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OPINION: Make a Difference – Run for Public Office

Win or lose, merely running for public office can give you insight and stir your imagination.

Our county and its cities need concerned citizens willing to run for and serve in local legislative public office. If you believe that our elected leaders can and should make a positive difference for our community and you’re willing to do some hard work for the greater good, then you should run for a position on a City Council or on the County Board of Supervisors.

We need forward-looking leaders with the ideas and the energy to anticipate and prepare to take on the challenges of tomorrow; as noted by so many great thinkers, the future belongs to those who can see the future and plan for it.

There’s more to governing than merely voting yes or no; in many ways that’s the easiest part of the job. If you’re a conscientious candidate you’ll have to look into the resources that you’ll have available, the range of possible solutions, and the restrictions – practical, legal and political – that narrow your choices and develop ideas to reform those constraints.

Some of that may be eye-opening, but it will give you a greater understanding and appreciation of the process and results which will make you a better citizen and, if you are elected, a better legislator.

Even if you fail to be elected the experience will help you explain local government to your friends and neighbors and better evaluate the decisions that are made on your behalf to decide which ones are in the public’s interest for a better future.

Contact the city or county clerk for requirements and filing dates.

See county contests available for the June Election. 

See information about the primary election or the qualifications required to run.

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Marty Richman (Marty Richman)

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Marty (Martin G.) spent his teen years in northern New Jersey. He served more than 22 years on active military duty, mostly in Europe, and is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nuclear Weapons Technical Officer.Marty then worked 25 years in various engineering and management positions in the electronics and energetic materials industries supporting the communications, computer, aerospace, defense and automotive sectors. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, from The College of Hard Knocks, among his numerous awards and accomplishments. He was a regular weekly Op/Ed columnist and feature writer for The Hollister Free Lance for seven years and a member of its editorial board for five years. Marty is a frequent commentator and contributor to BenitoLink on a wide variety of local, state, national and international subjects. You can follow Marty Richman on twitter @Marty_Richman. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Hollister since 1996.


Dear Marty,

Good point, as you and I have discussed over the years. I look forward to finding your name on the ballot soon!

Submitted by ( Carol Lenoir) on

Marty did step up already, in my opinion, with considerable effort.

Yes he did and he does as a member of the public.... I was just encouraging him to take a stab at it again.... if he put as much effort and time in as an elected official imagine what representation we would get.

Submitted by Ken Dunn (kenneth) on

I might vote for Marty because of the lovability factor alone. Where we differ is he represents more industry, as if our air isn't dirty and noisy enough already, more sprawl, as if we aren't crowded enough already, and more hospitals, as if the one hospital we have was not already bankrupt, more crowding of our recreational areas, as if they were not trampled enough already. When there is nowhere left to go to unwind, bad things happen, as anyone who follows the daily school news has witnessed. Seems to me that careful, thoughtful growth is better than rapid growth anytime. I will only support candidates who represent quality of life, rather than quantity of life.


"Seems to me that careful, thoughtful growth is better than rapid growth anytime".  We are in total agreement (and that is not to get your support. I'm sure you know that)  I HATE sprawl, and we have some really ugly sprawl that needs fixing!

The points I've been trying to make is that the moratoriums and growth control proposals that get all the headlines and support from those who are fed up have been here before and have not fixed the problems because they are not the right approach.  We still get developments that I do not like and that do not contribute to the look and feel I support.  We must change the way we do things.

What we need is better planning and standards so we can get better offers and make better decisions and we have to move quickly to put that in place.

We have to get the county and the cities to start looking at the regional impacts with an eye towards the overall impacts; we all use the same roads, the same parks, the same High School (for the most part).

Perhaps you are not familiar with some of the ideas I have put forward to reduce adverse impacts such as controlling two-story buildings and implementing setbacks to retain the views, limiting the four-lane, no center area, roads to give a community feel and slow traffic.  Smaller can be better - see the Heritage Village in Campbell (tiny streets, apartments, community feeling, local store, less driving).

We have to increase density because it uses less space and is more affordable.

All these issues are complex, but everyone wants to put someone in a box - pro- or anti-development.  That's not a solution, just simplistic politics.

Marty Richman

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