congrats to our sustainability team!
On Monday, June 1, CoastPride will conduct a variety of virtual activities commemorating Pride Month. For the first time, the rainbow flag will be hanging at City Hall for the entire month of June as a show of unity and support of LGBTQ individuals and families in our community. We’re happy to be a part of this celebration!