Government / Politics

Two candidates seek to represent Hollister’s westside

Candidates for Hollister District 2 race answer Q&A with BenitoLink.

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of candidate questionnaires for select, local races in the upcoming November general election. Previous stories highlighted the Hollister mayoral race, the San Benito County Board of Supervisors District 4 contest and the San Juan Bautista City Council race. The next Q&A will feature the race for Hollister City Council District 3.

In Hollister City Council district 2, two candidates are campaigning to serve residents on the Westside of town. Mickie Solorio Luna has served as the chairperson for the California Chicano Latino Caucus of the CA Democratic Party while Vickie Montoya has served as a board of director for the San Benito Health Foundation as a member at large. They answered BenitoLink’s questions related to the top issues facing Hollister, drought and how to move forward progress on a west gateway to the city.

Name:  Mickie Solorio Luna

Age:  69

Political Experience: 

Chairperson for the California Chicano Latino Caucus of the California Democratic Party – 4-year term

Employee of the City of Hollister Finance Department – 30 years

1.) Tell us about yourself and why you are running for office.

I feel that I can contribute to representation for residents of this city because of the knowledge I have gained as a former city employee in the Finance Department, and as a person involved in various local-state and national organizations where I have been fortunate to have addressed issues that impact communities at a national and local level and I know that Hollister is an important city where possibilities can occur knowing the right people who can assist in addressing the local issues.

2.) What would you say are the top three issues facing Hollister over the next five years?

Budget cuts; city services/housing; creation of business opportunities (industry jobs)

3.) Water is a pressing issue as drought continues in California. What measures would you support for conserving water in San Benito County for municipalities, business owners and residents?

Water consumption is used more in outside consumption than inside, therefore landscaping and lawn water usage must be encouraged to a minimum instead of limiting water usage for local water customers.  Send water conservation notices with utility bills.

4.) A 6.0 earthquake hit near Napa recently. What ideas do you have to support emergency preparedness in San Benito County for potential disasters?

Emergency drills on weekend at various schools is a form of incorporating the community on the importance of emergency actions during an earthquake.  Many do not know where to go or what to do when an earthquake hits in the middle of the night or early morning as witnessed in other earthquakes in our community.

5.) Do you support the proposed River Parkway and Regional Park in San Benito County that would connect San Juan to Tres Pinos with trails? If so, how would you provide support to move the project forward during your term in office? If not, explain why?

I reviewed the plan and while it looks to be something this community needs, I would like to take more time to study the project.

6.) For many years there has been talk of a western gateway to Hollister. As a councilmember what would you do to move this forward?

This requires more study on my part.

7.) What would you do to support economic development in your district?

Encouraging business opportunities to be developed in the district, having incentives for local residents to be able to become business owners.  The area definitely requires attention and a district resident assessment study needs to be done.

 

Name: Victoria  Montoya 

Age: Not provided

Political Experience: I have always had a passion in politics but have never held a political office. I was migrant, farm worker, a school drop-out. I returned to school and graduated from Hollister High, attended Gavilan  College and attended San Diego State.

I am the mother of three adults and grandmother of two boys.

1.)   Tell us about yourself and why you are running for office.

Running for District 2 is just taking bigger steps into community involvement when it is needed.  

2.)    What would you say are the top three issues facing Hollister over the next five years?

The three issues I see that Hollister will face in the next five years are these:

No jobs coming; more people moving in and still more people working out of San Benito

County; we need more and better senior programs

3.)    Water is a pressing issue as drought continues in California. What measures would you support for conserving water in San Benito County for municipalities, business owners and residents?

I would support measures that will be fair for all.

4.)    A 6.0 earthquake hit near Napa recently. What ideas do you have to support emergency preparedness in San Benito County for potential disasters?

The emergency preparedness group needs to invite every health and safety group in the County. I know of a place that has not been invited.

5.)    Do you support the proposed River Parkway and Regional Park in San Benito County that would connect San Juan to Tres Pinos with trails? If so, how would you provide support to move the project forward during your term in office? If not, explain why?

The River Parkway sounds okay but it does not help District 2.

6.)    For many years there has been talk of a western gateway to Hollister. As a councilmember what would you do to move this forward?

No voter in my district knew what the western gateway was. I had to ask a councilmember and this is still not helping District 2.

7.)    What would you do to support economic development in your district?

District 2 needs major help to improve the economic problem. I can not promise anything that others have not promised to fix. This is a national, state problem and political. We can partner with the near counties for help and support.

 

Melissa Anderson

Melissa (Flores) Anderson is the former city editor of the Weekend Pinnacle and Hollister Free Lance, where she covered education, county government and more. She currently works for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San Jose State University, where she manages the College blog, newsletter and website updates. She has a master's in print journalism from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.