Our Voice: Long game pays off for city
by Press Editorial Board
Nov 30, 2012 | 3516 views | 0 0 comments | 310 310 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For months, officials and elected leaders at Tracy City Hall have been subject to public criticism for missing a chance to bring Amazon.com to town.

Now that it appears an Amazon distribution center will touch down in Tracy, it’s time for those critics to change their tune.

As far back as February, it was evident the city was in the running to land a big-time job-creator. Rumors swirled that an Internet retailer, termed “Project X” at the time, was looking at Tracy and other nearby cities.

The facility was supposed to be massive — providing at least 1,000 jobs with annual gross sales of $100 million or more.

Those suspicions were partially confirmed by a May announcement that Amazon was locating a distribution hub with as many as 1,500 jobs in Patterson, 20 miles to Tracy’s southeast.

Tracy looked like the jilted courtier, having narrowly missed a mighty opportunity.

Accusations flew that the city staff was asleep at the switch. But Tracy’s hired and elected leaders apparently kept their lips tight and their noses to the grindstone, rather than succumb to public pressure to announce their continued work behind the scenes.

If Mayor Brent Ives’ prediction last week about Amazon coming to Tracy is confirmed — it hadn’t been as of press time Thursday — the city will have as many as 1,000 more jobs and $1 million more in annual sales tax receipts to show for its commitment to a long-term vision over protecting its short-term public appearance.

Even though that perspective should be the norm rather than the exception, as it is vital to a well-functioning government, we hope it turns many of the boos into cheers.

Or at least polite applause.

There remains plenty of work to be done when it comes to Tracy’s economic development. Distribution centers alone, no matter how large, will not turn the city into a regional commercial power.

But at the least, the Amazon saga shows that current city leadership has the vision and determination to accomplish big things in the face of criticism. And it should give residents hope that the city’s economic future will be brighter than its recent past.
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