How can you help your community? Kimball’s social science department chair Jared Rio and his field trip to Tracy Interfaith Ministries with his students was inspirational. Tracy’s residents need to realize they are not helpless when it comes to poverty in their town. More students should be aware of the ways to help the poverty situation in Tracy, and everyone should know that they can help others in their own community. Imagine the feeling of knowing you were a part of developing the solution to poverty in Tracy. It was very encouraging to read that the students themselves walked four miles to Tracy Interfaith Ministries. Their effort in doing so should be applauded. More residents of Tracy should take the time to see the many ways they can easily help out those who are less fortunate than they are.
Kaitlyn Hawkins, Tracy
One has to believe that Leon Churchill was not at all surprised about the termination of his employment. That’s because the way such procedures are accomplished at the executive level — delicately. When Churchill’s “error of judgment” was discovered, the inevitable termination process went into motion. Some Tracy citizens, including myself, questioned what appeared to be the action or non-action of the City Council in addressing the Churchill issue. In ordinary times, there might have been less vocal criticism of the council. However, these are not ordinary times. Now, an extraordinary mistrust of government by citizens exists caused by revelations of corruption and malfeasance by government at all levels. The result has understandably created a “peasants with pitchforks” mentality. The gallery visiting the last public City Council meeting included many who were certain that shenanigans were involved in covering up the Churchill Caper — the “one bad apple” syndrome. Churchill supporters were also vocal, including a testimonial praising his ability to “get things done” compared to some previous city managers. (My personal reaction — high efficiency trumps a little larceny.) The same could be said about the Cosa Nostra.
When news of Churchill’s termination was released, the crystal ball unfogged. From past professional experience, it was remembered that personnel matters at this level are disposed of “in camera.” Therefore, details of the personnel action might not be made public in compliance with legal and contract considerations. The “week off with pay,” so widely criticized as a vacation, is a common courtesy allowing the subject to contact his head hunter. By this time, Churchill knew the party was over. Hence, because of the confidentiality required, it can be presumed the council acted properly.
One council member in an earlier event described “we the people” as being stupid and uncaring. It should be noted that if that were to be true, the gallery would have empty.
Charles Norton, Tracy
State of the City
In last week’s Friday edition of the Tracy Press, an ad was placed about the upcoming State of the City address. My question, what did the city of Tracy taxpayers have to pay for the ad in the paper? Why are we being forced to pay $20 if we want to attend? The cost is double that of a movie ticket, but at least you get professional entertainment. Then staging it on a Thursday morning, where most of us are at work or school, where many cannot take time off for another gathering of political turkeys. My fellow citizens, please, next election, clean house, vote them out the entire City Council. They failed us because they were to slow to act. They acted too late to fire our City Manager Leon Churchill and sent packing with a severance no less. In most organizations, public and private, they would have fired him that same day and given him no severance, because he broke the public trust. Doesn’t anyone read the Brown Act anymore? Now the issue of parking at Tracy High School, it has been an issue for years, just now addressing the issue rather than the school board. When we have a parking lot across the street, near the police station, a parking lot next door at the theater, plenty of parking at the old Heinz facility we can use. Then came the promise of high-paying Silicon Valley jobs coming to Tracy — well, they really missed the bus on that one. Years ago, our City Council sent Apple Computer, HP, Dell and Compaq packing by insulting them and their products. Then we have our City Council great victory celebration about Amazon, which ended up with no more than a few warehouse and forklift operator jobs. Please, next election, replace them with people that really want to serve our community, people that are tired of seeing Tracy the laughingstock of Northern California.
Al Galaviz, Tracy