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April 20, 2024

Hollister councilwoman calls for debate on term limits

What do you think of term limits on the Hollister City Council and for the mayor’s position?

That’s the question Councilwoman Honor Spencer wants to broach with council members following continued arguing among the elected officials, with the latest occurring at Monday night’s meeting.

During the routine council reports section toward the end of Monday’s meeting, the first-term councilwoman representing District 3 requested the term-limit topic be placed as a discussion item on the agenda for the next meeting May 20.

“I think he thinks he’s invincible,” Spencer said Tuesday to San Benito Live about Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, who’s serving his fourth two-year term. “I just think it’s time for him to not run again. Let him take a break. Let him run his businesses and do what he has to do. Let’s get somebody in that position who has a fresh look at it.”

Velazquez responded Tuesday to the term-limit concept, saying the motivation is specifically to remove him from office. He said he doesn’t have a problem with setting term limits, but wants to address other issues first.

“I think what we need to do, and what I wanted to be working on first, is campaign finance,” Velazquez said. “We need to restructure the city. We need to do a lot of things.”

Spencer pointed to an argument Monday night involving Velazquez, Councilman Marty Richman and Councilman Rolan Resendiz as a reason to install term limits. The loud back and forth started when Velazquez responded to a public speaker’s criticism and Richman insisted the mayor not give an extended response to the critic – who happened to be Richman’s opponent in last November’s election, Salvador Mora.

Spencer said eight years is enough time for the mayor and council members to accomplish their goals.

She works full time at San Benito High School and was especially disappointed in the meeting environment Monday because government students were in attendance to learn how City Hall functions.

Photo: Spencer speaks at a candidates forum before the November election.