The following people, events and organizations deserved either a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down this week

Thumbs up: For Police Chief Jeff Miller who added Sergeant James Weathers to the Hollister Police Department’s over-worked detective bureau. The two detectives working in the department are being buried under a load of 1,000 open cases and have to perform triage to keep on top of their jobs. Detectives say many of the less-important cases sink to the bottom of the stack because they must focus on solving more serious crimes. Hopefully, the addition of a third person will help detectives gain control of the case load and better serve Hollister residents.

Thumbs down: For local politicians who railed against the possibility of creating a campaign finance ordinance for the county. Of the dozen or so politicians present when county supervisors discussed the idea this week, only District Attorney John Sarsfield supported the idea. We commend the DA for his support, but we are discouraged by the opposition from other local politicos. A campaign finance ordinance should not be viewed as negative step against candidates or elected officials. It is only a way to make sure our elected leaders remember their first duty is to the people who elected them, not to the donors who finance them.

Thumbs up: For San Benito High School administrators who are drafting a plan to pay for a school resource officer in the coming year. The Hollister Police Department, strapped for cash, had to pull its on-campus officer off the high school beat in a money-saving move. But now administrators will ask their board for about $75,000 to fund the position. We hope it happens. A police presence will go a long way in deterring gang problems and maintaining a safe learning environment.

Thumbs down: For the fact that nonprofits likely will see a drop in donations from this year’s Hollister Independence Rally. The final tally is not in, but rally organizers say the sale of $5 parking passes didn’t go as well as they had hoped. This year, the rally had to generate a lot more money than in the past so it could pay the city $280,000 for police protection. The city will get its money, but nonprofits will feel the pinch because there won’t be much cash left after the rally pays its bills, organizers say.

Thumbs up: For the people who have helped resident Eric Golden who lost his home to an electrical fire last weekend. Although the blaze destroyed most of what the Hollister man owned, no one was injured and Golden said it can all be replaced. However, without insurance, he’ll foot the bill. Meanwhile, members of Hollister United Methodist Church heard his tale of woe and brought Golden food, clothes and even a camper he can stay in while he finds a new place.

Thumbs up: For Vision San Benito. Gavilan College is starting a process that will allow residents of San Benito County to create a road map for the future. Residents are working together to discuss how the county will grow in the next five to 10 years, and they will consider a whole slew of economic, environmental and social issues in planning for that growth. After the rancor and divisiveness created by Measure G, this is a good opportunity for the community to come together to plan for the county’s future. A Vision San Benito meeting will be held at the Briggs Building in Hollister on July 28. Check it out.

Thumbs up:For the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival at Bolado Park last weekend. Now in its 11th year and still going strong, the event, hosted by Northern California Bluegrass Society, brings bands and fans together from all over California to celebrate the uniquely American genre of music. Better still, the event showcases California Bluegrass bands exclusively.

To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 e-mail to [email protected]

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