San Jose City Hall is back open for in-person business, including City Council meetings which started up again this week inside the chambers. City Hall had been pretty much closed off to the public since the coronavirus pandemic began in March of last year. The Martin Luther King Jr. Library is also back open as of Monday. It’s all happening after Santa Clara County announced new mask requirements for everyone indoors in public. That means if you plan to enter City Hall or the library, you must have a mask.
Tuesday marked the first City Council meeting in more than a year and a half where residents could actually show up to speak. The meetings will still be available to residents virtually on YouTube and Zoom. Other city services inside City Hall will be open daily but you will need an appointment to get business done with the permits, finance, housing, and other departments.
“They still have to get appointments in many cases, but it does give them the opportunity to come in, talk to a person rather than getting in this email chain back and forth trying to solve a problem. In-person is always easier to solve a problem. It’s really nice that we’re finally able to open even though we’re opening in a slower way,” Councilmember Pam Foley told San José Spotlight.
If you go to City Hall you’ll notice that all city workers are required to wear masks inside, and there are a lot more barriers in place to stop the spread of the Delta variant. The city hopes residents who need to take care of day-to-day business will still utilize online services as much as possible. The library system will also keep its virtual presence up and running and will not enforce late fees for the time being.
“While we continue to closely monitor the pandemic, today’s reopening of City Hall marks an important milestone for our community’s recovery. I am deeply grateful to our essential workers, who risked their lives to keep our residents safe--thanks to their continued dedication and service, we proudly reopen the doors of City Hall today,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press release.