New faces at city hall
The Headlight Herald recently sat down with the City of Tracy’s newly-appointed mayor Pam Cooreman and new councilman Kou Thao.
By Seth Schmidt
It didn’t take newly-appointed mayor Pam Cooreman long to realize that her new job came with added responsibilities.
“Your duties are more. I’m getting more phone calls and have more meetings to go to,” says Cooreman, who was elected to a four-year council term that began in January of 2014. That role expanded on Jan. 8, when Cooreman was appointed to succeed Steve Ferrazano as mayor.
The morning after the appointment, the new mayor was out representing Tracy at the ribbon-cutting for the new Lewis Drug store.
“That was a lot of fun,” she smiles.
The announcement that Ferrazzano was resigning in order to become Fifth District judge, and that she would be appointed mayor, was initially “quite a shock,” Cooreman says.
Her first goal as mayor will be to help “get everyone working together and get Tracy out of its slump.” Asked what she meant by “slump,” Cooreman responded, “all of the bad publicity, all of the negativity that’s going around. It takes all of us to try to make Tracy grow.”
The beautification of Hwy. 14, Cooreman says, will be one of her priorities.
“If you don’t make Hwy. 14 look inviting, why would you want to come downtown?” Cooreman has pushed to fund hanging flower baskets on Hwy. 14 utility poles this coming summer, but is worried that Xcel Energy won’t allow the baskets.
Another concern she’d like resolved, is the replacement of trees removed recently along the Swift Lake Park trail to make room for the construction of a new solar array.
“I’m sad that they ended up taking down all of those trees. I’d watched them grow up for 10 years and they were just starting to get big. It’s terrible that they had to be taken out.”
While she is happy there are plans to re-plant the evergreens elsewhere in city parks (likely around softball fields), Cooreman would like new trees to be planted to fill in the bare spots along the bike path.
The completion of the city’s new sewage settlement ponds will be a major accomplishment, Cooreman says.
“Tracy can’t grow until that gets done,” Cooreman notes. The council member is supportive of continued sewer and water improvements in the city, but is worried about the affordability of future projects for city residents.
“People living here now are paying for infrastructure that’s going to be here for the next 100 years,” she reflects. She considers it unfortunate, that money wasn’t put aside over the years to help pay for the new system.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.