One of the most frequent questions I hear from our residents is “When are we going to open businesses again?” That is a good question, and a tough question because we all know that our residents need to work and earn a paycheck to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. This pandemic has caused economic shockwaves across the world, and Palmdale has not gone unaffected.
However, our community has risen up to the challenges we’ve been facing and I’m here to say that there is a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Because of your collective efforts in flattening the curve, by following the guidance on social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and by participating in the testing provided, our medical statistics are strong.
Then, by giving us your input through our business town hall meeting, we were able to draft a comprehensive plan that we submitted to Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office to help us safely and sensibly reopen our local businesses, houses of worship, parks and other amenities. Our Palmdale re-opening plan has been requested by communities throughout California. We’ve also been in collaboration with the cities of Santa Clarita and Lancaster to partner on a North County Coalition to make the case that we have a different set of circumstances facing us here than in the rest of LA County.
Finally, on short notice over Memorial Day weekend, we sent out a call to action to help Supervisor Barger advocate for us. We received over 20 letters of support from community leaders endorsing our actions, which were sent to the entire Board of Supervisors for their consideration.
Well, the good news from yesterday is that Supervisor Barger listened to our pleas and put forward a motion for the Board of Supervisors to apply for a variance with the State of California for the entire county.
It would allow Los Angeles County to advance further in Stage 2 and into Stage 3 of the State’s Roadmap to Recovery and align LA County with what other Counties are doing. This could mean the reopening of hair salons and barbershops, more retail shopping, and modified dining in at restaurants like they are already doing in neighboring Rosamond.
On top of that, yesterday the LA County Department of Public Health updated its local order that will allow faith based organizations to resume services at 25% capacity with a maximum 100 people; retail businesses to open at 50% capacity; flea markets, swap meets and drive in movies to reopen; and pools, hot tubs and saunas that are part of multi-unit residential properties can also open.
So, we’re hoping for more good news from the State in the form of an approval of the variance. We’ll keep you posted. We will continue to evaluate the health risks as we reopen and please know that we will put Palmdale in the best position to move forward.
And now, I’ll turn it over to Mayor Hofbauer and our City Council for a special message.
MAYOR HOFBAUER AND COUNCIL -
Thank you, JJ. We wanted to just take a minute to give some well-deserved recognition to someone who really went to bat for our community.
It is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge Supervisor Kathryn Barger for all her hard work on behalf of the City of Palmdale and our North County Coalition partners.
We’re very appreciative that you took the time to listen to our voices as we shared our concerns as well as our Community Renaissance Plan which outlines our path to reopening.
MAYOR PRO TEM LOA:
Your dedication to our community has been proven once again as we witnessed your leadership in getting this important action approved and on its way to Sacramento.
This is a vital step to ensure that our businesses will be able to safely reopen help us in our road to recovery.
On behalf of myself, the entire Palmdale City Council, City staff, and all our businesses and residents, please accept our sincere thanks for all that you and the entire Board have done on behalf of our community.
Thank you Supervisor Barger!
Thank you Mayor and Council. There is a lot of good news for sure, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We still need to be diligent and maintain our good practices of washing our hands, staying home if we’re sick, wearing our face coverings and keeping our social distancing.
To keep up to date on the latest information, be sure to follow us on Facebook at City of Palmdale-Government, and on our webpage, www.cityofpalmdale.org/coronavirus.
Thanks again for doing your part to keep Palmdale safe. We’re all in this together. Remember this, #PalmdaleCares about you!