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COVID-19 Message from Supervisor Gustafson | April 10

COVID-19 Message from Supervisor Gustafson | April 10

Dear Beloved North Tahoe Community: 

KEEP IT UP!  We are doing a great job staying home and socially distancing.  The curve is flattening, non- essential trips in our County are down over 70%, according to the Unacast Social Distancing Scorecard as of today.  Facing this pandemic is very hard. It has changed everything about our lives in the last month.  So many have closed their businesses, lost their jobs, and we are all fearful about the virus and about our future.  We will have much to do when it comes time to begin recovery – but for right now, what we are doing is making a difference.  We’ve got this – keep it up!

There have been a number of residents asking what we are doing to enforce Governor Newsom’s Executive Order and Placer County’s Health Officer’s Order. 

First, public education is the most important weapon in our war against this virus.  Placer County has been very proactive, with both local media and out-of-town media, educating the public through many channels about the Orders and health recommendations.   These efforts aren’t easy given the nature of our North Tahoe community.       

Let me provide some other insights.  Over the last two decades, North Lake Tahoe has continued to lose full-time population.  Those of us who are full-time residents make up a dwindling percentage of our community. Nine out of ten homes that are sold in this area are sold to buyers who do not live here full-time.  The most recent numbers indicate 68% of the homes in our community are owned by part-time residents.  The remainder are owned or occupied by full-time residents. 

Only 13.5% of all the homes in the community are used as short-term rentals.  For short-term rentals, Placer County does have the ability to issue citations and fines for those in violation of the “non-essential” order.  At the beginning of this crisis and before petitions and social media posts, property management firms indicated guests were cancelling in large numbers, and that the property management firms were cancelling the others.  Because some of the online platforms weren’t responding as quickly as our local management firms, Placer County initiated a series of emails and a letter to all short-term rental owners.  Our hotline and enforcement personnel, as well as our online contractor Host Compliance, have been tracking and responding to reported issues.  The results have indicated continued decreased activity with the most recent reports showing less than 3% of the units are being rented and each of those has been warned, cited, or further investigated.          

While we can’t enforce restrictions on part-time residents, Placer County has notified our part-time residents about the stay home order and suggested they stay in their primary residence during this time due to our area’s limited medical resources.  The vast majority of our part-time residents haven’t been coming here during this time.   For those who are, they aren’t coming here to hurt us – they are coming here to protect themselves, their properties, and their loved ones. While we may not agree with their decisions, we must respect them as neighbors and fellow human beings. 

Some have asked about establishing “check points” to regulate travel for visitors and part-time residents.  Federal and state highways are not under local control.  Speaking with our Sheriff’s Office, they will not set up check points, but they will continue to advise all of us that we should eliminate non-essential travel due to the risk of overwhelming medical services in our communities.   They have also assured us that law enforcement is not being used in any area of California to enforce what is “essential” or “non-essential travel.” 

I want to assure you that Placer County is in daily communication with Nevada County, the State, and our hospitals to ensure that they have the resources needed as well as the plans in place to serve all our communities.  Because of Californians’ early actions, and if we continue to act responsibly, we are hopeful that our hospitals won’t experience the issues that we are witnessing in other states.  Flattening the curve is essential for all of us.           

Please remember that our community is a complicated fabric of humans and whether we know them or not, our-part time residents are not the enemy – the virus should be our focus.   Let’s be civil, caring, and supportive.  We are all in this together. 

Many experts suggest that in times of chaos we can reduce our stress levels and stay healthier by focusing on what we can control – ourselves and our own actions. 

– Stay home.

– Avoid non-essential travel.

– Socially distance.

– Wear a face covering when we leave home.

If we practice all these, it shouldn’t matter who is in the house down the street, at the grocery store, or on the trail.

And a few other suggestions:

– Care for others.

– Donate where you can.

– Volunteer.

– Support a local business.

Reach out to those who might be facing this alone.

Let’s keep it up – we are making a difference!

Cindy signature

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

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | April 3

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | April 3

Dear Friends and Neighbors-

Thank you to everyone who is doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As we continue to live through this unimaginable time in our history, I know many of you are facing hardships and struggles you had not thought possible just a few weeks ago. My heart goes out to so many in our community who are suffering, frightened and not sure where to turn.  So, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide resources for businesses and residents that may be struggling. And for those of us that are fortunate enough to have the ability, I wanted to share some places where you may want to donate during this crisis.

Health and Human Services:

Director of Placer County Health and Human Services Department Jeff Brown, Placer County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson, and their entire staff are working around the clock to assist our hospitals, health care professionals, and residents. If you or someone you know needs help with housing, support, or mental health services, you can find all the HHS Resources HERE. Also, please follow Dr. Sisson’s orders to stay-at-home carefully.  Each of us must do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus.   

Business Resources:

The Placer County Economic Development Department has provided many business resources on their webpage. You can also call one of their team members at 916-770-8380. Whether you are a business or a worker, they have many opportunities for you to learn about what is available through programs at the federal, state, and county level.

Placer County also helps fund the Sierra Small Business Development Center and they are offering one-on-one appointments with business advisors who can help business owners navigate U.S. Small Business Administration loan applications, help with financials, cash flow issues and more. They can be reached by phone at 530-582-4800.

The Placer County Community Development Resource Agency (CDRA) continues to provide planning, engineering, building and inspection services to the public. The eServices portal is available 24/7.

If you are in a position to spend money at this time, please support local businesses in the ways you can- order to-go food from your favorite restaurants or purchase gift certificates from your favorite stores that you can use when they reopen. The more we can support each other, the better.

Healthcare Facilities and Non-Profits:

Whether you’re looking for resources for yourself or your family or you are fortunate enough to have the means to help out at this time, I would recommend you check out some of the amazing organizations that are serving District 5 residents during this crisis:

Central and Western Placer County:

Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital: You can donate medical supplies or give online to the areas of greatest need to support Sutter Health’s community response to COVID-19.

Placer Community Foundation: Donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund, which will deploy financial resources to community-based organizations to help them swiftly and effectively address the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and mitigation measures in western Placer County.

Auburn Interfaith Food Closet: Provides groceries to those in need, living in Central Placer County, from Loomis to Emigrant Gap and Lake of the Pines to Foresthill. 

Seniors First: Currently providing to-go meals to seniors in need.

Boys and Girls Club of Placer County: Offering bags of food to families in need and virtual activities for kids.

Eastern Placer County:

Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation:  Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. This fund will support the purchase of additional patient ventilators, provide Personal Protective Equipment for staff, supplement our COVID-19 Drive-by Clinic, and help with emergency staffing needs. 

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation: Donate to the TTCF Emergency Response Fund which will be focused on our local nonprofits in eastern Placer County that serve as a safety-net for our locals.

Sierra Community House: Providing hunger relief through food distribution and crisis intervention services.

Sierra Senior Services: Offering “Meals on Wheels” lunches delivered to seniors’ homes and to-go lunches available for pick-up for seniors.

Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe: Providing free dinners three times per week to any child under 18.

We have an amazing community that is giving back and helping those in need.  I have been incredibly touched by the remarkable efforts of so many individuals and businesses who are struggling themselves but reach out to help each other, their neighbors, and even strangers.  My heart especially goes out to our phenomenal health care workers – they and their families are sacrificing so much to take care of us at great risk to their own health and well-being.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.  Stay well. Together, we will get through this.  

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | March 25

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | March 25

Dear Friends and Neighbors-

These are harrowing times and Placer County is taking many steps to serve you through this crisis.  I urge you to stay in touch through our special COVID-19 webpage.   Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors received a report from Dr. Aimee Sisson further strengthening her plea for us all to shelter in place and restrict all non-essential travel.  Please follow her Directive and protect yourselves, your loved ones, and your community. 

We have received many questions and comments related to visitors travelling through Placer County to the Tahoe area during this crisis.  I want to assure you that our business community were the leaders in initiating the discouragement of visitation to the area.  They acted before the Governor’s Executive Order and have continued to strengthen those efforts. 

I wanted to take a moment to walk through a timeline of actions that the county has taken in the last few weeks dealing with this specific issue.

  • March 19: Placer County worked with city representatives on consistent implementation of Placer County Health Officer’s Directive to Shelter in Place and restrict all non-essential activities. Released at 3pm.
  • That evening, California Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order for California’s stay at home order at “their place of residence”
  • March 20: Conference call with North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) to develop a survey to lodging businesses – both commercial properties and professional property management firms. Majority were already closed or in the process of closing and cancelling future reservations. Many reported enormous volumes of visitor cancellations. Worked on multi-prong approach to educating potential visitors, dealing with STR owners, and contacting state officials for assistance.
  • March 22:  Notified all short-term rental (STR) operators of the Governor’s Order for banning non-essential travel.
  • March 23: Continued efforts with NLTRA to contact Federal/State/Business officials to address concerns with online platforms including Airbnb and VRBO – encouraging restrictions on their on-line platforms for rentals at this time. 
  • March 24: Placer County Public Health Officer Dr. Sisson clarifies that commercial short-term rentals and leisure travel are not allowed under Governor Newsom’s Executive Order and should be ceased. Short-term rentals that aren’t in compliance with the guidance may be reported to Placer County’s short-term rental hotline at 530-448-8003. Reports may also be made online at http://www.hostcompliance.com/tips.
  • March 25: Dr. Sisson’s comments shared with all TOT certificate holders.

Steps moving forward specific to Short Term rentals:

  • Further publicize Short-Term Rental hotline number for reports of suspected rental activities in violation of Governor’s Executive Order.
  • Working with our contractor Host Compliance to identify properties currently renting and reach out to inform them on Governor’s Executive Order.
  • Requesting real-time reports from Host Compliance on rental activity.
  • County code enforcement follow-up on complaints received by Host Compliance via calls to inform of Governor’s Order and issue warnings
  • Law enforcement to proceed, as time allows, with citations for those ignoring the Governor’s Order
  • Continue to engage Bay Area market outreach regarding concerns for our rural communities
  • Provide on-going State advocacy to amplify messaging to owners and renters.

As we all know, this is an ever-changing situation, but I can assure you Placer County staff is working 24/7 to try to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our citizens. I will continue to provide updates to you as needed, but you can stay up to date with Placer County’s COVID-19 page. Please take care of yourself and follow the Governor’s Executive Order.

Thank you and be well.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | March 20

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | March 20

Dears Friends and Neighbors-

We are living in unprecedented times. The most important thing you can do now is to follow orders from our state and county government to stay at home in your permanent residence as much as possible. It is imperative for us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those more vulnerable by separating ourselves as much as possible.

You are still able to leave your home to pick up groceries and medications and to exercise, but when you do venture out, please continue to stay six feet or more apart from others.

Again, in this time, it is imperative that we all take responsibility for ourselves and follow this order from our state government. Essential services will continue to be provided by our county staff, medical providers, at grocery stores, and by other businesses and non-profits in our communities helping some of the most vulnerable populations. Placer County is continually updating our information and you can visit the county’s COVID-19 page here.

I want to send a personal thank you to our first responders, medical personal, and local law enforcement for continuing to provide critical services. And also thank you to our business community and their employees. That includes those businesses that continue to ensure we have access to food, medicine, and other essentials at grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. But is also includes the businesses that have closed. From our large ski resorts to our small, neighborhood establishments, closing temporarily is challenging for these businesses and their staff during this time, but they are playing an important role to limit social contact.

Thank you for doing your part to slowing the spread. Together, we will get through this.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

ADDRESSING ISSUES

ADDRESSING ISSUES

Protecting the 5th District takes many forms. Since taking office, it has included ensuring residents are informed and part of the decision-making affecting their lives and homes, championing efforts to address forest health; pushing State officials to find solutions to the insurance crisis; and advocating with PG&E and the state to invest in our electrical infrastructure.

ABOUT CINDY

ABOUT CINDY

Public service is my passion. I enjoy the ability to solve problems, create solutions and work collaboratively with businesses and residents of District 5. I look forward to continuing to serve as Placer County Supervisor. Learn more about my experience and background here.

ENDORSE

ENDORSE

I feel fortunate to have earned endorsements throughout our County and District. I would love to have your support too! Click here to add your name to the list of endorsements.