Council candidates talk about the issues

The Nov. 6 election is just one month away, when Hollister voters will be selecting a majority of the City Council.

Council seats in Districts 2, 3 and 4 are all open in the upcoming election. In District 2 the candidates are Mickie Solorio-Luna and Rolan Resendiz. In District 3 the candidates are Raul Escareno, Honor Spencer and Elia Salinas. The District 4 candidates are Marty Richman and Salvador Mora.

To help voters understand where candidates stand, the Hollister Free Lance asked residents what they wanted to hear from their city leaders. Using comments taken from Facebook, the Free Lance sent candidates three questions that address some of the core concerns of Hollister residents.

Each candidate was allotted approximately 50 words per question and responded via an emailed statement. Candidates with no statements chose not to respond to the Free Lance offer.

Here are their statements.

District 4

Salvador Mora

  • Street repairs

We need to hold elected officials accountable to spending and dedicating much-needed funds toward pavement maintenance. The state needs to do its part in allocating funding from the millions we send to Sacramento. Developers need to do their part through traffic impact fees and additional funding to help mitigate the impact of new residential development.

Salvador Mora
  • Downtown businesses and incentives

Restaurants are great to attract people to downtown Hollister. In the past, the city considered waiving fees for new commercial kitchens. We should continue to focus on streamlining the permit process for any business inside the city’s downtown zone Mixed uses are needed downtown. Retail, restaurant and office are critical to a healthy downtown.

  • Private sector job growth

We should provide private sector companies permit and impact fee credits since they will be taking vehicles off Highway 25. Widening Highway 25 is critical, but keeping residents here, working and living, is just as critical. We need to look into an enterprise zone that would waive taxes on private sector companies, encouraging them to invest in Hollister, creating jobs and keeping our residents working local.

Marty Richman

  • What will you do to upgrade and repair city streets?

Continue to use the pavement management software to make cost-effective repairs. Additionally, we need a professional evaluation by a traffic engineer to reduce congestion, then use impact fee funds to put in the recommended improvements.

Marty Richman
  • What types of businesses should be downtown, and what incentives should the city use to attract these businesses?

We need an event center and entertainment venues, including cafes as well as open-market grocery stores that provide basic items to the area’s residents. Think of an outdoor walking mall atmosphere. Sales tax rebates and reduced impact fees are effective incentives.

  • What can the city do to create more private sector jobs?

Make a strategic plan and a long-term commitment to find potential employers. We have been on-again, off-again with economic development organizations; that does not work. Inventory what we do have, and look for similar or complementary businesses; what works for one will work for another.

District 2

Rolan Resendiz

  • Street repairs

The passage of Measure G will help fix our roads. We should start growing and be much more proactive about our growth rather than reactive in the future. If we plan to grow while maintaining our own, we wouldn’t have to tax residents to fix past mistakes by our elected officials. We need to be forward-thinking while we plan out our growth.

  • Downtown businesses and incentives

We need to meet with the business owners and plan a vision for a thriving downtown area. They are all invested in the success of downtown and currently are not being represented. We need to support a more touristy entertainment environment. We need live music, great restaurants,  wine and beer bars that will encourage people to want to shop, eat and play downtown.

Rolan Resendiz
  • Private sector job growth

We need to have City staff aggressively work on this issue. We can partner with successful thriving companies and find incentives for them to establish businesses here in Hollister. Growing the private sector with a fair living wage will help to keep people locally employed, cut down on commuter congestion, and encourage them to reinvest locally. We need to slow down the residential growth and focus on job creation.

Mickie Solario-Luna

  • Street repairs

Currently the city has been able to repair city streets with continued annual state funding, which we will continue to prioritize and seek. In addition, our alleyways where many family homes are located require alley repaving and pothole repairs and suitable residential parking areas.

  • Downtown businesses and incentives

I have encouraged the establishment of a family-type restaurant on Monterey Street since many churches, city, county offices and courts are located in this street. Also beneficial would be shared networking office spaces for persons who can work locally and not have to commute out of the area.

Mickie Solario-Luna
  • Private sector job growth

I have often presented the idea of attracting corporate distribution centers for various companies that need to travel from within two major highways 101 and Interstate 5 which connect through Highway 152, Along with these distribution centers come major gas stations and hotels which connect to the distribution center’s economy.

None of the District 3 candidates responded to the Free Lance’s questions.

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