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March 30, 2023

Outside facilitator to help ease tensions on Hollister council

It looks like the relatively new Hollister City Council needs a little help with conflict resolution.

Council members Monday will hold a special meetings over the weekend to meet with a facilitator while devising common visions and goals.

The city will pay a consultant $3,500 to facilitate the special workshop at 8 a.m. Sunday at Hollister City Hall, 375 Fifth St. in Hollister, a meeting that is open to the public. That will follow individual sessions with council members and the mayor Saturday that aren’t open to the public.

On Sunday, the group will go over commonalities that came out of the individual sessions.

“MoreThanTalk LLC will facilitate a very specifically designed program that allows individual council members to discover or refine their personal Core Values, along with their personal Vision and Purpose,” according to the agenda documents.

The agenda states that MoraThanTalk normally charges $5,500 for such consultations, but would do the work at a reduced rate due to the consultant Rex Osborn’s working relationship with City Clerk Christine Black, who recommended the facilitation.

“Rex Osborn is a seasoned facilitator and keynote speaker noted for his humorous approach and genuine appreciation of the experiences that shape each individual,” according to the company’s website.

The facilitation comes just four months into the installment of the new council following last November’s election. There are four new council members in the past year, including Carol Lenoir who was appointed last year, and there has been noticeable tension among the officials in the first part of this year.

The agenda includes more about the facilitation process, noting that it involves one to two hours per person and four hours with the group.