The Tracy City Council is faced with some very important decisions that will guide not only the city’s financial health but our future business opportunities and amenities available to residents.
Though city voters have four good candidates from which to choose, we believe incumbents Charles Manne and Robert Rickman are in the best position to guide Tracy through the next few years.
First, Measure E — the half-cent sales tax increase residents approved in 2010 — is due to end in March of 2016. Last year, the city used $3 million generated by Measure E to balance the budget. When that safety net is no longer there, it will be important for the council to have an intimate knowledge of not only past budgets but also all the available options to keep Tracy out of debt spending.
The community is also on the cusp of important business growth in Cordes Ranch and the northeast industrial area of Tracy. The groundwork for these changes has been laid during the past few years, and it might become important for the next council to have the proper context to manage this growth.
The opportunity ahead of Tracy will likely come with residential growth that should be carefully managed. Preserving some elements of our community should be part of the necessary smart development that will go with our business objectives.
Manne and Rickman have been part of the foundation for the growth that is to come and offer residents opinions and decisions that come with little or no learning curve, and that’s why we endorse these veteran leaders.
However, we also are very impressed by candidate Veronica Vargas’ experience and thoughts on smart growth. Her reasoned, informed approach to neighborhood infill projects — she opposes a recent council decision to allow Sutter Gould Medical Foundation to build a new medical center at the site of Eaton Medical Plaza — and new development would well serve Tracy residents.
Candidate Robert Tanner’s wealth of experience as a financial planner who handled international transactions should also not be overlooked by voters with questions about the city’s financial plans and priorities. His devotion to understanding municipal issues is shown by his attendance at almost every meeting of the council and city commissions for the past six years.
All of this is good news for voters who, on Nov. 4, will help shape how the city grows into the next decade and have four good candidates from which to choose.
Read Press editorial board interviews with all four council candidates: