Theresa Ann Bond, candidate for District 5

In the March 5 primary election, voters will choose a Santa Cruz County supervisor candidate to represent District 5. The district includes the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains. If one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the candidate will become supervisor. If not, the top two candidates will square off in the November election.

Theresa Ann Bond is one of four candidates running for District 5 supervisor. Read about the other candidates: Christopher Bradford, Tom Decker and Monica Martinez.

Theresa Ann Bond is running for District 5 Santa Cruz County supervisor in the March 5 election.

Theresa Ann Bond (Rebecca Misa — Contributed)

Meet Theresa Ann Bond

Age: 61.

Residence: West of Highway 17 and Summit Road.

Occupation: Bond is a Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District trustee and runs a home business.

Experience: Bond is chair of the school board’s Legislative Action Committee. She said she became involved in school boards because her children attended district schools. Bond has been a senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems and has worked for Apple. She said she faces many of the same challenges as other residents of county supervisor District 5.

Read about Theresa Ann Bond’s positions:

Several District 5 voters said they don’t feel safe because of recent wildfires, floods and power outages. What will you do in your first year as a county supervisor to improve evacuation plans, emergency preparation and cell service in the San Lorenzo Valley?

“If you haven’t seen the documentary ‘Paradise,’ it will frighten you because those people were trapped,” Bond said. As a rural resident of a dead-end private road, Bond said she’s felt the fear firsthand of her road closing from a disaster like a landslide or fire. She is a member of her local Firewise Community and encouraged others to start similar groups.

If elected county supervisor, Bond said she wanted to ensure evacuation plans are in place for elderly residents on rural roads. She said roads should be repaired to ensure complete evacuation routes.

She experienced a wildfire evacuation and communicated with her neighbors to check in on each other. 

She also wants to improve community preparedness and education around wildfires and drought, improve water storage so wet years benefit dry years more, and consider a power insurance policy like the City of San Diego implemented. She said the San Diego program worked with the American Red Cross to allow residents to get  generators and a maintenance plan to prepare for disasters.

What long-term strategies would you pursue to adapt and prepare District 5 to more frequent disasters fueled by climate change?

“We’ve got a lot of predictive information out there now, and with our major universities, we need to bring that to the forefront so that we are planning in advance,” Bond said. She said residents need to be prepared. 

“What we experienced last year, if it is anything in comparison, and worse, we are going to be in trouble. And I mean, we’re not finished doing repairs on my home from last year at all.” She added, “We still have a lot of roads that aren’t ready to go and won’t be. So having backup plans is really important.”

Bond said she would make sure that predictive information goes to the board of supervisors, and update policy to align with that information in a quarterly review. She also said she wants to make sure the county reviews emergency preparedness procedures after every disaster. “So when something comes in as a suggestion, or an experience that somebody had, that could help us to be better prepared,” Bond said.

“You know, if we think about last year, we had atmospheric rivers, we had wind storms, we had snow storms. It was just an amazing thing that happened all at once to us in a very short period of time,” she said.

Some voters told us they are tired of power, heat and communication outages. How would you work toward improved power reliability from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in San Lorenzo Valley? 

“Our reliability has decreased to the extreme and we have to rely on ourselves. That’s not OK. That hasn’t been OK for a long time,” Bond said. Bond said she keeps track of all the outages on her road and sometimes PG&E’s map of outages won’t reflect that they’ve lost power. “Maybe it’s time we start having some conversations about getting away from our current supplier,” she said.

“You know, the City of Santa Clara has Silicon Valley Power, they service themselves. So, you know, they provide 40% carbon-free, green, renewable-resource power,” she said. “The state of Maine, in November, just this month, held a major vote on dissolving its two largest power companies to create a nonprofit utility. So we’re not alone in this happening.”

“We need to start thinking a little bit more about what private industry is doing and how they are incentivizing their suppliers, and putting some penalties in place.”

She also referenced how in her work as a school trustee she sees schools lose hours and days from power outages, and thus state funding for the days lost. She said she’d like to hold PG&E accountable for those costs.

Several District 5 residents said county road conditions are bad. How can you get more money for road improvements in District 5? What county roads are your top priorities to fix during your four-year term? 

Bond said there’s more that the county can do to secure state and federal funding.

“I drive our administrators crazy on my school board. When I see a grant I ask, ‘have we applied?’ Many times, I’ll get a response back that says, ‘We aren’t eligible, we don’t meet the criteria.’ I dive into that criteria. And many times, not all of them, we meet that criteria,” she said. “We need to be efficient with what we’re doing so that we can bring in those dollars that are federal and state. They’re there. And we can go after them. But it does take work to go and find them. And it takes building relationships with those legislators, their staff,” Bond said. 

Bond said the top roads she would repair are:

  • Glen Arbor Road in Ben Lomond.
  • Highway 9 in Felton. 
  • Bear Creek Road to Highway 9 and Los Gatos.
  • Soquel Drive and North Main Street in Soquel. 
  • Spreckels Drive in Rio Del Mar. 

“There are a lot of areas and that’s just the ones that I know of. I’m sure there’s a big map somewhere I need to look at. I’m hoping it’s color coded and shows which have the highest priority. And then I want to see a timeline as to what the deliverables are and what the obstacles are. So we can do whatever we can to allocate funds,” Bond said.

For CZU Lightning Complex Fire survivors, what will you do differently than the current supervisor to remove obstacles to rebuild? 

“I’m looking in from the outside, but it appears the board of supervisors thought their process was on autopilot. And that can easily happen until something like this comes up. But for folks who followed the process, and when things did not happen, we need to have something in there that immediately flags us so that we can get involved and take action quickly,” Bond said.

She said the delays and obstacles were one after the other, and now with inflation, “Many of them can never rebuild, so it’s just heartbreaking.” 

She said she wants warnings to go to the board of supervisors so that doesn’t happen again. “I love data, I love one pagers in front of me. I love things that are colorful, that say [the] number of applications, number of days it took to grant a permit, number of permits on hold. I like seeing something very simple in front of me where then I can go start to ask questions,” Bond said.

She said she would talk to those with pending permits to see if the county can still offer assistance, then use that information to improve the process. 

Expedited permits were not enough, Bond said. “If there’s anything out there that we can offer now, to try and convince these folks to try again, I would want to sit with them. And I would love the department heads of these of the groups that are in charge of this to come with me and sit down. And let’s speak face to face and see if there’s anything we can do at this point.”

How can county supervisors help fund and facilitate more affordable housing? Where in your district would you support more density?

Theresa Ann Bond: “I would want to talk to the community and really understand what’s going on before even going there. One thing I have learned being on the board of education is once you say something, it’s there, and it will follow you and it can be misinterpreted. And that’s just too big a question where I would — I don’t know enough yet. I haven’t been briefed on it. I haven’t seen the latest information. And I don’t know what the community would want. And I would want to know what that community wanted before I ever said, you know, we’ve got that property over there. And the board of supervisors, we have the power to say that that property is going to become that. I want to know more before I would do that.

Bond said 2024 “is going to continue to challenge us with high demand, low supply and extremely high interest rates.” She added, “People in the lowest level of housing who want to move to the next level of housing can’t, and older people who might want to sell are faced with having to pay more versus having a low mortgage or no mortgage where they are, so they’re staying put. So getting housing moving is part of this game and it’s just a bad situation. The current board has made some progress; obviously, there’s more that we can do.”

Bond said the county needs to look at closing the gap between housing costs and wages. The county also needs to decide on how much housing density to build going forward. 

“Now, could we do a building like that for what I want to call ‘workforce housing’. I had a conversation with the tax assessor [working on my issues with the board of education], looking at passing the parcel tax. You can add exemptions when you put taxes in place, and there is something for affordable housing, but it has a lot of very strict criteria, and there’s very little of it. But at the state level, can we even start talking about something called workforce housing? Can we recode it? Can we think outside the box here a little bit and see what we might be able to create?” Bond said.

She added she didn’t like the idea of too-small affordable housing, like a 380-square-foot apartment for a family. “Now, does that sit right with you? It does not sit right with me,” she said. She said she was skeptical of big companies coming in to develop.

“I don’t know if they want to look like the apartments by the train station in Silicon Valley. Is that what they want to look like? Do they want to be that dense? Do they want every chain restaurant in the area to come and set up there? Personally, I don’t think that’s what we want for our district.” Bond said.

Read why Bond is running for county supervisor

What local issues in your district affect you that make you want to run for office?

“Oh, quality of life — that’s my campaign theme,” Bond said. “We understand that we’re plagued in a way that others are not. Our district residents feel that way, talking to them. I’ve walked the district, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Felton. I stood in the parking lot of Nob Hill and got an earful from people, they feel underserved and underrepresented. And I can’t disagree with that, I feel the same way,” Bond said. 

Bond said when her family moved from Santa Clara County, their quality of life was much better than it is today. Her adult children have struggled to find work and housing here, she said.

“They cannot live on the wages that they’re being offered even after they’ve gone on for higher education and have loans to pay. So, you know, we really need to look at what we can do to balance this. Because from a community standpoint, I think we want our young people to stay in the community.”

“To wrap up, I just wanted to actually say I want this job. I want to do the work. The politics, not so much. But I do work with legislators and other roles. And I’m becoming more comfortable every day doing that,” she said, adding she speaks with legislators on how new bills should be written. “Because if they write it, they don’t understand the complexities that go into it. Very often we get something that is completely unusable. And it may pass but it won’t be used. So those relationships are really key.” 

What is your dream for the Santa Cruz County community? 

Bond said her dream is for a more equitable community with a more affordable cost of living. “I’m an engineer by training and I look at things like, ‘What process can change, what lever can I pull? What can I loosen to make it work more efficiently so the end product is more satisfactory?’” she asked. “My dream for our county is that we come together as residents and figure out what levers we need to pull here.” 

Bond also said she wants to help reduce youth homelessness and truancy, and connect services to those experiencing homelessness.

Fun fact about Bond

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the day shelter-in-place started, her family dog had 11 puppies. Then her eldest son returned from school at UC Santa Cruz and the whole family cared for them.

“So we had the love of puppies and a family project; it really helped us through that time.” Bond said.

Campaign finances

See campaign contributions to Theresa Ann Bond and all local candidates.


See Theresa Ann Bond’s endorsements.

Read more Santa Cruz Local stories