Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig, is President & CEO of Monterey County Business Council. She leads the organization and specializes in forging cross-sector partnerships between private, public, and nonprofit agencies. She is also the current Executive Director for Leadership Monterey County.
Kimbley has balanced her progressive career with an unwavering commitment to Salinas. She is a Past President of the Salinas Jaycees. She later served two terms as Vice President of the California Jaycees. Kimbley is on the Salinas Rodeo Committee, and has held positions on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Monterey County, Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monterey County, and SVMHS Heart & Sole 10K Race. She is a Hall of Fame Award recipient for Leadership Salinas Valley. Currently, she is a volunteer driver for ITN Monterey County, a driving service for seniors and low-vision residents. She is a founder of Monterey Bay Derby Dames, a local non-profit organizational women’s roller derby team for the Monterey Peninsula. Recently, she joined the Board of Directors for Hospice Giving Foundation, which promotes preparedness and dignified end of life care for individuals and their loved ones. She is a leadership trainer to local boards of directors on fiscal management, community outreach, and proper meeting procedures. She is widely recognized by her organizations for her ability to mobilize resources and volunteers.
In 2020, after the unexpected passing of Mayor Joe Gunter, Kimbley stepped up to run for Mayor. The city needed stability, leadership, and guidance in a time of crisis. She had wide support, and committed to handling the COVID pandemic and the $14 million dollar deficit. With no vaccines available as she took office, Salinas was the city with most of the county’s cases – Kimbley pushed to prioritize the elderly in the zip codes with the highest cases – 93905, 93906, 93907, and 93901. She worked to also prioritize vaccinating farmworkers as they returned from Yuma in March 2021. She also took the final steps with her new council to hire a new City Manager, and address the $14 million deficit, successfully balancing the city’s budget in 2021 and 2022.
She has consistently voted to support police and fire budgets, understanding a safe, livable community is critical to the quality of life of our residents.
She is also successfully addressing homelessness in Salinas – by creating state-funded transitional housing with wraparound services. And she’s committed to increasing affordable housing options for all levels of income in Salinas.
Kimbley currently sits on the following committees:
- Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
- Community Alliance for Safety & Peace (CASP) Co-Chair
- Transportation Agency of Monterey County – 2010-2018 (Chair – 2014, Executive Board 2010-2016)
- Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority
- Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Rail Policy Committee
- Finance Committee
- Economic Development Committee
- Legislative Committee (State and Federal legislation)
- Rodeo Committee
- Fireworks Policy Committee
As City Councilmember
Kimbley ran for office and was elected to Salinas City Council in 2010. She was reelected again in 2014, and served a successful second term until December 2018. She actively represented North Salinas in District #5, which encompasses nearly half (approximately $33 million dollars) of the city’s retail sales tax base. Kimbley maintained a balanced and responsible pro-business stance on City Council. At the time, she was the youngest woman ever elected to office in Salinas.
Additionally, she was one of 32 public administrators (out of 800 applications) selected to participate in the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master’s degree program, and her thesis addresses the issue of human trafficking of migrant communities right here in Monterey County. She graduated in April 2019.
Kimbley and her partner Bobby live in Salinas with their Corgi, Lucy.