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San Benito
April 16, 2024

Candidate Profile: Bernosky focuses on quality of life

Robert Bernosky and his wife raised a family in San Benito County, but he’s at a tipping point now due to quality of life issues.

“We have California’s economy growing,” he said. “We have Santa Clara County and everything they have to offer encroaching into San Benito County, and we have to make some tough decisions right now on how we’re going to handle that.”

Bernosky is running for District 4 supervisor against incumbent Jerry Muenzer, Hollister Councilman Jim Gillio, Director of Community Relations Elia Salinas and marketing professional Sandy Swint.

He wondered aloud if the county will stay rural — isolated from the Bay Area and Monterey regions — or whether the community will “modernize a little bit and increase the standard of living” here.

“There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made about that and I want to be part of it,” Bernosky said.

The Hollister School District Board trustee said since he was elected in 2016, he’s observed a lot of negative aspects in how the county functions, pointing to the school district’s claim that San Benito County owes it “potentially millions of dollars” in tax funds as part of a lawsuit.

“When you start peeling the onion on that, you find out that basically the county’s been mismanaged for probably over 20 years,” he said.

He said he wants to give the community good value for their money. As for he and his wife?

“We have a decision to make: Do we want to live here the last third of our lives or do we want to move to an area that has all the amenities we want in the quality of life?”

He said he wants to stay.

“I love the people. I love the Western and agricultural culture, but I can’t be isolated from the rest of the world. We need to be able to get in and out of San Benito County.”

Bernosky has been an outspoken proponent of regulating the local cannabis industry and broached the topic in the interview. He said it became a frustration for him because at his Ridgemark home, he had trouble doing work in his backyard without odors coming from neighbors growing or using it.

“And that’s when I said, ‘Wait a minute. Is this what we want? Is this what I want my quality of life to be and everybody I’m with? And the answer was no.”

Cannabis is at the top of his issue list.

“It’s here so we have to deal with it, but we have to deal with it correctly,” he said. “That was a huge motive.”

Transportation is another “huge” issue for him.

“I commute up to Silicon Valley every single day,” he said. “I sit on that Highway 25 traffic or Frazier Lake Road or Highway 156, and it is horrible.”

Candidate Profile

Name: Robert Bernosky

Age: 54

Occupation: Chief Financial Officer

Political Experience: North County School District Board; Hollister School District Board

To see video interviews with four candidates running for District 4 supervisor, see below. Incumbent Jerry Muenzer has not committed to an interview.