Posted in Kion 46: Jun 06, 2011 11:51 PM PDT
Updated: Jun 07, 2011 12:08 AM PDT
By Azenith Smith
HOLLISTER, Calif. – A lot of disappointed people in Hollister on Monday night, after the city council gives the go-ahead to transfer the city’s 911 services to Santa Cruz County.
About a dozen dispatchers work at the San Benito Communications Center and will be forced to move. For some people, they say, it could cost put lives in jeopardy.
“It’s important to do the right thing and I don’t think they did,” says Nicole Ortego, who lives in Hollister.
A defeated bunch outside the Hollister city council meeting. Among them Nicole Ortega, who has lived in Hollister for 22 years. She’s now worried more than ever about her and her daughter’s safety.
“They aren’t familiar with the area and at what expense are we going to pay for their learning curve,” says Ortega. “They have life-saving techniques but how can they save someone’s life if you can’t tell them where to go.”
On Monday night, the Hollister city council voted 4-1 to transfer 911 services out of the city. The council said this move will save the city a quarter of a million dollars a year.
“When you look at sixteen dollars a call versus almost $30 dollars,” says Larry Barr, who lives in Hollister. “There’s a big difference.”
Barr who did the math on how much it costs the city for every 911 call. He said the council did the right thing.
“If we let this go untouched and if we don’t start addressing our shortfall, there will be a lot more people who don’t have work here,” says Barr.
But, Ortega can’t help but disagree.
“It doesn’t only need to be a financial decision,” says Ortega. “The people who are losing their jobs. They have homes. They live and buy in this county.”
San Benito County Board of Supervisors now has to approve the decision. If all goes as planned, the services will make the move to Santa Cruz County by March of next year.
Submitted by Azenith Smith, Central Coast News