Misguided or misunderstood?

Embattled city councilmen Bill Chukuske and Tony Peterson speak out after recent barrage of verbal attacks by Tracy residents

By Per Peterson

A petition to recall city councilman Tony Peterson was officially submitted last week, but even if the petition is certified, Peterson said removing him from the council won’t be as easy as some people may think.
“They’re going to get me screaming and kicking — that’s the only way they’re going to get me out of there,” Peterson said in an interview with the Headlight Herald last week. “I’m not putting up with it anymore.”
The “it” Peterson is referring to is the harsh treatment he has received from the public of late.
Peterson admitted he expected something like the recall to happen when Madonna Peterson was hired as city administrator in December 2016. He has been blamed for his perceived harsh treatment of the former administrator, but doesn’t believe he ever did, or said, anything wrong.
Whether or not former administrator Peterson’s hiring and subsequent resignation was the impetus behind the push for the recall, the councilman said he has been unfairly labeled. While he has been called out for his alleged bullying ways, he denies strong-arming his peers.
“What is the definition of a bully?” councilman Peterson said.
Councilman Peterson and fellow councilman Bill Chukuske  — who have both served two separate terms on the council — have come under fire of late for myriad reasons. Recent city council meetings have included testimony from Tracy residents who are concerned about the way the pair has handled certain city business. Since public forum time during city council meetings doesn’t allow council members to respond, councilman Peterson and Chukuske requested an interview with the Headlight Herald in an effort to explain and defend.
They say they are now the ones being bullied.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.