The 2019-2020 Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Jury is issuing its reports during the unprecedented conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are well-aware that the county is in crisis and that critical public health concerns, operational difficulties and financial challenges throughout the county have a greater claim to government attention right now than the important but less urgent issues addressed by this Grand Jury.
Agencies required to respond to our reports generally have no more than 90 days to issue a response, according to the California Penal Code. It is not within our power to waive or extend these deadlines and, to our knowledge, neither the Chief Justice nor the Governor has yet done so. But we recognize that this deadline may be burdensome given current conditions.
Whether the deadlines are extended or not, it is our hope and expectation that Santa Cruz's governmental agencies will eventually be able to return to normal operations and address the issues raised by the Grand Jury's reports. In the meantime, however, public health and safety issues are of paramount importance and other matters may need to wait.