Felipe Hernandez

Santa Cruz County Budget & Roads Funding

On June 4, 2024, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved a $1.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2024/2025, reflecting a roughly 6% reduction from the previous year. This budget, shaped by seven federally declared natural disasters in the past six years, is sustained through a blend of cuts, reserve utilization, and new bond issuance. With over $250 million already expended, primarily for post-disaster road repairs, and an outstanding $125 million reimbursement awaited from FEMA, delays in funding have impeded progress on essential infrastructure projects. Notably, Paulsen Road, vital for urban transportation, yet ineligible for FEMA support, faces recurring flooding issues exacerbated by private levee breaches. Despite my plea during the budget hearing for a $2 million allocation to address Paulsen Road’s flooding, the request was denied. However, the BOS agreed to reassess our current road funding prioritization policies. I advocated for broader criteria consideration, encompassing factors like traffic volume, income levels, and neighborhood demographics. County staff will come to BOS in September 2024 to consider these, and possible other metrics into the road project prioritization process. Thank you to all the residents that advocated for Paulsen Road and got involved with the County budget process. 

VA’s Medical Foster Home

VA’s Medical Foster Home (MFH) program helps Veterans who need long-term care but prefer a  home environment over a nursing home. This program allows Veterans who can no longer live independently due to chronic health conditions, an opportunity to reside in the private homes of qualified caregivers. The caregivers and their homes are vetted to ensure a safe environment and that they can perform caregiving duties, under the guidance, monitoring, and safety standards of the VA. 

Unlike nursing homes, MFHs offer a more intimate setting with a maximum of three residents, fostering a sense of community and personalized attention. Caregivers provide 24/7 supervision and assistance with daily living activities, ensuring the Veterans’ well-being. Furthermore, Veterans enjoy home-cooked meals, social and recreational activities, and the privacy of their own rooms. To top it off, the VA’s Home-Based Primary Care team provides in-home medical care, minimizing the need for trips to the clinic. 

For more information about becoming a Medical Foster Home caregiver, please contact Rosanna Erbe, LCSW, Medical Foster Home Coordinator, at 650-407-7731or email [email protected]

Young Supervisors Academy!

The Young Supervisors Academy (YSA) will kick off its second cohort this year and is currently accepting applications. Through YSA, participants will delve into community participation, civic engagement, leadership development, County government operations, and network with other young individuals in the district. YSA sessions will commence the first week of July, meeting every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. To be eligible, you must be a junior or senior in high school or in your first year of college and reside in the Pajaro Valley. The deadline to apply is June 22, 2024!  Apply at: tinyurl.com/2024YSA.

Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture 62nd Annual Awards Dinner

Join us on Saturday, July 27th at 4pm in celebrating this year’s honorees: Event of the Year: 2023 Veterans Day Parade; Lifetime Achievement: Nita Gizdich; Man of the Year: Matt Ryan; Woman of the Year: Sally-Christine Rodgers; Business of the Year: Staff of Life; Organization of the Year: Watsonville Band. For more information call PV Chamber of Commerce at 831-724-3900. 

Elks Car Show and Cantina

Join the Watsonville Elks Lodge on Saturday June 22, 2024 at 9am for Music, Drinks, Tri-Tip Sandwiches and Fun at 121 Martinelli St Watsonville, CA. For more information call 831-724-2493 or [email protected] 

Office Hours

Open office hours will be held every second Friday of the month at my office located at 150 Westridge Dr. in Watsonville from 2:00 – 4:00pm. Walk-ins are welcome, appointments are unnecessary, and residents can address any issues they have.

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  1. I hear nothing but plausible deniability to act. Roads are closed permanately, services cut, but yet taxes are skyrocketing in Santa Cruz County. But the weather is nice. Soon the farms will be flooded again contaminating the strawberry and lettuce field with bacteria from the sewage treatment plant and the beat goes on
    Great job county supervisors keep up the stellar work!

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