Your Voice: Closed-minded council
by John Phillips, Tracy
Dec 27, 2012 | 3172 views | 13 13 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

On Dec. 18, I came to find out just how little our City Council really cares about the concerns of their voters.

I, along with many other citizens, sat waiting for up to four hours to have an opportunity to voice concerns about the proposed apartment projects on Valpico Road and Glenbriar Drive. Many of our concerns appeared to have the support of the council, including Mayor Brent Ives, during the meeting. However, we were shocked at their decision to still go forward with this project, even after they acknowledged the issues raised.

They had obviously made up their minds prior to our arrival at the meeting, and it was obvious the voters in this city have no say where they are concerned.

At capacity, up to 500 additional vehicles will be entering Valpico Road and MacArthur Drive, currently one lane in each direction. At present, there are many areas with no sidewalks — just dirt or ditches that are within a few feet of 40 mph traffic that pedestrians, including children walking to the various schools, will be expected to use. There is no set budget or timetable in place for their completion.

The two complexes appear to be being added with no regard for safety issues or the existing area needs and issues surrounding it. Shouldn’t these be completed first, or in conjunction with road improvement projects on Valpico and MacArthur, not after the fact when the city gets the money for it?

The voters of this city have the absolute right to expect their elected city officials to be listening to what they want. And if they don’t, we should be voting that they are not there for another term.

• Editor’s note: The City Council unanimously approved 144-unit and 60-unit apartment complexes on Valpico Road at the dead-end of Glenbriar Drive during the council’s Dec. 18 meeting.

Comments
(13)
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SpikeVFR
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January 10, 2013
so if they don't do what *you* want, then they aren't listening?

You realize of course that there are some people that beleive soemthing entirely different, right? That nearly everything has pros and cons to consider? It is very easy to agree with a concern that someone has, and still think overall that the pros outweigh the cons.

That it is very likely that the building in which you reside, caused an increase in traffic for the people who already resided in the area?

That oftentimes, and I don't know in this specific case, you have to have concrete reasons for denying a development, you can't just say "no, we don't like it"
ganthony
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January 07, 2013
I also went to the city comissioner's meeting when the project was recommended for approval. It was pathetic the pedantic actitude of some members looking at the clok on the wall as I was talking. Of course, everyone wanted to go home just after 11:00PM! They heard us but never made an honest effort to listening to us. At the end of the meeting it was obvious all commisioners completely disregarded the citizen's concerns. I could not make it to the ciy council meeting but again I anticipated a council just approving the deal. The appeared just as a protocol. Government transparency does not seem to exist as decisions like the one mentioned here appeared so bias. All we asked from them was time to digest the impact of the development, that was all. We could have been convinced by a logical explanation the importance of the project for the city. As president FDR said ...."But I know that I must never give up-that I must never let the greater interest of all the people down, merely because that might be for the moment the easiest personal way out." We need to give power to men/women who truly loves the interest of the majority, regular hard working Americans.
Revell
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January 10, 2013
When this is over TUSD can purchase a million pencils and hire a few new teachers. They get a million dollars. It's like hitting the lottery.
LaptopLouie
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January 03, 2013
People are making a mountain out of a molehill. The sidewalk already exists in front of the apartments. The city clearly said they plan to add the sidewalks on Valpico and the developer said his funds could help pay for the sidewalks. All of the people at the meeting did not listen to what was said and then tried to say that council was not listening.
Youtwo
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December 30, 2012
I do not believe this was a disregard for safety issues, as the children would walk to Tom Hawkins. Probably the people opposed to it just did not take the time to look into the pedestrian issues. In fact, there is another apartment complex that already exists, adjacent to the approved complex. I used to live there myself. And guess what. Believe it or not. The apartment complex comes with sidewalks. This is not the Baiux or the jungles of Madagascar. Here in Tracy we have something called sidewalks.

I would have more respect for those opposed to the complex if they would be a little more honest about their motives. They are afraid of this being in their backyard. And that is exactly what the council addressed, verbatim. In contrast, the NIMBYs tried a less than honest approach (about traffic issues) and unwittingly never voiced their real concerns.
topwing
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December 31, 2012
Valpico is the dividing line between the school districts, Tracy Unified to the north and Jefferson to the south. The apartments will be located in the TUSD and Tom Hawkins Elementary is in Jefferson district. There shouldn't be any students walking from the apartments to Hawkins.
XboxPlayer
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January 03, 2013
It is easy to get children into another school (like Hawkins across Valpico) if an older sibling already goes there or if the child temporarily moves in with a relative in Glenbriar. But if TUSD takes 1.2 million please contact both CA DOT and Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator.

do a search for Safe Routes to Schools.
topwing
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January 03, 2013
... and is the exact reason I said "shouldn't" and did not say "will not".
whoareyoukidding
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December 28, 2012
Give it a rest. Some of the arguments were ridiculous. Not all apartments increase crime. Property values are not going to drop.

The only legitimate concern is traffic. The city does need to fix Valpico. Hopefully that will be soon.

The Mayor was correct in his statement of no one wants it in their backyard.
oldshoe
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December 28, 2012
they are listening to you, but do what the developers want.
CaringVoter
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January 01, 2013
The only side walk will be directly in front of the appartments, the remaining areas won't have them. Those children going to Tracy High will be walking within a few feet of vehicles going up to (45) miles per hour and if were going to be honest, "we don't have the best drivers in this town". Also, the city does not have the funds availabe at this time for finishing Valpico or McArthur as the Mayor clearly indicated in the last meeting. Again, this was poor planning with not alot of thought.
XboxPlayer
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January 03, 2013
Many untruths in these comments. let us recap. It is not true that sidewalks will only be in front of apartments. There is 5.8 million dollars available from the impact fees. The developer's sidewalks extend beyond the front of the apartments and include bicycle lanes. The capital improvement can also be used to create sidewalks. Additionally, the schools will collect 1.2 million dollars.
pnutgallery
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January 09, 2013
Oldshoe,

I tend to agree with your comment. Does anyone know who the developer is and/or who owns the land?



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