This column was contributed by John Freeman, who is running for San Benito County Supervisor District 2. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
My vision is to preserve the rural character of San Benito County, while enhancing opportunities for prosperity for our residents. I have experience working at many levels of government and have a history of working with others to obtain important objectives. My quest to become a county supervisor is rooted in my desire to plan and implement solutions to help San Benito County become a better place to live. We have a beautiful rural environment that we want to maintain, but we are also becoming a bedroom community for our neighbors in Silicon Valley. I believe I can plan and put into operation solutions for the challenges San Benito County faces.
Critical to the long-term health of our county is appropriate business and economic development. This is the key to being able to maintain our rural character and control growth. For example, business development can be created by an increase in tourism and a stronger industrial base that adds to both the local economy and the county tax base. This would enable the county to improve and upgrade our transportation infrastructure, which is a necessary element for business development as well as residents’ access and requirements.
More funds at the county level can pay for many of our county needs. County first responders and employees deserve competitive wages and benefits, so that staff turnover does not decimate our public workforce. Improved business development would enable our county to develop a functional county parks & recreation department, improving our quality of life. Promoting fewer single-family houses is a solution to slowing growth and stopping suburban sprawl, while also insisting upon affordable housing in all future developments. Well-planned business development can improve our healthcare system, addressing an important need. With increased tax revenue from business development, an improved water system for both agricultural and residential use would be created and maintained.
Finally, the challenge of our climate crisis hovers over all of us and must be woven into our plans and hopes for a better future. By developing local high wage-paying businesses, we could eliminate long commutes, lower our carbon footprint as well as mitigate some of our traffic problems. I am extremely active in the areas of climate control, through my board membership on Monterey Bay Community Power. I am currently doing business development through my membership in the Central Coast Broadband Consortium—seeking to bring grants to our county to develop high-speed internet ISP choices.
A major benefit of my current services to San Benito County are my memberships on many regional boards and committees. These engagements allow my contributions to improving the quality of services and infrastructure, while also lowering San Benito County’s carbon footprint, an important task in maintaining our planet as a thriving habitat. I am now doing much of the work that needs to happen to carry out a vision for San Benito County and a shared plan for the future. Because of my already proven dedication, accomplishments and on-going efforts, I do feel that I am the best-qualified candidate to implement well-planned solutions for the challenging issues facing San Benito County. I would be proud to earn your vote for San Benito County Supervisor on or before March 3.