This community opinion was contributed by resident Mary Zanger. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
“Look at those beautiful homes,” we gasp at each other as we drive the new roads to the new homes in town. It does not take long to understand why traffic is everywhere and the time to make an appointment doubles or triples.
Our Mayor Velazquez begs us to slow down the growth of Hollister because our roads and schools can not keep up. He tells us why. The city gets a mere fraction or 1/25000 of the value of a home as taxes. In plain view is the fact that the bulk of city funding is provided by us the taxpayers. The hidden truth is that we subsidize new homes.
Our Mayor emphasis the role of money in politics. In the Free Lance in plain sight are lists of campaign contributions. In District 2 race Kollin Kosmicki has collected mostly small contributions from individuals and local companies totaling a mere $5,524.00, whereas Wayne Norton has received larger contributions from unions, building and construction trades and real estate, totaling $27,125.32 or roughly five times that of Kosmicki.
What is the hidden meaning of money in a campaign? For the person seeking votes it means more signs can be placed on roadways and more mailings can be sent. In short, it is more visibility and more repetition to a voter to remember for whom to vote.
To the business or person giving money it means the expectation of favors. Examine the Norton donors: For instance, Santa Clara & San Benito Building and Construction Trades will want jobs for members, Richland Real Estate Fund LLC will want listings, SEIU 521 will want service jobs. Jobs are good of course because we all want jobs.
At first one might see little difference between Kosmicki and Norton, after all they were both Free Lance editors. But the difference is huge. The critical choice is hanging in balance. The weight of money in the balance favors Norton and growth. The light weight of the small donations represents Kosmicki and slow growth which is a much-needed choice. Don’t be misled. Fast growth does not provide the necessary taxes to cover expenses. Slowing growth means resetting the balance between proper impact fees and taxes to cover the costs of roads, sewer, water and schools. Reset tax balance so politicians do not mislead us. Now in plain sight is the fact that a vote for Norton is a vote for fast growth. A vote for Kosmicki is a vote for a responsible growth and a chance for the city to reset the balance between proper planned growth and sprawl.