Mayor Allard emphasizes need for safe, sensible, timely plan to reopen city and business

Updated April 21, 2020
Roseville Mayor John B. Allard II provided the following remarks to the Placer County Board of Supervisors at its April 21, 2020 meeting.

On behalf of the Roseville City Council and the residents of our community, first, I’d like to thank Dr. Sisson for the guidance she’s put into place during this unprecedented crisis. It has certainly been effective in helping keep Placer County’s numbers low in terms of how the coronavirus has affected our community.

This has been a sigh of relief for our entire community.

At the same time, we realize we can be a victim of our own success. Some people in our community mistakenly think this has been an overreaction since the numbers have been relatively low and our hospitals haven’t reached surge capacity. When in fact, it’s because of the orders in place, that level of success has been achieved.

It’s a tough situation all around, since all actions result in outcomes that are devastating on different levels to our community.

As we look ahead to how we start to reopen our economy, we are acutely aware that the care and caution that has been exercised to this point must remain an integral part of our behavior as we move forward.

No one wants to lose ground on the progress we’ve made to date. Our businesses, schools, and residents have sacrificed so much to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure our healthcare system is not overwhelmed.

We must maintain vigilance and look to our experts. We’ve demonstrated not only that we know how to do it, but that we are committed to adopting new practices and adapting to a new reality.

No one wants to rush this. At the same time, the discussions must begin about how to coordinate this throughout our county and our region since the virus knows no jurisdictional lines.

The City of Roseville has received dozens of emails in the past few days from concerned residents, urging the thoughtful reopening of our city in the next couple of weeks.

We have been in communication with the Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce and our largest retailers, including the Roseville Auto Mall and Westfield Galleria at Roseville. All want to be involved in setting guidelines that prioritize the health and safety of their members, employees and customers.

We all want to find a way to allow commerce to continue in order to head off any further erosion of our economy.

We’ve heard from our small businesses. In fact, 111 of them received zero-interest loans as part of the over $1 million dollars that the City allocated to help keep our small businesses afloat. But we know the need is much greater than our resources allow.

Businesses from consulting firms and hair salons to restaurants and other service providers, have expressed not only concern, but commitment to sensible public-health and social-distancing practices.

  • They’ve suggested services by appointment only, so customers aren’t congregating in lobbies.
  • Operating at half-capacity in restaurants to allow for distancing.
  • They are looking for practical ways to incorporate appropriate and accessible personal-protective equipment in their daily operations.

Our businesses want to be part of the solution and have a seat at the table to ensure they are operating safely so the community doesn’t experience a resurgence of the virus due to lax practices. At the same time, they know that remaining closed indefinitely results in other kinds of threats to public health.

The consistency within the region is important because we don’t want restrictions to be greater in Placer County than in neighboring counties. It has the realistic effect on auto sales, for example, of sending our residents to Sacramento, El Dorado, Yuba, or Sutter counties to buy cars, which compounds the economic crisis our local governments have in providing police, fire, roads, parks, recreation and library services.

We have to start the planning, based on the best advice of our health care experts, and we are committed to doing this slowly, in phases. 

But we also must begin to consider the long-term negative impacts our current policies are having on our residents.  Lost jobs, lost incomes, shuttered businesses, the inability to pay bills and support families, restrictions on social interactions, depression, hopelessness, and lives destroyed, to mention only a few. These must be taken into consideration by health officials and policy makers like yourselves as we move forward!

We are ready to be part of the solution to relaunch our economy as early as is safe to do so. We strongly believe it should be the second-highest priority of this effort.

But it must be a priority!

The health and safety of our community will remain the top priority, and we firmly believe this can be done without compounding the devastating effect on our economy that we’ve experienced so far.

Thank you.

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