District 5 Santa Cruz County supervisor

The District 5 Santa Cruz County supervisor seat is up for election. District 5 straddles Highway 9 and includes Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Ben Lomond, Felton, Scotts Valley, part of Santa Cruz and some areas near Summit Road.

District 5 voters will choose between Theresa Ann Bond, Christopher Bradford, Tom Decker and Monica Martinez. Read our guide for each candidate:

Key differences in District 5 candidates’ positions

How to improve wildfire evacuation, cell service and emergency preparedness

Theresa Ann Bond:

  • Encourage more local Firewise Communities to reduce wildfire risk.
  • Repair evacuation routes.
  • Consider a countywide program to distribute and maintain generators.

Christopher Bradford:

  • Invest in efforts like brush-buster programs to prepare for wildfires
  • Support fire breaks on large properties.
  • Create more landlines, ham radio systems and alert sirens for emergencies.

Tom Decker:

  • Encourage community groups to create phone trees.
  • Encourage residents to have generators and emergency plans.

Monica Martinez:

  • Build early warning systems like evacuation sirens.
  • Prioritize evacuation routes for  road repairs.
  • Support community-based organizations for emergency response.
  • Encourage utilities to build more cell towers.

How to improve power reliability

Theresa Ann Bond:

  • Consider creating a local, publicly-run power utility.
  • Consider penalizing PG&E for outages that impact schools.

Christopher Bradford:

  • Support undergrounding of power lines.
  • Advocate for solutions with PG&E and state and federal representatives.

Tom Decker:

  • Work with other rural counties and state legislators.
  • Hire a lobbyist to advocate for local power reliability.
  • Encourage residents to own generators.

Monica Martinez:

  • Ask the California Public Utilities Commission and state lawmakers to “encourage PG&E to do better.”
  • Support rebates and incentives for generators.

How to reduce obstacles to post-wildfire rebuilding

Theresa Ann Bond:

  • Have staff give more data to county supervisors about progress on rebuilding permits.
  • Individually connect with wildfire victims who have not been able to rebuild.

Christopher Bradford:

  • Don’t require rebuilders to conform to updated standards for septic systems and roof sprinklers.

Tom Decker:

  • Set up a volunteer group to help applicants through the permitting process.

Monica Martinez:

  • Remove local regulations and challenge state rules that impede rebuilding.
  • Make septic requirements more flexible.
  • Make permit review faster and more consistent.

How to fund affordable housing and where to add new homes

Theresa Ann Bond:

  • Close the gap between housing costs and wages.
  • Pursue funding for workhouse housing.
  • Reject large, dense developments.

Christopher Bradford:

  • Reduce septic requirements.
  • Use county land for affordable housing.
  • Increase housing density throughout the district.

Tom Decker:

  • Cut costs for developers by loosening septic requirements.
  • Build on empty lots.

Monica Martinez:

  • Consider funding affordable housing with county money and tax increases on the wealthiest county residents.
  • Build housing on county land and on transit corridors.

How to improve wildfire evacuation, cell service and emergency preparedness

Theresa Ann Bond
  • Encourage more local Firewise Communities to reduce wildfire risk.
  • Repair evacuation routes.
  • Consider a countywide program to distribute and maintain generators.
Christopher Bradford
  • Invest in efforts like brush-buster programs to prepare for wildfires
  • Support fire breaks on large properties.
  • Create more landlines, ham radio systems and alert sirens for emergencies.
Tom Decker
  • Encourage community groups to create phone trees.
  • Encourage residents to have generators and emergency plans.
Monica Martinez
  • Build early warning systems like evacuation sirens.
  • Prioritize evacuation routes for  road repairs.
  • Support community-based organizations for emergency response.
  • Encourage utilities to build more cell towers.

How to improve power reliability

Theresa Ann Bond
  • Consider creating a local, publicly-run power utility.
  • Consider penalizing PG&E for outages that impact schools.
Christopher Bradford
  • Support undergrounding of power lines.
  • Advocate for solutions with PG&E and state and federal representatives.
Tom Decker
  • Work with other rural counties and state legislators.
  • Hire a lobbyist to advocate for local power reliability.
  • Encourage residents to own generators.
Monica Martinez
  • Ask the California Public Utilities Commission and state lawmakers to “encourage PG&E to do better.”
  • Support rebates and incentives for generators.

How to reduce obstacles to post-wildfire rebuilding

Theresa Ann Bond
  • Have staff give more data to county supervisors about progress on rebuilding permits.
  • Individually connect with wildfire victims who have not been able to rebuild.
Christopher Bradford
  • Don’t require rebuilders to conform to updated standards for septic systems and roof sprinklers.
Tom Decker
  • Set up a volunteer group to help applicants through the permitting process.
Monica Martinez
  • Remove local regulations and challenge state rules that impede rebuilding.
  • Make septic requirements more flexible.
  • Make permit review faster and more consistent.

How to fund affordable housing and where to add new homes

Theresa Ann Bond
  • Close the gap between housing costs and wages.
  • Pursue funding for workhouse housing. 
  • Reject large, dense developments.
Christopher Bradford
  • Reduce septic requirements.
  • Use county land for affordable housing.
  • Increase housing density throughout the district.
Tom Decker
  • Cut costs for developers by loosening septic requirements.
  • Build on empty lots.
Monica Martinez
  • Consider funding affordable housing with county money and tax increases on the wealthiest county residents.
  • Build housing on county land and on transit corridors.

What we heard from Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 5 voters

Santa Cruz Local interviewed District 5 residents and collected responses through an online survey to better understand their top priorities for supervisor candidates in the March 5 election. The survey was not intended to be scientific, but rather a straw poll of issues important to voters.

District 5 residents’ priorities below are listed in order of frequency:

  • Fire and flood preparation.
  • Power, water, communications and roads.
  • Housing affordability.
  • Child care, safety and youth activities.

Read more about what we learned from District 5 residents.