Re: Hollister council rebukes another colleague, Free Lance, May 19

If a fire occurs inside a movie theatre, the sound system does not advise attendees to remain seated. We understand the alarm must be sounded and exits opened for safety. Similarly at the May 15 Hollister City Council meeting a symbolic fire erupted causing one member to sound the alarm that seemed to reach the deaf ears of the mayor as she advised silencing the member.  

This is not democracy. Democracy allows people to speak.  

The seriousness of a theatre fire is similar to the seriousness of our housing ordinance. Our community is on fire because of homelessness of our youth, our working people, our disadvantaged and the concern of everyone else. A sufficient housing ordinance would help stifle this fire but instead, the city council continues to let the fire burn.  

It is not as if the city council were the majority, because they are not. The majority—which are the five city planners and one city council person—actually agree to a 20% affordable housing ordinance.

We need to seriously consider the remaining 80% of houses in the ordinance. If the 20% are called “Affordable” that must mean that the 80% are “Unaffordable!” The answer to the mystery of who can afford these expensive homes is: People from San Jose can and they do buy them and move here. 

So why are we building our precious city into a walled community of gated wealth? Why build an-affordable homes at all; why not build 80% affordable? 

Educated young people forced to live with parents, multiple families crowding into single family homes and apartments, and many postponing marriage and children are problems. Overlooked is the harm to the economy. Businesses attracted to Hollister because of climate, water, air and workers, instead are stymied because of lack of housing. 

Children in crowded conditions suffer, whereas those in adequate housing perform better in school. Schools perform better and have better teachers serving areas with adequate housing.  

Alleviating this severe housing crisis is an emergency that requires a functioning city council to properly serve their own constituents and not those living in San Jose.

Mary Zanger


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  1. I agree well said All the housing is out of control . The roads are overloaded no way to get into or out of Hollister in a timely manner. Its sad. The hospital is overloaded in the red. Were is the revenue from any taxes how about jobs for the young kids or places for them to go have a good time. No bowling alley or video game place or safe place for the kids to be. There is only one Safeway one Lucky’s store and one Walgreens The line for Jack and the box is so long. It use to be a small town now its overloaded with homes and not enough groceries stores .
    No democracy . The schooling is another thing just trying to drop off your child or pick them up is horrible and unsafe. The lines to get in or out of a school is out of control.
    Genevieve Arballo

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