After eight years on the dais as one of five county supervisors, Margie Barrios is ready to hit the road—along with her husband—in their new RV. Even so, she will still be around dabbling in nonprofit activities for which she still has a passion.
Board members gave Barrios a send-off before the Dec. 13 supervisors’ meeting, which was her last appearance before the community in that role. Friends and family were also there as Supervisors Robert Rivas, Anthony Botelho, and Jerry Muenzer offered comments about their time serving with her.
“I’ve always appreciated my time with Margie and her leadership style,” Rivas said. “She and I had some great disagreements over the years. But the one thing I always appreciated about Margie was every time we walked off that dais there was nothing but mutual respect between us.”
Rivas said despite his occasional difference of opinion with her, Barrios was all about serving the community.
“Whether it was about advocating our positions on policies and local programs, at the end of the day it was always about respect,” he said. “The amount of time she put into doing her job was amazing. She put everything she had into this job and that’s something that not only I, but everyone, should appreciate.”
Botelho said Barrios has always been the hardest working member of the board from her first day until Dec. 12, when she attended a facilities committee meeting.
“Her heart has always been ‘what is the best interest of the county,’” he said. “As a board member, I’m going to miss her dearly. She had good, common sense that she brought to every meeting. She kept us all grounded. I hope she stays involved in the community, and I expect that she will.”
Muenzer said he appreciated Barrios’ hard work, dedication to details and leadership.
“She made sure the job was always done right,” he said. “We weren’t always on the same side of a vote, but we always knew we could work with each other.”
“It’s going to be hard to fill her shoes,” said Mark T. Medina, who will take Barrios’ seat Jan. 10. “She has been committed and been a part of San Benito County for eight years, and not only is she great in the supervisor role, but her contributions are obvious having been nominated for woman of the year. She has demonstrated a commitment and passion, and I hope to follow in her footsteps with her guidance.”
Brent Barnes, the county’s Resource Management Agency director, said he was thankful for the leadership that Barrios had displayed during the 18 months he had been with the county.
“It’s been a fabulous learning experience from the board, but particularly from Margie,” he said.
After the farewell comments, hugs and tears, Barrios said her top priority was to spend more time with her grandchildren and family.
“My husband is semi-retired and has been ever since I started eight years ago,” she said. “We’ve been married for 48 years and want to spend more time together. We’ve started practicing at traveling in the RV. We traveled to Florida and spent 16 days on the road.”
When they return home, she said she will still be involved in various community activities.
“I’ve already put my application in to the Behavioral Health Commission,” she said. “I’m already on there as a supervisor and can stay on as an at-large individual as a volunteer to serve on the board. I will also be putting in an application to continue with First 5. I was appointed, but I want to stay involved with children. That has been my passion.”
Barrios said she will also remain on the Foster Youth Council and homeless planning activities.