From the Mayor's Desk: Stay safe at home and make the best of it


Every day brings about a change as we see the old normal quickly disappearing and the new normal emerging. Well, it’s not a new normal, as it’s constantly changing as well.

On March 15, the state advised all people 65 and over and those under 65 with underlying health conditions to self-isolate. On March 16, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in conjunction with six Bay Area counties issued a region-wide order to shelter in place. And on March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the directive for all of California.

Thank you so much to our health-care professionals, public health officials and first responders who are out there on the front line. Your work is saving countless lives. I urge the community to practice good hygiene and find ways to enjoy staying at home.

In our city, essential city services such as Police, Water, Sewer, Solid Waste and Fire will remain operational. Other city staff are working from home to stay safe and follow the shelter-at-home directives. The city has also activated its Emergency Operations Center to review procedures and new guidelines on a regular basis. The city issues updates through its social media channels, website, email lists and physical signs. If you haven’t done it yet, you can visit the city’s “Stay Connected” page at to sign up for the many different ways to stay informed by the city.

The Los Altos City Council will continue to hold our meetings, using video conferencing for council members and staff as we all shelter at home. The meetings will continue to be broadcast live on the city’s website and on Comcast. The public also will be able to participate while sheltered at home and make public comments by calling in by phone during the meeting. The council agendas posted on the city’s website will have all of the call-in numbers included for access. The public also can send emails to the entire city council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and scared by everything going on. But if we look at this crisis as an opportunity, what do we see? I see people making sure they say hello (from at least 6 feet away) as we all walk our laps around the block. Over the past few days, I have witnessed beautiful acts of compassion, from those volunteering to cook meals and grocery shop for the elderly to those offering to watch children of parents who cannot work from home. What an opportunity to spend quality time with the family. And the government has extended Tax Day to July 15 – hooray!

Having lived in Los Altos for 35 years, I know the power this community holds. I encourage all of us to be kind and thoughtful to one another. We are made stronger through kindness and love. Call loved ones, check on neighbors, extend a hand to those who need help.

Los Altos, we are strong, and we will all get through this together.

Jan Pepper is mayor of Los Altos.

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