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May 25, 2022

Candidate Denies Accusations

Editor,
During my career as publisher and editorial writer of The
Pinnacle, one of my biggest concerns was how simply I needed to
state ideas and concepts so that readers at a variety of reading
comprehension levels could understand them.
Editor,

During my career as publisher and editorial writer of The Pinnacle, one of my biggest concerns was how simply I needed to state ideas and concepts so that readers at a variety of reading comprehension levels could understand them. Last week’s letter from Elsie Browder, filled with inaccuracies about my stands on issues, reminded me how difficult that task often was.

My time at the helm of The Pinnacle coincided with a decrease in our overall quality of life due to the negative impacts of Hollister’s unbridled growth in the late 1990s. The sewage crisis and levee failure, 22 deaths in 18 months on Highway 25, crowded parks and playing fields, showed all of us that residential growth had not been planned effectively. During discussion of the Award Homes project, I argued that we slow down and come up with a plan for managed growth that would be triggered by economic and infrastructure gains. That philosophy was bad for a newspaper businesses that could have grown with the addition of malls and more readers, but I felt then and now that it is best for the community.

Ms. Browder accuses me of being for “no growth,” which seems contrary to The Pinnacle’s editorial support for the San Juan Oaks project, whose director Scott Fuller worked within county guidelines to create housing at a variety of income levels, preserve farmland and open space, create lighting that meets the dark skies ordinance guidelines and set aside land for a county park and fire station. That is an example of good, managed growth, which I have always supported.

As for Ms. Browder beating the old drum of Measure G, both sides believe The Pinnacle favored other, which indicates to me that we achieved some level of objectivity. For the record, I personally believed that parts of G were good (making permanent dark skies, limits on ridgetop development, and the power of voters to approve large-scale developments), but the drastic upzoning written without input from those affected or a plan in place to compensate landowners through transfer development credits was rightfully its downfall. I look forward to seeing the final proposal from Vision San Benito.

During 5 1/2 years at the helm of The Pinnacle I wrote 285 editorials on issues affecting our community. My written record on managed growth that produces benefits that increase our quality of life is clear – as long as readers take them in context and fully grasp their meaning.

Tracie Cone, San Benito County

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