The writing is on the wall. For years, property and business owners quickly paint over graffiti in an effort to conceal gang presence in their neighborhoods. Escalating gang-related school fights, crimes involving weapons, vandalism, thefts, reckless driving and brazen disregard toward city codes and fellow citizens are shining examples of a “no fear” generation fueled by the lack of police presence. Difficulty in police recruitment and lack of funding leave police and code enforcement exhausted, two essential departments that preserve our community. Tough “zero tolerance” talk is meaningless without adequate law and code enforcement to back it up.
Recently, the Stockton City Council told City Attorney Ren Nosky to draft the toughest anti-graffiti ordinance that the state allows. Seizing taggers’ vehicles, holding parents liable and a “fairly extreme” ban on spray paint and big markers are considerations in the draft for the upcoming ordinance. Parents must enforce tough love and check on their kids’ whereabouts. There is an unrealistic view by many that the police can correct it all.
The attempt to copy cities like Elk Grove by rushing to push for rapid growth and showy amenities also hastens the undesirable consequences that large cities suffer in the form of overwhelming crime, gangs and congestion. Do Tracy’s citizens want more of this for their future Many families relocated to Tracy seeking refuge from such threatening elements, choosing to leave behind amenities not offered in Tracy in exchange for a better quality of life.
A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge has ruled against the city of Tracy, saying a pair of negotiated agreements with developers would violate Measure A. This is probably the city’s only opportunity to recover its integrity. The city’s staff is empowered to say “no” to chaotic over-population with conservative growth, progress and sensible amenities. Comments of doom and gloom are indicative of ignorance and bliss.
Tracy lacks a time machine to allow us to go back when the mistake is already realized. Flashy state-of-the-art recreation sites and the desire for urban sprawl will only mask another valley community living in fear and struggling with inadequately staffed law enforcement.