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City Manager Weekly Blog Series: February 28, 2022

Learn about City of Palo Alto updates and news.

Each Council meeting, City Manager Ed Shikada provides “City Manager Comments” sharing recent City news, and updates for the community to stay informed on important issues. This blog series summarizes these weekly updates.

You can also watch the City Manager share this week’s updates and news at the February 28, 2022 Council meeting.

Timestamped City Council Video: City Council Meeting — February 28, 2022

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE

County Removes Mask Mandate This Week

On March 1, the County announced that all masking metrics were met and that starting March 2, indoor masking will no longer be required. The Public Health Department and California Department of Public Health strongly recommends that the public continue to wear a mask in public spaces. The California Department of Public Health continues to require masking in higher-risk settings such as public transit, healthcare facilities, shelters, jails, and long-term care facilities. The State’s requirements for masking in school settings is set to end March 11 and the County will be in line with state requirements and guidelines. However, it will be strongly recommended for those in schools to continue masking to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Wearing a mask helps protect yourself and others, especially community members who are more vulnerable and at risk of serious illness. Please consider others in your choice to wear a mask.

For information on the State’s requirements, go here.

Read the full press release from the County here.

For the City’s news story on this announcement, go here.

In-Person and Virtual City Council, Council Committees, and Board, Commission and Committee Meetings Begin March 1

City Council Committees, Boards, and Commissions will return to a hybrid — in-person and virtual — meeting format. Community members who wish to participate in person must provide vaccination proof or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours, always wear a mask, and maintain social distance. If you cannot or do not wish to comply with these requirements, you may participate virtually. City Hall HVAC system operations have been enhanced in alignment with CDC recommendations, and supplemental HEPA filtration will be provided in the Council Chambers to improve indoor air quality. City Council meetings have taken place with a hybrid format since Feb. 14.

Learn more about the Hybrid Meeting COVID-19 Safety Requirements.

Reminder: Free Community COVID-19 Testing

The City of Palo Alto and Curative are partnering together to continue offering increased testing options for the community. A new Curative testing Kiosk at Mitchell Park located at 600 E Meadow Dr. is available Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our test site with the County as a partner continues at the Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium on March 11 and 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Santa Clara County provides free testing by appointment only twice a month. Testing appointments will be available 7 days in advance of the testing dates.

Find testing location options and appointments at www.cityofpaloalto.org/testing.

UKRAINIAN EMERGENCY CHILDREN’S RELIEF FUND

Neighbors Abroad, the City’s non-profit partner for City-to-City relationships around the world, is sharing information on ways to support Ukraine through a new fundraising campaign.

Russia’s invasion and the current conflict has brought great hardship to Ukraine, and in particular orphans and homeless children. There will be a shortage of food and basic supplies. It is still very cold in Ukraine and the need for warm clothing and shelter is increasing.

Any donation given through the Neighbors Abroad 501(c)(3) will go in full to children to support basic needs like food and clothing.

Donate at bit.ly/UkraineChildrensReliefFund.

In addition, City Hall is now lit up to represent the Ukraine flag colors blue and yellow, in support of Ukraine.

RECENT HATE INCIDENT/RACE AND EQUITY PROGRESS

Last week, the Police Department confirmed that a hate incident occurred when dozens of flyers were found in several Palo Alto neighborhoods. A statement by the Mayor and Police Department was released that both denounced the hate incidents and noted calls for a community response that reinforces kindness and belonging.

The hate incidents also reinforce the importance of the City’s race and equity priorities. Last week, a new blog was issued that shares progress on the City’s race and equity work, including sharing details about upcoming community events, recent police department initiatives, and details on how to report Hate Crimes/Incidents, and more.

Stay up to date on the City’s race and equity priorities at www.cityofpaloalto.org/raceandequity.

PALO ALTO FIBER BLOG SERIES

The City is in the process of assessing the feasibility to provide fiber internet services to residents and businesses via the Palo Alto Fiber project. Thank you to the over 75 community members who attended the recent community information session that shared information about the project and answered community questions.

In a new blog, learn about Palo Alto Fiber, receive answers to some common community questions, read about the benefits of the City providing local internet services, and gain a recap of a recent community meeting.

Read the blog here.

CITY MANAGER SEEKING COMMUNITY INPUT ON KEY SKILLS NEEDED FOR NEXT POLICE CHIEF

The City Manager launched a community engagement process to help inform the Police Chief selection process. Thank you in advance for your input. Join the conversation by sharing community priorities for the Police Department and key skills needed of the next Police Chief as the selection effort gets underway. Information shared will help inform the City Manager as he determines next steps.

Attend a virtual community listening session:

  • Human Relations Commission hosted session: March 10 at 6 p.m.
  • City Manager Hosted session: March 19 at 10 a.m.
  • City Manager Hosted session: March 31 at 5:30 p.m.

Share feedback online and register for a listening session at www.cityofpaloalto.org/policechiefselection.

REGISTER FOR SUMMER CAMPS

Over 2,600 kids are enrolled in Palo Alto summer camps already, and there is still space for more campers! Camp focus areas include nature and sports, STEM, cooking, science, arts, theatre, zoo animals, and dance.

Community Services staff will be at the Summer Camp Fair at Paly on Sunday, March 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to recruit for summer camp jobs, internships, and volunteer roles, and can assist anyone who still needs to register for summer camps.

Learn more at www.cityofpaloalto.org/SummerCamps.

SAVE THE DATE FOR ARBOR WEEK FESTIVITIES

Celebrate California Arbor Week with the Palo Alto Art Center and Canopy on Saturday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participate in tree walks at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. (meet in front of the Art Center) with arborists to explore the trees around the Rinconada campus, hear from Creative Attention artist Paz de la Calzada about the healing properties of trees and experience a tour of her installation in the Art Center’s Gallery inspired by El Palo Alto, learn more about and celebrate trees with hands-on art activities, Canopy’s Exploration Station, and a special “Stump an Arborist” booth, where you can ask your most challenging tree questions!

Details about this free event can be found here.

NOTABLE TENTATIVE UPCOMING COUNCIL ITEMS

March 7

  • Council/Utilities Advisory Commission Study Session on Sustainability Climate Action Plan
  • PRC recommendation on a new Community Gymnasium Project (from 1/31 CC meeting)

March 14

  • Semi-Annual Council Discussion with the Independent Police Auditor
  • Staff update and direction on Citywide community engagement efforts planned for the 2022 calendar year

March/April

  • Police Department Annual Update
  • 2023–31 Housing Element Update
  • Follow-up on actions related to SB9
  • Objective Standards Follow-up Actions

Find City Council meeting agendas, minutes, and videos at cityofpaloalto.org/councilagendas.

STAY INFORMED AND STAY CONNECTED, JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Read the City Manager Comments Blog Series at: Medium.com/paloaltoconnect

Gain Coronavirus Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/Coronavirus

Sign Up for City Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/newslettersignup

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City of Palo Alto

City of Palo Alto

Official communications from the City of Palo Alto. Connect about issues of interest to our community. Follow us on social media-www.cityofpaloalto.org/connect