A longtime Salinas city councilman who has two decades of public service said affordable housing, reducing homelessness and engaging people in local government are among the issues he would tackle if elected to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 2020.
Steve McShane, 45, is running for District 4 Supervisor Jane Parker’s seat. Parker is not seeking reelection but has endorsed her aide, Wendy Askew, 41, for the job. District 4 includes south Salinas, Del Rey Oaks, Seaside, Sand City and Marina and Fort Ord.
McShane said his two decades of public service experience and ability to get along with others will help him as supervisor of District 4, if elected.
“Those who have worked me know me as an optimist and a positive bridge builder, and that is exactly what I will bring to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors,” McShane told The Pine Cone this week.
Fort Ord redevelopment
McShane, who is married and has a toddler and another child on the way, said Fort Ord should be considered for more affordable housing. The key is getting the public and officials from agencies and cities on the same page — something he said he could help facilitate.
“If we can get those parties together, redevelopment of the 500-plus remaining empty structures on the former Fort Ord is possible,” McShane said. “We put a man on the moon; I’m sure we could work through differences on water and put better housing options for our local communities.”
McShane, who owned a landscape business in South Salinas for many years, also envisions reforesting some of Monterey County’s urban areas.
He would start by launching a tree-planting campaign, something he did as city councilman in his district in Salinas.
“We had a campaign to plant about 1,000 trees,” he said. “We are almost halfway there. We secured a grant from Cal Fire, and we have many neighbors who have done private fundraising to improve their blocks and neighborhoods.”
In terms of crime prevention, McShane said it’s helpful when residents work together to watch their neighborhoods and report suspicious activities and crimes, ala the Neighborhood Watch program.
“In my own backyard I organized a neighborhood association that is arguably the most effective in Salinas,” he said. “While it’s important to support a robust police department and law enforcement, it’s equally important to support public safety at a local level. If you can get the neighbors more engaged, then the community and the region benefits.”
McShane said he’s running for the District 4 supervisor’s seat because he wants a “better region for my children,” and to “engage people” to be involved in local government.
“We are in an uphill battle up against electronic media and other ways to pass the time,” he explained. “Because of that, civic engagement has suffered. I want to make local government cool and engaging. I want people to fall in deeper love with the county of Monterey.”