I love Hollister. It’s a great place to live. We have open space, a historic downtown, not far from beaches, wonderful wine trails, caring community organizations, wonderful churches, schools with hardworking teachers, a great police department. I could go on and on.
I was very disappointed in the city council’s decision to sell the grassy corner lot at Fourth and SanBenito streets. It has become a treasured corner for many community activities and will be greatly missed if this happens. I hope you will revisit this decision.
It’s a shame we can’t trust our supervisors or council to properly manage Measure P funds should the measure pass. They already manage a significant portion of our sales and property taxes. Our form of government gives our elected representatives the responsibility to prioritize the spending of funds for the needs of citizens. In this economic crunch, we’ve all seen required services cut and witnessed salaries and benefits skyrocket. The majority of funds would be spent on salaries and benefits to re-hire the road crews that had been let go.
This past May 15, I attended the Oriana Chorale concert right here in Hollister. I admit I have not attended many of these events, but agreed to join a friend for this concert and I am so happy that I did. It was so very special that I have to share my experience.
Measure P is a rush to solutions on roads
Gavilan College officials have not represented San Benito County in a fair and equitable way. Their actions indicate a woeful lack of support for the growth of higher education in our county. This practice has prevailed for the past 12 years. During this time time, Gavilan’s governing decisions regarding the funding of major improvements have been directed to the Santa Clara County campuses. This approach has been the policy since the successful passage of the 2004 Measure E Bond election. Gavilan’s board and administration have refused to follow the directive of the voters of San Benito County to develop an educational center in the downtown area. This plan has been formally proposed to the Gavilan board by the City of Hollister, and rejected. Our community cannot wait 20 years for Gavilan’s grandiose plan for a new campus on the Airline Highway and Fairview site.
I feel the city council hires too many consultants. If we absolutely need to hire a consultant, then we should hire local, not from out of town. We need to reduce spending, not go on spending sprees.
In response to Keith Snow’s view on the roads tax, I want to point out a few issues that Mr. Snow neglects to address. San Benito County and its partner cities are losing tax revenue that funds road maintenance due to more fuel-efficient cars using less gas—thus fewer tax dollars—and an increase in electric vehicles on the road that use no gas. Consequently, existing roads that require maintenance are not being repaired, in part, due to a loss in gas tax revenue.
The County’s affordable housing program is not logically constructed. The San Benito County Planning Commission recently had a notably fair and informative workshop on affordable housing. Yet in the end they were not presented with the options they needed to make a program that works, especially in the unincorporated areas where, for political reasons, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors has traditionally shunned high density housing. Affordable housing programs are often illogically constructed starting with the erroneous idea that nothing the county does impacts the market; the opposite is true.
Dear Councilman Friend,