Robert Gibson has worked on his family-owned and operated organic walnut farm for more than a decade, putting in countless numbers of committed hours to help build a strong business.
The 45-year old San Benito County native is ready to show what he can bring to the table if he’s elected for county supervisor, District 4, in the 2020 General Election on Nov. 3.
“I will step down from other titles to commit to the 40-60 hour work week this county deserves,” he said.
Gibson, a fifth-generation county resident, pointed to his local government experience and current working relationships with San Benito County departments. He also works at Circle S Vineyard in Tres Pinos and has experience in finance, security and labor/handyman industries.
Gibson mentioned that his time spent on the county’s planning commission made him realize how much level-headed direction is critically needed. He doesn’t have any children and said maybe elected public service would be his way of leaving a legacy.
“I was honored when [county supervisor] Jim Gillio appointed me to the Planning Commission,” he said. “I realized how passionate I am about creating, caring for others, problem solving and interacting with people.”
Gibson said he has noticed that many local residents are suffering. He mentioned how there are fewer jobs, low paying salaries, a rise in property taxes on fixed-income elderly and economic destruction due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which needs to be debated and solved so that there is a goal to reach.
If elected, some priority issues Gibson would like to focus on is diversifying the county’s tax base, bringing in retail and focusing on tourism. Gibson said the county’s wine trail is an untapped treasure along with Pinnacles National Park, Hollister Hills SVRA and Mission San Juan Bautista.
“We have education opportunities with our agritourism,” he said.
Gibson said Pinnacles and Hollister Hills attract more than 500,000 visitors annually but neither site does much to capture sales and hotel tax revenue. He also wants to attract high paying employers, streamline the commercial permit process, entitle land for commercial and industrial use and hire another senior planner.
Other areas of focus include improving infrastructure and hiring a grant writer to increase the budget by tens of millions of dollars to pay for improved roads, hire more sheriff’s deputies and first responders, and improve internet service.
“I am running because I want to repair these issues and more,” he said. “I want to learn, and grow, and to continue to earn the trust and respect of my peers. I am running because I feel I am the best person for the job.”