City Manager’s Update
Brian Dossey, City Manager
Happy Holidays! The Town of Colma is proud to announce a new cooperation with government technology startup Simplicity to improve communication with residents. Using the Simplicity app, you can quickly get all important community updates, announcements, and upcoming events. The application is free for residents and officially available for download from the App Store or Google Play Store via the link below. Download the Simplicity app for the Town of Colma now by following the link: https://simplicity.app.link/colma. For more information, please see the Simplicity add on the back page of LiveWire.
On November 10, the City Council and Town Staff, along with Congresswomen Jackie Speier and San Mateo District 5 Supervisor David Canepa hosted a Veteran’s Day Recognition Event at Veteran’s Village on Mission Road. The event was held to honor the many men and women who served our county in observation of Veteran’s Day. The City Council recognized and honored six new Veteran’s to the Town of Colma’s Veteran’s Dedication Plaque that is proudly displayed at the Colma Community Center. The event was concluded with a wonderful BBQ that was hosted by our Recreation Department Staff. We are so grateful that the men and women who served our country and now reside at Veteran’s Village. Thank you for your service.
The Town has just recently completed its third series of our Disaster Preparedness Program – Community Action Program for Emergencies (C.A.P.E.), training and approximately six additional residents has been trained to not only be prepared in a natural disaster but to also assist the community in a large-scale event. I would like to thank the men and women who committed eight evenings to the program and am excited for their continued interest in additional training. With this being our third series of workshops, we now have thirty men and women who have been trained in disaster preparedness and response. If you would like to be a Superhero for our community please watch for details on additional Disaster Preparedness programming and C.A.P.E. in 2022.
Now that we are well into the Holiday Season, I would like to invite the community to donate new toys for Operation Santa Claus. Operation Santa Claus is a non-profit organization that provides a holiday experience to families in the community who are homeless or whose income is less than their expenses. There is a toy drive bin at the Colma Police Station that we are asking the community to fill up prior to December 15. Please help us provide to families in need during the Holidays.
Lastly, from everyone here at the Town of Colma, we wish you and your family a safe Holiday Season and Happy New Year!
The State Legislature Continues to Encourage Virtual City Council Meetings
Christopher J. Diaz, City Attorney
If you have attended a recent City Council meeting, you know that with the COVID-19 pandemic, our City Council, along with most City Councils in the County, are holding public meetings virtually via Zoom and other meeting internet platforms. Under the law that existed in March of 2020 at the time the pandemic hit the Bay Area, virtual meetings were not strictly allowed. However, Governor Gavin Newsom issued various executive orders under the state of emergency which allowed all cities in California to conduct public meetings remotely. This change in the law has now been officially codified by the State Legislature with the recent enactment of Assembly Bill (AB) 361.
AB 361 amends the Ralph. M. Brown Act, the law that applies to all public meetings for local cities, to allow for remote meetings during a state of emergency so long as certain findings are met. Recently, the City Council of the Town of Colma confirmed the findings that need to be met and will continue with virtual meetings until the state of emergency is lifted, or until the City Council determines the required findings cannot be met.
Overall, many cities in the State have noted an increase in public attendance at public meetings that are conducted remotely. Many individuals who are in favor of virtual meetings have noted the ease to join a virtual meeting from the comforts home without having to enter a public building to attend a meeting, which may not sound too desirable during the current state of the pandemic. The State Legislature continues to take note of the overall benefits of virtual meetings especially as it relates to increased public attendance. Many folks in Sacramento are anticipating that the State Legislature in the coming legislative year may seek to further amend the Brown Act to make it easier to conduct hybrid (Zoom and in-person options) meetings or to conduct fully virtual meetings. It is important to note that Assembly Bill 361 will expire in 2024, but the State Legislature may seek to extend out its effectiveness based on the positive public attendance outcomes local communities have seen with the virtual meeting option.
I would encourage all of our residents to attend a City Council meeting in the near future, especially while the virtual option is still available. This will allow you to attend a meeting from home, while continuing to keep distance in light of the pandemic.