GREENFIELD — Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez recently hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of his new office located inside the Greenfield Civic Center on El Camino Real.
The location means the District 3 supervisor can more readily meet with constituents in the South Monterey County region he serves. This was a shift from a prior location in the county offices on South Main Street in Salinas.
Lopez and his three staffers will operate inside the Civic Center, alongside City of Greenfield employees within the city hall component of the building. Lopez said the move was part of honoring a campaign commitment to represent the district from within the district.
“We wanted to be here so we could service the people without the barrier of distance,” he said.
Lopez credited Greenfield City Manager Paul Wood, Mayor Lance Walker and Assistant City Manager Paul Mugan with helping to find available space and move some city employee offices to make a corner for the county supervisor staff.
The effort came after initial plans were to have a space constructed in the Walnut Avenue shopping center near Starbucks, but Lopez explained the developer wasn’t able to keep his timetable, which caused renewed conversations with the city.
During the July 16 ribbon-cutting ceremony, a total of 15 artists were honored as the winners of the recent art competition held to decorate the new offices.
The winners were awarded with prizes from local businesses, and their winning pieces — 12 photographs and three paintings — were on display. A total of 150 entries were submitted to the contest.
In addition to offices, the space includes a virtual meeting-ready conference room. There are also cubicles outside the main offices intended for an intern program.
Lopez said that with the office being a community space, if there’s any group, nonprofit or otherwise that needs a space to hold their meeting, the conference room is available.
The intern program is still being organized, but Lopez said he wants to work with area high schools and noted he began his career in politics after starting out as an intern. He wanted such opportunities available for local youth, to learn not only how to work in an office environment, but also see first-hand how government works.
People can come in to talk to Lopez about any county issue. The county operates many services, from public parks to public works, to the jails and even county roads.
Lopez said anyone with concerns or desires to see improvements can come in and discuss them. However, everything isn’t business only, as Lopez noted a coffee pot is ready for any community member who simply wants to stop by for a cup.
The coffee was one of two necessities that Lopez has in any place he works, with the other one being a place to fly the American flag.
“My dad everyday at the dealership would fly the flag, and it was something we were always proud of,” Lopez said.
Other features of the Greenfield Civic Center include the Greenfield Police Department and the Greenfield City Council Chambers.
“About three years ago I stood in front of this very building and announced my intent to run for supervisor,” Lopez recalled on social media that Friday. “Two of the goals I shared that day were moving the office to South County, and starting an internship program in South County. This move makes both possible. Thank you for the support, the collaboration, and the trust. I am humbled and grateful to represent you. We are home.”