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SCOTTS VALLEY >> People who refuse to wear face coverings near others could face $100 tickets if stopped by police, the Scotts Valley City Council decided Wednesday.
The decision follows the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approval of the same $100 infraction tickets at its meeting Tuesday. That law covers unincorporated parts of the county. Both measures are effective immediately.
“We really need to do this,” said Scotts Valley councilmember Jack Dilles. “We need to keep the masks on and keep our social distance to get back to normal life as soon as we can,” Dilles said. “Nobody likes having some of their liberties taken away, but it’s a small price to pay. And it’s going to get us back to normalcy sooner rather than later.”
The council voted 5-0 in favor of the measure. Councilmembers said most Scotts Valley residents already follow state law and wear face coverings in public. Vice Mayor Derek Timm, who serves on the city’s economic recovery committee, said some business owners had called for stricter rules on face coverings because some out-of-town customers had been angry with retail workers about mandatory masks.
“This is a critically important step and no more important one than we can take to get back to something close to normal,” said Scotts Valley Councilmember Jim Reed. “Wear masks, wash our hands and continue to physically distance.”
Scotts Valley City Manager Tina Friend also gave several other updates:
- Power outage preparation. City leaders launched a web page to help residents prepare for potential pre-emptive Pacific Gas & Electric power outages to prevent wildfires. Friend said at least three power outages that started in October last year cost the city an estimated one month of productivity. The page includes tips and links to PG&E signups to stay informed about weather that triggers power outages.
- Outdoor dining expansion. Thursday evening food trucks at the former Kmart shopping center at 270 Mount Hermon Road have been so popular that the city is working with restaurateurs to open outdoor dining areas at other shopping center outdoor areas.
- Drive-in movies. Representatives of Cinelux at 226 Mount Hermon Road are planning a drive-in movie setup, Friend said. More details were not immediately available.
In an update on Scotts Valley’s city revenue, Administrative Services Director Tony McFarlane said the city’s share of state sales tax receipts in the city were down more than 15% from January to March compared with that period last year.
Transit occupancy tax revenue, also known as hotel tax revenue, dipped 32.8% in the 12 months prior to June 30.