San Benito County’s current District 3 supervisor, Peter Hernandez, is not running for re-election in 2022. Instead, Hernandez is running for the 18th District U.S. Representative seat.
That leaves the field open for three non-incumbent candidates appearing on the ballot for District 3 Supervisor: Eddie Alfaro, Rolan Resendiz and Mindy Sotelo.
Alfaro was born and raised in Hollister, and currently works as a juvenile institution officer, according to his candidate statement posted on the county elections website. He has worked in the law enforcement field for 16 years, starting as a park ranger in San Benito County.
Sotelo has been the Executive Director of the San Benito County Farm Bureau for 15 years, according to her candidate statement. She is a mother of three children, and has served on the boards for Hollister Little League, Emmaus House, Baler Backers Athletic Organization and as District 3 Parks and Rec Commissioner.
Resendiz is a 7th grade teacher at Rancho Santana School and a member of the Hollister City Council. He is a past recipient of the Gavilan College Community Spirit award (2018) and the California Peace Award (2016) from the state assembly. He and his partner have an 11-year-old daughter.
To read the candidates’ statements, visit https://tinyurl.com/5akfhck9.
Supervisorial District 3 encompasses central San Benito County, including areas surrounding the City of Hollister.
Resendiz is the only District 3 candidate who responded to a series of questions from the Free Lance. His responses are below.
Why are you running for San Benito County Supervisor?
As a Councilman, teacher and parent, I have seen the impacts of irresponsible growth on our community. During my time on the council, I warned the city and county that the schools, infrastructure and quality of life would be negatively impacted if we kept adding thousands of tract houses to our community.
Unfortunately, the majority of supervisors are in favor of approving thousands of tract houses to accommodate Silicon Valley residents, while our own residents cannot even afford to live here. We need to be focused on our own residents, schools and infrastructure rather than adding to our existing problems. This out-of-control growth must come to an end.
What do you think will be the most pressing needs for San Benito County over the next four years, and how would you address these needs as a supervisor?
Out-of-control growth is going to be causing massive traffic and congestion issues. Our schools and roads cannot keep up. We must stop electing candidates who are controlled by special interests groups who sell our community out for their friends to profit. We must implement campaign finance reform policies to stop special interests from controlling our community.
Homelessness has become an increasing concern in San Benito County. As a Supervisor, how would you aim to address concerns related to local homelessness?
As a councilmember I have been trying to convince the county to increase the number of beds at the shelter. I am working to try to get the county to work with the two cities to form a joint power association to address this problem together.
The explosion of fentanyl use has led to many more substance abuse issues and mental health issues. This is leading to even more homelessness on the streets with people refusing to go to our shelter. This is why we all have to work on one united effort to provide the services needed through a joining powers association.
San Benito County is also a rapidly growing community. How would you use your influence on the board of supervisors to ensure the benefits of commercial and residential growth are balanced with the potentially harmful impacts?
Unfortunately, special interests have taken control of the Board of Supervisors. That is why I support the initiative called “Let the Voters Decide.” We must stop the ongoing urban sprawl in the county and let better-planned development happen in the cities, not over our rural county farm and ranch lands.
The General Plan must also be updated to provide a more sustainable roadmap for our county’s future.
The condition of public roadways is notably bad in San Benito County, and the county’s regular sources of revenue are not enough to improve and continue to maintain the roads. Do you have any ideas on how to seek more funding for roads, or do more with the funds that are available?
It’s true that the county has neglected the roads for far too many years. I will prioritize using more of the existing funds we have in the county for road repairs.
I will also seek more financing options as we did in the city to allow for a larger road repair program. By having a larger program we will be able to get more roads repaired in a shorter amount of time. This program will prove to be more efficient in addressing the roads in a shorter amount of time.