Pauline Valdivia retained her Hollister City Council District 3
seat Tuesday by defeating Randy Pfeifer and Henry Sumaya with 47.7
percent of the vote.
Pauline Valdivia retained her Hollister City Council District 3 seat Tuesday by defeating Randy Pfeifer and Henry Sumaya with 47.7 percent of the vote.
“I’m really excited and I want to thank my district for showing support,” Valdivia said.
Pfeifer was second with 39.8 percent. Sumaya received 12.4 percent.
After two of four precincts had reported at about 9 p.m., Pfeifer actually held a lead over Valdivia of 48 percent to 43. By the end of the night, though, Valdivia had received 472 votes to Pfeifer’s 394.
“It has been stressful, waiting to see what my district wanted,” Valdivia said.
Pfeifer, a registered nurse, moved to San Benito County only four years ago and said he felt the constant negativity surrounding the Council needed change. When both candidates were running unopposed and it was getting close to election time, Pfeifer said he felt an obligation to enter the race. As a concerned citizen, he said, the Council’s highly publicized mistakes over the last four years could not be allowed.
He said the Council’s previously lax attitude about wastewater issues helped cause the 15-million-gallon sewage spill in May along with the impending building permit moratorium and the $1.2 million fine against the city by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Pfeifer could not be reached for comment after the election results were reported.
Sumaya, a truck dispatcher, expressed even more disgust than Pfeifer in recent weeks about the Council’s performance, especially considering the wastewater issues.
Valdivia, 59 and a lifetime resident of Hollister, has spent the last 28 years with Jovenes de Antano, a non-profit organization that provides services to the elderly.
Valdivia said wants to get city and county agencies to cooperate more efficiently. She said a “team attitude” is necessary to solve problems such as those dealing with wastewater management.
The recently imposed cease-and-desist order and $1.2 million fine against the city came at the wrong time for a re-election campaign. Those penalties from the regional water board stem from the sewer spill May 4 at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which also caused widespread negative publicity for city officials.
But Valdivia’s supporters nevertheless showed continued support.
Valdivia thanked Pfeifer for running a “clean” campaign. Both she and Pfeifer, she said, focused on the issues and not each other.
She said her first term on the Council gave her experience and a constantly growing knowledge of city issues. Valdivia said now she wants continued improvement from herself and her fellow Councilmembers. With that, she said, the wastewater issues will soon be solved.