Serving as a San Benito County supervisor for the past two years and nine months has been an extraordinary honor, and I will enthusiastically pursue a second term on the board in the March 2024 election to continue leading our community as a representative of everyday residents.
When I ran for District 2 supervisor four years ago, I pledged to focus on representing constituents’ perspectives on key issues. I have followed through on my commitments while leading the county through an array of unpredictable challenges.
Among top priorities I vowed to address included slowing the pace of single-family housing growth and fixing county roads, with an overall goal of maintaining the beauty and open spaces that make San Benito County so special.
I led efforts to set aside up to $30 million in available funds—without any new taxes—in order to repave many severely degraded county roads. This is the biggest investment toward county road repairs in recent history.
District 2 will see an abundance of roadwork over the next four years to such areas as Union Road, Buena Vista Road, Bixby Road, Salinas Road, San Juan Canyon Road and Seely Avenue. This additional funding also will pay for repaving of several San Juan Valley backroads as part of the upcoming work to connect sewer pipes from San Juan to Hollister.
As for growth, I have not supported any new market-rate housing projects in my time on the board while the county has thousands of single-family homes in the pipeline that were approved before I took office in January 2021.
Additionally, I supported the elimination of four diagramed “New Community Study Areas”—code for new towns including one off Highway 25 near Highway 101—included in the county’s General Plan that acts as a blueprint for future growth patterns.
I also followed through on a commitment to propose a 1% annual cap on new single-family housing growth in the unincorporated areas—but did not receive support from other supervisors in 2021 and will continue advocating for such a policy to prevent any mega-developments’ consideration.
That said, slowing residential growth and fixing roads are just two accomplishments in my first term. Under my leadership, the board has enacted policies to support the local economy (such as infusing over $1 million toward businesses during the pandemic), respond boldly to last winter’s storms, expand recreational offerings such as the new Regional Park that I was instrumental in getting off the ground, embark on a major expansion to the library that I proposed, enact term limits for supervisors that I proposed, and invest in grant writers I recommended who have helped secure millions of dollars to help fund this aggressive agenda.
These are just brief descriptions of some progress since 2021, and residents can find much more at kollinkosmicki.com.
With all this in mind, San Benito County continues to face historic challenges that I am ready to address with a head of steam.
We must keep prioritizing road infrastructure with funding and growing slowly into the foreseeable future. We must follow through on projects like the Regional Park and library expansion. We must do everything in our power to save the hospital and keep all viable options on the table. We must prioritize tourism promotion and embrace the “Home of Pinnacles National Park” moniker. We must be better prepared for disasters and wildfires.
We must listen to our constituents and prioritize their perspectives over those of special interests. I’m proud of my first term as a supervisor and would be honored to continue serving District 2 on the county board.
Supervisor, District 2