Outgoing Supervisor Robert Rivas, who was elected as the 30th District State Assemblyman representing the local region, said goodbye as a county board member Tuesday and submitted an official resignation.
Rivas has served since his election to the board in 2010. His last meeting as a supervisor was Tuesday’s session.
“I just want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving,” Rivas said in starting his message.
He went on: “I also want to make a brief announcement that this is going to be my last meeting.”
Rivas announced he had submitted his resignation to the county administrative officer because he will be sworn in to the California State Legislature on Dec. 3.
Rivas in saying goodbye said he’s not the first county supervisor from San Benito to serve in the legislature. The last one was in 1901, he mentioned.
“I’m excited to fill that gap,” Rivas said.
He went on to reflect on his childhood growing up in Paicines and Hollister, and being the grandchild of a migrant farm worker. He also thanked the voters in District 3 for the opportunity to serve them.
“It wasn’t not only special for me, but for my family,” said Rivas.
The outgoing supervisor pointed out how his grandfather immigrated to this county in the 1960s and died of cancer in 2011.
“He never thought a member of his family, let alone his grandchild, would have the opportunity to serve on the governing board of this county,” Rivas said.
Rivas went on to thank fellow supervisors and said he had learned a lot from all of them.
“Everyone has been tremendous, and I wish you the very best,” said Rivas, noting how he will remain a “phone call away.”
“I’m very proud to represent this region in Sacramento, but certainly to represent my hometown,” he added.
His colleagues wished him well during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Supervisor Rivas, I want to congratulate you as our new assembly member,” Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz said. “It was a privilege working with you.”
De La cruz said he already had a first request to Rivas as an assemblyman, to make sure a Highway 156 expansion actually happens. The $57.4 million state-funded highway expansion is slated to start in 2020.
“We ask of you, as the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, to make sure that is on track,” De La Cruz said.
Board Chairman Anthony Botelho chimed in and quipped that he’s certain Highway 156 will be expanded.
“What we’ve got to do is move Highway 25 up faster,” he said, noting how the current timeline is seven to 10 years for the commuter highway between Hollister and Gilroy.
A department head, Health and Human Services Director James Rydingsword, also had kind words for Rivas.
“In five years, I have found you to be a man of values and honor and I appreciate that,” Rydingsword said.
Rivas defeated Neil Kitchens in the November election and will succeed Assemblywoman Anna Caballero in the 30th District seat.