Sudden council departure disrupts system, offers lessons for future Hollister elections

Roy Sims’ abrupt departure from his recently awarded Hollister City Council seat reflects the fragility of representation in a small town.
Sims was a newcomer to the political scene after his narrow election in November over Tim Burns. But just three months into his four-year term, Sims announced his own resignation because he moved outside of District 4 where he was elected.
It’s an important lesson for candidates, particularly new ones, to local politics. If there’s any chance of an impending move from a district where one is trying to become elected, that person has an individual responsibility to forego such aspirations, so as not to disrupt the democratic system.
It’s also an important lesson for voters and those of us commissioned with asking questions during elections. Especially in a small town like Hollister where the divide between districts is around just about every corner, it’s important to ask candidates whether they intend to stay in the district of if there is potential for such a move.  Now, instead of voters choosing their representative, the council will pick from a pool of applicants instead of merely appointing the close runner-up, Burns. Instead of voters choosing the right person, a collective council made up of individuals with personal motives will pick whomever they feel fits their world views.
It’s not a healthy way to pick democratic leaders and opens the door for shenanigans.

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