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Hollister
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December 5, 2022

Letter: Don’t be fooled by Measure R

Measure R is an attempt to fool the voters by hidden outside developers and their local spokesperson, Frank Barragan. Mr. Barragan and his Measure R group would have you believe that Measure R is about safety surrounding the TriCal facility, which has operated for over 40 years without issue. In fact, I have visited Trical and found it to be a facility that takes extreme measures to protect people and property. 

Measure R is about killing the Strada Verde Innovation Park project so that the true backers of Measure R can have the opportunity to buy the family-owned Floriani Ranch—site of the Strada Verde project—thereby adding to the surrounding 7,400 acres they have already amassed for their own real estate development purposes. 

Campaign finance disclosure forms do not lie, and Measure R’s forms tell the true story. By the beginning of August 2022, Measure R had spent nearly $250,000, including $49,000 from a Los Angeles area residential real estate developer. Another $49,000 came from a committee formed with no way for voters to know who is behind the committee. Measure R is no local grassroots effort—far from it! 

When Mr. Barragan ran for District 2 San Benito County Supervisor a few years ago, he emphasized in his campaign statement that, if elected, he would focus on “attracting new business and jobs to San Benito County…” He went on to state that, “(T)here has always been discussion about attracting Silicon Valley businesses to San Benito County, but not much has been done. This can be done, but it can only be done if we fix our transportation issues.” 

Fast forward to today, Strada Verde Innovation Park, with its focus on electric and autonomous vehicle research and testing, and its 5,000 local jobs at every level, achieves precisely the same goals that Mr. Barragan himself previously championed, but he and the other Measure R proponents now vehemently oppose! 

Strada Verde also addresses former candidate Barragan’s traffic concerns by having its sole access off Highway 101 (with no Highway 25 access), and by providing millions of dollars toward the widening of Highway 25 and other area road improvements. 

Mr. Barragan also announced during his prior personal campaign that his plan was “to attract high-tech agricultural companies with cutting-edge technology such as vertical farming, farming robotics, and agricultural research facilities…” Again, Strada Verde, with its research and testing on electric and autonomous agricultural equipment and machinery, achieves precisely the same goals previously established by former candidate Barragan and now wholeheartedly opposed by way of his Measure R. 

Since Strada Verde so clearly achieves everything former candidate Barragan announced was crucial for the future well-being of San Benito County and its residents, one has to ask what possible legitimate reason would he have now to put before the voters a ballot measure with the sole intent of killing Strada Verde—a project that aligns precisely with Mr. Barragan’s own vision for the best future of the county? I am afraid the answer has become all too obvious—Measure R has nothing to do with TriCal or safety; instead, it is all about promoting the future plans of concealed outside developers who, with the assistance of Mr. Barragan, seek to kill off a tremendously beneficial project to make way for their own development. 

Vote No on Measure R.

Margie Barrios

Hollister

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1 COMMENT

1 COMMENT

  1. Margie Barrios has given an accurate statement of the deception around both Measure Q & R. It is heartbreaking & appalling to see our county citizens misguided by entities both inside & outside of the area. Many of those people drive electric cars, yet they don’t want to see a green facility built here for research & development of electric vehicles? Something fishy here.

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