I’d like to say a big thank you to the folks that showed up for the Monday night City Council meeting in support of our motorcycle rally. The rally was not on the agenda but our motive of being there was to speak to the council during the public comment portion of the meeting and let them know that our community wants its rally back. My letter to the editor of the Pinnacle requesting that citizens who wanted the rally back show up Monday night did not make it into the Friday edition and with only word of mouth, Face Book and a few posters we had around twenty five people showed up and around fifteen filled out comment cards. Speaking in public is a huge fear for many people and sadly about five of those lost their nerve. Thanks for the effort folks, sometimes fear overrides passion. You all had your hearts in the right place. The ten people that did take the podium spoke eloquently and had very good points to make. I was very proud to be among them.
As most people know I’m an old hat at addressing the council myself. I’ve been fighting for the rally almost every year since the idea was birthed. While I was speaking I looked at the chief and the smirk smeared across his face said, “Keep trying Charisse. You will never win, not as long as I am chief.” If the council refuses to scrutinize the law enforcement bill and make perfectly reasonable cutbacks he is right.
Pauline Valdevia said; and I’m paraphrasing here, “The council didn’t cancel the rally, we just said that we wouldn’t pay for it with tax payer dollars. Anyone who wanted to have a rally and cover law enforcement costs was welcome to put one on. ”
As long as the bill for law enforcement is at the outrageous level that it has been for the last four rallies no one will be able to come up with enough money cover it and make a profit. The chief knows it, the tax payers know it, and smart council members know it.
Ray Friend stated that he was the council liaison for the rally and that he wants to work with anyone with an interest in bringing it back. I believe that he is sincere but once again if law enforcement costs aren’t adjusted we are just peeing in the wind, please excuse the expression.
Our mayor Victor Gomez pretty much repeated what Pauline said, “We want to have a rally, we just don’t want to pay for it out of the general fund.”
Mayor Gomez has accused me of wanting to have a rally without having to do any of the work. I guess he doesn’t remember that I was chairperson for the 2007 Hollister Motorcycle Rally Committee. I put my money where my mouth was and worked my tail off for most of a year. The 2007 rally covered all its costs and in 2008 we turned over our responsibilities to the Chamber of Commerce for the next rally. I have it on pretty good authority that if we had said no to the move there never would have been one. We know how that turned out. The cities attempt to sell t-shirts flopped. Despite the fact that the rally was moved off of the Fourth of July weekend and the bikes were not on San Benito Street, a change bikers despise by the way, Chief Miller added yet another $29,000 to the law enforcement bill and he broke the city and Seth Daulton.
I am still hopeful that we can work something out. Many people have stepped forward that want to help. I would love to see the Hollister Down Town Association get involved. They have done such a great job with the Farmers Market, and this years Street Festival was the best.
It’s all going to come down to paying for law enforcement. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out a way to earn a big chunk of change to put towards a rally. While I was picturing the smirk on the chiefs’ face an idea came to me. If I were to get him to agree to mud wrestle me in the middle of Fifth Street in front of city hall, no bikini for me I would wear a demure one piece, I’m sure I could raise $100,000. I would open up an account at San Benito Bank for donations, put an add in the Thunder Press, promote it on Face Book and I’ll bet we’d have the money in no time. If you knew how much I hate getting dirty you would understand what a huge sacrifice this would be for me. Heck, I don’t even like being splashed in the face with water and while in the pool I try not to get my hair wet. I know the chiefs stronger than I am and I’m sure he’d love to bury my face in the mud, but with shear determination I may get in a few good licks. I know we would draw one heck of a crowd that would gladly donate to watch. We could auction off the best seats to the highest bidder and bring in the big bucks. The only problem with that is that so many bikers would want to watch that the chief would probably charge the city $125,000 for extra law enforcement for the day and we’d be back in the hole.