City Manager’s Update
Brian Dossey, City Manager
Happy Holidays! I know this has been a difficult year and will be especially difficult during the Holiday Season. I ask that you please be careful when observing the Holidays by avoiding large family gatherings, and celebrating with just your immediate loved ones this year. Hopefully 2021 will bring us all some relief after the vaccines go through the approval process, and start widespread distribution to the general public. In the interim, please be safe, continue to wear a face covering and please practice social distancing this Holiday Season.
In case you missed his introduction at our City Council meeting on November 12th. New Police Chief, John Munsey started work at the Town of Colma on Monday, November 16 with a swearing in ceremony attended by City Council members and Town Staff. Chief Munsey comes to Colma after serving twenty-six years at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, with the last six years serving as the Assistant Sheriff and Police Chief for the City of Half Moon Bay. Please join me in welcoming the new Chief when you see him driving through the neighborhood.
Also, at the November 12th meeting; the Council introduced a Firearm Safe Storage Ordinance, requiring all owners of firearms within the Town of Colma to safely store their firearm per the new ordinance. According to a 2008 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, living in a home where guns are kept increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide between 40% and 170%. Similarly. A 2004 national study determined that the presence of guns in the home increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide by 90%. In short, the ordinance states that no person shall keep a firearm in any residence unless the firearm is stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock. The Council will consider the second reading of the ordinance at the December 9, 2020 City Council meeting. The purpose of the ordinance is to educate and reach those who are unaware of the dangers of having an unsecured firearm in the home.
Lastly, from everyone here at the Town of Colma, we wish you and your family a safe Holiday Season and Happy New Year!
New State Law Brings Protections for Residential Renters and New Requirements for Owners
Christopher J. Diaz, City Attorney
If you are a residential renter, or residential property owner in the Town, there is now a more comprehensive state wide law with regard to COVID-19 residential evictions.
Newly enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 3088, otherwise known as the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 extends eviction protections for residential tenants experiencing a financial hardship related to COVID-19. As most Colma residents are aware, some of these protections were previously enacted by the Governor at the start of the pandemic through Executive Order, and more recently by the County Board of Supervisors through ordinance adoption. However, with AB 3088 in effect, the state legislature has now enacted a more broad regulatory scheme throughout the State.
AB 3088 prohibits residential tenants from being evicted for failure to pay rent due to a COVID-19-related hardship occurring between March 1 and Aug. 31, 2020, so long as the tenant provides the landlord with a written declaration of hardship. Residential tenants experiencing a new COVID-19-related hardship between Sept. 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021 are also protected from eviction provided they pay at least 25 percent of the rent due during this period. Though nonpayment of rent due between March 4, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021 or unpaid COVID-19-related rent, is not grounds for eviction, all rent from March 4, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021 is still owed by all residential tenants, and must eventually be paid back. Landlords are permitted to start recovering unpaid rent beginning March 1, 2021.
In addition, as most voters are well aware, Proposition 21 which was on the ballot on November 3rd would have allowed cities and counties to implement rent control for certain residential properties that are over 15-years-old. Voters defeated Proposition 21 primarily based on the Governor’s opposition to the proposition. In providing a reason as to why he was opposed to Proposition 21, the Governor indicated he wanted to provide enough time for AB 3088 to be implemented before changing legal direction with new city or county specific regulations that would have been authorized by Proposition 21.