Author: Cindy Gustafson

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | August 3

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | August 3

IS THIS THE PEAK?
The six weeks between the beginning of July into early August are traditionally our busiest time of the year in Eastern Placer County and this year part-time residents and visitation numbers may even be higher. We may also experience these higher occupancy numbers for a longer period of time this year, given changes in school schedules and workplace telecommuting allowances due to COVID-19.

VIRUS SPREAD
Many people I hear from express their concerns that “outsiders” of any kind – part-time residents, overnight and day visitors – are exacerbating the spread of COVID-19 in our community.   Although we can contract the virus from any infected person we come into contact with, contact tracing efforts indicate that family gatherings of local residents remain the greatest source of transmission.   I urge you to review the reports that are published by Placer County, Nevada County and Tahoe Forest Hospital.  While the virus will continue to spread until we reach “herd immunity” through exposure and hopefully vaccination, our numbers in Eastern Placer have not grown in proportion to occupancy and visitation.  

Recent information shows we are averaging approximately one new case per day (see chart below).   These new cases bring our Eastern Placer total infections since March to somewhere between 0.3-0.5% of our total population. 

Despite increases in occupancy by part-time residents and visitors, our growth rate is below the other areas of Placer County.

Cases summarized by date of receipt with the exception of 14-day case rate, which is calculated by date of specimen collection to more closely align with CDPH reporting.*The 14-day case rate per 100,000 is the sum of new cases with specimens collected in the past 14 days per 100,000 residents (e.g., total new cases by specimen collection date for past 14 days/398,843 *100,000 for the County). This figure is lagged by 3 days as new cases continue to be received. Note: North Tahoe population used is year-round census population. Created 7/31/20 by Placer County Public Health

COVID-19 is a serious threat and we must stay focused on slowing the spread.  Physical distancing and face-coverings continue to be the best advice for protecting yourself and your loved ones. 

TENSION 
With that high level of occupancy and visitation, I continue to receive many emails, calls, and social media posts with suggestions and stronger, that Placer County shut down certain businesses and lodging, and/or close Tahoe to outside visitors. One of the things that makes the Tahoe area such a desirable place to live is that we are surrounded by public land. This is also what makes the Tahoe area such a desirable place to visit, and the County cannot prevent the public from using federal and state highways to access these public lands.  Federal and state funding and resources have been heavily invested in our region for the benefit of visitors as well as local residents.  We cannot take action on our own without the support of State and Federal leaders.  The only action the County could take would be enacting ordinances and restrictions that would close the businesses and services local residents rely on to make a living and try to carry on with daily life.  Any action at the County level would need to be based on evidence directly tied to the source and fortunately at this point we are not seeing a spread of the virus commensurate with the exceedingly high visitation levels.  Such action would also require a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors and we would consult with law enforcement and our District Attorney to ensure that they could and would enforce such closures. 

ENFORCEMENT
In our free society, law enforcement resources focus on a very small percentage of the population. We maintain peace and order because the vast majority of people are following the law.  As a nation, we do not staff law enforcement at the levels that would be required to enforce every ordinance and law for every incident of violation.  The Placer County Sheriff is an independently elected official dedicated to serving the community under local, state and federal laws.   Under the Sheriff’s direct authority, the Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services based on the highest priorities for public protection and safety.   While behaviors of some are very troubling and need to be addressed, the Sheriff’s Office must be trusted to focus on the greatest risks to overall public safety. 

EDUCATION
Understanding that we can’t enforce our way out of some of the issues we are facing, many organizations and volunteers have recognized that expanding the focus of education efforts is the best way to let visitors know how to safely and respectfully enjoy the Tahoe area. Many local groups have come together to create public education campaigns on COVID-19, stewardship of the environment, and being a “good neighbor”.    The Take Care Tahoe program evolved a number of years ago to educate the public on stewardship of the region’s environment.   The incredible efforts of the 45 public and non-profit organizations participating in the Take Care program are remarkable, and have now been expanded to include efforts to educate on COVID-19, with a series of billboards, signs, and information directed to those visiting the region.  In addition, Placer County created the “Good Neighbor” campaign focused on short-term rental issues in the community.  Repeated messaging to owners, posting of Good Neighbor policies, and a 24/7 hotline have assisted our enforcement efforts.   Placer County and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association have also worked closely to develop the Stronger Together, Know Before You Go, and Mask Up Tahoe campaigns, focused on educational messaging.   

HELP KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE
We are also currently developing an Ambassador program in partnership with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to address issues we are witnessing throughout the community. Volunteers can help with visitor and community education, trash pickup, distribution of face coverings and hand sanitizer and more. If you’re interested in participating, please contact Erin Casey with the County Executive Office in Tahoe at 530-369-1950 or ecasey@placer.ca.gov for details.

PROBLEM SOLVING and RESPONSE
I appreciate the many suggestions and questions.  I can’t possibly respond to each one but am trying to use these bulletins to explain the issues and questions that are most frequently raised.

Stay safe, physically distance, be considerate to all, use a face-covering, and help educate everyone in our community.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

-Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Extension of Truckee River alcohol ban until Oct. 15

Due to health and safety concerns resulting from a recent increase in activity along the Truckee River, the Placer County Board of Supervisors July 27 to temporarily extend an alcohol ban on the Truckee River until Oct. 15. Learn more


Placer County approves new rebate program for lodging projects

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a new transient occupancy tax rebate program intended to spur investment in lodging projects in North Lake Tahoe. Learn more

 


Supervisors provide direction on guidelines for proposed deed restriction program

The California Department of Public Health released additional guidance this week for some personal services to begin outdoor operations; including hair, massage, nail and skin care services. They also offered new guidance to help restaurants adapt to providing outdoor dining service. Find all the latest reopening guidance on our Reopen Placer website

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 24

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 24

Safely Support Local Business

We are all struggling to get through this crisis, and as we have seen, some people have been impacted more than others. Many of the people who are being hit the hardest by the effects of COVID-19 are the owners or employees of locally-owned small businesses. The good news is there are things we can do to help support our local businesses, even if we can’t do so in the same way we used to.

Many restaurants are offering their full or modified menu for pick up or delivery, so if you are able to do so, order take out and let someone else do the cooking a couple of nights a week. This is a safe way to support your favorite local restaurants and take a little bit of the load off of yourself. You can also dine in – outside – as many restaurants have adapted to outdoor seating and reservation-only dining to meet current guidelines issued by the state.

If you need a little retail therapy, many stores have reopened for business, so be sure to wear your mask and maintain the appropriate distance between yourself and other shoppers. Many stores are also limiting the number of people permitted in at one time and offering curbside pick up or delivery in order to ensure the safety of their customers.

There are also plenty of service providers who have adapted their operations to allow for virtual sessions or classes, including yoga instructors, therapists, financial planners and even music teachers. You can purchase gift cards, post about a positive experience with a local business on social media, and tip service providers extra. Anything we can do to help our local businesses will benefit our community by keeping the economy afloat.

Businesses are taking extra steps to ensure we can safely visit them.

Here in District 5 our business organizations have compiled helpful information on which local establishments and service providers are up and running. The Colfax Chamber of Commerce has created a list of businesses with information on what services are currently being provided. The Auburn Chamber of Commerce also put together a working list of restaurants that are  open for business, with information on hours and available services. You can also visit Auburn’s Downtown Business Association and Old Town Business Association websites for a list of open businesses. The Foresthill Divide Chamber of Commerce has also posted a list of open businesses on its website.  

If you are considering heading up to the mountains, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association has created a Safe Travel page on its website, which includes COVID-friendly itineraries and information on the Mask Up Tahoe campaign.

For information on businesses in our smaller communities such as Meadow Vista, Applegate, and the Alta/Dutch Flat area be sure to look at social media sites specific to those areas as that is often the best way to find up-to-date information.

Signs like this help businesses inform the public about their efforts to keep customers safe.

Finally, one of the most important ways we can support our local businesses is to adhere to guidelines and respect their requirements that you wear a mask and practice social distancing. Remember we are all in this together and anything we can do to help our local businesses succeed will help all of us in the long run.

Upcoming Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Board of Supervisors meet on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28. The Board Chambers continues to be closed to public attendance, but the public may participate online or via telephone.

Monday’s meeting begins at 1pm and is a Special Meeting focused largely on Tahoe-area items and updates, including an update on the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s response to COVID-19, a proposed Workforce Housing Preservation Program and a proposed amendment to the North Lake Tahoe Economic Development Incentive Program. At Monday’s meeting the Board of Supervisors will also consider an Urgency Ordinance to ban alcohol on portions of the Truckee River from July 27 to October 15.

On Tuesday the Board’s regular meeting begins at 9am and we have a full agenda including an ordinance aimed at banning alcohol within the Placer County Government Center, allocation of CARES Act funds, and an update from Placer County Public Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson on COVID-19. Please take a look at the agenda, which also provides information on how to participate in the meeting.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Guidance for outdoor operation of personal services

The California Department of Public Health released additional guidance this week for some personal services to begin outdoor operations; including hair, massage, nail and skin care services. They also offered new guidance to help restaurants adapt to providing outdoor dining service. Find all the latest reopening guidance on our Reopen Placer website

 


 

Negative COVID-19 test not required for return to work

Placer County Public Health has announced that employees diagnosed with COVID-19 do not need to be retested after their initial positive test. Instead, following guidelines from the CDC, someone with COVID-19 can return to work using criteria based on time and symptoms. This will help keep testing available for those who need it most. Learn more

 


 

Senior peer counseling program available

Are you 55 years or older, and feel like you could use someone to talk to who really understands what you are going through? Senior Peer Counseling is a free, voluntary, peer support program for Placer County residents aged 55 years or older, who are dealing with age-related adjustment issues.

COVID-19 is not slowing us down! We are currently providing services via phone and accepting new client referrals. Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | July 24

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | July 24

Managing the Truckee River 

Since mid-June we have been seeing growing visitation throughout the Lake Tahoe region.  This is not unexpected, we anticipated California and Nevada residents would remain closer to home to vacation this year.  Even with that expectation, the numbers have exceeded what most of us have ever seen.

In particular, the Truckee River’s heavy use has been the subject of many emails, calls, and social media posts.  For the last month I have been working with land managers and law enforcement at the county, state and federal levels to discuss the challenges and opportunities of regulations and enforcement. 

Placer County is responsible for issuing permits to the two commercial raft companies that operate on the river.  The conditions of those permits limit the number of commercial rafts allowed on the river and require the companies to operate shuttle buses, provide garbage clean-up and have restroom facilities available to all river users.  This year both companies have voluntarily limited their operations to 50% of what their permits allow in order to ensure the ability to provide safe physical distancing for their customers.   Partially due to these limitations there has been an explosion of public users crowding the river. 

Placer County cannot limit the public’s use of the Truckee River. In California, members of the public have rights to access and use the waters for fishing, recreation, and navigation.   People can swim, fish, and bring their own float devices and enter the river at numerous points along Highway 89.  Some of these entry points are on US Forest Service (USFS) land and others are within the Caltrans right-of-way or on private land.  While there is a lot of use on the river, the large gatherings at several locations are the primary health concern.  The “party scene” on the river is not new this year, it has regularly occurred at times in the past.  In 2008 environmental and safety concerns prompted Placer County to secure urgency legislation from the State that allowed for the adoption of an ordinance to ban alcohol on the river during “holiday times”.  With the added risk of COVID-19 we are again faced with the need to take action.

We are increasing efforts to educate the public of the importance of social distancing by posting more signs reminding people not to gather in groups.

As a result of the concerns for public health, safety and environmental impacts, I have asked Placer County Board of Supervisors to consider an alcohol ban through October 15 and our County Counsel’s Office has drafted the ordinance to mirror the efforts for the July 4th holiday period.  The discussion will be held during the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Monday, July 27 and if the ban is adopted by a 4/5 vote of the Board it will go into effect   immediately. By banning alcohol, we hope to discourage the large group gatherings that pose a risk to public health and safety.  To watch that meeting electronically and offer comment, go to www.placer.ca.gov.

In addition to the proposed alcohol ban, we are working with Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD), USFS and the rafting companies to increase education efforts by posting more signs reminding the public not to gather in groups.  Through a combination of education and enforcement we hope to reduce the behaviors that we have seen in recent weeks.  

Tahoe Items at Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Board of Supervisors meet on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28. The Board Chambers continues to be closed to public attendance, but the public may participate online or via telephone.

Monday’s meeting begins at 1pm and is a Special Meeting focused largely on Tahoe-area items and updates, including an update on the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s response to COVID-19, a proposed Workforce Housing Preservation Program and a proposed amendment to the North Lake Tahoe Economic Development Incentive Program. At Monday’s meeting the Board of Supervisors will also consider the Urgency Ordinance to ban alcohol on portions of the Truckee River from July 27 to October 15.

On Tuesday the Board’s regular meeting begins at 9am and we have a full agenda. Tahoe-area items include consideration of a third-party appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of a Conditional Use Permit Modification for a rafting license. The consent agenda also includes a budget increase for the Dollar Creek Housing Project Planning for consultant services surrounding the development of the Nahas property and a request for temporary borrowing of treasury funds for the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. On Tuesday the Board will also consider allocation of CARES Act funds and will receive an update from Placer County Public Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson on COVID-19. I encourage you to take a look at the agenda, which also provides information on how to participate in the meeting.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

-Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Learn how to prepare your home for wildfire

Want to learn how to harden your home against wildfire? Register for this free virtual workshop and hear from experts on how to reduce your home’s fire vulnerabilities. Learn more


Senior peer counseling program available

Are you 55 years or older, and feel like you could use someone to talk to who really understands what you are going through? Senior Peer Counseling is a free, voluntary, peer support program for Placer County residents aged 55 years or older, who are dealing with age-related adjustment issues.

COVID-19 is not slowing us down! We are currently providing services via phone and accepting new client referrals. Learn more

 


Guidance for outdoor operation of personal services released

The California Department of Public Health released additional guidance this week for some personal services to begin outdoor operations; including hair, massage, nail and skin care services. They also offered new guidance to help restaurants adapt to providing outdoor dining service. Find all the latest reopening guidance on our Reopen Placer website

 


Negative COVID-19 test not required for return to work

Placer County Public Health has announced that employees diagnosed with COVID-19 do not need to be retested after their initial positive test. Instead, following guidelines from the CDC, someone with COVID-19 can return to work using criteria based on time and symptoms. This will help keep testing available for those who need it most. Learn more

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 17

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 17

Stay Informed

Getting through a crisis is never easy, but access to information that helps us make good choices can certainly make things go more smoothly. In this ever changing landscape of COVID-19, finding up-to-date information on the issues we are dealing with can be challenging, to say the least. The District 5 offices in Auburn and Tahoe along with Placer County staff across multiple departments receive calls from people every day who are trying to make sense of all of the information out there, and we do our best to answer all of those questions. As we head into the second round of shutdowns issued by the state it is critical that we understand what is being asked of us and what resources are available to help us, so here is a rundown of some places to look for helpful information.

Placer County’s Reopen Placer website provides all kinds of helpful information to help businesses navigate the current closures and reopen responsibly. This website provides the most up-to-date information on what industries are permitted to open their businesses and has a tool that allows you to search closure information by business type. You can also find information on where and how to get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your business, answers to frequently asked questions and a directory on where to find services and supplies. This site also allows you to download posters that can be printed and displayed at your place of business to help educate visitors about the importance of social distancing.  

For residents who are looking for information on a variety of topics related to COVID-19 the county has created a Coronavirus webpage with links to information on COVID-19 testing, Placer County’s current case count and links to a national and worldwide case database. On this page you will also find a list of resources compiled by the Placer County Office of Education in partnership with multiple county departments, to help residents find out how to get assistance in the areas of food, unemployment, housing, utilities, mental health, and child care throughout the county.

Board of Supervisors Meeting
Although COVID-19 certainly dominates most of our conversations and news these days, the Board of Supervisors continues to move ahead with the business of Placer County. We will be meeting on Monday, July 27th and Tuesday, July 28th and I encourage the public to participate online or via telephone. Monday’s meeting will include staff updates on some of the county’s larger issues in the Tahoe area, and on Tuesday we will hear about adjustments to impact fees, an ordinance aimed at banning alcohol within the Placer County Government Center and about potential uses for CARES funding, among many other issues. Board of Supervisors meeting agendas are typically posted online the Wednesday before each meeting by 5pm and include information on how you can participate in the meeting.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


State orders some Placer County businesses to close and others to cease indoor operations

In response to the increasing spread of COVID-19, State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued an order for several businesses in Placer County to either close or eliminate indoor operations starting Sunday, July 12.  The State had indicated previously that any California county that remains on the monitoring list for three days will be ordered to draw back its reopening efforts. Learn more


 

‘Got it Covered?’ Face Covering Campaign

We should all wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible, as detailed in state guidance.

Here in Placer County, face coverings are an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable residents. The “Got It Covered” campaign showcases actual Placer residents and business owners sharing their personal reasons for wearing a face covering. 

Got questions about face coverings — why they’re important, how to wear them and when they’re necessary? Check out our Face Covering FAQ here

Participate in the “Got It Covered” campaign by printing your statement and submitting your photo using this form or sharing the video and other materials below. 

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | July 17

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | July 17

Keep it Up!

Despite a significant increase in residency and visitation, the number of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Placer has remained fairly stable – averaging less than 1 per day for the last 10 days.  I am so encouraged by the number of masks I see here in the eastern part of the county.  We need to keep it up!  Unfortunately this virus is something we are going to have to live with until we have a vaccine that can be widely distributed.  This is not a sprint to the finish line – it is a very long endurance race, and we need to support each other in order to make it through.  Please continue your vigilance in caring for yourself, your loved ones and our community.

Considering the long-term nature of the situation COVID-19 has put us in, we must be dedicated to finding a balance between protecting human life and ensuring people are able to continue to take care of themselves and their families.  Reopening and slowing the spread of the virus are both critically important components of getting through this. Shutting down businesses has had profound impacts on many additional areas of public health, including access to medical care for other health issues and increases in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Safely reopening is not about profit, it is about sustaining our whole community.   

Many don’t know that the single largest area of Placer County’s budgeted expenses is allocated to our provision of Health and Human Services programs. The 2020-2021 budget the Board of Supervisors approved on June 23rd included more than $230 million in funding for Health and Human Services programs, staff and services.  Placer County’s efforts in this area are tremendous as we seek solutions to societal issues faced within our communities, and these problems go far beyond COVID-19.   

Throughout the County HHS divisions provide essential services in partnership with non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, and other community groups working to help our residents.  Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the secondary pandemic has been the impacts to other aspects of public health.  Specific to Eastern Placer County, here are some facts about what the Sierra Community House and our other partners have experienced in North Lake Tahoe / Truckee: 

  • 400% increase suicide crisis calls
  • 216% increase in households needing hunger assistance:
    • 90,000 meals delivered to families in our region
    • 30,000 meals delivered to youth through Boys and Girls Club
    • 130,000 meals for youth in region from Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
    • $47,000 in food cards to over 600 families
  • 100% increase in rental assistance for domestic violence/sexual assault victims:
    • 135 rental assistance applications totaling $182,000
  • 150% increase in calls to the Crisis Intervention hotline
  • Very significant increases in emergency housing needs in our region:
    • Emergency shelter
    • Transitional housing for families (out of homelessness)    
    • Safe housing from domestic violence

Covid-19 has required all of us to change some of our activities and habits to protect ourselves.  In addition, many have had even more impacts to our lives in order to take of our children and family members.  But as indicated by the numbers above, there are many in our community who not only have had to adjust as we have, but are suffering significantly more with lost employment and income, increased debt, lost housing, and even worse.  

Fighting the spread of COVID-19 is critical.  Fighting the resulting secondary pandemic is just as critical.   We must be in this together.  Fighting to help our community remain stable, employed and mentally healthy, is critical and each of us can help.  Please don’t condemn others, instead let’s help educate.  Please don’t judge people, there could be circumstances or factors unknown to you.  All of us in and around our community are struggling in our own way with the impacts of this pandemic.   We won’t get through this by antagonizing each other and creating more conflict and tension.  I encourage everyone to seek compassion and understanding.  We truly are stronger together. 

I also hope you will consider contributing to our non-profits that are providing services to so many in desperate circumstances.  They are on the front lines of this pandemic and are doing amazing work to help mitigate the impacts to the community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

-Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


‘Know Before You Go’ North Lake Tahoe Informational Guide Released

Going outdoors is an important part of our mental, emotional and physical health. The North Lake Tahoe destination has compiled a number of “Know Before You Go” resources to help ensure safe and responsible recreation and travel across the Sierra region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more


Electric buses and trail improvements coming to eastern Placer

Electric buses will be purchased and operating within the next three years to serve residents in eastern Placer as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide more achievable housing. During this week’s meeting, the Placer County Board of Supervisors accepted nearly $3.6 million in grant funds from Neighborhood Partners, LLC in exchange for implementing transit and trail improvements. The transportation improvements will be completed by the county to support Meadow View Place in Martis Valley, a 56-unit housing project. Learn more

 


Community Development Operations Update

The County’s Tahoe CDRA office re-opened to the public on June 15, 2020.  The offices are open by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am-2pm.  You can schedule an appointment online or by calling (530) 581-6200.  You can also submit applications for residential and commercial development projects and look up zoning requirements by using our eServices digital suite. Learn more

 


State orders some Placer County businesses to close and others to cease indoor operations

In response to the increasing spread of COVID-19, State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued an order for several businesses in Placer County to either close or eliminate indoor operations starting Sunday, July 12.  The State had indicated previously that any California county that remains on the monitoring list for three days will be ordered to draw back its reopening efforts. Learn More


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 10

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 10

The Glass Is Half-Full

I know that the last four months have felt more like the glass is half empty, but we have to remain positive and keep trying.  Fighting the spread of this virus and providing our community with a way to continue their livelihoods are both critical to our health, safety and security.  Finding a safe balance in a society so torn apart is challenging.  I continue to receive hundreds of angry and accusatory emails from both ends of the spectrum, and I will continue to try and educate and calm the rhetoric that is so damaging to our communities.

While Placer County is on the State’s watch list, and scaling back the opening of some businesses appears imminent, we need to know that we can do things to help each other and our communities. Please remember that our goal is to get through this with as little harm to our neighbors, community and loved ones as possible. Please wear a face covering, protect each other, don’t gather inside in groups or without adequate physical distance, be cautious and please understand that your actions affect not only you but our entire community. Placer County is a phenomenal place to live and our cases per capita are low compared to most areas of the State and are far below those areas hardest hit.  Keep it up, help others, support those you can – so that everyone can provide for their families, and stay healthy.

Keeping in Touch Virtually It’s hard to believe it has been nearly four months since county and statewide shelter-in-place orders went into effect as a result of COVID-19. In that time we have had to learn a new way of doing so many things in order to navigate through this pandemic, and it is not always easy. But I have been impressed with the changes I’ve seen people make in their activities, their businesses and their communities in an effort to keep things running as smoothly as possible during this time. Here at Placer County we continue to make the same changes in order to ensure you continue to receive county services and information you need.

Holding virtual meetings, the Board of Supervisors has been able to move ahead with critical county business such as approving our operating budget, allocating funds for human services programs and law enforcement, and ensuring public infrastructure projects remain on track. Here in District 5 we have also hosted several virtual community meetings, and will be hosting more in the coming weeks to keep you informed regarding COVID-19 as well as the non-COVID issues our communities face every day.

Last month we hosted a virtual Special Joint Meeting of the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and the Squaw Valley MAC where we learned about programs aimed at increasing workforce housing, providing incentives for renovation and development of lodging in the Tahoe Basin and pedestrian improvement projects in Eastern Placer County. Additionally, on July 9th we held a virtual North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council meeting and earlier in the week we held two virtual town hall meetings in one day.

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, Brian Estes, Unit and Fire Chief, CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit, Placer County Fire Department, Sarah Poindexter, Management Analyst II, Jim Hudson, CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit’s West Division Assistant Chief and Supervisor Jim Holmes participate in the Fire Services Virtual Town Hall meeting.

The first town hall meeting focused on fire services in Placer County and included an update on Placer County Fire Department activities, staffing and structure, as well as information on how to be prepared for the summer fire season. Later that day we held a virtual town hall meeting for the Foresthill community that included an update on COVID-19 from Dr. Aimee Sisson, Placer County Public Health Officer, an overview of resources and programs offered by the Placer County Business Resource Center and information on a local issue with solid waste disposal at the Foresthill Transfer Station. If you missed these meetings and would like to learn what they are all about, please feel free to click on the links above to watch them.

Members of the public submit questions and comments throughout the meetings online or by telephone and get answers to their questions in real time. Please keep an eye out for additional information on virtual town hall meetings for Colfax, Foresthill, Meadow Vista and North Auburn. You can always find out about upcoming events by visiting the District 5 calendar online. I hope you are able to participate in one of these meetings, and I look forward to hearing from all of you on issues in your communities.

Although things are not “business as usual” there is still plenty of business to take care of, and these virtual meetings provide a great opportunity to have personal contact while still maintaining the social distance we all need to maintain in order to remain safe. I want to thank everyone who joined in these discussions. Your participation is the only way we can make sure we are doing our best to address the issues affecting you and your community.  

As always, I remain committed to helping the community get through this very difficult time. Let’s continue to help each other stay safe by wearing a face mask and maintaining a safe distance when we are out and about. The sooner we put this behind us the sooner we will be up and running at full capacity!

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Audit Committee gives “A” rating to county financials

Placer County’s accounting and auditing processes have been given a clean bill of health from the Placer County Audit Committee. During this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Audit Committee Chair Wayne Nader reported that the committee found the county’s system of internal controls to be in place and operating effectively. The committee also found the financial reporting processes adequate to ensure the financial statements fairly presented the county’s financial position. Learn more


 

Coming soon…District 5 East Placer Bulletin

Keeping up with efforts by state and county leaders to find the balance between economic vitality and public safety can be challenging these days, particularly in communities where tourism is a critical component of the economy. In an effort to keep you informed about issues affecting business owners, residents and visitors in the eastern portion of Placer County – from the Donner Summit to Lake Tahoe – we will be sending out periodic bulletins highlighting updated guidelines and statistics, opportunities to help educate visitors and residents on how to keep our communities safe and clean, and any other news and information that is relevant to our mountain areas. If you are interested in receiving the East Placer Bulletin, please take a moment to add your contact information to the online distribution list. 

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 2

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | July 2

Celebrate our Democracy – Dedication to its Principles

When our forefathers came together to Declare their Independence – they did so as a united body of 13 colonies.  Despite their differences, they came together to fight a common enemy, and they prevailed.  As we celebrate this weekend, let’s remember that we truly are “Stronger Together”.    

In last week’s newsletter I said reopening after the COVID 19 shutdown is important, but staying open is even more important, and with some counties being asked to implement another shutdown or scale back their reopening plans , it’s even more true this week.  Placer County did a great job flattening the curve in March, April and May, which allowed us to be among the first counties to reopen. However, over the past three days higher numbers of COIVID 19 cases have been confirmed in Placer County. If these numbers continue to increase we will have both health and economic risks. 

The California Department of Public Health has placed 19 counties, including Sacramento County, our neighbor to the south, on a monitoring list as a result of increased cases. The counties on the list are being asked once again to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters and family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. Additionally, bars in these counties must close all operations. I want to be certain Placer County does not end up on that list.

One way for businesses to stay safe and help others do the same is to be sure to have a supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) on hand for staff and people visiting your business. Reopen Placer, which was created to help businesses reopen responsibly, provides information on how businesses in communities throughout Placer County can obtain PPE, including hand sanitizer and face masks. These supplies are being provided free of charge to businesses from Roseville to Donner Summit through partnerships between the Placer County Office of Emergency Services and local cities, towns and business organizations. In the eastern part of the county the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association is providing PPE to businesses at no cost while supplies last.

I am encouraging you once again to wear your face covering when you can’t physically distance yourself, and follow guidelines issued by public health officials. This is especially critical as we head into Fourth of July weekend, which is typically a time for community events and gathering with loved ones. There is plenty of evidence that large gatherings where people are not social distancing and are not wearing face coverings have led to increases in COVID 19 cases.  I know it is hard, especially on a hot summer day, but it is vital that we all work together to protect each other and our small local businesses, which have suffered enormously throughout this pandemic. It is my hope that we can remove any politics from this issue and be thoughtful about how we address this virus and its impact on our communities.

This Independence Day let’s all remember the sacrifices made by generations of Americans in order to protect their fellow citizens. I hope we can all become part of that tradition by making our own small sacrifices during this time in order to protect our loved ones and our communities.

Stay strong! I know we will get through this together.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Statewide tele town hall on fire preparedness

On July 9th at 5 PM State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will join Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci and United Policyholders Executive Director Amy Bach for a statewide conference call on wildfire preparedness in order to help keep people and communities safe this fire season.

People are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time via email. Learn more


 

211 Placer launches to offer one-stop shop for community services

July 1 marks the launch of 211 Placer, the new information and referral system in Placer County. 211 Placer is a free, confidential, multilingual information line and website that connects people with the services and resources in their community. 211 Placer provides a 24/7, one-stop shop for referrals to community and health services including food, transportation, senior care, employment services, housing assistance, mental health supports and much more. Learn more


Tahoe staff changes

I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Jennifer Merchant, our Placer County Tahoe Deputy CEO, on her new journey with The Sea Ranch Association on the Sonoma Coast. Jennifer started working in Lake Tahoe in 1989 as a reporter at the former Tahoe World newspaper, then became a district aide for a former Placer County District 5 supervisor, which led to her current role. She has been a strong advocate for North Lake Tahoe; promoting tourism for the visitors bureau and resort association, advocating for a better transportation system to serve our economy and community and playing a role in significant projects and programs during her time as our deputy county executive officer. She has dedicated nearly 30 years of her professional life to our community and we sincerely thank her for the commitment that she always demonstrated. We wish Jennifer good luck in her next professional endeavor.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate Crystal Jacobsen for her promotion to Deputy Director of the Community Development Resource Agency for the county’s Tahoe operations. Our CDRA department is at the front line of services for our residents and local businesses. I have no doubt that Crystal will help bring our services to the next level for our community. I hope you will join me in thanking Jennifer for her service to our community and congratulating Crystal on her promotion!

COVID-19 Message from Supervisor Gustafson | July 1

COVID-19 Message from Supervisor Gustafson | July 1

PLEASE – SUPPORT EACH OTHER – LET’S STAY OPEN!

North Tahoe Business Owners,

My office is being inundated with complaints and concerns regarding the apparent lack of local businesses taking the State’s guidance seriously. Complaints range from the number of people not wearing face coverings or adhering to physical distancing guidelines within businesses and allege businesses are not implementing safety plans. Over the past several months, we’ve worked closely with community partners at local and state levels to push for reopening your businesses. Now that we’ve been able to reopen, we must work together to stay open!

Our case numbers are growing rapidly – yesterday was a record of new cases. The Governor has started to show that he will order shutdowns again and we desperately don’t want to see that occur. He is also threatening to withhold millions of dollars in funding to our County that would support COVID-19 response and economic recovery if we aren’t implementing his guidance. Some of these funds are planned to be granted to North Lake Tahoe businesses impacted by COVID-19. Please, take the guidance seriously by implementing your safety plans, requiring face coverings and ensuring people are physically distancing while at your place of business.

To further support your efforts, we are distributing free personal protective equipment (PPE) on Thursday, July 2 from 11-2 at the old Fire Station in Tahoe City and the Events Center in Kings Beach. I have attached a flyer with details. The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association is also selling PPE at cost. You can purchase online and pick up at the Visitor Center in Tahoe City.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – Let’s Keep Tahoe Healthy and Open. Your actions now will support everyone staying open during the critically important summer season.

Thanks for all that you are doing, and feel free to reach out, cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov, if you have questions or need additional support.

Cindy signature

Cindy Gustafson
Placer County District 5 Supervisor
cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | June 26

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | June 26

Safety First!

As we continue to reopen businesses and activities, we expected to see COVID-19 cases increase in Placer County, and they continue to rise.  The good news is we are still low in our per capita incidence compared to most areas of the State.  For example, in California the most recent numbers show 514 cases of COVID 19 per 100,000 people and in Placer County there are 154 cases per 100,000 people. Nonetheless, I remain committed to the safe re-opening of Placer County, and I will continue to urge all of us to follow the guidance of health care professionals, including using a face covering when you can’t physically distance yourself. 

 

 

If you are interested in helping to spread the word about the importance of wearing a mask in public, you can order yard signs from Take Care Tahoe. These messages were created to encourage responsible behavior in Tahoe, or any other community where people are out and about on trails, at beaches and visiting businesses. The URL displayed on the signs can be customized for your local organizations as well. The goal is to keep everyone safe and keep our communities open for the long-run. There are a lot of emotions surrounding this issue and it’s important to remember we all deal with stressful situations differently, but everyone can use a little positivity in the middle of a difficult time!

Reopening is important, but staying open is even more important.   It’s up to each of us to protect our families, our friends, our colleagues and our communities.  Now more than ever we need to depend upon each other!

At our Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, we had many items of action and interest.  Below are some of the most important:

  • Adopted our 2020-2021 Final Budget – $1,020,071,376.
  • Approved the Winery and Farm Brewery Zoning Text Amendment  with minor revisions.
  • Approved the Memorandum of Understanding with Trustees of California State University for a new campus in Western Placer.
  • Amended our Declaration of Emergency to reflect Public Health and Safety Code.
  • Received a presentation from PG&E on changes to improve the Public Safety Power Shutoff program as well as Community Wildfire Safety Program.
  • Received a presentation from Placer County Probation on the Placer Re-Entry Program’s success.

In addition to serving on the Board of Supervisors I fulfill some additional assignments which include serving on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board and the California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC) Board.  These Boards also met this week and covered many issues that are outside of our county but still affect our communities.  Of specific interest to Placer County residents, TRPA received a briefing on the multi-agency efforts to address congestion on the State Route 89 recreation corridor (West Shore of Lake Tahoe) and the CTC approved a grant of $650,000 to California State Parks to complete design and permitting for the pier relocation and recreation improvements at Kings Beach State Recreation Area. 

I also want to let you know that I will be hosting several virtual Town Hall meetings for residents throughout District 5 in the coming weeks, including one focused on fire issues. Please see below for more information on these meetings, and be sure to visit the District 5 calendar for the latest information on these and other District 5 meetings, including how to participate remotely. I look forward to seeing you online, and hearing about how you and your community are faring during this time. 
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need assistance with County issues or concerns.

Most importantly keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer’s Auburn library offers curbside service

Curbside service in Tahoe to follow soon…

The Placer County Library team developed the curbside program to maintain physical distancing and help keep customers safe while providing materials, including books, DVDs, audiobooks, and more.

Library cardholders are able to pick up materials 9 a.m.-12 p.m, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and return materials weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Auburn Library at 350 Nevada Street.  Learn more


 

New county grant program in the works to offset pandemic hardships

(This program is currently being developed and we will provide information as it is available.)

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Placer County may be eligible for grant funding to offset negative economic impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | June 17

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | June 17

REOPENING, PPE, AND FACE MASKS

This week marks a new phase in our reopening with additional businesses welcoming customers. I know many people were excited to return to various outdoor recreation businesses, campgrounds, gyms, bars, and wineries- among others.

Starting this Friday, June 19, some additional personal care businesses including nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage therapists, and estheticians will be allowed to reopen as long as they follow the state guidance.

I know many of our local businesses have been preparing for the opportunity to open and are looking forward to having you safely back in their business. Thank you again to our local business community for being prepared.

Personal Protective Equipment for Local Businesses

As we reopen, we know things look a little different at our favorite shops and restaurants with face coverings, additional spacing, and cleaning procedures. It is important that all businesses continue to adapt to these measures to keep all Placer County residents and visitors as safe as possible.

To help our local business community, Placer County applied for and received a shipment of disposable masks and hand sanitizer from the California Office of Emergency Services. This supply is intended for local businesses to provide up to a two-week, stop-gap supply of masks and hand sanitizer while businesses wait for larger shipments to arrive. This is not for a businesses’ long-term needs. All businesses will need to fill out a one page information sheet on why they need this PPE.

The county is working with our city partners to help distribute the PPE. The cities of Auburn and Colfax will be collaborating with their area business communities and chambers, so you will be able to contact them directly if you own a business in those areas. The delivery of the supplies is in progress, but should be available by the end of the week. For businesses in eastern Placer County, you can contact the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association directly for more information on PPE requests.

FACE COVERINGS

I want to make it very clear that I am in support of face coverings and encourage everyone to wear them and carry them with you so they are available when you can’t physically distance in public. Face coverings have been recommended by the Centers for Disease ControlWorld Health Organization, and Placer County’s Public Health Officer.

Face coverings help protect those around you. As we know, you may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, so by covering your face, you are preventing particles that may be infected with the virus from reaching others.

Because I believe face coverings are so important to help us slow the spread, I am working with county staff and regional partners on a face covering campaign that will be available for communities that wish to use it.

TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS

Finally, I say this every week, but please be responsible for the health and safety of yourself and your family. Wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and stay home when sick. We also have testing sites available for residents throughout the county that are FREE, so please get tested. You can make an appointment HERE.

Thank you again for everything you are doing. I will continue to provide updates through my newsletter to ensure you stay up to date with what is happening in our county.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer County Fire Chief Shares Fire Season Outlook

Find out what the outlook is for this fire season, what our fire fighters are doing to prepare and how you can help in this update from Placer County Fire Department Chief Brian Estes. Watch video