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July 24, 2021

Hollister OKs separate election measures on mayor, treasurer

Hollister City Council members had a case of deja vu at Monday’s meeting, when they approved a third resolution to place considerations for an at-large mayor and an appointed treasurer on the June ballot.

They went over the ballot issue again because the San Benito County Elections Department requested that Hollister break down three separate measures on the three questions for voters – whether to approve an at-large mayor elected by the entire city, whether the post would have a term of two years or four years, and whether the elected treasurer position should be appointed.

Council members followed their prior stances and approved the new resolution 3-2. Councilmen Robert Scattini and Ray Friend dissented, citing the $30,000 cost.

It should be the final step in the process to get the measures on the June 5 primary ballot.

If voters do not approve the at-large mayor position, the city would continue operating under five districts – officials already have approved reorganized boundaries after the 2010 census – and council members would keep rotating in the mayoral post from year to year.

If voters do approve an at-large mayor, then the city would include four council districts because there must be an odd number of council votes, including that of the mayor, said City Clerk Geri Johnson. It also would mean the second question – two or four years for the term – would come into play.

The third question on the treasurer is completely independent of the other two. Johnson explained that the city has had difficulty getting anyone to run for the part-time, elected role paying $200 monthly. As with the clerk, she said the treasurer should have some professional expertise in order to handle the job.

Council members in November first established criteria, also including pay of $600 monthly – $200 more than the five officials now make monthly – and security to return to council seats if candidates lose in a mayoral race.

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