Government / Politics

Primary Election 2022: San Benito County Board of Supervisors District 3

Three candidates are running for the seat that serves southwest Hollister.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna

The race for District 3 San Benito County supervisor has three candidates: Edwardo Alfaro, Rolan Resendiz and Mindy Sotelo. The district covers southwest Hollister, south of South Street and east to Memorial Drive.

Peter Hernandez, the incumbent District 3 supervisor, is running for the 18th Congressional District seat.

The two candidates who receive the most votes on June 7 will face a runoff election in November. However, a candidate can win the seat outright in June if they receive more than 50% of the vote. 

 

Edwardo Alfaro did not respond.

 

Rolan Resendiz, 44, was born and raised in San Jose and moved to Hollister when he was 16 years old. He holds a masters degree in public administration from Fort Hays State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU-Stanislaus. 

Resendiz teaches middle school math and science at Rancho Santana School in Hollister. He currently serves as Hollister’s District 2 councilman.

BenitoLink: Why are you running?

Resendiz: I feel that we’ve made huge improvements at the city level slowing growth, fixing our roads, bringing in more jobs and revenue. Currently the county is outpacing the city’s residential growth and is out of control. It nearly doubled the city’s growth! I am running to have the county focus on slowing growth, fixing our roads, bringing in more jobs and revenue, just like we did at the city. We need to work closely with the city and all county residents as a team to accomplish this.  

What are the three most important issues to your district and how would you address them?

Growth: We need to slow down the approvals of so many residential developments and instead focus on approving commercial developments that will help generate more revenue. 

Roads: We have to use the existing funds available to us along with bonding additional revenues so we can stay focused on repairs and maintenance, just as we are doing in the city. Having failing roads and infrastructure is not acceptable.

Jobs: By focusing our efforts on economic development by the airport area we can bring in hundreds of new jobs and generate millions of dollars in revenue. 

Are there issues, besides those mentioned above, that you feel are important to your district that the public may not know about?

We need honest elected officials who are willing to stand up to special interests and developers. These groups are making millions of dollars while the taxpayers pay the bills. Our focus should be on our residents and improving their quality of life. 

What’s more important for our county right now, building commercial space for revenue or preserving rural, agricultural land—and why?

Planning wisely, we can have both. This is why I am so adamant about stopping urban sprawl and implementing smarter planning. We have areas already zoned with existing infrastructure in place near the airport for commercial/industrial companies to utilize, rather than taking up more prime agricultural land. We should not build outside of these areas. 

What is the role of local government?

To provide a better quality of life for our residents. Where they can live, work, and play. They should be able to enjoy time in their communities and spend quality time with their families right here in San Benito County. We should ensure we are utilizing tax dollars wisely and reinvesting them before problems arise, not after the fact. We need to be more proactive, not reactive. We should be honest, accessible, and transparent. 

 

Mindy Sotelo, 44,  was born in San Benito County and comes from a fifth-generation family living in the county. She is the executive director of the San Benito County Farm Bureau. She graduated from San Benito High school and holds a bachelor’s in communications from CSU-Monterey Bay. Previously, she was appointed by District 3 Parks and Recreation as a commissioner. She is also president of Hollister Little League and president of the Baler Backers Athletic Organization.

BenitoLink: Why are you running? 

At this time in my life I believe I can make an impact in the daily lives of our community and keep the rural heritage and the rich history of our county alive. 

What are the three most important issues to your district and how would you address them?

  • The county budget must be a priority. The current priorities need to be reviewed. In order to fund the budget and county expenses we need to create more economic development and job opportunities.  
  • Public health and safety would include ensuring funding for our law enforcement and fire departments. 
  • Lastly, traffic is a regional problem. It will require regional cooperation, as well as working with state and federal leaders.  

Are there issues, besides those mentioned above, that you feel are important to your district that the public may not know about?

If elected I’m going to make it a priority that the public is informed of all issues before the Board of Supervisors.

What’s more important for our county right now, building commercial space for revenue or preserving rural, agricultural land—and why?

For me it isn’t an either or. It’s about finding balance. The ag industry is a very important industry in San Benito County. We need to work hard at preserving the rich farmland we have as well as the rural heritage that makes our county so unique. At the same time economic development is important so that we can create jobs for our residents and bring much-needed revenue to the county. With increased revenue we can fix our roads and infrastructure, as well as have more services for the community, addressing things like mental health, homelessness, parks, senior programs and programs for the youth.

What is the role of local government? 

Be fiscally responsible. Make decisions that are best for our community, that are inclusive and cooperative. This would create a thriving, healthy and safe community.

 

 

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Juliana Luna

Juliana Luna is Hollister born and raised. She recently graduated from San Benito High School, 2021. Currently attending Gavilan College where she plans to earn her Business Associate’s Degree to transfer to a four-year university. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Pinnacles National Park, horse riding, and photography.