This community opinion was contributed by SJB resident and Economic Development Citizens Advisory Committee member Darlene Boyd. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

Dear Mr. Kosmicki,

I am writing to you to ask you to retain and support the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and County Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) process and to retain the EDC as a viable entity to guide our county through selected important economic decisions and processes. Is the RISK factor worth it to maintain a “head buried in the sand” approach compared to actually studying facts, legislation and movements that will roll right over into this county if we don’t actively step up to the regional tables to influence these forces, by choosing what we need and want to maintain and appropriately develop our rural nature?  For this to happen fittingly and in a timely manner, we need to maintain the integrity and support of our EDC and the timely completion of our CEDS.  If you want to continue your negative approach, rather than looking at creative ways to control growth to our advantage, you are doing all of us a disservice as well as behaving like a public servant who only follows one side of the argument, which is detrimental to a future that allows our county to build a sustainable foundation for future generations.  

It will cost us dearly to ignore and defund the EDC and the needed completion of the CEDS.  The EDC gives us a place at the imminent tables of “change” where forces are being developed to either control those who will not cooperate, instead allowing us input into a workable vision of what we want to become.  An incomplete CEDS is a detriment, as it will truly hamper our successes to obtain grant funds to address many of our needed infrastructure issues, including maintaining waste management costs, dealing with CalTrans and the impending $14,000,000 debt they just dropped on our heads due to excessive flooding, which they did not include in their engineering plans, building better roads, which you claimed to want to champion, and appropriately addressing climate change mitigation measures.

Let it be known that you are merely representing a small fraction of your constituents with your positions against housing, which would include affordable housing, needed infrastructure build out and upgrading and planned economic development in our county.  I can’t help but wonder how you determine to fill all those pot holes you said you would address, nor how you plan to reduce vehicle miles travelled, when you don’t support the planning and attraction of the types of businesses we would like to see here, so our citizens can actually find jobs that will make it possible to NOT travel outside this county. Also, how will we ever retain decent health care services with a “no can do” approach. 

Instead, I see and hear you spouting sweeping generalizations that are not grounded in facts, to scare ignorant citizens into believing falsified facts.  I find your tactics counterproductive to what you really would like to have happen. Whether you like it or not, change is here, and we need to deal with it in ways that allow us to maintain our county, within this region, as one that is a leader in the areas we wish to represent, maintaining as much of the rural experience as possible.  Much of this can be done by looking at eco and historic tourism that allows visitors to enjoy such sites and adventures as Pinnacles National Park, San Juan Bautista State Park, Freemont State Park, State Vehicular Recreation Area, the national DeAnza Trail, our local California Mission, our Indigenous People and their stories, our wineries, and breweries and so much more. It is also time to consider and plan for the types of businesses we do want here, such as those research and manufacturing businesses related to our upcoming Strada Verde Innovation Park, an international destination, that is already contributing to the education of our upcoming techies, from our invested local families attending our schools.  Then there is a huge opportunity of this county to become a leader in eco/regenerative agriculture that significantly contributes to the mitigation of climate change. Education is also moving into a larger inclusion of the trades, to allow our youth more choices relevant to their interests and abilities.  All these avenues help families actually obtain jobs and maintain a local presence, rather than needing to travel outside of our boundaries.  

In other words, if you refuse to move at the pace of up-and-coming businesses, our county will lose its opportunities to be part of the decision-making processes.  You will then have to live with the consequences of your poor choice to ignore these forces, becoming part of the problem, instead of being a hero who wisely sees the possibilities to be part of the answers.  I hope you will do more homework.

Your Constituent,

Darlene Boyd