Rocklin Requests CA Provide Local Authority to Reopen Economy and Funding for Cities
May 5, 2020
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of California
Sacramento, Ca 95814
RE: Local Authority to Reopen Placer County Economy and Funding for Cities
Dear Governor Newsom,
The City of Rocklin thanks you for your leadership and efforts to protect and support Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of California has been a national leader in responding to this public health crisis with thoughtful, science-based decision making that has surely saved lives. Your initial, swift action to implement a statewide stay-at-home order was crucial in slowing the spread, flattening the curve and preventing a surge in hospitalizations related to the effects of COVID-19.
The citizens of Placer County have been doing their part in complying with your order. Together we helped flatten the curve through aggressive social distancing, wearing masks in public, and increasing hygiene. Essential businesses have continued to operate safely by implementing procedures to sanitize workplaces, limit the number of customers at a time, and designed safe, effective guidelines as their customers move about during their visit.
Scientific data coming in from counties all over California indicates your initial goals of the stay-at-home order have been accomplished; it is now time to take similar aggressive action to heal our failing economy.
Provide Local Authority to Reopen Economies Safely
Small businesses are fighting for their survival and their employees are fighting for their livelihoods. They are reaching a breaking point as the temporary financial assistance implemented as a short-term relief is running out. With your assistance, together we can save these businesses and the jobs they create by providing local authority to Placer County and the cities within the County to reopen our economy.
We believe reopening can begin safely now and the scientific data supports it. As of the date of this letter, out of approximately 400,000 Placer county residents, 162 cases of COVID-19, or roughly .0004% of our population, have been confirmed. Placer County hospitals currently are treating less than 10 patients with the disease, including two in ICUs. From May 2 to May 4, only one new case of COVID-19 was reported in the County. We have seen similar “flat” infection rates over the past two weeks.
Local municipalities and business leaders, in conjunction with Placer County Public Health, are working together to develop and implement protocols and procedures that will allow reopening in a safe and science-backed manner. This proactive local cooperation will prepare our businesses to be ready to act safely when given the authority to do so.
Support Cities Through Direct COVID-19 Financial Assistance
Rocklin and cities across the state remain on the frontline of this crisis, helping residents stay safe and in their homes, delivering emergency services, and supporting local businesses and community organizations. However, as emergency costs continue to grow and the economy remains closed, city revenues to fund local services are plummeting.
The City of Rocklin is projecting a 15% decrease in sales tax revenue for FY 2019/2020 alone, all based on lost money since mid-March. Loses will compound as the effects of the battered economy extend over the entire 2020/2021 fiscal year.
In addition to allowing local authority to plan the reopening of non-essential businesses in Placer County, the City of Rocklin calls on you to immediately support cities through direct financial means.
Establishing at least a $7 billion city revenue stabilization fund for direct aid to all California cities will help to address the general revenue shortfall over the next two years.
We also call for you to allocate a share of the State’s $8.4 billion CARES Act funding for cities with populations under 500,000 to support COVID-19 expenses. All of California’s cities, regardless of population, are on the frontlines of this pandemic and incurring unanticipated and extraordinary expenses. By setting aside a portion of the state’s share, these cities would be able to preserve as much general fund revenue as possible to fund core services for our residents.
California’s entrepreneurial spirit has made our state the envy of the world. The most efficient way to restore our economy is by allowing the innovative nature of small businesses to act safely and effectively through this crisis at the local level. The City of Rocklin appreciates your consideration of our requests and looks forward to working together to continue to protect our residents and reopen our economy quickly and safely.
City of Rocklin