Proposed fly-in doesn’t take off with council

Request to transfer $10,000 to help fund the event does not come to a vote

A request by Airport Manager Mike Chambless for the Hollister City Council to approve a $10,000 transfer to help fund a fly-in at the airport in October was grounded this week when it didn't garner enough support to be voted on.

Chambless asked the council to OK the transfer of money from the Airport Enterprise Fund to cover some costs associated with a proposed fly-in planned by the Hollister Airmans' Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association of Hollister. The money would have covered the insurance, portable restrooms, permits and staff time at the event, which would be free and open to the public.

However, after Councliman Karson Klauer made a motion to approve the transfer, it died for lack of a second at the March 3 meeting.

Prior to the vote, Chambless said he would expect "hundreds" of people to attend the event and that he considered the fly-in to be a "marketing and good will" effort. However, during the discussion of the item with the council, Chambless said, "I'll be honest, this one scares me a lot more than the (now-canceled) air show," because at the fly-in aircraft will be coming and going whereas at the air show, guests were not on the runway when propellers were moving. "It's going to be a significantly higher safety event."

Asked by Mayor Ignacio Velazquez what the goal of the fly-in was, Chambless reiterated the "good will" aspect. "We create noise; it's a lot of land out there; it's a mysterious place," he said. "Normally, you can't go walk out there." 

The airport itself had planned to have a booth at the fly-in from which guests could be educated about the airport.

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.