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October 1, 2023

Letter to the editor: Build Hollister ‘in’

Re: Officials certify initiative petition, Free Lance 6/17/22

Debate happens when both sides are convinced they have learned from the past. The signature gatherers are deeply motivated by the rapid housing growth impacting our roads, traffic and water. The oppositional side is concerned about needed tax income from future business. The two have a common ground; it is the future and how Hollister grows.

While both sides think about the future; the future remains unknown. No one knows ahead with certainty but we do know the past. Another name for the past is history. Both sides want to learn from history. 

Supervisor Bob Tiffany’s grandfather founded Tiffany Motors, then located on the corner of South and San Benito streets in town. Grandfather Tiffany learned that people bought cars because functionally they were better than horses. That was the 20th Century. This is the 21st Century. The grandfather would never recognize Hollister as it is today.

The Initiative signature gatherers and signers want people to decide how our town grows; however, our town has already grown with more growth planned. Observing people see clogged roadways as a noose of traffic choking life. Flooding retention ponds, leaching waste dumps with water contamination gravely concerns them. This group sees the outlying business circles or “nodes” as sprawl and distance promoting automobile use. Grandfather Tiffany would like that.

Both groups would agree on the need for growing tax revenue. Already we have housing growth but no tax revenue. The need for solar panels on all houses is similar to the need to switch from horse drawn carriages to the automobile. Solar, wind, high tech or similar manufacturing located within or near the city would exist depending on the existence of a stable local workforce. A stable workforce requires affordable or low income housing. Large two story houses do not provide workforce needs. Factories do not build at “nodes.”

Both sides agree on the need for tax revenue: one side wants to build Hollister “in,” the other side wants to build Hollister “out.”  

Mary Zanger, Retired Pharmacist


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