To All City Employees,
I hope this message finds you well as we're in our third day under our emergency operating procedures. I don't know about you, but it sure feels like it has been a lot longer than three days! As I reflect on the last few days, there are several things that come to mind. The first is how much I miss the daily face-to-face interactions with all of you. Being removed from our normal routines makes me appreciate how critical our workplace social interactions are to our emotional well-being, and what an important role we fill in each other's lives.
I have also been amazed and humbled by the dedication of our staff in continuing to serve our community at a time when they need us most. From the emergency staff out on the front lines carrying out your critical responsibilities, to the untold number of employees working remotely who are putting in far more hours than during a normal day at the office, words can't express my gratitude for your professionalism and commitment to the job. As much as the Lake Forest community is relying on us, however, I want to emphasize to everyone the need to take care of yourself and devote time to your family. Your physical and mental well-being takes priority over all else. So I encourage everyone to find time in your day to step away from the stresses of your jobs and current events. Exercise, read a book, play games with your children – whatever it takes. Work will always be there when you return.
To keep everyone informed, I want to share that we have had our first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lake Forest. While this confirms the virus is present in our community, you should operate on the assumption that there are other, unconfirmed carriers of the virus in Lake Forest as well. This information only reinforces the need for the protocols that we have put into place, and I ask all emergency personnel to listen to your supervisors and take all appropriate precautions when operating in the field.
While I don't have new information to provide on the duration of our new operating procedures, employees should prepare themselves for the possibility of this extending beyond next week. This is a fluid situation, and we will know more as the days progress. Please continue to check www.citylf.org daily for updates. Although we don't know how long this situation may last, please know that employees will continue to be paid during this time.
Finally, because I know many of you may have additional questions or concerns about what is ahead, I have asked our HR and IT staff to coordinate departmental "town hall" chats with the City Manager, so I can hear from all of you and answer your questions. These will be conducted via teleconference, with more information being placed on www.citylf.org in the next few days. I look forward to the opportunity to hear from all of you!
Until then, keep up all of your great work, and please stay safe! Thank you again for all that you do for our organization and our community.