Running for Morgan Hill City Council District B in the Nov. 8 election are incumbent Yvonne Martinez Beltran and Bryan Sutherland. 

As part of the Times’ ongoing election coverage, we presented candidates with a series of questions to give them a chance to make their positions known to the voters. Sutherland did not respond to requests to respond to the Q&A. 

Martinez Beltran is running for her second term on the Morgan Hill City Council. She is a mother to twins and a toddler, and a business owner, she said. Her family has lived in Morgan Hill for more than 40 years, and she attended local schools before graduating from Live Oak High School. She earned her master’s degree from New York University in Urban Planning; and in her spare time she enjoys hiking, dancing, cycling, theater, playing with her children, traveling and “hanging out with my parents.”

Sutherland’s candidate statement, which is published on the city’s elections website, says he is a “community leader and small business owner.” The statement says he is “running for City Council to bring Morgan Hill together and refocus the council on the basics. My top priority is public safety including better supporting our police and CalFire services to ensure the safety of all our residents.” 

City Council District B includes the northeast portion of the City of Morgan Hill. 

Yvonne Martinez Beltran

Why are you running for re-election to the Morgan Hill City Council District B seat?

I care about public safety, preserving Morgan Hill’s essence and securing our economic strength. My policy leads with inclusion, equity and engaging community—seniors, families, children, youth, representing and collaborating with everyone. 

Yvonne Martinez Beltran

I have ensured our deferred unfunded liabilities—key police and fire staffing, equipment and a firehouse—were finally funded. I doubled down against Covid-19, by bringing testing, vaccinations, funding and online webinars to Morgan Hill. 

Leading under intensity created deep, lasting relationships and knowledge working regionally. We need real people unburdened by status quo or special interests with family values, relationships, a vision and the moxie to do it. 

What do you think are the top two or three issues for the City of Morgan Hill that you would hope to address as a councilmember? 

The three top issues are Housing; Economic Development and the Monterey Corridor; and Water and Infrastructure. I hope to continue our inclusionary housing ordinance requiring the building, funding and disbursement of affordable housing, to tighten objective design standards and meet our Regional Housing Needs Allocation goals. 

We need to focus on a Specific Plan for the Monterey Road Corridor development. This will provide the public an opportunity to participate in defining the vision, needs, priorities, plan and investment similar to downtown.

Finally, we must continue advocating for state funding to invest in recycled water infrastructure, and legislation mandating telecom and PG&E infrastructure upgrades. 

When making decisions on the council or representing the City of Morgan Hill, how would you balance the needs of the city as a whole with those of your individual district? 

I never take the privilege entrusted in me by voters to represent you for granted. I look to hear all sides. It’s important to listen to our community when making decisions on behalf of the city, the people of Morgan Hill, who I am committed to represent and serve. 

It is equally important when making policy, to follow the data and vet policy impacts through an equity lens. When deliberating decisions, I appreciate and weigh what the community conveys, I study the data and impacts, consult with valued staff, and hear colleague comments, taking everything under careful consideration.

What are your ideas on how to meet the city’s and region’s housing needs, while also managing traffic, finances, public works and other impacts that come with such growth?

I will continue to balance achieving statewide housing requirements to keep remaining local control, while protecting open space, advancing sustainability and mitigating impacts. I will continue to support Economic Development to help existing businesses, to recruit desired businesses with targeted incentives, and business incubation and vocational training to raise our low jobs to housing ratio and tax revenue. I will continue to advocate as I have for years for a Monterey Corridor Specific Plan to direct development, and evaluate Tax Increment Financing feasibility to help fund infrastructure and impacts. Finally, we must continue to press legislators to stop unfunded mandates.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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