A notice on Bar Fly's door regarding the mandate for restaurants to move to takeout only. (Photo/Kathryn Malaxos)

Update from City Manager Matt Spoor

in city hall/news/photos

Safety Harbor Sun reached out to Matt Spoor, Safety Harbor’s City Manager, for an update on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the city. Spoor responded, “As of today [March 24, 2020] the city has gone to essential emergency staff and services only.” Spoor also responded to follow-up questions:

Who, aside from yourself, is considered essential at this time? [We’re] assuming no reduction of fire department staff or reduction in scheduling…

Fire Department, Sanitation. Skeleton crews working as needed in Public Works and Parks/Building Maintenance as well as Finance, HR, Building.

Is Public Works maintaining their staffing levels?


If the Governor orders ‘sheltering-in’ will there be a cutback or change in scheduling for garbage and recycling pick-up?

No, our plan is to continue the current sanitation operation.  The Waste Management Recycling Plant is down again which means currently our recycling material is going to the County Waste to Energy Facility.

Have any staff been permitted to work from home?

No, telecommuting is a great buzz word, but the reality is that less than 25% of the worlds workforce can telecommute and even less in the public service industry.  This really isn’t an option outside of the management team who currently and always has had the capability to work from anywhere.

Will staff who are no longer working receive pay? 


As orders come from the state (restaurants to take-out only, potential sheltering in) what authority (if any) does the city have to enforce these orders?

Depends on the order, right now the state is in charge and they work with the PCSO for any needed assistance on enforcement.

What is the city doing to communicate changes to residents and to educate residents as to the necessity of these changes? 

Our social media accounts and website.  People should follow our social media pages for the most accurate changes to city operations.

Will upcoming Commission meetings, if not cancelled, be live-streamed for residents?

Yes, the April 6th meeting has been canceled.

Will the hold on utility cutoffs be extended past March?

Every change we make on a daily and sometimes hourly basis is “until further notice”.

Is the city coordinating with local non-profits to provide support for residents who are particularly vulnerable at this time, either for health or financial reasons?

Nothing to report at this time.

Kathryn Malaxos has lived in Safety Harbor since 1990. She is a mother of two grown humans and a dog who may never grow up. Kathy started teaching in 1989 and continues to work as a public school teacher. She is a graduate of USF St. Pete’s master’s program for Digital Journalism & Design. Contact her with story ideas and suggestions at newsroom@safetyharborsun.com