Government / Politics

Hollister City Council approves 11 resolutions to address COVID-19

Water shut-offs for delinquent accounts discontinued, playgrounds closed for duration of local emergency declaration.
Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and Councilman Rolan Resendiz and others participated remotely.
Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and Councilman Rolan Resendiz and others participated remotely.
Most of the seats in the council chambers were taped off.
Most of the seats in the council chambers were taped off.
Resident Elia Salinas objected to Mayor Velazquez's video updates on Facebook.
Resident Elia Salinas objected to Mayor Velazquez's video updates on Facebook.
Benitolink live streamed the meeting.
Benitolink live streamed the meeting.

On March 20, the Hollister City Council approved 11 resolutions all concerning COVID-19 and the city’s pandemic response plan. BenitoLink live streamed the meeting on Facebook.

In a sign of the times, Councilmembers Honor Spencer and Carol Lenoir were present in-person at the council chambers, while Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and Councilman Rolan Resendiz participated remotely.

The approved resolutions include:

  1. Adopting the amended city of Hollister Pandemic Response Plan.
  2. Suspending part of the municipal code to discontinue water shut-offs for delinquent accounts and the collection of a reconnection charge for the duration of the local COVID-19 emergency declaration.
  3. Closing all playgrounds throughout the city park system for the duration of the local COVID-19 emergency declaration.
  4. Suspending the collection of penalties on late rent payments at the Hollister Municipal Airport during the local COVID-19 emergency declaration.
  5. Suspending Airport Advisory Commission meetings until procedures for teleconferencing can be established.
  6. Suspending the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission meetings until procedures for teleconferencing can be established.
  7. Suspending the Youth Committee meetings until teleconferencing can be established.
  8. Closing the splash pads at Valley View Park and McCarthy Park in compliance with public health directives.
  9. Suspending rentals of city-owned facilities.
  10. Requiring all official COVID-19 communications with the public be presented in English and Spanish.
  11. Approving temporary employee emergency response policy to public health order to maintain essential services, to maintain the city’s infrastructure, to support vulnerable populations, and to maintain a strong safety presence.

Because of the shelter-in-place order, blue tape was stretched across most of the seats in the council chambers, leaving only half a dozen seats open to members of the public.

Coincidentally, much like the council members present in the room, only women were in attendance. Elia Salinas, who voiced her objection to Velazquez posting updates on Facebook, said that his videos on social media opposed the appointment of retired Hollister Police Chief David Westrick as the public information officer and central source for local COVID-19 updates.

 

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John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: johnchadwell@benitolink.com.