music in the park san jose

Two weeks removed from a

biker invasion

that featured law enforcement on horseback riding on downtown
sidewalks, the letters and e-mails keep coming.
Two weeks removed from a “biker invasion” that featured law enforcement on horseback riding on downtown sidewalks, the letters and e-mails keep coming.

A day has not passed that locals or out-of-towners have not written to express an opinion, a thumbs up or thumbs down, on the rally.

It is a debate that could go on all year. Did the police presence constitute repression? Were the police simply doing their job, balancing the need for safe streets with the conventional wisdom that no one – not city council, not residents, not business owners – knew how many riders would show up? Did the city strangle the goose who might lay an egg so golden comparisons to the Garlic Festival were uttered around town by those who dared invoke the word “Gilroy”?

The debate can go on. But a decision or a strategy needs to be made quickly. Last year the council took months to discuss and mull it over, and the result was a half-measure. Bikers were welcomed, sort of, almost, to “Hometown USA.” Perhaps it was a decision that needed to be made simply to gain some hindsight. So now we know. And we’ll know more when sales tax revenues for July are available.

Mayor Robert Scattini wants to form a subcommittee of council members, supervisors, and business owners that will hash this rally thing out further and suggest a strategy. We support Scattini’s gesture. Subcommittees can be a precursor to rational decision.

Subcommittees can also be an effective tool to get nothing done. But talk. For months on end. And there has been enough rally talk. For the city to take months before making another decision essentially means no rally or another semi-rally. If the city wants to make that decision, fine, but make it as quickly as possible so solid preparations will be in place.

As for the monetary aspect of the rally, City Manager Clint Quilter estimates that it probably cost the city between $70,000 to $150,000. That’s more than pocket change for a city with a deficit budget. If there is to be no rally, work toward cutting that cost.

If there is to be a rally, get it organized. Quickly. Hire professionals. Many Hollisterites become irritated at that word, “Gilroy.” But it is worth noting that the Garlic Festival essentially started in a yard by a highway. Now, it brings in tremendous revenue for good community causes. Hollister should have it so good, and probably could.

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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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