March 26, 2020
I hope that everyone one of you and your families are safe and healthy. Like many of you, I am at home with my family and keeping up my family, social and work connections and obligations via phone calls, texts, emails, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Go to Meetings, and Zoom. I am focused on complying with Governor Newsom’s stay at home order, as well as physical distance and hygiene requirements established by the CDC and the County of San Diego. Beyond that, my first objective is to help guide our city and residents through this tough time, followed by basic things like getting groceries and going to the pharmacy.
The more that we practice physical distancing and comply with State of California and County of San Diego requirements for staying home, the better our chances of successfully getting through this crisis. Each one of us has a critical role to play in making sure we prevent others from becoming ill with COVID-19. But this has been a tough time for everyone. Many residents have lost their jobs and our business community has been hit hard by this crisis. I know a number of colleagues who have gotten ill from COVID-19, including three who have been hospitalized. A colleague from Mexico who has been a big help in addressing the sewage crisis, informed me that one of his extended family members recently passed away from COVID-19. That is why complying with the stay at home order as well as physical distancing is so critical at this time, as well as addressing how we can assist those who have been impacted economically and need help with basic needs such as obtaining food and medical attention.
The most important task for the City of Imperial Beach and me and my city council colleagues is to make sure that everyone our little beach town is safe and healthy. It is also important to state that for City of Imperial Beach every resident of our city matters equally from our most recent newborns to our most senior residents, and everyone in between. That is why we are focused on working with public health and medical professionals, Sheriff’s, Fire and Lifeguard Departments, Public Works, as well as allied public safety agencies to continue to keep Imperial Beach residents healthy and safe. That is why it is also so critical to continue to report crime to the Sheriff’s as well as report graffiti to the City of Imperial Beach Graffiti Hotline at 619-210- 1644.
To be able to address this crisis and respond to the humanitarian and economic crisis that is unfolding from this slow rolling disaster, we have established the Mayor’s Task Force on COVID- 19. The Task Force includes every city council member, key city staff as well as local stakeholders from the medical and public health fields, public safety agencies, business and workforce community, and civic organizations. The Task Force will focus on five key areas and has five sub-committees each managed by a member of the City Council. These include the following: Public Health (myself); Public Safety (Councilmember Robert Patton); High Risk Populations (Mayor Pro Tempore Paloma Aguirre); Business/Workforce (Councilmember Mark West); and Preparation and Recovery (Councilmember Ed Spriggs). I would like to thank the local residents who have agreed to serve on this committee. If you are interested in serving on a Task Force Sub-Committee or volunteering to those in need in Imperial Beach please email, Mayorstaskforce@imperialbeachca.gov.
On Wednesday, March 25, the City of Imperial Beach held a virtual city council meeting. To be able to tune in and learn how to provide public comments for future meetings please go to imperialbeachca.gov/council_meetings. I would also like to take this time to thank our city council members, Mayor Pro Tempore Paloma Aguirre, Robert Patton, Ed Spriggs and Mark West along with City Manager Andy Hall and Assistant City Manager Erika Cortez, for their strong leadership since the very beginning of this crisis. I would also like to thank all of the city staff who have kept our city running, along with our Sheriff’s, grocery store workers, medical professionals, educators (special shout-out to our Sweetwater and South Bay Union School Districts for feeding our kids each days and teachers who will be educating our children virtually), military personnel, utility workers, postal workers, farmers, and everyone who is out there serving the public during these challenging times. We appreciate and value your service and sacrifice more than ever.
It is clearer than ever that our friendly little beach town is #IBstrong and that by working together as one team for each and every one of our residents, we will get through this.