Hollister City Council in no hurry to fill vacant seat

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Former councilman Marty Richman was a beloved figure in the community.

The Hollister City Council plans to honor former member Marty Richman at its next council meeting on April 6.

Richman, who died on March 19, had been hospitalized since March 9 after suffering “two adverse health incidents,” city officials said.┬áRichman was elected to the council in 2018 in his first elected post, after unsuccessfully running for mayor in 2012.

“I suggested to the city manager we present his family with our flag from City Hall,” councilman Rolan Resendiz said, “so I think they’re going to move forward with that.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, conversations have not started on how the council will proceed to fill Richman’s council seat, which was going to be termed out in December. Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said it’s a discussion the council will eventually need to have, being that the November election is seven months away. The next council meeting is on April 6. 

“We have to go through a process, and there are two ways of doing it,” he said. “We can do a temporary fill in/appointment, or we can wait for the election coming up. The April 6 meeting we have to discuss it and give it somewhat of a direction of where we want to go with it.”

Said Resendiz: “I would suspect that because the council has been divided, I don’t anticipate us coming together for an appointment on such short notice given the circumstances we’re facing. We’re all focused on the pandemic, (and filling the vacant council seat is) not one of our top priorities right now. I can say we’ve been working well together to address issues the entire nation is facing, and we’re very proud of that fact. I’m very proud of this staff, the mayor and the rest of the city council that we’ve come together when it’s counted the most.”