|March 19, 2020
As many of you now know, the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic and associated mandates from Federal, State, and County Health Officials are severely impacting the way we deliver normal public services and programs to our residents, businesses, partners and stakeholders. After much deliberation with our City Council and the City’s Executive Team including input from our dedicated city employees on how to best meet the rapidly changing circumstances and enacted mandates, coupled with how dangerous and quickly progressing this pandemic is moving, we deemed it critical to temporarily close the City Hall service counter to the public, while continuing to provide internal city services. This move was necessary to allow for city staff to adjust to the new mandates, by organizing external and internal processes that ensured the safety of the public and city staff, while providing for essential staff training, and to develop required strategies to continue uninterrupted service delivery. Shortly, we will begin rolling-out alternative service delivery models heavily predicated on safety. With limited one-on-one personal interactions, and practicing deep social distancing requirements, we aim to stem the life-threatening outbreak of COVID-19. This alternative service model will be much like a “Virtual City Hall,” and will integrate the advantages of new technology coupled with widely used multi-media and communication mediums, such as enhanced telephone, email, social media and an interactive city-web page. We ask for your continued patience and understanding, and look towards our roll-out of these additional services, as they become available.
Furthermore, on March 18, 2020, the City Council proclaimed a State of Emergency in our city due to the existence of the life threatening virus, COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Although at this point, we are not aware of any cases in the city, but it is now prevalent in Western Riverside County. We need now more than ever to elevate our local awareness and prepare ourselves to rapidly respond to this encroaching world-wide pandemic. The declaration of a State of Emergency allows the city to respond to an array of emergency issues, as a way to address the needs of our community, while also ensuring their safety and health remain our top priorities in protecting our citizens. In addition, this declaration will allow us to be eligible for critical assistance as it relates to federal and state emergency funding opportunities. The city has already taken several necessary steps to protect our citizens by implementing mandates to postpone/cancel public events, classes, programs and activities, which discourage social gatherings, encourages social distancing and disseminates vital information. The city is committed to interconnecting necessary information, programs and resources that assist our businesses and residents during this very difficult time, as this proclamation is a stop-gap with ensuring that Menifee stays strong during this crisis.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage you to be responsible, compassionate and be ready to help in doing your part to fight this pandemic. While appropriate authorities work towards a vaccine, all of us possess the right antidote, which is prevention. This is based on awareness, proper hygiene, and social distancing.