Message from the City Manager Santa Clarita – Ready and Resilient
As we move further into these unprecedented and uncharted times, I’ve had people ask how the City prepares for such occasions and how we ensure that Santa Clarita will be resilient. The City Council’s mantra has long been, “The decisions we make during the good times are more important than the decisions we make during the bad times.” This especially applies to our finances. Since our incorporation in 1987, the City of Santa Clarita has always maintained an on-time, balanced budget with reserves. Thanks to smart spending and conservative budgeting, our City will endure this crisis.
On March 13, the City Council declared a Local Emergency in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This local emergency declaration is a preparedness measure that allows our City to access resources and recover costs. In conjunction with this declaration, the City suspended all non-essential services.
As with many local organizations, the vast majority of our employees have been working remotely. We are looking toward the end of this crisis and eagerly anticipating the day when we can bring City services back to full force and have our City team back together at City Hall and our other City facilities.
Until we reach that point, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our employees performing essential City services during this trying time. We have our street crews out addressing potholes and making sure that our roads are safe to travel. Our graffiti workers are removing tags. Our City management staff is in the office (and more than six feet apart), taking calls from residents and answering the tough questions. Our planning and building and safety team is still processing permits and approving plans, so building and construction projects can continue to move forward. Our Santa Clarita Transit team is balancing the need of getting other essential employees to work with their own safety and reduction in ridership. Our parks crews are making sure that our 34 beautiful parks are still properly maintained, and our general services division is maintaining City facilities. Plus, additional behind the scenes staff are still handling the City’s finances, human resources, clerk duties and so much more.
I am proud of the high level of service our City staff is still able to provide to the community during this challenging time. I also would be remiss not to offer my thanks, and the thanks of the entire Santa Clarita community, to other frontline employees. The medical experts at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital are literally on the frontlines of this pandemic. As a City, we support and thank them for your life-saving work. I also want to thank our public safety personnel, our partners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and all the EMTs and paramedics who are responding to emergency situations. The other heroes of this pandemic are the grocery store workers and mail carriers who are making sure our community gets the food and supplies they need.
Thank you again to all the members of the community who are providing these essential services during these fearful times. We are a strong and united community that looks out for one another, and we will continue to do so until this threat has passed. Stay healthy and stay safe, Santa Clarita.
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