Why is City Council Always Reacting to Emergencies?
Why is City Council Always Reacting to Emergencies?


One of the principles of good management is to, “get ahead of the power curve.” That way you can control events rather than having events control you.

That’s why it is so disturbing to note that the Hollister City Council is constantly behind the power curve.

Hardly a week passes in which they are not reacting to one crisis or another; the vast majority of these should have, and could have, been foreseen long before they became debilitating emergencies.

Today’s emergency is a severe shortage of patrol officers.

Yesterday’s was spending until severe layoffs and service cutbacks were required.

Yesteryear’s was the failure to repair or replace the sewer system expeditiously.

It comes to mind that anyone can recognize an emergency after it happens.

The trick is to see problems far in advance and work out ways to prevent them.

That is the real mission statement for local leaders.

The lack of foresight by our local political leaders combined with the apparent inertia of the city staff means that improvements and basic planning are either never carried out or are continually delayed.

The excuses are frequently the same: “We’re having an emergency.”

If you’re always having an emergency, the system is sending you a message.

Some time ago I recommended to the City Council two obvious improvements needed in the wastewater billing system.

The first was changing to a monthly billing cycle and the second was the addition of an option for free automatic payment.

Those changes were acknowledged as good for both the city and the customers, but here we are many months later and nothing has happened, another set of improvements lost in a sea of emergencies or delayed unnecessarily.

I think it’s high time the Hollister City Council and city staff got ahead of the power curve, ahead of the problems, and ahead of the public.

That’s what good management and leadership is all about and it’s the definition of progress.

Marty Richman


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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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