When the Los Gatan reached Marico Sayoc on Aug. 16, she was thrilled to talk about how many Town staff had just begun working in-person again—that very day.

The next step, she explained, was for the municipal office building to open its doors for drop-in services Aug. 30.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

And now, that day has arrived, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the civic life of the community, as it tries to rebuild during a difficult pandemic era.

Local officials say they’ve been working “diligently” behind the scenes to create a safe and convenient environment for staff local residents.

But, Sayoc points out, it’s not the first Town building that’s re-opened for indoor use.

“Our library has been open to the public,” she said. “Certain other areas of high-visibility have been open to the public.”

The library, located at 100 Villa Ave, is currently open 10a.m.-6p.m. seven days a week.

“We’re just trying to model that we have to live with the pandemic and the changes are occurring,” Sayoc said. “All the cities are having those active discussions.”

Mayor Sayoc says she’s pleased with the high rates of vaccination in the community. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

She urges people to get vaccinated and mask-up, and says it’s important for the Town to make sure it is responsive to the needs of its citizens.

“That requires a personal touch,” she said. “Ultimately, we are a high-service organization.”

Reflecting on the recent history of the pandemic months, the mayor says she’s proud of how far the community has come.

“The journey has been difficult,” she said, but added, with a healthy dollop of positivity, “At this time we have high vaccination among our staff.”

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]