County Declares Cathy Alameda 2016 Agricultural Woman of the Year

In other business, county staff discuss using Facebook and Twitter to help some departments communicate with the public and decided against putting an abandoned vehicle abatement fee on the November ballot

On behalf of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Margie Barrios on May 10 presented a certificate of recognition to Cathy Alameda for being named the 2016 Agricultural Woman of the Year.

“You deserve this recognition,” Barrios said to Alameda as she prepared to present her with the certificate. “You and your family do so much for this county. Ag Against Hunger is one of the biggest things. You’re talking about the biggest industry in San Benito County, and you and your family are a big part of it. Thank you so much for what you do, what you give us, and for always educating children. That is one of the biggest things that you have been involved with; making sure that the next generation knows the value of agriculture.”

Alameda quipped that typically when she stands before the board she’s complaining about something, but she thanked them for the recognition.

“Agriculture is a big part of my life,” she said. “I’m a third-generation California farmer. Our children, I’m proud to say, are fourth-generation. I just want to remind the board to always keep in mind agriculture, our heritage, our roots when making decisions about our future. I just want you to keep that in mind as more housing, more development come in that the basis of us is agriculture. I’d like to say California feeds the world.”

In other board business:

During the consent agenda part of the meeting, the supervisors approved, without their or public comment, 21 contracts, ordinances, support letters, expenditures and appropriations. For those that had dollar amounts, the total was $5,031,240. Of this, $413,920 was a contract renewal with Traditions Behavioral Health for Psychiatry; $375,000 with California Locums, for psychiatry services; $184,000 with Hollister Youth Alliance; $122,000 with Dr. Wallace B. Mendelson; and $95,000 for administrative consultant G. Ernst.

The board also discussed whether to place the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Fee on the November 2016 ballot. The supervisors felt that there were already enough tax-related items on the ballot and decided to forgo it until a later date.

There was also discussion about social media policies. The staff recommended using Facebook and Twitter to provide opportunities for various departments to inform the public regarding county operations, programs, services and events.

According to county records: Training will be provided using free online training from companies like Facebook, and other social media training providers. Administration is coordinating with staff to research the best free training modules and/or developing internal training modules for setup and maintenance of such accounts and security tips for social media use throughout the county. At this time, social media will only be managed by unrepresented classes (such as confidential, confidential management and department heads), as use with other represented classes would require notice to unions.

John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: