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December 5, 2022

Meet the candidates: Hollister City Council District 3

Morales, Sanchez on Nov. 8 ballot for seat

In the Nov. 8 election for the Hollister City Council District 3 seat, incumbent Dolores Morales will face small business owner Rosalinda Sanchez. 

Morales was elected to the District 3 seat in a November 2021 special election, which was conducted to replace former Council member Honor Spencer. Spencer resigned from the council in early 2021. Morales was elected to complete the remainder of Spencer’s four-year term, which ends in December 2022. 

Morales is a mother, who works as a Program Manager III for the Santa Clara County Probation Department. She is also President of that county’s Employees Management Association. 

Sanchez is currently a member of the Hollister Arts and Culture Commission. She is also a small business owner, with a bachelor’s degree in business. 

The Free Lance submitted a list of questions to the candidates in an effort to help voters get to know them better. Their responses are below.

City Council District 3 is in the southern city limits of Hollister. To find out what district you live and vote in, visit the city’s district map at https://tinyurl.com/43ab32ny.

Rosalinda Sanchez

Why are you running for Hollister City Council?

I am running for City Council because I am raising my family here and I am a small business owner in Hollister. I have both professionally and volunteered to serve families for many years. I can bring impactful skills and experience to the City of Hollister, having graduated in business and had success in youth and community empowerment through the arts. 

Rosalinda Sanchez

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? 

The approach is to triage the issues. Learn which challenges are causing a hemorrhage of resources, or which issues could have serious consequences if not addressed first. Sometimes the individual district might have the more pressing need, and sometimes it’s a citywide dilemma. 

When I lived in the VH, the area around the elementary school had many speeders. That was a serious issue that needed to be addressed for the safety of children’s lives.

Now, as a resident of District 3, particularly downtown, the unhoused population is a serious topic on residents’ minds. When the entire city’s voices are accounted for, development, traffic, job opportunities, youth access to quality programs, and many other citywide issues are of concern. The pandemic is a very good example of addressing a citywide crisis first.

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?

Account for the voices of the people we represent. Ask a lot of questions, do in-depth research, identify resources, negotiate, prepare and collaborate for the greater good of the city. Growth is good. We want our youth to want to stay in Hollister and continue to build it in an exciting way.  For that, the previous generation needs to have passed on a Hollister with promise, opportunities and possibilities. Hollister belongs to the people that work, live and play in it.

Build Hollister one conscientious, informed brick at a time. Growth is not the problem; being unprepared is the problem.

There are many families that only live in Hollister, but work, shop and go to school outside of it. This is not conducive to building a sense of community, belonging or connection to the city. It also means that dollars that could be spent in Hollister, are now being spent outside of the city. Hollister cannot survive on housing alone. Hollister will benefit hugely from more options across the board.

Hollister should have more diverse and better shopping and dining options, youth activities and entertainment, more adult activities, higher education options, beautification and revitalization of our public spaces. We need a more robust infrastructure, and well funded social and public services. Areas that are conducive for recreation, arts and cultural events and tourism make a city attractive to tourists and residents alike. Overall, any and all growth or construction that makes Hollister convenient, fun and the optimal choice for a family’s everyday needs.

Dolores Morales

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

Because I’m excited and committed to continuing my service to my neighbors. I ran for this seat in a special election knowing I’d have to be back here asking for your vote again in 2022. It’s an honor to serve the community, and I hope my time so far has earned me another four years as the voice of District 3.

Dolores Morales

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

District 3 shares many of the same concerns as other districts because many of the items before the City Council are citywide, so we’re more connected than divided. District representation provides the space for each neighborhood to have their voice heard, bringing better balance through inclusion. 

What’s most important for me is connecting with the residents of District 3 so when an issue impacts our families, or when our families need action from City Hall, we’re talking so I can make the best decision on their behalf, and on behalf of the whole city. The needs of each district are very much the same, and so far I’ve found that residents care about each other and our community as a whole. 

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?

By making sure it’s balanced growth AND by listening to and working with the residents on these decisions. We need more hearings, meetings, town halls, conversations and community engagement. We’re fortunate that Hollister is becoming a major draw for growth, but we need to preserve the community that’s attracting such attention, not letting our unique character and charm be lost.

We need a balanced approach to growth and revenue to properly serve our community, and the General Plan holds the keys to getting it right.  

Balanced growth should be prioritized. We can’t address one need while ignoring others. I want us to continue to prioritize balanced growth that will help bring revenue and support the needs of the residents, with a focus on beautification. An example of that would be a community center or a sports complex to provide youth and families a place to go, and to obtain resources.  

A project that I was proud to support is ZeroAvia. ZeroAvia is a leader in new energy solutions. They bring a unique opportunity to have new jobs in green transit transit solutions to Hollister. I also supported a new mixed-use site for housing and commerce that will continue to evenly add housing and jobs as we grow.

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.

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