News that problems with the Walgreens Project exist are hardly a surprise. Excuses blaming some other agency, developer, or the invisible hand are par for the course for our Community Develop Department. With decades of failed projects, missteps and poor planning, Hollister Community Development and Engineering exist solely to entertain us.
We just heard recently that another hotel project did not happen. We know that large amounts of money were blown on the 400 block. There was the massive overruns of the 25 bypass, the loss of the North Street extension, a decade to get an affordable housing project done when we need one per year, massive sprawl, a waste water treatment plant with more capacity than we’ll ever need, eighty foot wide streets we can’t maintain, and a disassociated electorate, shall I go on?
Bottom line: these community development and engineering failures cost us police and fire budgets that then drive higher taxes creating more poverty. That means disproportionally taxing the poor to keep the public safety at bare bones level. It would be an embarrassment to be on the planning commission or even City Council with this track record – with what Hollister has become who could be proud?
Do the math: every day a hotel is not open in Hollister we lose $1000s in transit occupancy tax, every day Walgreens is not open we lose $1000s in local wages and taxes. Since shortly after the 89 quake a hotel in downtown Hollister was planned – since then millions in lost tax dollars and wages have been lost to failure of the RDA and Community Development.
Tod duBois, Campbell