This article was contributed by San Benito County Business Council President Bob Tiffany. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
There are many misconceptions about what voting Yes on Measure K would mean for our community. They mostly come from the misleading statements put forth by Measure K’s opponents. The opponents’ two-pronged approach to defeating K is to proclaim that it’s going to increase both growth and traffic. More specifically, that it will add to the residential growth in Hollister and San Benito County, as well as increase the traffic along Highways 25. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Measure K, if passed, will simply affirm the unanimous Board of Supervisors decision to designate four commercial nodes along Highway 101 as “C-3 zoning.” Furthermore, any actual commercial development would be strictly limited under this zoning designation, and would still require going through the standard county approval process before moving forward.
What does limited commercial development along 101 have to do with residential growth in Hollister and San Benito County or Highway 25’s traffic? Absolutely nothing. The opponents know this of course, but they are linking K with the “hot buttons” of growth and traffic in the hopes of defeating the measure.
Sadly, if K is defeated, it will be a huge opportunity loss for our community. San Benito County is not a wealthy one like our neighboring counties to the north and west. It struggles with having the necessary funds to operate at a high level. Just like any business, the county badly needs revenue to function properly for its citizens. Revenue to hire more sheriff deputies to patrol our roads. Revenue to offer more services to the residents, like a new library and additional parks. Revenue to provide incentives to help grow existing businesses, as well as to attract new ones, bringing more jobs to our community. And so on.
It’s not easy to come by more revenue in San Benito County, but tapping into the already existing traffic along Highway 101, and thereby significantly increasing the county’s sales tax revenue, is about as easy as it gets. It’s what other counties would consider a “no brainer.” That’s why virtually every other county in California already has at least some commercial development along their major highways such as 101. This is our opportunity to do likewise.
Measure K is not about more growth. It’s not about more traffic. It’s about trying to do the right thing for our community. That’s why Measure K is supported by a laundry list of people and organizations throughout Hollister, San Juan Bautista, and San Benito County. Sheriff Darren Thompson; former Police Chief David Westrick; the Hollister Firefighters Association; the Chamber of Commerce; both the San Benito County Democratic and Republican parties. When was the last time that Republicans and Democrats agreed on anything? Well, they agree on supporting Measure K.
Don’t be misled. Educate yourself on the facts and you’ll see that it makes sense to vote Yes on Measure K.
President, San Benito County Business Council
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