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June 14, 2021

Treasurer speaks on recent appointment

The City of Hollister’s new Treasurer Geri Johnson is no stranger to the machinations of government. She worked for the city for nearly 30 years and now she’s back to sign city checks.

“When I first started I wasn’t sure when the city would ever get over 10,000 in population,” Johnson said in a phone interview with the Free Lance. “Now we’re over 40,000. The city’s changed, but I enjoy working with the city council and helping people. There’s plenty of rewards and some frustrations.”

Hollister council members appointed Johnson at a special meeting June 26. The city held an open application process for the position after former Treasurer Cecilia Rios moved out of the city. The treasurer can either be elected by the public or appointed by the city council. Council members decided to appoint someone instead of pursuing an expensive special election.

The treasurer’s main job is to sign checks. The pay is $200 per month with health insurance benefits.

“There’s not really much depth to it because the current finance director has implemented such good programs,” Johnson said. “So much is done with the push of a button. Mostly I’ll just be there to help out when I can, signing checks and documents that might come up. Things like that. It’s pretty easy.”

Johnson said she felt the position of city treasurer should be appointed, not elected.

“I hope the city council will put something on the ballot for next year to change it,” she said.

A familiar face around city hall, Johnson was Hollister’s first full-time deputy city clerk and was later the first appointed city clerk. Prior to that, city clerk was an elected position.

“After a few changes we had the council put it on the ballot to change from elected to appointed,” she said. “The public overwhelmingly supported that proposition and I was appointed the first full-time city clerk. That was exciting to be part of.”

Johnson also spent some time as treasurer after Frank Filice passed away in office.

“The city attorney’s determined there was no conflict between the treasurer and the city so the council appointed me treasurer so they wouldn’t have to pay another person,” Johnson said. “The cost is mostly benefits, insurance. I was already a full-time employee.”

She went on to serve as city treasurer for eight years.

In addition to her civic duties, Johnson is also involved with the HoIlister Downtown Association and Relay for Life. She likes to travel with her husband in her spare time.

“We’ve taken several cruises and road trips,” Johnson said. “We’ve flown here and there. I like working in my yard and reading when I have a chance. I actually stay pretty busy.”

Nicholas Preciado
Addicted to coffee and politics.

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