April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Response Update

In Monday night’s telephonic City Council meeting, the City Manager presented to Council and the public the latest update on our ongoing response to COVID-19.  He highlighted the good work being done by the employees from various departments who fill particular roles in our emergency management structure, which are often different from their usual responsibilities.  Though COVID-19 is unique in a lot of ways, our experience in past emergencies is certainly helping us in this one.  I encourage you to listen to the complete recording of the presentation to learn more.

The City’s priorities in the response are focused on communication, keeping employees and the public safe, staying informed of decisions being made by others that impact us, and being prepared for an uncertain future.

The City Manager overviewed what we’re doing in order to continue providing essential city services—Police, Fire/EMS and Public Works—which cannot be performed remotely.  We’re placing primary emphasis on ensuring our first responders and others out in the field are equipped with the proper safety gear and are practicing social distancing while performing their jobs.  He also described how the administrative functions have adapted in getting things done with City Hall and other offices closed, and addressed the programming, mostly recreational, we’ve unfortunately had to suspend.

Much of staff’s attention is devoted to contingency planning for the remainder of this emergency, so we’ll be prepared should the situation worsen.  They’re also looking ahead to the next several months, reevaluating our fiscal forecast in light of possible impacts from COVID-19 and running different scenarios to inform Council’s decision making in the upcoming budget season.  We obviously don’t know how much longer this state of emergency will last, but we’ll be ready to resume normal city operations just as soon as it’s safe and appropriate to do so.

It’s clear from the presentation we’re in good hands, and well positioned to get through this crisis.  In the meantime, even with modified working arrangements the City is still open for business, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of service.  Thank you for your patience and understanding, and hats off to our emergency management team, and to all city employees, for all that they do.

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