It will be Election Day shortly and Hollister residents will have to decide – shall we continue the current policy of running up enormous debt, spending every penny including millions in extra sales taxes every year, even running a deficit – or shall we use less than 20 percent of the Measure E money to invest in our economic future?  Yes, the choice is as simple as that.
I’m Marty Richman, I’m running for Mayor, and I am supporting Council member Victor Gomez’ plan for using about 18 percent of Measure E funds for economic development.  This is the most critical aspect of our economic future – we must get out of the deficit and debt spiral that has us trapped.  In 2005-2006 Hollister had a General fund balance of $9.0 million, now the balance is less than $2.5 million and we recently had to borrow $926,000 just to pay a bill without reducing our reserves even further!
Since FY 2006-2007 and through 2013, the taxpayers will have given the city’s General Fund $70 million in recurring revenues.  We will have also put in more than $13 million in Measure T added sales taxes – $83 million total.  In the same period, even using the austerity budget, the General Fund we will have spent more than $100 million in regular expenses according to the budgets, financial audits and official city projections.  The cumulative deficit will be $18 million more than we took in from recurring sources.  When we were blessed with special revenues, we spent all of that too.
At the same time we have allowed hundreds of good jobs – manufacturing jobs – to just walk away from the area; Semifab, Safety Storage Systems, Milgard, and Lifesparc, to name just a few.  By the way, Semifab was still listed by the city’s economic program as one the largest employers 5 years after they left.  Is it any wonder the program has not worked?
Now you are being bombarded by more promises – all the old plans are coming out – the ones that go away until the next election.  Ask yourself this, where have they been for almost 8 years?  Don’t accept the same empty promises from those who made them before; make a change – it’s overdue.
Marty Richman, Hollister

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