Supervisor Lopez addresses rural community concerns in San Ardo

Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez (center) meets with San Ardo residents March 15 to address their concerns. (Contributed Photo)

SAN ARDO — Monterey County District 3 Supervisor Chris Lopez met with San Ardo residents March 15 to address their concerns in San Ardo’s rural community.

On the agenda were items concerning infrastructure, waste management and county policy. Representatives from the Planning Commission, Public Works Department, Waste Management, Environmental Health and Special Kids Connect also presented their updates.

Held at the San Ardo Elementary School, Superintendent and Principal Catherine Reimer kicked off the proceedings speaking about the needs the small 101 corridor town has, including infrastructure and access to waste management. With a population of just over 500, the community’s needs aren’t always at the top of government official’s agendas. Supervisor Lopez wants that to change.

“The community of San Ardo helped bring to light issues that only people living there can. I am proud to be their voice on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors knowing that I am advocating for the needs they prioritize for their community,” Lopez said.

Founded in 1887, San Ardo remains known for its oil fields, sweeping vistas and farmlands. The town’s infrastructure, however, is aging, with runoff issues, illegal dumping, road decay and illegally parked vehicles becoming noticeable. The supervisor and his team have already acted on the illegally parked vehicles and illegal dumping, working with their partners at the county level.

Road quality and truck routing are two core issues for the town that are also intrinsically linked.

As a hub of agriculture and energy, San Ardo’s roads are constantly in use. Heavy trucks take their toll on road quality as well as road striping and residents made the supervisor aware of it. Lopez offered solutions, such as increasing the frequency and reporting of road conditions as well as a stricter adherence to trucking routes.

The town hall is part of a larger plan by the newly elected supervisor and his team to meet locally with members of his district more frequently.

“We learn a great deal more from listening than by speaking,” Lopez said. “I am excited to be hosting these listening sessions, often in partnership with other elected officials in each community, to help develop and strengthen a list of priorities that truly fit each community. Our goal is to be in every community in the district for a listening session before this fall arrives.”

San Ardo is part of Monterey County’s Third District, which also includes King City, San Lucas, Parkfield, Bryson Hesperia, Lockwood, Spreckels, Chualar, Jolon, Gonzales, Greenfield, Soledad, the eastern portion of the city of Salinas, Fort Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts.

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Joe Desmond is the executive director of SAGE Monterey, a coalition of stakeholders in Monterey County focused on the long-term sustainability of vibrant rural communities.

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