By Felipe Hernandez
Pajaro Valley voters of the County Supervisorial District 4 need someone who will fight for a fair share of the county’s resources. I am that person. This Nov. 8 election is about the issues that local seniors, families and businesses care about most. There are major differences between the other candidate and me.
I will ensure our brand-new Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency project is properly completed to provide 100-year flood protection along the Salsipuedes Creek and the Pajaro River. We now have the opportunity to draw $400 million in state and federal funding for the first time in our history. To protect life and property, we must secure the levees so that we do not create the conditions which led to the tragic losses we experienced in Pajaro in 1995. My opponent has failed to take any leadership on this issue.
Watsonville Community Hospital
Local collaboration led to landmark legislation creating the new Pajaro Valley Healthcare District and raising over $60 million to purchase the Watsonville Community Hospital. Our hospital is now back in public hands for the benefit of everyone. But the greatest challenge is still ahead of us to ensure our hospital continues to operate for the health and safety of our residents. I will work to ensure that our hospital remains a success story. My opponent has also failed to take leadership on this issue, despite serving on the city council this year.
We have a housing crisis in our county. I am the only candidate who has advocated for building more housing opportunities for our residents, including seniors, farmworkers, and professionals. My opponent consistently voted against affordable housing projects in Watsonville during his tenure on City Council. We cannot afford that lack of leadership on an issue so critical to the lives of District 4 residents and businesses.
I am the only candidate who opposed Measure D in last June’s primary election in order to protect the Rail and Trail Project, and our local freight customers. District 4 voters agreed with me with over 75 percent of the vote. My opponent failed to take any position on such an important measure for the future of transportation in our county, even when the Watsonville City Council voted to also oppose it.
To get our roads into good shape, I will advocate and pursue our share of county dollars to fix them. Too many people experience damage to their cars as a result of driving over potholes and other defects. I will continue to advocate for a multi-modal, modern transportation system that includes seniors, pedestrians and bicyclists so that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can travel safely.
Protecting our rich agricultural lands in the Pajaro Valley is key to our future. I am the only candidate supporting Measure Q to prioritize development in the urban limit line and protect farmlands against urban sprawl. Farmlands are critical for jobs and to continue to put food on tables across our nation. My opponent has failed to support these important values and Measure Q.
Contrasts in governance
My opponent runs away from tough votes. He deflects and blames others for problems of his own making. He has a history of negative attacks against others since entering politics. This campaign has been no different for him.
I use my two decades of leadership experience to serve the community by bringing over $100 million for Covid protection, improve educational opportunities, fix public roads, create housing, parks, and increase funding for Watsonville Police and Fire.
I want us to build, secure and improve the systems we are going to use for the next generation and beyond. As County Supervisor for District 4, I will do just that. I am honored to have the support from outgoing Supervisor Greg Caput and many other elected officials, veterans, teachers, farmers, business owners, and public safety leaders.
I respectfully ask for your vote this Nov. 8 for Santa Cruz County Supervisor in District 4.
Felipe Hernandez is an Army veteran, former Mayor of Watsonville, current Cabrillo College Trustee, and candidate for District 4 Santa Cruz County Supervisor.
His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian.