Guest View: Supervisor responds to columnist’s criticism

Jerry Muenzer signs his papers after taking the oath in 2011.

Late last week, I opened the Free Lance and was dismayed to see a name calling, finger pointing, purely political attack in the Opinion section.  While I will not bother to take the time here to address the overblown editorial of the author, I would like to set the record straight on the freedom of speech issue with my constituents.
Supervisors are expected to report significant information from their committee assignments to the full Board during their Supervisor’s Report. This is what Supervisor Anthony Botelho was doing by reporting the actions of our COG Chairman. The COG chairman’s actions clearly predicated the resignation of Executive Director Lisa Rheinheimer by authorizing Jeff Gilles and Parsons Consulting to manipulate a County Regional Plan without the full COG Board approval. On behalf of one developer, the entire COG staff was threatened and intimidated by Gilles and the Parsons Consulting staff and, because of this heavy-handed behavior, we lost a very valuable department head.
I had many discussions and meetings over the last seven months with the COG chairman about the Regional Transportation Plan. Even though Caltrans and AMBAG repeatedly warned him that he was putting the county’s funding at risk, he continued to support the developer.  
As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, it would have been unethical of me to muzzle this report. Supervisor Botelho is a duly elected official and has every right to explain his views and actions in regard to his work for the county, and I happen to agree with his assessment of this sorry situation.
I am trying to watch out for the county as a whole as well as watching out for my constituents in District 4. Unlike the COG chairman, I refuse to put the funding of critical safety projects in jeopardy.
San Benito County and its prosperous future is my priority.  As always, if you would like to discuss this issue or any others you have concerns about, please give me a call at 831-801-5020.
Jerry Muenzer, chairman of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors

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