The San Benito County Board of Supervisors scheduled a special meeting to consider, and potentially adopt, a Covid enforcement ordinance.
The board will convene on Jan. 15 at 6pm to discuss a draft ordinance that includes provisions to allow code enforcement officers, heath officers and other local officials to issue administrative citations.
If brought to the table, the ordinance must be passed by a four-fifths vote by the supervisors. The administrative citations can include hefty fines ranging from $100-$500 for individual violations, while commercial violations can be anywhere from $1,000-$10,000.
County Council Barbara Thompson spoke during Tuesday’s board regular meeting about Covid-19 enforcement and proposed an enforcement ordinance. She mentioned that they reached out to 10 counties that were similar in size or location to San Benito to see what actions they’ve taken when it comes to mask ordinances.
She reported that Santa Cruz County has a public health order that requires people to wear face coverings. Those not wearing one could receive fines ranging from $100-$500.
Kings County is doing outreach and education but they do report every non-compliant business license to the state for enforcement of those licenses. They don’t have a specific ordinance related to Covid-19 and their existing code ordinances allow for administrative citations to be issued.
In San Luis Obispo, the cities have administrative fine authority but the county doesn’t. Thompson mentioned that their health officer issued a number of “directed orders” to businesses to comply with the state’s public health order.
Thompson said if San Benito County adopts an ordinance they can add a provision that would allow staff to start a civil injunction if people or businesses are not complying with enforcement officers.
“I must note that a business that’s operating as a public nuisance, endangering the public health, county council does have some authority under existing county code to abate that,” she said.
The board appointed an ad hoc committee of two supervisors—Kollin Kosmicki and Bob Tiffany—to help develop a Covid-19 ordinance, which is proposed countywide. The public along with any of the five supervisors can attend the meeting via teleconference and are able to participate in public comments.
For those using Zoom, the Webinar ID for the supervisors’ Jan. 12 meeting is 956 2521 3742 and the password is 369206. Other methods include the CMAP YouTube channel and the County’s Social Media Page. County officials have provided the following instructions for ways to join the meeting:
There are three ways to attend a Zoom meeting: on a web browser, through the Zoom App or on the phone. Each webinar will have a webinar ID and password, which is a unique number associated with an instant or scheduled meeting (found at the top of this text). The chat feature is disabled for all participants. Additionally, the video function is not available to the public.
1. Zoom on Web-browser:
- If joining through web-browser, launch the address https://zoom.us/join
2. Zoom application on a tablet or smartphone:
- Select “JOIN A MEETING”
- The participant will be prompted to enter Webinar ID and Password listed above and name to join the meeting. The meeting agenda can be found at https://www.cosb.us/
- The participant can launch audio through their computer or set it up through the phone.
- Public Comment: Select the “Participants Tab” and click “Raise hand” icon, and the Zoom facilitator will unmute you when your turn arrives.
3. Zoom audio by phone
- If you are calling in as audio-only, please dial US: +1-669-900-6833 or +1-408-638-0968
- It will ask you to enter the Webinar ID listed above, followed by the “#” key (pound key), then enter the Webinar Password listed above at the top page of the agenda. The meeting agenda can be found at https://www.cosb.us/
- It will then ask for a Participant ID, press the “#” key (pound key) to continue.
- Once you enter the Zoom meeting, you will automatically be placed on mute.
- Public Comment: If you are using a phone, please press “*9” (star-nine) to raise your hand, and the Zoom facilitator will unmute you when your turn arrives.
Members of the public who wish to watch the meeting can view a livestream of the meeting online through either the:
- San Benito County Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sbccalifornia
- Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP) YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLj3iW3_dsDzbYqnY1KdCvA.
Link to the Jan. 15 San Benito County Board of Supervisors Special Meeting can be found here: https://sanbenito.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=445&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda