“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest honor is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy 

Heading into the upcoming long Memorial Day holiday weekend, our thoughts turn, as they do every May, to those who have given their lives in the defense of freedom and the service of our Country. And yet, as we complete some 10 weeks of virtual lockdowns as a result of COVID-19, our thoughts turn to the day that for many ,  also marks the unofficial start of summer. We wonder, what will come next? And we worry, for ourselves perhaps, for our family and friends, and for what the future holds. 

All around the Nation, and the State of California, things are changing every day. Two weeks ago, the City of Rancho Cucamonga sent a letter to the Governor urging him to balance the pandemic and the growing economic crisis and begin allowing more businesses to open. As the City did not close businesses - that was by order of the State of California and the County of San Bernardino - the City does not have the authority to reopen businesses. But Rancho Cucamonga is at the forefront of urging the State to re-open businesses safely.  

These efforts are gaining steam. Recently, the County of San Bernardino   sent a letter along with Riverside, San Diego and Orange counties asking the Governor for more local control in reopening businesses. This was on the heels of a letter the week prior signed by all 24 Mayors in the County seeking more local control from the Governor. A movement which began, as noted above, from that first letter sent by the City of Rancho Cucamonga several weeks prior. As of Monday, May 18, 2020 Governor Newsom loosened some restrictions, allowing individual County’s to reopen based off their individual status in the fight against COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  The Governor’s County variance guidelines  give us some hope that the County may soon meet the guidelines and we will see our business community transition into the recovery phase after weeks of being shut down.  

Unfortunately ,  these efforts have not borne fruit quick enough to avoid the economic impacts of the massive business closures instituted by the State of California. The Governor revealed in his May budget revise that the State is facing down a $54 billion-dollar deficit, the largest ever and more than twice the amount it has in reserve for a rainy day. Regionally, the Southern California Association of Governments released a study predicting losses at the regional level of $175 to $250 billion due to lost revenue primarily from sales tax and transient occupancy tax (hotel bed tax). Locally, these impacts for the City of Rancho Cucamonga amount to $3 million for the current fiscal year and a projected budget deficit of $9 million for next year.   

The impacts are only just beginning. While the City of Rancho Cucamonga is among the early wave of cities in the region who made both part- and full-time personnel reductions, more and more local agencies will follow suit over the coming weeks and months. As these changes take place, however, it is important we honor the contributions and hard work of these individuals who are departing the City through no fault or desire of their own. It is also important we remember that the reduction in personnel has a purpose. It is designed to focus the City’s remaining fiscal and personnel resources on our core services here in Rancho Cucamonga. Some of those services include: 

  • City Hall and Fire Administration (10500 Civic Center Drive) are open for walk-in business from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday. For inquiries or to make an appointment at City Hall call (909) 477-2700.  

  • The Police Lobby (10510 Civic Center Drive) is open for walk-in business from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. For inquiries or to make an appointment at the Police Department call (909) 477-2800. 

  • Supporting Economic Development programs for our COVID-19 affected businesses; visit our map of current open businesses in the City of Rancho Cucamonga. Business owners can also add their businesses to this map. #ShopRC 

  • A Virtual Mental Health Symposium on May 28, 2020 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., you can register online.

  • Maintenance of the public infrastructure and facilities; if you see an in issue within the community you can report it on the City’s RC2GO webpage.

  • Virtual participation in PlanRC, our community based planning effort to update the City's General Plan. We would like to hear from you, participate in these anonymous surveys.

While we continue to discover what our “new normal” is, this will be the last week of our regular COVID-19 community updates. This weekly message originally started as we were experiencing the first impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and businesses, programs, and services were first closing. Today, with businesses, programs, and services beginning to reopen, we are nearing the end of the initial pandemic phase. The transition to a long-term economic shift, and eventually a recovery, is for now our new normal. This is a phase we know, at least in the broad outlines and parameters, having been thru something similar in the 1990’s, early 2000’s and again from 2010-2012. As part of that shift, the City will resume its monthly community eNewsletters and continue to provide regular information on its website and social media accounts. Special updates regarding shifts and changes resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic or economic developments will be released as needed. The City of Rancho Cucamonga is committed to continuing to deliver world class services to our community every day.  

In closing, over the Memorial Day weekend as we honor the memory of those who provided that last full measure of devotion in service to their Country, let us also honor all of the essential personnel on the front lines fighting this disease, those who have endured a financial hardship due to the economic crisis this has created, and those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. The journey to overcoming all the impacts the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused is not over, but our community has shown strength and resiliency over the last couple of months and we will continue to do so as we work through the economic hardships that are still to come.