Allow me to rearrange your headlines (from the Oct. 20 Free Lance). “Back in time,” needs to move to the right and next to the Sword Swallower. Back in time appropriately describes the actions of the city council. The photo of the parade of the queen could describe the actions of the want-to-be queen, the mayor, Mia Casey.  

This “Back in time” behavior of the city council chillingly exposes how the wealthy operate. The wealthy use money to finance political campaigns. With a cooperative council wealth accomplishes the agenda.

Clearly as your paper’s lower piece explains, “New housing laws aim to solve shortage,”  Governor Newsom speaks. Lack of affordable housing cannot be swallowed like a sword. People’s voice cannot be waived away like the hand of a queen.

The issue is housing: low-income housing, affordable housing and market rate housing. The problem worsens as affordable housing becomes non-affordable because of market values kept in place by the wealthy. The present city council wants 15% affordable homes reduced to 12% affordable. 

Behold, the real reason for the censure of councilman Rolan Resendiz. He advocates for the 15% affordable representing the voice of his constituents.

The real issue is housing, not the purported issue of poor behavior. This censure is a mere distraction. It is a trip back in time when the voice of people could be controlled by a mere wave of a queenly hand.

Even though headlines announce otherwise, the new laws only nibble at the issue. The nibbles reduce security deposits from two to three months rent to one month. New laws disallow any quality abuse but do allow affordable accessory units and also allow a bonus for developers. Developers will be able to increase density above that allowed in the general plan.

Because of our housing shortage, developers can win regardless. The voice of Councilman Resendiz is more valuable than ever. The people—not the wealthy—must rule. Censure the city council, not councilmember Resendiz.  

The laws already favor developers. The reality exists that most people favor Resendiz—not only his voting constituents but all others wanting to slow the grasp of developers on our city.

Mary Zanger


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  1. So many people in Hollister and the surrounding communities seem to think that we’re not bound by the same rules as other California communities. There is a state mandate of how many units MUST be completed within a certain time period, or the possibilities of fines to the municipalities are a real factor. These include very low income, low income and moderate income units, to be available to certain income groups as defined by the state income standards.
    While I understand that there are so many in the area that want construction to stop completely, those people also need to understand that to fail to meet the requirements set by the state mandate would mean to throw our taxpayer dollars away in fines and penalties, rather than for the many needs of this community. The mayor and other board members, as well as the county politicians have no say in what the state has mandated. I’m sure there are many county commissioners and city board members that also don’t want to see the overbuilding of our area, but their hands are tied.
    On a second note, Mr. Resendiz has been at (or near) the center of multiple issues with the city council, this is far from the first time he’s been the focus of a Free Lance story for less than stellar reasons. I’m not saying that Mr. Resendiz is a problem in the city council, I’m just pointing out that to say he’s being targeted because of one belief regarding the affordable housing issue may be disingenuous.
    The bottom line is this…the city and county are required by a state mandate to permit a certain number of new units by a certain date. They need to cover a specific allotment, ranging from a certain number of very low income properties to a certain number of moderate income properties. Regardless of the public’s opinions of what is considered “affordable”, housing prices in Hollister have followed the local trends, increasing when surrounding areas increase and declining when they decline. We are (unfortunately) a bedroom community that serves the Silicon Valley, and until we have better industries and more lucrative job offerings in the area, we will continue to have transplants from the Silicon Valley attracted to the more “affordable” housing solutions of the San Benito county area. That’s just a reality.

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