December 9, 2020 Update from Supervisor Connolly

District 1 Supervisor Connelly Banner Image

In This Issue
  • COVID Update

  • Economic Updates

  • Climate Action Plan

  • A First-Hand Look at the Glass Fire

  • Property Tax Relief

  • SMART Listening Tour

As of December 8, Marin County is in the Purple Tier and recorded a record high of 90 new coronavirus cases in one day. The State of California's Regional Stay Home Order was preemptively adopted by Marin County and is now in effect. Under the Order, individuals are to stay home as much as possible except to complete only the most essential tasks like go to the doctor, buy groceries, pick up take out, take your child to school, go on a hike, or worship outdoors. Please visit the State of California’s Regional Stay Home Order webpage for an overview of businesses that must close, modify operations, or can continue to operate under the order.

The Order does not modify the existing state or Marin guidance regarding TK-12 schools. Schools that are currently open to in-classroom instruction are able to continue to provide in-person instruction on school sites. Playgrounds can remain open as well, under state guidance.

Marin has received 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and will prioritize staff working in skilled nursing facilities. 85% of deaths in Marin have been nursing home residents. The strategy seeks to protect our most vulnerable residents and our frontline healthcare workers by vaccinating workers who could be exposed to the virus in the community and transmit it to residents. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require low and ultra-low temperature freezers. Our Marin partners have stepped up to make their cold storage available, including the Buck Institute, Dominican University, BioMarin, and other community partners. 

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin Public Health Officer,  has stated that we are now seeing community spread from activities across the board. While frustrating, it is within our control to limit the spread. We are all making tough decisions each day, and let’s face it we are burned out and want to see friends and family. It is incumbent upon us to limit our mixing to those within our household and stay home as much as possible.

My ongoing gratitude and appreciation to our essential workers in healthcare, education, and a wide range of sectors. A huge shout-out to our teachers who continue to prepare and empower our youth for the future! I'm profoundly grateful for your ongoing service. Thank you!


Updated Case Rates

Economic Updates

On November 30, Governor Newsom announced the state will make $500 million available for small business relief and provide additional tax relief through the California Office of the Small Business Advocate at the Office of Business and Economic Development. By early 2021, Community Development Financial Institutions will distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses, including non-profits throughout the state. We are waiting to hear more information on this program.  Additionally, $12.5 million was added to the California Rebuilding Fund, the loan program announced on Nov. 20 and actively accepting applications. Please read the Governor's announcement for information including how to subscribe for updates.


Residents and businesses are facing historic challenges. The Board of Supervisors accepted an additional $1.7 million of Community Development Block Grant funds. 75% of funds will provide emergency rental assistance, and 25% will support small business relief. San Rafael will receive over 50% of the funds. Marin Community Foundation also stepped up to provide an additional $1.5 million for emergency rental assistance. 


Local businesses need a better way to navigate local resources. The Workforce Alliance of the North Bay, Supervisor Arnold, and I have focused our attention on an Employer Advancement and Retention Network (EARN). The goal is to create a stakeholder network where members enhance business vitality and talent retention through efficient and effective use of local resources. The idea is centered on offering a single point of contact where network members, unable to meet a specific business need, could refer the business to a single point of contact who would triage the business need and identify the appropriate resources in a confidential manner. I look forward to streamlining and maximizing our network of local resources for our businesses.


As you drive past the Civic Center you may have noticed a new message on the reader board: "Happy Holidays! Shop Local-Stay Local." If you want to chip in this holiday season, shop local. Our businesses, downtowns, and our local public services depend upon our local economy. Your local purchases this holiday season will make a difference.  


Shop Local 

Climate Action Plan 

As we head into 2021, I want to continue to prioritize the important work to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Our efforts to address climate must consider those most adversely impacted in everything that we do and include our disadvantaged communities in our planning and climate actions. 

On December 8, the Board of Supervisors approved an updated Climate Action Plan, setting a course for the County to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in unincorporated Marin County. We set a goal of reducing emissions 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 and set a target of net-zero emissions by 2045. The plan captures state actions, emission reduction strategies, social equity, transportation, electrification, energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, agriculture, working land use, community adaptation, resiliency, engagement, empowerment, and more. I am excited about what our prior Climate Action Plan accomplished and am committed to doing more.

We also received Drawdown:Marin's Strategic Plan, a community-driven campaign to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change impacts. I helped launch Drawdown:Marin in October  2017. I believe we are on the right track with bold strategies. Please see for more information and actions that we can take.


A First-Hand Look at the Glass Fire 

Fire safety is a year-round job even in the colder months. I recently spoke with Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber who shared with me that, “California is not out of the woods yet. We are in the midst of a severe and chronic drought...we still have considerable dead seasonal grasses and brush that have very low live fuel moisture.” Even in December, California is seeing new wildfires in Southern California fueled by strong Santa Ana winds. 

Local wildfires, like the Glass Fire and Woodward Fire, have become an unsettling yearly event. In October, I had the opportunity for a poignant and eye-opening experience to see, first hand, the impact of wildfires in East Santa Rosa and Napa, including the risk of house-to-house spread. In the Santa Rosa neighborhoods, we saw homes, almost untouched, standing next to homes charred to the frame. Homes that were hardened, had defensible space, and used firescaping were better protected.    

The message was clear. The North Bay faced devastating fires in 2017, 2019, and 2020. Due to climate change, we can expect to face these challenges in the future. Preparing for wildfires is an ongoing community responsibility.  

The Napa portion ended up being more than we foresaw. While driving on Silverado Trail outside of Calistoga, we noticed a fire taking hold on a hillside/shallow canyon and drove to check it out. We were the first on the scene. One house was already on fire below us, and one home was in imminent danger with flames right in front of us. Chief Weber quickly called in resources. The engines were able to start containing the blaze's perimeter with their hoses as it burned into itself. It ended up being a very close look at how quickly and how far embers travel. The home was saved.

This experience again underscored what we all need to do, as public officials and residents. I’m proud of Marin for being the fastest-growing Firewise county in the country. I encourage you to connect with your Firewise community (or start one), establish defensible space around your home, plan community chipper days, and work with your neighbors to protect yourself and your community from a wildfire. Please take a moment to view the resources in my previous newsletter and links above.   

Glass Fire Glass Fire

Property Tax Relief

Taxpayers with documented hardship arising from the pandemic who are unable to pay by the deadline may file a request for penalty cancellation after the December 10 deadline. Requests must include payment of the base tax before they can be considered. The deadline to file a request for penalty cancellation is May 6, 2021. The first installment of property taxes for 2020-21 is due on December 10. Please see the press release for information about penalty cancellation and postponement.

Property taxes support essential services such as public health, law enforcement, fire protection, and schools. Due to the pandemic, taxpayers are being asked to pay online, by phone, or by mail. More information is available at or by phone at (800) 985-7277. You can email the Tax Collector’s office or call (415) 473-6133 for assistance with online payments or for answers to other property tax-related questions. 

SMART Listening Tour: Bicycle-Pedestrian Pathways


SMART Listening Tour


The SMART Board has held listening tours with cities and towns throughout Sonoma and Marin. We are continuing to seek community input and will hold a meeting focused on Bicycle-Pedestrian Pathways. The listening session will be held on Wednesday, December 16 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm. You can register for this free event online. The SMART Board will hold future listening sessions to hear from the Latino Community, Business Leaders and Employers, Students and Educators, Non-Profit and Services Groups,  Environmental Advocacy Groups, Seniors, and Persons with Disabilities. This is an excellent opportunity to share how you envision improving access to public transit and paths in your neighborhood.


Meowy Christmas

The next three weeks are going to be hard, missing our family holiday gatherings, hiking with friends, and going to the movie and out to dinner. Knowing that staying home will help to save lives and alleviate the burden on our healthcare workers adds perspective. I believe an end is in sight with vaccines arriving and I hope that this is the last time we need to shelter in place. The Stay Home Order has allowed me to reflect and cherish the open space and natural beauty we share in Marin. It has also been a moment to enjoy the company of our furry friends. The Connolly cats, Luna and Arya, join me and my family in wishing you Happy Holidays. I hope you find the time to rest and enjoy the outdoors. My door is open, albeit virtually. If you or someone you know needs a phone call, please let me know. I would love to give you a call and hear what is on your mind.


Marin County Board of Supervisors, District 1
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7331

District Aide: Mary Sackett
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7354 

District Aide: Gustavo Goncalves
Direct Tel: (415) 473-7342