A recent item in this newspaper’s Twice-Told Tales reminded us that it has been 10 years since the city adopted the “Think Inside the Triangle” slogan. Ten years ago, that was a catchy motto intended to drive economic development to the city by way of promoting that it is conveniently located inside the freeways. I want to believe that the slogan was also a way to inspire residents to do things in town instead of leaving. However, it seems that even the city acknowledges that you can only do so much inside the triangle. As commuters head towards the I-205 on-ramp from 11th Street, they can look up towards the banners prominently displayed on the lampposts in the median. The banners have different iterations of the “Think” slogan, such as play, learn, dine and shop. What is missing from those banners? Work.
There have been notable projects in that 10 years such as Amazon, FedEx and Crate and Barrel that have large facilities here that have benefited Tracy in some part. There were also those like Costco, Safeway and Yellow Freight that have called the triangle home for years before as well. But what has not come to fruition inside the triangle is an influx of employment, notably those jobs that are considered head of household. Warehouse and fulfillment centers provide steady and gainful employment to many and depending on the company are definitely occupations where one could serve out their working days if they choose. What most of these companies do not offer is professional or white-collar positions that certainly would be desirable for a resident who commutes several hours each day to their job in the Bay Area. Bringing head of household jobs is part of the mayor’s economic development portion of his five-point plan. There does not appear to have been much progress on that component, however spending about a million dollars on a median beautification project checks another box in that plan.
The mayor has not delivered on this part of his plan. The mayor pro tem is spearheading efforts for a better rail connection to the Bay Area which will only continue to promote commuting and discourage job growth inside the triangle. The concept of working inside the triangle will soon be a faded memory.
Jacy Krogh, Tracy