Issues

Bringing Us Together on

Issues that Matter for Monterey County

As your Supervisor, I will bring creative ideas, consensus building, and the leadership skills needed to bring people together and finally address our biggest challenges.

Ensuring a Reliable Water Supply

No issue is more acute in Monterey County than water supply. Matters have come to a head during the drought, but today’s challenges are also the result of a lack of planning over many years, as well as some notable missteps, like the scandal-ridden Regional Water Project, which cost local ratepayers $34,000,000.

Today we face a water crisis that could have broader impacts on our economy and for local ratepayers. There’s no silver bullet answer. We need a portfolio of solutions to ensure we have reliable water supplies and that we continue to provide water for our region in an environmentally sustainable way.

  • Continued conservation. Every effort should be made by the County to increase conservation and water recycling efforts. I believe we must lead by example. We need a comprehensive audit of water usage in all County facilities and on all County projects, and we must increase our outreach efforts to encourage conservation across the community.
  • Aquifer storage and recovery. This process involves taking Carmel River water during high flows and transporting it by pipeline to the Seaside Basin for later use. One benefit of this process is that there is no water loss from evaporation – unlike what happens with open water storage and transport.
  • Wastewater purification. I support Pure Water Monterey’s plan, which purifies agricultural wastewater, and is supported by both environmental and agricultural groups and leaders. It will also provide water to the Monterey Peninsula at a lower cost per acre foot than desalination.
  • A balanced approach on desalination. I support desal that is cost-effective, can be built in a timely way, and in a manner that is environmentally safe and doesn’t break the back of the ratepayers. Experts confirm that desalination needs to be part of the solution to prevent acute water shortages, and I agree. I believe the footprint and impact should be carefully measured to ensure that ratepayers get the best return on their investment.

Reducing Traffic and Improving Transportation

Traffic is a major problem in the 5th District. Major gridlock not only causes headaches for local residents, but it also impacts safety, tourism, and our local economy. I want to bring much needed action and leadership to the Board of Supervisors to address our traffic and transportation concerns.

  • A smart, comprehensive approach incorporating traffic, planning, development, and water. Traffic is significantly impacted when new developments are green-lighted without adequate consideration for the need for surrounding infrastructure. We need to be more holistic in our thinking about how proposed development impacts traffic, as well as water. And we need to prioritize congestion relief efforts that will improve traffic flow.
  • Increased workforce housing. When local workers are able to live near where they work, we will see a reduction in commuter hours and less traffic on our streets.
  • Stronger support for bike trails. I believe we need to make our communities more walkable and bikeable. That means investing in expanded bike trails and a stronger emphasis on integrating and connecting already established trails, particularly in the Ford Ord area.
  • Mass transit. We need to encourage and incentivize the use of mass transit for both local residents and workers, as well as visitors.
  • Securing the resources we need from Sacramento. I will be a strong voice for our local community in Sacramento, to secure the funding we need for maintenance and Capital improvements for our roads and highways. Deferred maintenance issues in particular are keeping our roads and infrastructure below standards. The upcoming sales tax proposed by TAMC should be supported as part of the solution.

Development that Matches the Character of Our Community

We need to ensure that proposed development fits the character of our special community.

  • Protecting our environment. I believe that development projects that threaten the economic tourism engine of our county, compromise our coast, open space, or environment, are not in line with the character or values of our community.
  • Traffic mitigation. We cannot continue to rubber stamp the types of large development projects that lead to an overwhelming increase in traffic congestion. Developing in areas that already include supportive infrastructure—more infill development for example—will help us reduce impacts on traffic.
  • Conserving water. We also must ensure new developments have adequate water so we do not further overburden our water supply especially during this time of great uncertainty about the future of our water.
  • Listening to and empowering residents. I will hold in-district meetings ahead of votes on major development projects in order to learn residents’ thoughts on prospective projects. I believe in transparency and am committed to listening, and to serving as a strong voice for my constituents.
  • Real leadership on development. Being a Supervisor is more than just voting the right way. It means building coalitions, persuading fellow Supervisors and community leaders, and bringing people together. It means being able to get the three votes needed to approve sensible projects and block those that aren’t in the best interest of our county. Perhaps the biggest potential new development on the horizon is the Monterey Downs Horse Race Track, which was brought to the Monterey Peninsula by incumbent Supervisor Dave Potter. I have major concerns over the impacts that this development would have on traffic, water, and the environment, and if I am elected Supervisor, I would want to see those concerns addressed before a vote would be taken.

Other Important Issues

There will continue to be many challenging issues emerging in Monterey County. We need to be nimble, creative, and able to work on more than one issue at a time. Some of the issues on the table now include:

  • The need to build more affordable housing
  • Addressing homelessness in a way that is compassionate and also protects public health and safety
  • Making Board of Supervisors meetings more convenient and accessible for the public to attend

Please feel free to contact me at MaryAdams2016@gmail.com or call 831.313.4605 if you have any questions about where I stand on the issues.

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