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

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a two-part Supervisor’s Update.

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to extend my warmest Happy Holiday wishes to each and every one of you and to also wish you all a Happy New Year! The holiday season is a time of joy, reflection and gratitude, and I hope it brings you moments of happiness and connection with your loved ones. May the spirit of the holidays fill your hearts with warmth and kindness, and as we look forward to the new year, may it bring prosperity, good health and countless opportunities for growth and success.

181 Whiting Road

A new 40-acre park will be located at 181 Whiting Road and the county officially acquired the land in August. Our new park is designed for all age groups, with a wide range of attractions that promise to captivate the hearts of youth and families alike, from beautifully landscaped green spaces for picnics and leisurely strolls and two full-sized soccer fields and an organic demonstration garden. There is still a long road ahead to get the park ready to be open to the public. If you are interested in supporting opening the park sooner, please reach out to my office at 763.4712.

Storm Recovery Efforts

It took a while for President Biden to sign a Disaster Declaration for Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties for the winter storms, winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides beginning on Feb. 21 and continuing through March. Thank you to the various community organizations who were able to mobilize to support those who were affected. 

Community Cleanup

My office hosted community clean-ups every month in 2023 alternating back and forth between within city limits and the unincorporated. Cleanups were supported by my office, Trash Talkers, Watsonville Works, Santa Cruz County Community Development and Infrastructure and Watsonville Wetlands Watch. We will continue to host community clean ups. Keep an eye out for 2024 dates!

County Equity Statement

Santa Cruz County recently adopted the following equity statement: “Equity In Action In Santa Cruz County is a transformative process that embraces individuals of every status, providing support, dignity and compassion. Through this commitment, the County ensures opportunities and access, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and belong.” The statement will evolve to better address historical underfunding and inequities in communities. We also need systemic change, particularly in how public services are delivered and funded.

Coffee with the Sheriff

This year we were able to start “Coffee with the Sheriff.” We met on Dec. 1 and June 23 at Coffeeville. We look forward to more “Coffee with the Sheriff” sessions in 2024.

Young Supervisors Academy

Our office hosted the inaugural Young Supervisors Academy with 12 students immersing in county government. They engaged with figures from various departments, nonprofits and gained insights on the media’s role. Participants valued community involvement and appreciated diverse experiences. For more information on upcoming sessions, contact Celeste Gutierrez at 454.2200. We look forward to another impactful year fostering future leaders in our community.

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

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