The council traditionally has rotated to a new mayor each year.
On Monday, members will decide whether to reelect Mayor Doug
Emerson and break that tradition or pick someone else to fill the
role. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at Hollister City Hall, 375
At Monday night’s Hollister City Council meeting, three council members will be sworn in as they start four-year terms and the position of mayor will be established for the next 12 months.
Ray Friend and Victor Gomez will be sworn in as representatives of District 1 and District 5, respectively. Mayor Doug Emerson also will be sworn in after running unopposed in District 4.
While council members will establish the mayoral role for the year as well, Councilwoman Monica Johnson, who did not seek reelection and is succeeded by Gomez, suggested at last week’s meeting that the city stick with Emerson for another year when they vote Monday. Had Johnson ran and been re-elected, she would be the next in line for mayor. But with Gomez taking her seat, he would be slated to become Hollister’s next mayor.
Councilman-elect Friend, a newcomer who ran unopposed after incumbent Brad Pike had decided late in the pre-election cycle against running again, said Johnson is entitled to her opinion and added: “I think that should keep with the rotation … It’s not a full time job – it’s a chance for everybody to be a mayor.”
Councilwoman Pauline Valdivia said she doesn’t disagree completely with Johnson’s statement due to Emerson’s leadership this past year, but she expects that the council will continue with the rotation. She explained further that if someone doesn’t want the position, he or she can pass it to the next in line.
Both Emerson and Councilwoman Eugenia Sanchez said they will go into the meeting without expectations and make their decisions based on actions of the other council members.
“I don’t know what will happen,” Emerson said. “I’m not leaning towards anything – what will happen will happen.”
Sanchez said she favors the current rotation system because it will be “equal if everyone goes through the process.” She will wait until Monday night to make her decision because, she said, “You never know what everyone else is thinking.”
Having never been on the city council or in a position to appoint a new mayor, Gomez would like to “be in a position to learn,” rather than be mayor, he said. Although he said he believes Emerson has been a great leader for the city, he also contended that “on an annual basis, there should be that shift.”
Gomez was the only current or incoming council member to suggest a possible mayor. Because of their experience on the council, Gomez said, he would like to see either Sanchez or Valdivia become the next mayor. Gomez said he will “exclude” Emerson from consideration because the current mayor already had the experience over the past year.