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:
- Adopting the amended city of Hollister Pandemic Response Plan.
- 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.
- Closing all playgrounds throughout the city park system for the duration of the local COVID-19 emergency declaration.
- Suspending the collection of penalties on late rent payments at the Hollister Municipal Airport during the local COVID-19 emergency declaration.
- Suspending Airport Advisory Commission meetings until procedures for teleconferencing can be established.
- Suspending the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission meetings until procedures for teleconferencing can be established.
- Suspending the Youth Committee meetings until teleconferencing can be established.
- Closing the splash pads at Valley View Park and McCarthy Park in compliance with public health directives.
- Suspending rentals of city-owned facilities.
- Requiring all official COVID-19 communications with the public be presented in English and Spanish.
- 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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