Guest View: Luna responds to travel stories

Mickie Solorio Luna

I am not accustomed to responding to every story that appears in the Free Lance, especially when said story is a personal hit-piece on a person or related issue. However, since Mr. Kosmicki has made me the target of questionable city travel and expenditures, I will attempt to enlighten the subject matter by simply stating that the approved city budget includes city council training, something which I personally and professionally follow and abide by.
I have spoken with Mr. Kosmicki regarding my travel to conferences and training that are important to the work we do as council members, and the training we get to help improve our service to the city residents regarding concerns and issues facing us, all. However, Mr. Kosmicki failed to mention a lot more of what we discussed—including the fact that I personally had invited his friend, the City Treasurer, to the Municipal Financial Conference, because said conferences and training would assist her in the duties and responsibilities as a city treasurer; this, disturbed Mr. Kosmicki.
As such, let me set the record straight. There were three City of Hollister officials that attended the conference in La Jolla, which included the City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk, who attended their portion of City Clerk Association sessions, and myself, who attended the Financial Sessions. Mr. Kosmicki, however, only reported on me, and the costs involved, not anyone else, who as myself, where on official city business incurring approved expenditures at this city-related conference. The conferences and sessions afford us as elected officials the opportunity of team building, gain knowledge and information on issues and how to better address them. As a retired city employee, I always encouraged disclosures, transparency and accountability, that will not change with me now being a representative of the people.
And for the record, I have attended various training sessions; and due to my statewide networks, I was granted scholarships to attend, and some which I paid on my own. In fact, at one conference, only three attendees were highlighted for their participation at a two-day conference, and I happen to have been honored to have been selected as a representative of the City of Hollister to be included in their newsletter.
As council members we must be kept abreast on legislation and updates on important information that we need, in order to better serve our city. And that is exactly what I plan to do as an elected official.
And also, for the record, I did not cancel the January League of CA Cities Conference due to Mr. Kosmicki’s commentaries and opinions; I canceled because I will be attending another educational forum in Sacramento, on the same day, for which I have, again, been granted a scholarship.
Therefore, I thank the members of this community who have called and have sent me messages of support, and have asked that I continue to be better informed on how our city can better serve our residents.
Mickie Luna is a Hollister city councilwoman.

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