Previous Messages From the Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - May 11, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. The two questions I hear most now are “Are you thinking about how to re-open the Town?” and “When will that happen?”

Because it’s always best to start with good news, the answer to the first question is an emphatic “yes.” Even before Governor Newsom loosened restrictions on some businesses and outdoor activities last week, Town Staff and I were meeting to brainstorm about how and when different activities could begin, and what those activities might look like. As always, we have the advantage of our enormously creative and enthusiastic community. Ideas have been offered ranging from outdoor dining options to ways to recognize all of our graduates who are missing traditional ceremonies this year. We are considering all of them, and welcome any others you may want to share. More formally, the Town Manager and I will be joining a County-wide Economic Recovery Task Force, and I will be participating in a “Mayors Council” to provide input, along with other regional leaders, in developing a path toward “Silicon Valley Recovery.”

But now I must share the bad news. In answer to the question “when will it happen?” We have a ways to go. When the State eased restrictions last week, some Counties jumped in to open, but we did not. Why? Because Santa Clara County could not meet all of the State’s pre-requisites to moving to “Stage 2.” While it is true that COVID-19 hospitalizations are down, and there is “surge capacity” in the healthcare system, the Governor’s Order requires, among other benchmarks, that the County must attest that in the 14 days prior to declaring itself ready to open, that there has been only 1 new COVID-19 case per 10,000 population, and there have been no new deaths. As of May 10, Santa Clara County Health reported 32 new cases and one new death – we’re not there yet. Though there are signs of progress, unfortunately it will be extremely difficult for Santa Clara County, and therefore the Town, to clear the hurdles that still stand in the way of any significant easing of the SIP Order.

What can we do then to get over these last hurdles?  Continue to support and protect the most vulnerable among us by social distancing and following other health guidelines; continue to check the Town’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for opportunities to donate time, support, or skills to the effort; and above all, continue to find that extra little bit of patience that is so sorely needed right now to get us through to the end. Los Gatos is looking forward to recovery, and we need everyone’s help to get there.

As always, thank you for all you are doing and continuing to do support each other.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - May 4, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. On March 17th, Santa Clara County Public Health issued its first Shelter in Place Order. On March 30th, it was extended through May 4, and on April 28th, it was extended yet again through May 31st. We are all understandably frustrated. The question is what must we do to re-open safely, and how can we get it done? County Health Officers have identified 5 “Indicators” that need to be in place before any type of recovery can begin. These are:

  • The total number of COVID-19 cases identified per day is flat or decreasing
  • There is sufficient Hospital capacity to assure that 50% of beds remain available to non-COVID-19 patients
  • A sufficient number of tests are performed each day
  • Contact Tracing is in place
  • There is a 30-day supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for healthcare workers

These “Indicators” raise obvious questions: how long does the curve have to remain flat? What is a “sufficient” number of tests? Where can we obtain needed PPEs? All 15 Santa Clara County Mayors had the same questions, and on April 29th, signed a letter to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors asking for clear answers regarding testing and timelines, and offering their help in doing what needs to be done to move us forward. No one wants to end May in the same place where we began. The Mayors asked the County to:

  • Identify a clear threshold for testing frequency that is sufficient to allow re-opening
  • Provide a comprehensive list of testing sites available to residents; and
  • Describe a plan for Contact Tracing and how each city can assist in staffing a data collection operation

In response, County Officials convened a Zoom meeting with Mayors this past Friday, where some preliminary information was shared, along with notice that the County anticipated reviewing a Comprehensive Plan designed to achieve the prerequisites to recovery at its meeting tomorrow, May 5th.  When that Plan is in place, the Town of Los Gatos stands ready to do everything it can to assure its success.

We are all tired. The physical, mental, social, and economic stress of the continued SIP is taking a toll on all of us. Still, it is important to remember that ultimately, the goal of the Order is to protect the health and well-being of everyone in the community, particularly those most vulnerable among us. So, let’s hang in there just a little longer, knowing that efforts are being made every day which will allow the Town to reopen in a way that is safe for all of us.

As always, thank you for supporting each other through this difficult time.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

 A Message from the Mayor - April 27, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. Today marks the 8th week that I am sitting down at my computer on a Monday morning to write to you. Like all of you, I was hoping it would be the last. Twice a week, I am fortunate enough to participate in calls with Dr. Sara Cody and other Santa Clara County Health experts, and during each call, I lean in to hear the magic words “It’s over.” But we are not there yet. The most vulnerable among us are still at risk of infection, and we owe it to them and to ourselves not to squander all of the progress we’ve made in keeping each other safe.

Still, it is not lost on County Health officials that patience is wearing thin, and some modifications to the Order due to expire on May 3rd will likely be made. Before any changes can occur however, several things need to be in place; including widespread testing, the ability to perform “contact tracing,” and the ability to insure that “social distancing” can continue once things do begin to open. Progress is being made toward each of these goals, but there is still work to be done. When any changes come, we can anticipate that they will be small, incremental, and carefully targeted to the priorities of public health, safety, and welfare. That said, the Town is cautiously beginning to think about how recovery might look if and when we get – maybe not the green, but at least the yellow light - to start the process.

It is a lot to ask, I know, for your continued patience. But I have watched all of you come together to support each other, to be creative and innovative in carving out a “new normal,” to be resilient, to be diligent in staying informed, and to be continually responsible and responsive in adhering to the best practices available which will allow us to come out safe and healthy on the other side. This is an extraordinary community, and each day I feel more privileged and honored to be a part of it. I know that we can do this just a little longer - by doing it together.

Keep up the great work, Los Gatos. And thank you.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - April 20, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. At this point, we all know what to do, and more significantly, we all know why it is so important. The question is “how do we keep doing it?” One step at a time, one day at a time. We are all tired, and as each day goes by another important milestone is missed, tempting us to push for a return to normalcy even though the data to support such a move is not yet in place. We have simply worked too hard to give up any of the progress we have made, or to once again put the most vulnerable among us at risk.

Still, there are signs that the virus is slowing its spread, giving us time to reassess and to think about how current restrictions might change. The trick, as with most things, is to find the right balance. As we have from the beginning, Los Gatos will continue to closely follow the advice and guidance of County Health experts in looking for a path forward – walking it carefully with an eye toward what has to be the top priority for us all – keeping everyone in our community safe and healthy.

Thank you for standing together, Los Gatos. Be well.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - April 13, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. This is working. Though fragile, there are signs that all of our efforts to contain the Coronovirus are beginning to flatten the curve. While new cases are still appearing, County Health experts are hopeful that we will reach a peak this week. Still, it is not yet time to let down our guard. Now, more than ever, we need to keep up - and even ramp up - our efforts to do what we can to slow the spread. I know that it is a difficult thing to ask as the sun comes out and beckons us outdoors, but we are a team Los Gatos, and we owe it to the entire team to keep this going – for our vulnerable population, for our healthcare workers, for ourselves, and for those struggling in a stagnant economy. Let’s dig just a little deeper to find new ways to connect with and support each other.

Soon, I hope to be able to write a message simply thanking everyone in Town for all of their efforts over this difficult time, and more importantly, congratulating them on the success of those efforts. We can do this Los Gatos, and we will do it together.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - April 6, 2020

Good morning Los Gatos. As we enter yet another week of Shelter in Place – one that many of us hoped would mark the end of isolation – we are instead confronted with the reality of a relentlessly persistent pandemic. The protective actions being requested of us at this point seem, if anything, more demanding than ever before. All the more reason to remember exactly why, and for whom, we are doing what we are – for our loved ones, for ourselves, for the most vulnerable among us, and most importantly now, for those healthcare professionals who fight for us all by fighting the virus. As they work tirelessly day in and day out, let’s take our hats off to them by putting our masks on. This small gesture can make a big difference. So get out your best bandana, an old ski mask, or a spare piece of fabric you didn’t know you had lying around, and tie it on. By supporting others in this and other ways, we can find the hope and inspiration it will take to continue to do what we can to slow the virus’s spread and save lives.

We can do this Los Gatos. Our town is unique in so many ways, and now we can be unique through our leadership, our creativity in finding ways to help others, and in our resolve to see this through.

Once again, thank you for everything each of you is doing every day to keep us all safe and healthy.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - April 1, 2020

Good Morning Los Gatos. This is hard. As we enter the 3rd week of Shelter in Place, each of us is facing the strain that comes with the loss of contact with our friends and family, with our daily routines, and even with the luxury of having options to choose how to spend our days. But Los Gatos is a resilient and adaptive community. Everywhere, our neighbors are creating new ways to interact. Whether it be a virtual cocktail party, online gym classes, or taking advantage of fun and educational online programs offered by our schools and library, we are staying connected. And together we are doing everything we can to slow, and hopefully to eventually stop the spread of COVID-19.

Yesterday, under the leadership of Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County issued a new Shelter in Place order that extends to May 3, 2020. The modified Order was put in place in order to “slow the rate of spread, prevent deaths, and stop the health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Dr. Cody. “If we stay the course, we will save lives.”

So let’s keep it going Los Gatos. At the other end, we’ll come out better and more united than ever before. Thank you for all you are doing every day to keep everyone safe and healthy.

It takes a Town.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - March 23, 2020

Thank you Los Gatos.  All of you have stepped up in so many different ways to help the most vulnerable among us. Whether it is delivering a meal to those who need it, contributing to a Go Fund Me page for workers now without a paycheck, or simply providing support and encouragement in a difficult time, Los Gatos residents have been there for each other. If you’re looking for an opportunity to chip in, please check the Town’s dedicated COVID-19 page for a list of organizations that need your support.

And remember, as we begin the second week in a new world of sheltering at home and social distancing, it is more important than ever to follow the County Health Guidelines. In spite of our efforts thus far, confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to go up. Please do everything you can to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is hard to be without our friends and routines - and increasingly social get-togethers, a group run or bike ride, or even that trip to the salon - start to seem more and more “essential.” It isn’t easy, but continuing to maintain safe distances is critically important in helping to slow the virus’s spread so that our hospitals and healthcare workers have the capacity to provide care for those who need it most. If you have a question about what you can and can’t do, please check the County Health FAQs where you can submit your own questions and find the answers you need.

Let’s continue to support each other so we can all stay healthy.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - March 19, 2020

When I became Mayor in November and challenged everyone to "come together to work for the good of the Town as a whole," I had no idea how important that message would become.  As we work through the COVID-19 crisis together, there is no longer any need to issue a challenge.  Instead, there are two simple things we need to do. 

First, remember that we are all facing the same challenges and are all reeling from the disruption to our everyday routines.  Be patient.  Be kind.  Remember that a virus does not pick and choose where it begins or who it impacts, and please follow the County Health guidelines, as they are meant to protect us all.

Second, stay informed.  So many of you have asked "What can I do to help?" or "Where can I find help for others?"  Please visit the Town’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage to find a list of resources and opportunities where you can make a real difference as we all work to stay safe and healthy by putting Community First.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor

A Message from the Mayor - March 17, 2020

We are in the midst of some very trying times. Today, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued an Order requiring all County residents to “shelter at their place of residence” starting at midnight tonight through midnight April 7th.  From the beginning, Town government and Staff has been working very hard to make sure we all stay well. This has meant closing down some valued events and facilities, and more closures will come in the next few days. While these changes in Town services and in the everyday activities and familiar routines we all value will require difficult adjustments, I urge everyone to keep in mind the reason for the restrictions – to stem the spread of the virus at a critical period, and to keep the most vulnerable among us healthy and safe.

For a complete listing of restrictions and exemptions, please read the "Shelter in Place Order" FAQ from County Public Health.

Marcia Jensen
Los Gatos Mayor