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Posted on: July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020 - Letter from Mayor Adam Eisen

Read the latest letter from Mayor Adam Eisen...

Dear Half Moon Bay Community,

Good evening. There’s only one small item on the COVID front, but we do have a lot of other important updates from the City, so please read on.  

COVID-19 Update:

San Mateo County remains the only Bay Area county not on the State’s monitoring list. That could change at any time. If and when that does happen, additional sectors will be required to close. We will of course send out a Special eNews should that take place, and include that information on our social media pages.

To view the Governor’s order and the State’s watch list, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov. You can see San Mateo County’s health data dashboard here.

I know there is a lot of concern and divisiveness in the community regarding whether certain businesses should be open, as well as elements of outdoor recreation. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we’re in this together, and we will overcome this pandemic as one community. Please remember to be kind to one another, and practice the protocols – wear your masks, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and maintain your distance. I understand some are in a higher-risk category than others. If that’s you, I urge you to go the extra mile to keep yourself safe, stay home unless necessary , and try to remain positive. We will get through this.

Coastal Pedestrian Bridge Closed to Prepare for New Bridge:

As many of you are already aware, a pedestrian bridge at Half Moon Bay State Beach along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, was closed yesterday. That closure will last for at least a year, as it will be replaced with a new bridge.

According to San Mateo County: “The bridge links two sections of Mirada Road over Arroyo de en Medio, a seasonal creek that originates on the western slope of Montara Mountain. Popular with pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists and individuals with disabilities, the bridge, unfortunately, must be closed due to structural instability.”

The replacement bridge project includes removing the decaying concrete archway and the existing pedestrian bridge, strengthening the banks below the bridge, and installing a new bridge. The new bridge will be manufactured from aluminum to help withstand the harsh marine environment. Work will begin after the necessary permits are obtained and after winter, due to weather and high surf issues. Advance notification will be provided prior to the start of construction.

Although this is a San Mateo County project, I understand the affects it has on our constituents and the concerns around safe trail access. We are advocating with the County for a safe and clearly marked detour, and will work in conjunction with the County and Caltrans to ensure this happens. The City did not find out about the closure of the bridge until yesterday morning, so I share in your frustration with the lack of notice. After speaking with the County, it became clear that the bridge’s structural condition posed a threat to public safety, which necessitated the sudden closure. We will continue to update the community as progress is made on this project. You can be assured, we will remain involved in the best interest of public safety and those who utilize the trail.

City Council Places Measure on November Ballot to Increase Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax):

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Council considered placement of a measure on November’s ballot to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT, or Hotel Tax) from its current 12% to a new rate of 15%.

After receiving public comments, many of which were from local hoteliers, the Council opted to revise the measure to allowed for a tiered implementation. Ultimately, the language was changed to reflect that the TOT would increase from 12% to 14% on July 1, 2021, and to 15% on July 1, 2022.

The Council clearly understood the need to work with the local hotel community and come to a compromise that benefits all involved. I feel that this compromise makes sense. We are carefully balancing the needs and impacts on the hotel community, with the needs of the community as a whole - not an easy task in this unprecedented time of economic uncertainty.

There is a special meeting tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. to formally adopt the revised language and resolution. The agenda and access instructions can be found here.

Coastal Siren Tests – Audible Tests Returning:

After a brief hiatus, the monthly audible tests of the Coastal Notification Sirens will resume Wednesday August 5th at 10:00 AM. An SMC Alert message will precede the test at 9:30 a.m.

The tsunami sirens are being tested silently twice a day every day to ensure that they are operating correctly. On the first Wednesday of each month, audible tests will be conducted. The sirens are not heard along most of the coast because many areas are not in the inundation threat zones. In addition, the sirens are not intended to be heard inside buildings or in areas that are not at risk of a major tsunami.

For more information on natural hazards go to the California Office of Emergency Services website where you can enter an address anywhere in California and see a summary of the natural hazards that may impact that area.

For more information on being prepared for a tsunami, go to www.ready.gov/tsunamis (for general emergency and disaster preparedness information you can visit www.hmbcity.com/disasterprep).

Happy National Vote-by-Mail Day!

Voting by mail is the safest, easiest way to make sure your voice is heard on November 3rd.

To make sure the County Election’s Department has plenty of time to process your request and get you your ballot in time (and so you have plenty of time to get it in the mail before Election Day), check your registration now here.  Keep an eye on your mailbox beginning October 5th for your official ballot.

San Mateo County Job Fair – August 4:

In need of a job? Attend the San Mateo County Job Fair and speak directly with representatives and hiring managers from local companies that are hiring for full time, part time, and seasonal positions. You should attend if you have been laid off, furloughed, or are unemployed. This event is for those interested in returning to the workforce, career advancement, a new industry, or supplemental income. This is an in-person event and all health guidelines will be followed. Face masks are required. Registration is required, and more information is available online.

Fireside Chat with State Assemblymember Marc Berman:

Join a discussion with State Assemblymember Marc Berman on Thursday, July 30 from 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. This is a great opportunity for constituents to connect and hear his unique, insider’s view of what’s happening at the state level and what the State Legislature is - or isn’t - doing to support your workplace, your workers, and your customers. Please contact carole@visitsmcsv.com for the Zoom link if you are interested in attending.

Sustainability Updates: Street to Beach Clean-Ups: Earth Heroes Needed:

With many of the regular beach clean-ups cancelled, litter is still around us and the ocean needs our help! We’re working with Pacific Beach Coalition on a new streets to beach initiative. Our goal is to get as many Earth Heroes as possible to clean up a location of their choosing and inspire others, while staying safe and respecting County and State public health ordersNeighborhood and street cleanups are fun and rewarding outdoor activities for you and your family or your other quarantine partners or social bubbles. Picking up litter from the streets keeps it from flowing into the ocean via our storm drains.

Participating is easy!


  • Grab your supplies
  • Go outside and clean up
    • No need to go far! Clean up your streets, parks, and hot spots near you.
  • Log your trash
    • Record what you collect on Clean Swell to help raise awareness or data for legislation

Library Update: New Job and Career Resource Webpage:

San Mateo County Libraries has a new Job and Career Resource Webpage with a collection of free eResources, information, and online tools. The Library hopes this webpage will put you on the right employment path, whether you are looking to find a job, build a professional skill, get a diploma, or find a local resource partner. Their Workforce Wednesdays series offers free skill-building workshops every two weeks, too. The next program, Intro to LinkedIn Presented by Upwardly Global, will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29.

As always, feel free to email me with any comments or concerns. And be sure to stay informed by visiting the City’s COVID-19 Daily Updates webpage, and our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor feeds.

Together in partnership,

Adam Eisen, Mayor