santa cruz county supervisor felipe hernandez
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez. Contributed photo

In this edition, we’ll discuss the collaborative efforts of a safer, stronger Santa Cruz County, the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Bond, seek representatives for the Measure D Taxpayer Oversight Committee and shaping the “Age Well Santa Cruz County” Master Plan. Join us in staying informed and engaged as we navigate the diverse landscape of District 4’s well-being and community resilience.

Measure K: Safer, Stronger Santa Cruz County  

To secure funding for essential services in Santa Cruz County, the proposed Measure K seeks to increase the sales tax by one-half cent in unincorporated areas. Measure K aims to allocate funds strategically to address crucial areas. The focus includes providing affordable housing for working families and essential workers, establishing mental health crisis programs for youth, and improving public safety. Measure K also prioritizes vital aspects such as road maintenance and pothole repair, parks and recreation enhancement, substance abuse programs, and initiatives to reduce homelessness. 

The proposed increase is a proactive measure to ensure the continued well-being of our community. Cities such as Watsonville won’t pay the tax, but residents will receive essential services funded through Measure K.

Measure N: Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Bond

Proposed by the Pajaro Valley Health Care District, Measure N focuses on significantly improving healthcare at Watsonville Community Hospital. This measure seeks authorization for $116 million in bonds at legal rates to fund essential upgrades and expansions. 

Key components of Measure N include expansion and renovation of the emergency room: enhancing the capacity and efficiency of emergency services to better serve the community. Upgrading imaging systems: modernizing healthcare with improved x-rays, MRI and CT scanners for more accurate diagnostics. Modernization of healthcare facilities: addressing infrastructure needs, such as replacing roofs and plumbing, to create a more advanced healthcare environment. Hospital property purchase: Ensuring stability and future growth by securing ownership of the hospital property. 

The proposed bond measure is estimated to generate approximately $6.8 million annually, with an average rate of $24 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) 

The RTC is currently accepting applications for the Measure D Taxpayer Oversight Committee, specifically seeking representatives from Districts 2 and 4. This independent committee will play a crucial role in reviewing the expenditure plan and ensuring funds generated by the transportation tax are allocated appropriately.

The committee’s responsibilities include annual reviews, auditing and the production of a publicly available Annual Report of Oversight Activities. Residents interested in applying for the committee, which ensures the proper utilization of funds, can do so before the Feb. 15 deadline. The application is available at

Age Well Santa Cruz County

The County of Santa Cruz is developing a collaborative Master Plan for Aging to promote healthy aging for all county residents. This effort, called “Age Well Santa Cruz County,” reflects my dedication to the well-being of older residents and people with disabilities in District 4.  

A survey has been launched to collect feedback on aging in the county. All county residents ages 40 or older can take the survey, which will inform the local plan. The survey is available online, in English and Spanish, at Paper surveys in English and Spanish are also available at various locations in Watsonville and upon request. To request a paper survey, contact [email protected] or 454.4397.

Relocated Supervisorial Office

The 4th District Supervisor’s office has recently relocated from the Veterans Building to a new address at 150 Westridge Drive. This move signifies a significant change in the administrative landscape, providing a fresh and modern space for the Supervisor and his team to better serve the community.

Office Hours

Open office hours will be held every second Friday of the month at the office located at the 150 Westridge Drive in Watsonville from 2-4pm. Walk-ins welcome, no appointments are necessary, and residents can discuss issues or just meet me. 

Supervisor’s Update is a recurring column from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez’s Office.

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