Mayor’s Report: March 22nd, 2021
GOLF MANOR (3/22/2021) — Submitted by Mayor Stefan Densmore
COVID Update: The formula that the Governor is using to determine when to lift the State of Emergency is based on having only 50 new cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks. We’re currently at 137, in my last report we were at 179, which was down from 445 in February and 731 in December. So, doing the math, if we keep this rate of decline in new cases for 5-6 more weeks the State of Emergency will be lifted. That presumes that the numbers don’t go back up, which we’re being told is a possibility with folks tired of isolating just wanting to hang out– but I’ll continue to report on this number in my reports moving forward.
- Beginning last Friday, March 19, 2021, Ohio opened up COVID vaccine eligibility for folks 40 and older, as well as people with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and obesity.
- Next week on Monday, March 29, all Ohioans ages 16 and older will be eligible.
- This past Thursday through Saturday, the Cintas Center was used as a mass vaccination site, from 8:30am-4:30pm on those dates (03/18/2021 to 03/20/2021), and the Cincinnati Metro provided free transportation to the site. I didn’t receive word about this being an option for our residents until it was already over– I’ve made sure that we’ll get better notification if there is another opportunity like this for our residents.
- The CDC this past Friday (03/19/2021) relaxed physical distancing requirements for children in school, from 6 feet to 3 feet. The idea behind this is that if you’re sitting at your desk and the next desk over is 3 feet away, you don’t need to wear a mask unless you are getting up from your seat. This helps everyone understand one another better during classroom lessons.
- As of last week, 1 in 5 Hamilton County residents have been vaccinated. 2 in 3 residents over the age of 65 have been vaccinated.
There are 71 providers distributing the COVID vaccine in Hamilton County, this is 53 more providers than we had last week, and there are another 150 providers in the queue– so if you hear folks struggling trying to find a spot to get vaccinated, let them know that it should continue to get better.
Economic & Healthcare Support for our Residents. County Commissioner Alecia Reese asked me and 3 other Mayors: Mayor Cranley (Cincinnati), Mayor Johnson (Forest Park), and Mayor Kinsey-Murphy (Lincoln Heights) to join her in an event to promote all the different COVID-19 Resources available in Hamilton County. The event showcased the services available to individuals and families through the United Way, JFS, Talbert House mental health services, FreeStore Foodbank, Meals on Wheels, Council on Aging, The Community Action Agency, Bethany House, and Sorta– as well as small business resources.
The event was called a “Relief-a-thon”, because it was it was like a telethon–but the other way around– instead of asking you for money, the presenters showed you how to get financial and other resource assistance. CEO’s of each of the service providers talked about how to connect to their services if you or a loved one is having trouble. The event highlighted a new website that the County Commissioners created– 513relief.org that helps people connect directly to covid-19 resources that are available through the expanded eligibility that has been put in place due to the pandemic.
A lot of people don’t know about the resources available to them, so this website one way of helping folks connect. The event we also promoted the 211 number to call for help with connection to services. The event was broadcast live on several state community access cable stations, as well as Facebook, AND they recorded it to make it available for rebroadcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIzcuRpQDjg
Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) has an Economic Hardship Water Bill Debt Forgiveness Program, that they have recently announced –forgiving water bills accrued during the period of March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Deadline to apply is March 31st. The website where our residents can go for this is ForgiveMyGCWW.org Please share this information with folks you talk to, our website can only do so much–sometimes information travels much further through people just talking to one another.
GCWW recently reported to me that we have approximately 503 accounts in Golf Manor that are likely eligible for this program, but only 18 current applicants. So given that we have 1074 GCWW residential accounts in Golf Manor, close to half are eligible. We need to get the word out about this. I’m doing all I can to get GCWW to extend their deadline. UPDATE 3/31/21 In addition to writing directly to those empowered to extend the deadline, I also wrote a letter to the county commissioners and several local mayors asking that they join me in asking that the deadline be extended. The county commissioners agreed to join me and wrote the attached letter.
Assistance for COVID-19 Funeral Expenses. I have notified of 6 COVID-19 deaths in our area thus far. FEMA has announced it will begin accepting applications for COVID-19 funeral assistance starting in April. In order to be eligible for financial assistance the following criteria must be met: 1) The death must have happened in the United States, one of the U.S. territories, or in D.C.; 2) The death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19; and 3) The funeral expenses had to have been incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Visit the following website to apply for this assistance: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance#apply
When to Expect Your Federal Relief Check. According to the IRS, Federal Relief (Stimulus) Checks are on their way. You can call 800-829-1040 (customer service) or 800-919-9835 (to set-up a payment trace). If you would like to estimate how much money you will receive, you can use this Stimulus check calculator: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-much-will-my-covid-19-stimulus-check-be-and-am-i-eligible.html
Got my Shot. As an elected official I video taped my experience getting my Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination shot. I know many folks in our predominantly African American community have serious reservations about getting the shot, given the history of eugenics in our country as recently as the 1970s. I’ve had my own fears about getting the shot and talk about this in one of the longer videos I made. I did not get the shot from a place of fear about getting COVID (though I think it’s fine if you do), rather my faith community encouraged me to get it to protect the most vulnerable. I’m hoping my videos will show folks what the process looks like, what to expect— and if you’re on the fence I hope my nervous humor in the videos helps. I certainly hope all this isn’t interpreted as making light of the real concerns many folks rightly have about getting the shot. You can find the videos I made on Facebook page at https://facebook.com/stefan.densmore
AJC Community Intergroup Seder. I participated in the Community Intergroup Seder hosted virtually by The American Jewish Committee of Cincinnati on Monday last week. It was very beautiful, there were breakout groups for an opportunity to meet people and discuss the experience. The service was presented by Rabbi Matthew Kraus, who is the head of the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati.
Elected Officials Training. I attended 3 of the 4 trainings offered to the elected officials of our village last week by the Ohio Municipal League. These trainings are offered to newly elected officials as well as any elected officials who wish to have a refresher on a number of topics including ethics and best practices in municipal financial management. I was happy to see a few of our elected council members present at this training, including Council Members Ashley Snyder, Eric Pridonoff, and Vice Mayor Matthew Boettcher. I highly recommend the trainings to all our elected officials in Golf Manor, and hope those who didn’t attend will be able to attend next year.
Final Word. We are at our best when we are helping each other. Keep the faith and be strong for each other. Thanks for all you do to keep our community beautiful, welcoming, and safe. Please feel free to call me with any ideas or questions.
This report is respectfully submitted to the Village residents of Golf Manor. Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor.
Stefan Densmore, Mayor, Village of Golf Manor