good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly pajaronian watsonville local newspaper, news events pajaro valley california gilroy dispatch local news events garlic festival santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
57 F
Hollister
English English Spanish Spanish
December 5, 2022

Meet the candidates: Hollister City Council District 2

Four people on Nov. 8 ballot in crowded field

Running for the Hollister City Council District 2 seat in the Nov. 8 election are IT Director Hani Mayzouni; accountant Sergio Montanez; incumbent Rolan Resendiz, who teaches 7th grade at Rancho Santana School; and small business owner Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra. 

The Free Lance submitted questions to the candidates in an effort to help voters get to know them better, and published their answers below. Montanez could not be contacted by this newspaper. 

Each of the candidates has also submitted candidate statements with the San Benito County Elections office. Those statements can be found online at tinyurl.com/2nsm3kab

Hollister City Council District 2 includes the southwestern portion of the city. 

Also on the Nov. 8 ballot in the City of Hollister is the City Council District 3 seat. Similar Q&A articles with the two candidates running for that office will appear in an upcoming edition of the Free Lance. 

Hani Mayzouni

Why are you running for Hollister City Council?

Hollister is my home and my family’s home.

Hani Mayzouni

When making decisions on the council or representing the City of Hollister, how would you balance the needs of the city as a whole with those of your individual district? 

My goal is to make Hollister a great place to live through connectivity and collaboration with all parties, operation efficiency, infrastructure improvement, development progress and transparency.

What is your position on how to manage the substantial growth that is headed toward Hollister? What kinds of growth/construction do you think should be prioritized?

Many projects will be initiated in the next few years. But are these effective projects for Hollister? Are they going to bring more jobs to Hollister? At what cost to residents of Hollister? What impact these projects will have on our infrastructure, labor, traffic, environment, water and environment.

Rolan Resendiz

Why are you running for re-election to Hollister City Council?

As a Councilman, teacher and parent, I have seen the impacts of irresponsible growth on our community. During my time on the council, I warned the city and county that the schools, infrastructure and quality of life would be negatively impacted if we kept adding thousands of tract houses to our community. Unfortunately, the majority of councilmembers were in favor of approving thousands of tract houses to accommodate Silicon Valley residents, while our own residents cannot even afford to live here. 

Rolan Resendiz

We need to be focused on our own residents, schools and infrastructure rather than adding to our existing problems. This out-of-control growth must come to an end. We now have a majority of the City Council who believes the same as me, but we must keep it like that. The developers are trying to get pro development candidates elected to approve more houses. 

When making decisions on the council or representing the City of Hollister, how would you balance the needs of the city as a whole with those of your individual district? 

Out-of-control growth is going to be causing massive traffic and congestion issues for all residents, not just the ones in my district. Our schools and roads cannot keep up. We must stop electing candidates who are controlled by special interest groups who sell our community out for their friends to profit. We must implement policies to stop special interests from controlling our community. The decisions made at the council level impact all citizens and we need to prioritize their needs, not that of the developers who just want to profit from building more houses. 

What is your position on how to manage the substantial growth that is headed toward Hollister? What kinds of growth/construction do you think should be prioritized?

Unfortunately, special interests have taken control of many local elected officials. That is why I support voting Yes on the Measure Q initiative. We must stop the ongoing urban sprawl in the county and let better-planned development happen in the cities, not over our rural county farm and ranch lands. 

The General Plan must also be updated to provide a more sustainable roadmap for our city and county’s future. We need to continue to stay focused on our growing retail and commercial sectors that will provide more jobs for our residents and revenue for our community. 

Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra

Why are you running for election to Hollister City Council?

I am running for City Council because the current incumbent has acted and voted in a manner contrary to the interests of the City of Hollister and its residents. He is a pawn for the mayor’s dictatorial and bullying politics that seek to divide our community and pit people against one another. He claims to be against developers, yet his patron, Mayor Velazquez, works for and earns his living from large developers. 

Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra

My district and the city need a representative with unquestioned integrity who will be an independent voice for change and constructive policies that crack down on crime and homelessness while promoting local businesses and the economy. I will be that representative. 

When making decisions on the council or representing the City of Hollister, how would you balance the needs of the city as a whole with those of your individual district?

This is one of the challenges of district wide voting, but achieving this balance is attainable. I will work with stakeholders and community leaders within and without my district to focus on fixing the older streets of the west side of Hollister and developing a long-term, appropriately-funded plan to keep our streets in a safe, drivable condition. This is long overdue. Our neighborhood roads must be updated with new paving and not just patchwork. The mayor and the incumbent think it is sufficient to call out the road repair crews before every election. I do not believe election-year road repairs are enough.

What is your position on how to manage the substantial growth that is headed toward Hollister? What kinds of growth/construction do you think should be prioritized?

The state mandates a certain amount of housing growth without taking into consideration the needs of our local communities. We need to work with other cities and towns to change the way these statewide mandates are imposed on us. That way we can stop excessive growth and focus instead on our infrastructure. 

We must continue to focus on job-creating revenue growth but we must prioritize our efforts on our neighborhood roads, infrastructure and expansion of the freeways for a better flow of traffic exiting and entering Hollister. Those policies will themselves encourage more companies to locate here.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

Please leave a comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SOCIAL MEDIA

5,035FansLike
275FollowersFollow
1,103FollowersFollow