Better Use of Surveilance Camera Funding

Open letter to the political leaders of the City of Hollister on their decision to install surveillance/spy cameras:

As part of a public service assignment in my Video TV media class, I invited the mayor and members of the Hollister City Council to participate in an on-camera conversation- link to Hollister City Council Approves Surveillance Camera ( about the council’s decision. By a vote of 3-2, the council approved a contract – well over a quarter of a million dollars to install surveillance/spy cameras. The contract was awarded to Surveillance Grid Integrated, Inc., (SGI) of Morgan Hill.

Following the on-camera conversation, an editorial was issued in response to the interview and positions argued by the Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and city council member Ray Friend.

The accompanying PBS Newshour Arts video segment, using dancers’ discipline as leaping off point for academics, is presented in the continuing effort to inform, educate and engage the electorate and enlighten our elected officials.

It is also presented in the hope that by providing this information to our elected representatives, who are sworn to preserve, protect and defend our constitutional rights, they will in fact appreciate the profound implication their decision will have on our individual privacy, civil liberties, and sense of insecurity as a result.

The following is offered in an effort to provide information on smart governance and better use of our tax dollars. The accompanying story from Santa Fe, New Mexico is an example of alternative use of expenditures which directly benefit our community three-fold, to the decision to install surveillance/spy cameras.

The National Dance Institute of New Mexico aims to instill in young people the lessons of success through lessons in dance: hard work, perseverance and health. This year, NDI taught nearly 8,000 students — a majority from low-income families — across the state, and academic performance has improved across the board.

The PBS Newshour Arts segment: Using dancers’ discipline as leaping off point for academics can be found at:

“To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.” – Mark Twain

Respectfully submitted,
Luis Burguillo