Council quarrels over committee choice

5 voted onto new Community Center Work Group

By Per Peterson

The Tracy City Council on Monday voted in five members to the new Community Center Work Group, but it wasn’t without controversy.

The group, which will work in conjunction with council members to find a solution to the community/senior center issue, will consist of Ken Witt, Jeanine Vandendriessche, Shirley Anderson, Audrey Koopman and Tony Peterson.

Each council member was given a ballot and was asked to rank, from 1 to 5, their favorite candidates out of the 16 who submitted an application.

After the winning candidates were announced, Tracy Mayor Pam Cooreman weighed in and questioned Peterson’s place on the committee.

“When I first saw all the applications, when I saw Don Gregoire, I thought, ‘Well that’s perfect, because he represents a whole other crowd that goes to the senior citizens’ center,’ so I thought that he would be good,” Cooreman said.

Cooreman asked the council its thoughts about changing out a candidate — Peterson — but that idea didn’t sit well.

Council member Jeri Schons said the council already had made its choices and the voted-on committee members shouldn’t be changed.

“Why did we go through the voting then?” she asked. “If we’re not going to go by the results, why did we go through this exercise?”

Cooreman said there was no reason why the council shouldn’t discuss the results, to which Schons replied that if the council is going to discuss one applicant, it should vet them all publicly.

“You might as well start having discussions on everybody,” Schons said. “Why pick Tony to go off and Don come on?”

“Because (Peterson) was the lowest one on there,” replied Cooreman.

“I don’t think that matters,” added council member Dave Tiegs.

Council member Seth Schmidt said the candidates should be accepted without further discussion.

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