Carlsbad, CA — Last night we held another virtual City Council meeting. This is our third one now, and it gets a little smoother each time. I know some people worry about government transparency during the COVID-19 emergency. I want you to know that even though we all have to be in different locations at the moment, you can still watch and comment. Our current set up lets you email your comments to our city clerk in advance and all the way up to when each agenda item starts. You can watch on the city’s cable channel and website, and we’ve even started to livestream all of our boards and commission meetings. If you are looking for some “fresh content,” this is a great way to learn more about how your local government works. Get more information on our boards and commissions webpage.
Election resultsLast night we had another first, a virtual swearing in ceremony for Council Member Cori Schumacher, who was officially declared the winner of our March 3 District 1 special election. The County of San Diego Registrar of Voters was given extra time by the state to certify the election because of the COVID-19 emergency. But, as it turns out, they were able to meet the original deadline. I know it wasn’t easy, and it’s another example of local government employees keeping things running in very challenging circumstances.
So, we may now officially welcome our new District 1 City Council Member Cori Schumacher. Council Member Schumacher’s former at-large City Council seat is one of two seats up for election in November, as we complete our transition to electing City Council members by geographic district. More information about district elections is available on our website. Get more details on the election results here.
Commercial eviction relief Following suit with the statewide moratorium on residential evictions, the Carlsbad City Council has temporarily suspended evictions of commercial tenants who can’t pay rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. There are a number of conditions, and this action doesn’t eliminate the obligation to pay back rent. It is meant to provide immediate relief to those whose businesses have suffered due to COVID-19. You can get all the details on our website.
Also last night, the City Council formed an ad hoc committee on economic revitalization. Mayor Matt Hall and Council Member Priya Bhat-Patel will lead the effort to develop potential strategies and economic revitalization measures, which will then be brought back to the full City Council for action. Expect to see an update on these efforts very soon.
Loans and other help The state and federal governments have made an unprecedented amount of support available to residents and businesses, including employees who have been laid off. We have links to information on a dedicated page on the city’s website, but it can be a little overwhelming. The county’s 2-1-1 service could help you figure out which ones are best for your situation. Just call 2-1-1 to talk to a representative.
Utility billing update To help provide some immediate relief to those who need it, we will not be charging late fees for nonpayment of utility bills through May 31. We also won’t discontinue water service for anyone during this time for nonpayment. Please note that we have temporarily suspended water bill mailings for the month of April. Your next bill will come in May and include charges for both April and May. If you would like to pay your utility bill for the month of April, you can online through the city’s new online bill payment website. Just register for a new account to pay your bill online. If you’ve already signed up and are on autopay, that payment will go through as planned. Speaking of water, don’t forget to turn off your sprinklers and let the rain do the watering this week.
Latest numbers Sadly, yesterday we saw 31 deaths reported in San Diego County, the highest number of reported deaths in one day since the COVID-19 emergency started. Even though we keep being told to expect these numbers to increase, it doesn’t make it any less tragic – to those they are leaving behind and to our entire San Diego community. Here in Carlsbad, there are 42 confirmed cases. Countywide, there are now 1,454 cases. The county announced it will start providing recovery numbers, but emphasized that these will just be an estimate. Here are the current details:
- State dashboard of statewide data
- County breakdown by age, gender, need for hospitalization
- Bar chart showing changes in number of cases over time
- Cases by city, ZIP code and a map
- Detailed look at cases requiring hospitalization
- Summary of cases by race/ethnicity
Library resourcesLooking for something for you or the kids to do while staying at home? Our library has a great variety of online resources that all ages can enjoy. Here are a few current favorites:
- Spring into Reading – A reading program for all ages. Set up a free account, log your minutes spent reading and earn a special reading reward after reading six hours.
- Youth and family resources – A page of resources to keep children, teens and families engaged during school closures
- Reading recommendations for adults
- Videos of previous Library & Cultural Arts Department concerts and author talks
- Genealogy online resources available from home
Face covering volunteer effortThanks to everyone who has volunteered to make face coverings, donate fabric or both! It’s not too late to get involved in Sew2Care (this is what we have decided to call it). If you’ve already contacted us, check your email today for details on next steps. Stay informedEnding with my usual plug – we are keeping our website and social media up to date seven days a week with new developments. Please follow along and encourage your friends and neighbors do the same. Here are those links:
Please stay safe, stay home and continue to #Care4Carlsbad.
Scott Chadwick, City Manager