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June 28, 2022

Letters to the Editor

Sarsfield support
The Hollister Police Officers Association strongly supports John
Sarsfield for the Office of District Attorney of San Benito County.
John Sarsfield is a successful Senior Deputy District Attorney for
Monterey County and will bring a wealth of knowledge in Criminal
Law to our City and County, as an experienced persecutor.
Sarsfield support

The Hollister Police Officers Association strongly supports John Sarsfield for the Office of District Attorney of San Benito County. John Sarsfield is a successful Senior Deputy District Attorney for Monterey County and will bring a wealth of knowledge in Criminal Law to our City and County, as an experienced persecutor.

John Sarsfield has been an advocate of Law Enforcement for many years in Monterey County and at the federal level, as well as in his own community of San Benito County, where he spearheaded legislation that provided a safer community for us all.

The Hollister Police Officers Association urges you to vote for John Sarsfield for District Attorney, the candidate with the professional experience and the commitment to the City of Hollister and San Benito County.

Ray Wood


Hollister Police Officers Association

SBHS board needs change

Local voters can make a positive difference at San Benito High School, and the future of our community by electing three new board members on November 5. I’ve spent time with each one and found them to be truly caring about our kids. Bill Tiffany, a Stanford grad and attorney for over 20 years in Hollister, has three children who’ve attended SBHS. Businessman Jan Joseph, whose family settled here in 1850 and who, in part, gave us the Pinnacles National Monument, has had four kids graduate from the high school. And Stephanie Fowler, a local educator and parent of a SBHS student, is also well-versed on issues. Together their aim is to bring new leadership to meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers.

Perhaps their highest goal is to regain the trust of parents by involving them in decisions that affect their children. But I know they also want to encourage teachers and staff, improve morale, and strengthen school leadership. They also aim to improve high school exit exams, ensure consistent and fair decisions in student discipline and introduce a variety of art and vocational programs. Let the new board hire the new superintendent and guide the district as it opens a freshman-only campus. Our children’s future hangs in the balance, but a vote for these new candidates can make a vital difference in the community we call home.

Pamela Walls


Rethink sewage system

Hasn’t the city of Hollister learned that using a Band-Aide on a problem just leads to more problems? Just look at the condition of the streets and the water pipes and now the sewage system.

The ponds they are considering would be better than the existing system. Yes, they would add to the ecology with wildlife with birds and plant life but remember they would also add salt to the underground water and wells, which could be used to grow crops and take stress off wells. Yes, I know these methods are very costly but it would be a solution that would last for years, not just a Band-Aide. It would be another part of the recycling program. It would be a sewer system that would allow industries, create employment, a new Fire station and schools etc.

The City should hire a person or company that specializes in applying for grants from the federal and state government. Another thing that should be given some thought, I hate to think about it but should we go into a cycle of short (dry) years, recycling water could avoid rationing.

All this would bring money into the city. Please give all this some thought, take the time to do the job properly so it will last for many years.

Nevada Thomas


Superintendent search needs input

We, the certified and classified staff members at San Benito High School, are very concerned about the current process of hiring the new Superintendent. It is disconcerting to say the least, that the entire process is being conducted behind closed doors by an outside consulting firm that does not understand the dynamics of the high school.

We believe that the community and staff at San Benito High School needs to have a strong, clear voice concerning who will be the next Superintendent. We believe that to sit in a one-hour meeting with the consulting firm, defining the characteristics our new Superintendent should possess, is not sufficient. We have the right to be involved in the interviews and to give the current board feedback about the person who will be the appropriate fit for San Benito High School.

Even in small school districts in San Benito County, a community and staff panel interviewed applicants and expressed heir choice for new administration. We are not convinced that our current Superintendent or School Board can make the appropriate decision. How do we find a qualified Superintendent in the middle of the school year? Why does the current Board not include the community and staff in the hiring process? Again, having an hour meeting with one consultant is less than satisfactory.

As staff members at San Benito High School, we demand to be involved in this process. We are the people who will work with the new Superintendent on a daily basis. The School Board is not involved with the Superintendent on a daily basis; they meet every few weeks, historically to rubber stamp administrative dictates. It is not fair to our teachers, our students, or their parents to lack proper representation when hiring our new Superintendent.

Quality communication is essential for a school to be successful. The current closed process is anything but conducive to proper communication between the staff and the community. We demand a voice and a choice in making the changes that San Benito High School so desperately needs and that the community deserves.

Clete Bradford

35 SBHS teachers

5 parents

1 Hollister School Board member

Support for Sarsfield

I have been a resident of this County for a number of years and I have had working relationships with both candidates running for District Attorney in this County. I – and many others – feel that if you truly compare the experience, ability and, most of all, the creditability of the two candidates, Mr. John Sarsfield is by far the most qualified and desired candidate. There have been needs to be addressed in the District Attorney’s Office in this County for a number years. It is verified by a number of Grand Jury reports; it truly needs a house cleaning, and I feel that Mr. Sarsfield is the person who can and will do it. I encourage people to really examine the two candidates. I feel they would honestly conclude that Mr. Sarsfield is by far the much more desirable candidate.

Richard E. Lusink


Support for Sarsfield

My family supports John Sarsfield for District Attorney. We believe that John has many attributes that lead us to this conclusion. First, John is a good man. He is honest, has integrity and has a nice family. Each of his two kids can look you in the eye when you speak to them. Moreover, John’s entire family treats you like you are a meaningful part of society. We believe that Hollister families can look to him, his wife and children as a “role model” type of family in our community.

John has been prosecuting criminals for many, many years. His interests have always been to benefit communities by treating criminals like they broke the law rather than they just made a “mistake.” He has told me that the way to stop crime is to catch the offenders early, before they feel that they can get away with their destructive conduct. He believes that if you allow criminals to get away with what society now considers “soft crime,” then the criminal may intuitively believe that the lack of consequences allow him a long rope. Many times, this type of easy discipline leads to worse degrees of crime.

We believe that John Sarsfield understands how to do the job of District Attorney. His strong family values, his experience as a career prosecutor, and his courage to make a difference in our town attracts our vote. If you are not sure whether to vote for John Sarsfield, please ask people that have known him for a while. I am confident that what you hear will lead you to respect and admire John Sarsfield.

Jeff Welch

The Welch Family


Answers to road questions

It has been brought to my attention, through correspondence received by the Board of Supervisors and letters printed in the local daily newspaper, that there are multiple misrepresentations regarding the status of the roads at Ridgemark/County Service Area #9. These misrepresentations do a disservice to the residents of Ridgemark and to the Board of Supervisors and County staff.

I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. Specifically it was stated that the roads in Ridgemark meet County standards after the purported $700,000 fix by Ridgemark Corporation. Please be advised of the following responses provided by County staff to the statements made by Ridgemark Corporation:

RIDGEMARK COPORATION STATEMENT 1: The County took part in the inspection(s) of the Ridgemark roads.

COUNTY RESPONSE TO 1: Any roadway inspections would have been performed by Public Works. Public Works asserts that they have not inspected any repaved roads at Ridgemark.

RIDGEMARK CORPORATION STATEMENT 2: The County has blessed all the roads at Ridgemark and they all meet County standards.

COUNTY RESPONSE TO 2: Any determination as to County standards would be provided by Public Works. Public Works has not provided such a determination.

RIDGEMARK CORPORATION STATEMENT 3: The base rock and other materials that go into the proper foundation of a roadway are currently present in all the roads at Ridgemark.

COUNTY RESPONSE TO 3: As Public Works did not inspect the repaved roads at Ridgemark, it isn’t possible to provide an assessment one way or the other.

RIDGEMARK CORPORATION STATEMENT 4: The drainage systems engineered in the roadways meet County standards to not only protect roads, but the homes as well.

COUNTY RESPONSE TO 4: As Public Works did not inspect the repaved roads at Ridgemark, it isn’t possible to provide an assessment one way or the other.

RIDGEMARK CORPORATION STATEMENT 5: Since “the roads were built to the County standard in effect at the time or were brought to such standard at each stage of development and as the result of the recent work” it is safe to say: If for some reason the Ridgemark Homeowners Association’s should support making these roads public, and since all roads meet County standards, the County would also support the idea, since the roads meet County standards.

COUNTY RESPONSE TO 5: As Public Works did not inspect the repaved roads at Ridgemark, any conclusion would be based on an incorrect premise. In addition, please note that any conclusion would also be speculative as the answer would ultimately depend upon the majority vote of the Board of Supervisors at that point in time.

Documentation is available to substantiate all the responses.

In addition, please note that these apparent misrepresentations have served a useful purpose: my opponent for District 4 Supervisor, Reb Monaco and I have found something we agree on-we both believe that any solution to the road issue at Ridgemark should be by way of a vote of those residents, as that is exactly the process a Community Services District provides.

Ron Rodrigues

San Benito County Supervisor, District 4

Is winning everything?

We want our children to win, to be champions, but to what extent do we, as parents and 4-H leaders, go to make this happen? Do we teach our children integrity by allowing them to win on their own merit, by doing the best job they possibly can, or do we instill that winning is everything, no matter what it takes? Win, even if it means breaking the rules!

Does it matter if you haven’t raised your fair animal for the amount of time the fair requires you to have that animal? Does it matter if you fabricate a false bill of sale? Does it matter if you change an ear tag? Obviously, it does not.

But now who has won, the child showing the animal, the parent whose child is the winner? The negative publicity doesn’t allow the fair to be the winner, nor the person who purchased that animal in the livestock auction, nor all of the discouraged children who are wondering why we have rules that are not enforced. Maybe winning isn’t everything, but being able to sleep with a clear conscience is!

Dana Mills


Vote wisely

I am a frustrated Hollister City Resident. I am frustrated with a large number of our current city and county elected officials. I work in the finance and real estate industry and have experienced first hand the political games and negligence that is so common to our city and county. I think that as citizens of this city, we need to take a real good look at our current elected officials. Constantly we read in the local papers or hear from those who know about the ridiculous decisions made by city council members. We are plagued weekly with news of our poor water and sewage conditions, poor fire coverage, feuding between our city and county government leaders. It is ridiculous. We have been bombarded with negative news about the two T’s down at City Hall. How did these guys get elected?

As a city and a county we need to look a little more at the candidates that are running for office. ARE THEY QUALIFIED should be our first question. Yes they all have the greatest intentions, all of them would like to change our city and county for the best, but what makes them qualified? Any education other than a few college credits? We are electing these people to make the most important decisions in our city and county. Do they have any experience managing budgets, do they understand enough about the planning process to be able to make smart decisions that will benefit us over the long term? I wonder about some of our current members.

San Benito County and the Cities located within it are a great place to live. The list is endless as to why I live here rather than elsewhere. As a concerned citizen, I urge you to look closely at the candidates in the coming election.

Jack Kirk Jr.


War for oil

The U.S. military, the most powerful military in the world, is about to embark on a costly war against Iraq, a relatively small nation that does not pose a threat to the freedom of Americans. The U.S. once supported Iraq economically and militarily, even though it oppressed it’s own people, waged a war of genocide against the Kurds and attacked its neighbors in Iran.

Since the 1990s the U.S. has imposed blockades and sanctions against Iraq, depriving Iraq’s civilians of food and badly needed medicines, causing hundreds of thousands to die of malnutrition and illness. While U.S. government rhetoric condemns Iraq for being a threat to democracy and freedom, the United States previously and presently supports repressive dictatorships that are guilty of the same crimes as Saddam Hussein.

Iraq is not a superpower. However it is sitting on top of one of the world’s most precious resources-oil.

An attack on Iraq would not be to protect freedom and democracy; it would simply be a war for oil. The United States government does not represent all Americans’ sentiments. Throughout the nation (and the world) people have been protesting the threat of war and supporting a desire for peace and justice.

Hopefully, their rights to freedom of speech will be protected.

Joe Navarro


A happy wife

My husband, Paul Grannis, will be retiring Nov. 27, 2002. I knew this day would come. When we moved to Hollister eight years ago I often wondered what we would do when he retired.

Since Paul works in the construction field I knew there would be projects for him around our home, but I didn’t want our home to become the Winchester

Mystery House. With that in mind, I wish to express a special “thank you” to the city council and staff. If not for the city council and staff Paul would be under my foot all the time. Had Hollister been run and cared for like so many towns in the U.S. Paul would be home, under my feet and always in my way.

Being retired, Paul will be taking a more active private citizen role to inform the community of issues and policy that always seem to be swept under the rug at City Hall. The city should know by now Paul Grannis does not go away, Paul just gets stronger when he has his teeth in something. Paul is like a dog with a bone and right now the city council and staff are wearing milk bone underwear.

Again, thank you City of Hollister, because after Nov. 27 Paul will be under your feet watching and listening more than before.

Robyn Grannis


Ridgemark road confusion

I have just completed reading The Pinnacle’s excellent questions and answers article from our candidates for public office. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to read their written responses. I was concerned when I read Mr. Monaco’s reply to your question about “Ridgemark road maintenance.” Mr. Monaco replied that the “people of Ridgemark have to decide how they want their roads managed. They own them.”

Unfortunately, that is not true! If it were so, the solution to the problem would be easier. The majority of the roads at Ridgemark are still owned by the original Ridgemark Corporation, which developed the project and promised to have the roads placed into a County Service Area after the roads were brought up to County standards. There are nine homeowners associations, Ridgemark Corporation, and Ridgemark Golf and Country Club (now the owners of the golf course, clubhouse etc.) involved in trying to come up with a mutual solution to the problem. This problem is further exacerbated by Ridgemark Corporation threatening to sell the roads and right of ways to an outside party.

I would hope that Mr. Monaco does better homework on this problem in the future. There are over 1,000 homes and voters in Ridgemark who deserve a better answer than that given by him in response to your question.

Herman Fehl


SJB forum antics

The purpose of a public forum is to allow the public to ask the candidates to answer their questions. The moderator explained that each Candidate had 15 minutes in total time. If the candidates spoke for 15 minutes, there would be no time for the public to ask questions. All the City Council candidates allowed time for the public to ask them questions except for John D. Hopper.

After a few minutes, Mr. Hopper began repeating the same message over and over again. “I’m not a politician” and conveniently used every second of the 15 minutes and then left when members in the audience wanted him to answer their questions. Well, Mr. Hopper, what about being accountable to the public? Where are the low-income housing units in Creekbridge’s 35-home project? The General Plan says 15 percent of the project would be for low-income housing. If you, Mr.

Hooper, had stayed on the LAFCO Board, would you be against the 677-home project?

You say you are for slow growth? Why did you violate S.J.B.’s municipal code in appointing a “suddenly resigning council member” to the city manager’s position, giving him a $450 a month car allowance when it clearly states no city council member can hold the city manager’s position until that person is off the council for one year?

After reading Mr. Hopper’s Candidate Statement- Who are you kidding? The grants you’re referring to are only planning grants (which are easy to come by) NOT money in the bank to do the repairs. S.J.B. is no better off then it was eight years ago. SJB still has a fragile water system and constant sewer backup problems. But who cares? Hopper voted those 35 homes in against the will of the

Planning Commissioners. The chant though the town is “No more John D.

Hopper- 8 years is Enough!

James Dulin

San Juan Bautista

Vote on Nov. 5

I would like to urge all eligible voters to make sure and get out and vote on Nov. 5.

In addition to the race for Governor, Assembly Member, and State Senate, there will be many other important races locally to vote on.

There are also many ballot initiatives, or measures, on both statewide and local issues. Measure U will be on the ballot for voters in Hollister. Measure U is a growth cap measure for the City of Hollister. This is a chance for all to vote their views on growth in this city, and I would urge all in Hollister to voice their opinion come Election Day.

Please vote on Nov. 5.

Brian V. Conroy

Hollister City Council

SJB candidates endorsed

The City of San Juan Bautista Volunteer Firefighters have taken a very rare step and endorsed Priscilla Hill and John Hopper in the upcoming City

Council Race. This endorsement is not to be taken lightly, since this is

the first time all of us, as a group have endorsed any candidate in the 20 plus years I have been with the department. While I am sure there are many good points about the other candidates, there have also been some negative things said about our department by some of these people. While we have not always agreed with everything that Mrs. Hill or Mr. Hopper have done, we have seen what they have done for our city (and our department), and believe that they truly have the best interest of the City at heart, without any hidden agendas or axes to grind!

We urge everyone to get out and vote, and if you consider your endorsement.

Rick Cokley


SJB Volunteer Firefighters

Vote “yes” on U

This is a letter to all registered and potential registered voters in the city of Hollister. It is a reminder to vote for the slow growth measure, Measure U, proposed by WATCHDOG and amended by the city. It will mandate slow growth within the city limits for the next 10 years. It will also mandate that 40 of the housing units built will be for low-income and the elderly. Many of you signed it and helped us get it put on the ballot. The city attempted to stop it from going to the voters by filing a lawsuit saying it was unenforceable, which we proved wrong. This resulted in the adoption of a very similar measure that both parties agreed on and the city sponsored, Measure U. Now it is time to make it into law.

The growth measure is the best way to insure slow growth in Hollister regardless of who holds office or what the state mandates. The people in WATCHDOG got together to make a growth measure because we were tired of waiting for the politicians to do the right thing. The measure is a means for the people of Hollister to use their political power to make positive change.

Even though building permits are frozen until the sewer plant is finished, this is your chance to send a clear, strong message to City Hall. Citizens wrote, organized, collected signatures, and negotiated with the city. Citizens cannot be bought off. There are no controlling interests in this measure, except for the desire for slow, sensible growth. If you helped by signing the initiative, then stand behind your beliefs. If for no other reason, please go to the polls and vote this measure in! The U in Measure U is for you!

Tras Berg

Members of WATCHDOG

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