By Seth Schmidt
Tracy’s five-member city council has been reduced to four, with the resignation of Bill Chukuske.
Chukuske’s letter of resignation, read by Mayor Steve Ferrazzano at the onset of the Monday night council meeting, cited unrelenting “negative attacks by a certain group of negative citizens” for his decision to leave the council.
“Mayor and fellow council members, I am way too busy and have way too many important things to deal with in my life than all of these negative, petty, and anti-productive actions of these people.”
Just one year ago, Chukuske topped 13 names on the city council ballot with 418 votes to win election on the council, along with Tony Peterson and Dave Tiegs. Chukuske was in the first year of a four-year term.
It was unclear Monday night how the council vacancy will be handled.
The council’s remaining four members—Ferrazzano, Dave Tiegs, Pam Cooreman, and Tony Peterson—indicated that they’d prefer the vacancy to be filled during a special city vote already scheduled for Feb. 13. A petition-initiated referendum, to consider whether Peterson should be recalled from office, is already scheduled on Feb. 13. Having voters decide both the Peterson recall question, and the election of someone to serve out the remainder of Chukuske’s term, would save the expense of another city election. Legal counsel Matthew Gross is to research whether there is enough time before Feb. 13 to meet various election and candidate-filing requirements.
If the council vacancy cannot be filled on Feb. 13, Ferrazzano indicated that he’d be willing to operate with a four-member council until the November, 2018 general election. His first preference, however, would be to have a five-member council.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.