Council deadlocked on air show schedule

People walk along to check the planes on display at last year's Air Show at the airport.

With Councilwoman Pauline Valdivia absent at this week’s meeting, Hollister council members were deadlocked on the dates for a 2013 air show.

Hollister council members were split 2-2 on whether to hold the fourth Hollister Airshow over Memorial Day weekend, while a second motion to hold it July 5-7 died due to a lacking second. The votes Tuesday came two weeks after council members delayed their decision on the consideration to move the Memorial Day event to July 5-7.

Some council members expressed concern because efforts have started to revive a motorcycle rally around July 4, while other officials believe the two events could coincide over the same time frame.

Air show organizers and the airport commission are pushing to schedule the fourth annual event over a July 4 weekend. They say the only option is a holiday weekend – because neighboring businesses are forced to close otherwise – and that the Fourth of July is the only other time frame available in the summer because Labor Day is already taken by the Watsonville Fly-in & Air Show.

With a scheduling move, organizers are counting on an attendance boost and additional revenue to offset losses, such as the $18,000 hit in 2012.

It looks as though Valdivia will have the deciding vote on the scheduling, with the council scheduled to next meet Sept. 17.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, council members Robert Scattini and Victor Gomez voted in favor of keeping the event on Memorial Day weekend, while Councilman Doug Emerson made the motion – to hold it July 5-7 – which did not gain support from other council members.

Scattini contended the city doesn’t have the necessary personnel to handle both events at the same time.

“How are you going to do both?” he said. “The fire department needs to be at the airport for the air show.”

Airport Director Mike Chambless, meanwhile, has warned council members that time is running short to plan for next year. He said aside from having time to make the usual arrangements, sponsors prefer signing on as early as possible.

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