What lies ahead for Tracy?

City leaders met last week to share ideas on how city can best move forward, prosper in the years to come

By Per Peterson

Is Tracy a “bedroom community” or a “business community?” How can the city be marketed better? How can the community grow over the next two decades?

These are just a few of the questions posed to city leaders at a budget workshop last Monday designed to set council priorities for 2021.

City Administrator Erik Hansen facilitated the forum and posed three questions to those in attendance: Council members Jeri Schons, Dave Tiegs, Kou Thao and George Landuyt; Mayor Tony Peterson; City of Tracy Office Manager Peggy Zwach; Deputy Clerk Diane Campbell; EDA Director Jeff Carpenter; Library Director Val Quist; and Tracy Police Chief Jason Lichty and Fire Chief Dale Johnson III.

The workshop was a result of a decision made in April when the budget schedule was adopted to allow the council an opportunity to provide direction to City staff on what the 2021 budget could potentially look like. Hansen said one of his goals of last week’s workshop was to attain a list of goals for the future from the council and ascertain what the city’s priorities should be moving forward.

• One of the questions asked officials to give their idea of what Tracy’s ideal future looked like. This is where the “bedroom community” conversation started.

“People think you’re just not trying to be a city — that you’re just looking that people are going to come here and that’s where they’re gonna sleep, that’s where their house is gonna be,” Schons said of the “bedroom community” label. “I think there’s a positive side to that, because if they come here to sleep, their kids are gonna be here.”

Schons said the fact that Tracy is considered a “bedroom community” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because families will still be in town, utilizing the city’s hospital, grocery store and school system.

“Just because the parents might work in Marshall … I don’t see it as a negative,” she said. “People think that if they work in Marshall, that’s where they’re gonna do their shopping, doctoring, because they’re there. I think if we have the right services here they’ll do their business here.”

Tied in with being a bedroom community, Hansen said, is the city’s housing issue.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.