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San Benito
February 28, 2024

Rivas on late Mayor West: ‘He got along with everybody’

New Assemblyman Robert Rivas shared his thoughts on the passing of San Juan Bautista Mayor Jim West.
West was involved heavily in the county for many years as a representative for Graniterock Co., an active participant on the local nonprofit community and serving on elected boards such as the San Benito County Healthcare District and the San Juan City Council.
“I was really, really saddened to hear of his passing,” Rivas said. “He was a good friend, and certainly someone who contributed significantly to this county and this region.”
Rivas called West’s death a big loss for Graniterock, where he had been employed for more than two decades, and the local community.
Rivas said West “always represented what was best about San Benito County and our politics.”
“Jim always seemed to stay above the fray,” Rivas said. “He got along with everybody. He was someone who was a compromiser.”
Rivas said he “brought out the best in everybody” and credited West for his involvement in successful political efforts such as the recent passage by voters of the countywide sales tax to fund road improvements. Rivas called West “instrumental” in the campaign.
“It probably wouldn’t have passed without him,” Rivas said.
Rivas called West an incredible person and an ambassador for the county.
“Everybody’s going to miss him,” he said.