I've been asked about my plans to increase the county budget. One of the steps in my plan is to hire a full time grant writer for the county. This step is CRUCIAL to the health of San Benito. And, this step differentiates me from other candidates, because without the experience and personal time spent researching our budget and needs (fixing roads, hiring senior planners), other candidates have not identified this weakness specific to San Benito County.
In SBC, we have only one grant writer, and they work for Health & Human Services only. They usually only write for housing grants and services needed for HHS. It is impossible to say how much money we are deserving of but not even asking for because our county size, density and layout are unlike other Bay Area counties. However, my team and I have uncovered that Monterey County received at least $33 Million from state and federal grants, including a Homeland Security grant of $640,000. The City of Monterey boasts on their online budget that they received $21,515,966 from grants; this includes grants for bulletproof vests, Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS), Domestic Violence Response Team, a bicycle and pedestrian access improvement project, etc.
A county of our size could really use two full time grant writers. As soon as I'm elected I will engage the contacts that I have to start with our very first county-wide full time grant writer. Once they have been writing for us for a year, we will find that all of our lives will be smoother - on the roads, with local police and fire, affordable housing, etc., and we will be able to hire a second one within the following two year cycle.
Thank you for supporting Robert Gibson For District 4 Supervisor
San Benito County is divided into five districts, each containing approximately one-fifth of the population of the County. Each of the five districts elects a Supervisor that will represent his or her district’s constituents. Separate from the State of California, or the cities within the County of San Benito, the Board of (five) Supervisors are locally elected representatives. The San Benito Board of Supervisors decides how to spend the County’s budget on the public services of Healthcare (such as ambulances, free clinics, etc.), Social Services (such as Food Banks, & Senior Outreach), Public Protection (including Police, Fire, Coroner), and Public Lands. Boards may pass and repeal local Ordinances, which may mandate or restrict certain behaviors. Some Supervisors believe that each Supervisor should be accepted to rule over their district with little to no impact from other Supervisors. However, because the districts are so intertwined, and a majority vote is required to initiate change or to prevent a change, concessions and agreements must be made amongst the Supervisors. A strong Supervisor is one that is level-headed, is willing to push the boundaries of the status quo, and has the foresight to predict and plan for the future of the Community. Respectful but firm, a strong and independent personality is needed as to prevent another Supervisor from making a change to the whole County that would harm a significant number of Citizens from another District. From his work as the Vice Chair on the 5 member Planning Commission, Robert Gibson has years of experience in a leadership position, and specifically local government leadership experience as one of a council of five. Elect the candidate who will hit the ground running on day one. Leadership. Experience. Honesty.
That’s Robert Gibson.
Early on in this campaign, I went door to door to local businesses and asked them what their experiences were in San Benito County. Many business owners and operators had concerns about the roads. I learned from one professional that Cienega Road was a major issue, particularly an area that had been ground in preparation for an asphalt overlay, but the new asphalt was never laid down. I brought the latter to the attention of the RMA Director, and he responded swiftly – had the area assessed the next day by his crew and patched the day after that.
I asked the Director what had gone wrong and he said that they learned last minute that there was a supply shortage in California, and they unknowingly lacked the supplies they needed to finish the job when they started.
This made me aware of a greater issue: None of our departments is routinely updating the others. My plan is to implement a county-wide social media account or website and assign one person from each of the county departments to update the site each morning. Imagine if I knew that there was a supply shortage as soon as the RMA did, or if we knew that a road would be closed tomorrow at 9am, or that the library was holding a book sale, or a change was ordered in how businesses must act in order to reduce the spread of disease. Imagine if you only had to go to one place to gather ALL the information you need for living and working in San Benito County?
When elected, I will seek support from other Supervisors and County leaders to implement this plan in the most efficient way possible. To me, communication is key to understanding and to positively directed change.