Editorial: With departure of officials, what’s next for Hollister?

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City Hall

Now that Hollister City Manager Clint Quilter and City Attorney Stephanie Atigh have both announced their resignations, the obvious question is, where do we go from here?

Atigh’s leaving cannot be a surprise to anyone. She and City Councilman/Vice Mayor Robert Scattini have often crossed swords, both showing signs of frustration, and Scattini was a major supporter of Mayor Ignacio Velazquez. There were a flurry of closed session meetings and some Brown Act backtracking as the council tried to get it together without the benefit of a third-party attorney specializing in personnel matters.

That kind of fundamental error is worrisome. Nevertheless, based on the resignation, it appears they finally made it happen. The council, however, has not publicly announced a plan for filling this important position. It is an important decision, especially given the litigious nature of anything related to government.

Quilter’s resignation seems to have caught the council by surprise – but it should not have. Whether one approves or disapproves of the new power lineup since the city reorganized and elected Velazquez as mayor, Quilter is used to working with a docile council that did what he told them. And many former councils often reached for his life preserver-type solutions, ignoring the fact it was some of his recommendations that originally punched the hole in the boat.

Quilter’s forte was pulling a rabbit out of a hat, which made him a good savior. But if you have to keep doing it, it makes you a poor manager.

He does, however, know where all the rabbits are hiding.

What are the plans for filling the city manager position – as it is a full-time job that cannot be farmed out to just anyone?

The upshot is that the new Hollister City Council has done some good things, but the public needs to know where they are going on the long-term issues and staffing plans. If you are going to tear down the roof, you had better get a new one up before rainy season hits.

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