Community center group forges ahead

By Per Peterson

While there was some prevailing negativity at the May 10 “town hall” community center meeting attended by some 40 Tracy residents, the Community Center Workforce Group is continuing to move ahead with a positive attitude.

The CCWG, made up of a handful of Tracy residents who work in concert with the city council in an effort to build a new center of some kind, invited residents to last month’s meeting in hopes of generating more interest in the project and boosting fundraising efforts. The meeting turned out to be a mix of information and optimism along with some concerns about the direction the group is taking.

“There are some people who are negative about spending money because they fear that their taxes are going to go up,” said CCWG leader Ken Witt. “I’m sure that some people think that way. There are other people that are negative because they would rather see a smaller senior center, rather than a community center.”

Witt said there are also underlying sentiments of impatience and frustration coming from Tracy residents since the debate about what the City should do about a new center has lingered on for more than a year, without much being accomplished. Unanswered questions include where a new building would go and how big should a new building be.

“Two years have gone by without a place for people to come together and do things,” said Witt. “I think people get nervous, and they don’t always express themselves the way they really feel. I think there’s a lot of different reasons to be negative; I think maybe even seniors … we have that, too.”

Witt said one of the main focuses of the group is to build a center that’s as inclusive as possible. That, he said, will not only get everyone excited about a new center, but it’s also the best strategy when it comes to receiving grants.

“You don’t write a grant for just seniors,” he said. “We have to be inclusive.”

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