COLUMN: Recall Mayor Velazquez group to focus on 2022 election

Andrew Russo writes that Hollister City Clerk has 'thrown obstacle after obstacle to derail our efforts.'

This Column was written by Hollister resident Andrew Russo. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.


It is quite apparent that due to her actions throughout the Recall Mayor Velazquez process in Hollister, City Clerk Christine Black has never had any intention of permitting the recall to go forward. As a dutiful lackey of Mayor Velazquez, Christine Black has thrown up obstacle after obstacle to derail our efforts. Therefore, we have decided that it is pointless to continue with a process that she – in probable collusion with the mayor and city attorney – has determined from the outset will not be allowed to advance.

After twice rejecting our Notice of Intention to Recall Mayor Velazquez without informing us of the errors in our submission, she finally approved the third Notice earlier this month. Yet, after finally green-lighting the Notice of Intention, Christine Black reversed herself and rejected the proof of publication of the very same notice she had just approved! She insisted our committee incur thousands of dollars in additional advertising costs to publish additional pages of our notice, pages containing well beyond the minimum twenty signatures required. This is not required by law and is totally unheard of. It is unlikely the Freelance would have even had the space for such a ridiculous request.

In addition, Christine Black arbitrarily decided that she had the authority to decide that the format of our NOI and mayor’s response “would confuse the voter and should be corrected,” even though she admitted there was nothing in the Secretary of State’s guidelines to justify such a demand.

Christine Black rejected the manner in which the address of the mayor was printed in the proposed recall petition, despite the fact that we printed it exactly as the mayor submitted it to her! Had we taken liberties to add the city, state and zip code which the mayor (probably deliberately ) omitted, Christine Black would have rejected our petition for changing the mayor’s text!

Most appalling of all, Christine Black argued that our proof of publication should have been dated and submitted to her on the date the Freelance published, July 23. Yet, she set a deadline of July 22 for us to submit all the recall paperwork to her office, requiring a member of our committee to drive to Gilroy to get the proof of publication on the morning of July 22 in order to meet her deadline of ten days after she received the mayor’s response (something she did not inform us of until days later).

Christine Black is a pathetic political hack, a disgrace to the city of Hollister who performs a disservice to this community and who should be promptly removed from office.

Until this individual is removed from the office she holds, it is impossible for our committee to pursue its plans to recall Mayor Velazquez. Instead, we will focus on recruiting a winning candidate to take him on in the November 2022 election.


Guest Writer