Election 2012: Council candidates make their cases
by Various contributors
Sep 21, 2012 | 3918 views | 5 5 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor's Note: Five residents running for two seats on the Tracy City Council in the Nov. 6 election share their visions about the city and their candidacies below. The five candidates will also appear at a Tracy Press-hosted forum at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in the Kimball High School theater, 3200 Jaguar Drive, off Lammers Road south of 11th Street. Submit questions for the candidates either during the forum or by sending an email to jmendelson@tracypress.com.

Roger Birdsall

I have called Tracy home for over 37 years. I arrived from the Midwest, where I worked for a major automobile company, to start my own small business, Birdsall Chevrolet, which employed over 30 individuals.

I was involved for a number of years with the Tracy Chamber of Commerce, serving as both its president and vice president. I served for 27 years on the Tracy Economic Development Committee, a majority of the time as president. This organization, under my leadership, was instrumental

in bringing to Tracy such businesses as the Safeway Distribution Center, Yellow Freight, West Valley Mall and the Outlet Malls, among others.

I am also a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, a small group of private business people that advises the city manager on policies designed to attract companies with well-paying jobs to Tracy.

In 1984, I and other local business and community leaders

formed the Tracy San Joaquin Certified Development Corporation, a private nonprofit corporation. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, it has helped business owners obtain financing to grow their businesses, creating thousands of jobs over the years. I’ve been actively involved as the president of this organization for the past 25 years.

Based on my life experiences as both an employer and an employee in the private sector, I understand the challenges that face the people of Tracy in providing a quality life for their families. This means providing secure, well-paying jobs closer to home so parents can spend more time with their children and less time commuting to work.

As a father and grandfather, I believe in providing our

children with safe schools, streets and parks. To attain these goals, as a council member, I would promote economic development, work to bring a college or university to Tracy, be an advocate for a strong public safety net, be fiscally responsible by not spending money unnecessarily and

promote the cultural arts.

I have been with my wife, Janis Couturier, for over 22 years. I also have two adult children, Bryan and Sarah, and three grandchildren — Elizabeth, Bishop and Elliott.

Michael Maciel

In November, Tracy voters will select two people to serve on the City Council and, fortunately for our community, they have well-qualified candidates to choose from. Of the candidates, I am the sole incumbent in the race, and I am proud of my record of service to Tracy.

I have been a Tracy-area resident for over 50 years. I was a member of the Tracy Police Department for 25 years and have had the privilege of serving on the City Council for the last four years. I care deeply about this community and have committed most of my adult life to making Tracy a better place to live, work and raise a family.

As is the case with communities throughout the state, Tracy is feeling the impact of a troubled economy. Unlike many of those cities, however, Tracy has taken positive measures to create an environment that welcomes business investment and job creation and is aggressively working toward a balanced budget.

Our city government has trimmed expenses and reduced staffing by over 20 percent, without significant reductions in city services.

Tracy has streamlined processes at City Hall, saving the business community time and money, and earning a reputation as a city with a positive growth environment.

I have and will continue to actively support these measures and work to ensure that Tracy continues to grow as a regional economic leader.

Only with a solid economic foundation can Tracy provide its residents with quality services and amenities. I am committed to keeping Tracy a safe community with low crime rates and an aggressive gang suppression strategy. My experience with city government and insights into keeping Tracy safe are unmatched by any other candidate.

Much of Tracy’s current success can be attributed to forward thinking by community leaders of the past and a strong commitment to responsible fiscal management — practices I firmly embrace.

I am committed to Tracy. As a police officer and council member, I have been honored to serve our community for nearly 30 years. Please allow me to continue that service by re-electing me to the Tracy City Council.

Charles Manne

I am running for Tracy City Council because I understand what is needed to run a business and raise a family in Tracy. Over the past 23 years, I’ve witnessed Tracy grow in many directions and maintain its “hometown” feel.

Maintaining a family-friendly city is very important to us in Tracy. We must ensure our families are safe in our homes and on our streets, bring head-of-household jobs and economic development to the city, and stabilize the housing market.

In order to provide the best future for our children, we need to improve our schools and provide more recreational amenities for children and families.

I am proud to live here in Tracy.

I grew up attending Tracy schools, graduated from West High School and later earned a Master of Science degree in Corporate and International Finance. My experience includes over 12 years in company financial operations, serving as chairman of the city of Tracy Planning Commission and

completing a four-year term on the San Joaquin County’s Citizens Advisory Committee.

My commitment to Tracy comes from operating a small business on 11th Street and raising my two (soon to be three) sons in Tracy with my wife, Dawn. I believe in always improving the quality of life for the community here, and I believe the people of Tracy deserve a candidate who has the business experience to balance the city budget and create a business-friendly environment, while putting the needs of Tracy families first.

Please join me in making Tracy a stronger, safer and more vibrant community for our families and future generations. Connect with me on Facebook or visit our website at www.mannefortracycitycouncil.org. Remember to vote Charles Manne for Tracy City Council in November.

Ray Morelos

My commitment to Tracy has been

longstanding and consistent for the past

40 years.

I have made it a point to be involved in the decision-making process and also seeing these decisions into fruition. My involvement

has been at a foundation level — from establishing groups that are successful and an integral part of the community, like the Tracy Hispanic Business Group and the South Side Community Organization of Tracy, to sitting on the City Council in the 1980s that brought such establishments to Tracy as the West Valley Mall and the Tracy Outlet Mall and committed developer fees that paid for our present City Hall.

Sitting on the Sutter Tracy Community Hospital board allowed me to be involved in the building the future hospital for Tracy.

As the current chair of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce and a business owner for the past 30 years, I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and fostering growth for local businesses. I will work diligently to find creative avenues that will encourage growth for our local businesses and market Tracy as the premier place for new businesses.

The Tracy Municipal Airport needs to be recognized as a business on the brink of providing economic growth for the city of Tracy. As the city has grown, there has been a lack of leadership needed to make the airport a thriving business center.

As a business owner of a restaurant, facing hard economic times puts you in survival mode — if you want to remain in business, you must tighten the belt and make

sacrifices. You quickly learn to live within your budget.

This same business principle needs to be applied to the city budget. The city should in no way create a financial hardship on the general fund. This is the fund that pays for our police and fire departments.

It is important that our families feel safe in Tracy, and that is why I will be a strong advocate for well-staffed police and fire departments.

Nancy Young

I am running for Tracy City Council because I want to serve. The business expertise I bring will be valuable as future tough decisions are made to retain budgetary integrity.

Government is for the purpose of providing health, safety and welfare services. To provide services, government must remain economically

healthy. As Tracy moves forward during economic uncertainty, I will be an advocate and fresh voice for our families.

The major concerns of our families will always remain my major concerns: economic health, safety of our community, creating positive opportunities for our youth, and providing

programming for our seniors.

We need fresh ideas and fresh approaches. I will be that fresh voice for our families.

As a businesswoman, I propose that we remain diligent in our economic development efforts and our support of existing businesses — but let’s implement some new approaches. I have several ideas I will bring to the council.

We all agree that safety remains the highest priority of our families. Whatever our economic future brings, we must ensure that our police and fire personnel are equipped with the tools and technology needed to continue their excellent service.

As a mother of four, I know the need for positive

outlets and activities for our youth. Let’s strengthen our interaction with the schools — partner with them to expand mentoring programs and employment exposure opportunities.

We must also keep senior programs as a priority. Their knowledge and experiences can enrich our community. Let’s explore how city and community partnerships can increase social activities for our seniors and provide venues for their contributions.

I want to serve on the Tracy City Council as the fresh voice for fellow citizens of Tracy. As a conduit for our families, I will listen to their concerns as we interact through the Boys and Girls Clubs, Kiwanis, Student Discovery Program and Living on Purpose mentoring program while attending school functions, worship services and various community events.

Family cares and concerns, not political interests, will be the basis of my decisions on budgets and programming. I will be the fresh voice for families.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 08, 2012
Welp, I'm certainly not voting for any incumbent this year. Had enough of the good ole boy syndrome that includes the mayor.
September 28, 2012
I attended the forum to here first-hand the candidates opinions regarding the issues and economy facing Tracy. You can get the basics from someone's biography, but listening to how they respond to questions is the key. My vote after listening to the forum is for Charlie Manne. He was concise in every answer and has a great understanding of Tracy and what is needed to get out of the red ink.
September 26, 2012
I learned essentially nothing of value about these people from reading this. I don't know what you plan on doing. I don't know what new ideas you have. I don't know what you've learned from your past experiences. I don't know where you stand on taxes, spending, or how to develop the city.

Can we do worse by voting "none of the above"?
September 23, 2012
Seems none are really qualified frum th perspective of some people. All, with th exception of Nancy has prior dealins with workin fer th city, yes Ray, that includes ya, so none of them are ta be trusted, frun th perspective of th majority of th bloggers here.

Nancy talks a good talk but didn't see anythang in th line of background ta indicate she could do th job. We all can see what we get fer a major politician when we don't have access ta any background ta verify th claims of th candidate.
September 24, 2012
The best candidate is Wile E. Coyote-Super Genius!

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