Following in-depth research, informational presentations and consideration of membership, the San Benito County Business Council has announced its endorsement of Measure W, the City of Hollister 1 percent sales tax extension on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
We continue to see progress and forward momentum on our community. Our economy is steadily improving and the City of Hollister has solid footing with stable finances and improving leadership. Without continued local funding via the sales tax supplement, the City will need to consider reducing essential city service such as police and fire response, senior programs, the maintenance of local roads and parks and supporting programs to retain, expand and attract business and good jobs to Hollister. “We encourage our community to buy, think and act locally and for Hollister voters to support Measure W to protect the future of Hollister,” said Business Council President Bob Tiffany.
If enacted, Measure W would prevent budget cuts and maintain current public services that residents and businesses need by simply extending the existing local funding with no increase in tax rate. Measure W would continue providing 20 percent or $4.5 million of the City of Hollister’s General Fund budget.
The Business Council recognizes that the majority of the City budget is focused on public safety and the quality of public safety- prompt response times for medical, police and fire are major drivers for economic development, wellness and quality of life in Hollister and San Benito county. It is also important to note that the Hollister Fire Department also services San Benito County. It is important that the continuity of service be maintained to help ensure the continuous delivery of emergency service with no delay in response and full deployment of appropriate equipment and adequate staffing.
Additionally, Measure W includes strict accountability measures including independent annual audits, local control with no funds going to the State and the oversight of a citizens' advisory committee- such as that of Measure E which has included the active participation of Business Council representatives.
In hearing from City and community leaders such as City Manager Bill Avera and Police Chief David Westrick, several points resonated with Business Council members, including the hire and sustaining the funding of to sustain staffing to keep fire stations open and staffed and by adding three school resource officers, two community services officers, gang prevention and K9 officers, the Police department’s very first CSI Crime Scene Technician. Also of importance are sustaining and growing programs such as those for youth including National Night Out, the Jr. Giants, Police and Fire Explorers, participation in student leadership conferences and career days, United States Tennis Association, National Football League and Major League Baseball programs.
About the San Benito County Business Council:
San Benito County Business Council works to enhance the base of private enterprise of the region by directly improving the economic climate essential for sustaining and growing investment in San Benito County. The Council works by cultivating relationships with aim to provide a superior quality of life for residents and an outstanding pro-investment climate by collaborating with business leaders, public and non-profit agencies and community stakeholders. Membership is comprised of local leaders, 43 of our largest employers and agencies committed to actively contributing to the wellbeing of the communities of San Benito County. For further information, see our website at SBCBusinesscouncil.com and connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.