Longtime city admin. always had a vision

Audrey Koopman attended her final Tracy City Council meeting as city administrator in July 2011. Tracy Area Headlight Herald file photo

By Per Peterson

For a stretch of nine years between 2011-2020, the city administrator position in Tracy was a frustrating collection of candidates, finalists, interviews and resignations, as the City of Tracy searched high and low to find someone to fill the shoes of Audrey Koopman on a long-time basis.

The City’s struggles to replace Koopman in one of the most important positions in town served as a reminder of how difficult it is to find the right person to fill the role. On Friday, June 24, Tracy lost the person who proved to be impossible to replace for so many years, as Koopman lost her battle with cancer at the age of 75.

Koopman served the City of Tracy for 35 years — 28 as its city administrator. When she bid farewell to the position in 2011, she told the Tracy Area Headlight Herald that serving residents of Tracy has been her life but she knew the time was right to step down at the age of 65.

Dave Spencer served as finance director under Koopman during the entirety of her stint as city administrator and appreciated many things about her.

“She was just great to work with,” Spencer said. “She didn’t pull any punches; working together wasn’t always a picnic — we had our differences, but yet we were the best of friends. We could go home and forget about our work. She didn’t lie — she told it like it was to the public.”

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