The Year in Review: Young's victory tops of 2012
by TP staff
Dec 28, 2012 | 3720 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nancy Young gets a hug from a campaign supporter as she waits for election results at B& J Bistro on Nov. 6. Young went on to win one of two seats on the Tracy City Council, earning the most votes of the five candidates on the ballot.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Nancy Young gets a hug from a campaign supporter as she waits for election results at B& J Bistro on Nov. 6. Young went on to win one of two seats on the Tracy City Council, earning the most votes of the five candidates on the ballot. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Voters were heard loud and clear on Election Day, Nov. 6, when almost 27 percent of them changed the composition of the Tracy City Council by electing Nancy Young.

The 43-year-old mother of four was mostly overshadowed during the campaign by her male opposition — Ray Morelos, Charles Manne, Roger Birdsall and Michael Maciel.

As the only incumbent, Maciel was heavily favored to win re-election as the top candidate for two open council seats.

However, Young surged ahead in the preliminary results Nov. 6 and built her lead until she was declared the official winner with 532 more votes than Maciel.

She received nearly 3,300 more votes than Morelos, who finished in third place.

On Sept. 21, the Tracy Press published letters written by the five candidates.

Young stated simply that she was running “because I want to serve.”

She explained how her business background would be “valuable as future tough decisions are made to retain budgetary integrity.”

“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,” she stated. “I have several ideas I will bring to the council.”

It’s a message to which the voters apparently responded.

Young, who finished in fourth place when she ran for council in 2010, said after polls closed Nov. 6 that she was relieved her persistent campaigning paid off.

“I have to thank everybody, because there are so many people who have supported me and prayed for me and been there to really push through, especially my family,” she said.

Young thought her grassroots campaign had connected with voters.

“It’s important to me to get out and meet people and talk to people face to face, in the store, in the gas stations, going down the street,” Young said. “We’ve been walking since August. I’ve met a lot of people.”



No. 2: Controversial director recalled

Politics in Mountain House were rough and tumble this past year, as residents successfully fought to have Director Jass Singh removed from the community services district board.

Singh took criticism from residents in April when he was captured on camera during a board meeting making what some judged to be an offensive hand gesture. He was seen on film using his middle finger to adjust his glasses, a move that at least two residents at the time said was directed toward them.

At a previous meeting, Singh made derogatory comments about members of the community.

He was twice formally censured by his fellow directors — once in March and once in May — for violating the board’s code of conduct.

In response, residents banded together to have Singh recalled.

When the group successfully submitted a petition, which contained 838 signatures and was certified by the county registrar of voters, the recall was placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

According to certified election results, 1,674 votes — about 60 percent of ballots cast — were in favor of the recall.

Singh did not return phone calls from the Tracy Press following the vote.

Singh was elected to serve a four-year term on the board in November 2010 with 26.67 percent of the vote (739 votes).

Steven Gutierrez, who earned 1,035 votes (45 percent) in a three-candidate

race in the Nov. 6 election, will fill Singh’s seat for the remaining two years of the term.



No. 3: Tracy Press sold

The sale of Tracy Press Inc. — which includes its three newspapers but not its printing operations — was finalized Nov. 12.

Will Fleet, former publisher of the McClatchy Co.-owned Fresno Bee, and Ralph Alldredge, publisher of the San Andreas-based Calaveras Enterprise, completed the purchase for $425,000.

The two men took over the paper from the Matthews family, which bought the Tracy Press in 1943.

“Ralph and I are excited about our new venture,” Fleet said. “Tracy is a wonderful community, and we look forward to carrying on the Matthews family tradition of community journalism and public service.”

The purchase bid was approved in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California in Sacramento on Oct. 10. The final sale of the company by members of the Matthews family included the Tracy Press, the Patterson Irrigator and the Scotts Valley Banner.

Alldredge and Fleet are co-publishers of all three papers under the new company name Tank Town Media.

Each man has previously served a one-year term as president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Printing press equipment, which was located in Tracy and sold at a separate auction, as well as some accounts receivable that are being retained by the Matthews family, were not included in the sale.

The press made its final printing run Nov. 15 and was dismantled and taken by truck from the Tracy Press, 145 W. 10th St., on Nov. 19.

Printing operations are now outsourced to the Galt Herald, just south of Sacramento. The Tracy Press newspaper is still delivered Fridays, and the size and format remain the same.

Tracy Press Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2010.

The Press was first printed April 2, 1898.

Harvey F. Matthews purchased the paper in 1943. His wife, Laura Matthews, took over day-to-day operations when he died of a heart attack in 1949.

She was joined by her two sons, Tom and Sam Matthews, in 1957. The brothers became co-publishers in 1960 until Tom left the business in 1997, and his son Robert Matthews took over in 1997, piloting the company until the sale to Fleet and Alldredge.

Sam Matthews has remained in his role as publisher emeritus.



No. 4: Ellis development back on table

A developer agreement that could help build a long-awaited aquatics center was back under the microscope in 2012.

On June 19, the City Council gave city staff a 4-1 go-ahead, with Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel dissenting, to negotiate and draft an agreement with The Surland Cos., the Tracy-based developer.

Tentative terms of the deal revealed in June would have Surland exchange 16 acres and $10 million for 2,250 residential growth allotments toward the proposed Ellis subdivision on the northwest corner of Corral Hollow and Linne roads.

The money would be disbursed over three years. Each RGA allows one house to be built.

The city plans to use the money and land to create an aquatics center that would likely be built in several stages.

On Dec. 19, the Tracy Planning Commission recommended that the City Council give the final OK to the developer agreement. The council’s next scheduled meeting is Jan. 15.

At the same time as the city and Surland worked toward a new deal, they sought to appeal the ruling of a judge who invalidated a previous developer agreement involving the swim center and Ellis.

On Oct. 31, 2011, a final decision by Superior Court Judge Lesley Holland ruled that a deal approved by the City Council on Dec. 17, 2008, would have illegally allowed Surland to use RGAs outside the Ellis project.



No. 5: Homeless no more

When members of the Coalition of Tracy Citizens to Assist the Homeless opened a transitional shelter in June at 26 W. Emerson Ave., residents around the house quickly became weary of the situation.

The home — which would house up to 10 homeless people — was touted as the first such place for single men and women to support themselves again and transition off the streets.

Just days after its opening in June, neighbors confronted organizers of the home, demanding clarification about how the house would function.

Marvin Rothschild, who was then the director of the coalition, organized a gathering of neighbors to explain the situation.

However, the meeting with about 20 neighbors and residents living on and around the first block of West Emerson Avenue was strained at times.

Residents were upset, because many had learned about the home when it was first reported by the Tracy Press on June 22.

In the June 22 article, Tom Bardwell — a pastor who was recruited by Rothschild to oversee the house — said the coalition chose the home after “receiving the blessing from neighbors.” He and Rothschild reportedly knocked on neighbors’ doors seeking input.

Bardwell would resign as director of the house on July 10, stating that “Due to conflicts of interest between ‘old director’ and ‘new director,’ I am not able to perform my job that I was elected and qualified for.”

“I do not wish to be part of a program that (is) full of confusion and conflict, with no direction,” his statement read. “I wish the coalition success in helping the homeless of Tracy.”



No. 6: Hacienda Inn homicide

On the night of July 7, police received a call around 7 p.m. for a naked man fighting with two women at the Hacienda Inn, 639 W. 11th St.

When officers arrived, they found Stephen Andrew Carreiro, 26, outside the hotel office and the victim, 62-year-old Lalitaben Patel, of Tracy, “adjacent to the office of the motel” where the struggle reportedly began.

Carreiro was indicted by a San Joaquin County Superior Court grand jury on Oct. 31 on charges of first-degree murder, elder abuse and resisting arrest, with enhancements for rape, burglary, sodomy and rape with a foreign object.

A superior court judge has set Carreiro’s trial for May 10.

As of press time Thursday, Dec. 27, it was one of four homicides during 2012 in Tracy.



No. 7: Amazon.com center announced

Mayor Brent Ives confirmed in late November that Internet retailer Amazon.com was set to build a distribution hub in northeastern Tracy.

Though officials at Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. had not officially announced the plan as of press time, Ives said Nov. 20 that an automated distribution center would bring as many as 1,000 jobs to the Northeast Industrial Area.

“We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said.

Amazon has estimated a “low end” of $100 million in point-of-sales business annually at the proposed Tracy center, according to Ives, which could mean an increase of $1 million a year in the city’s sales tax receipts.

In May, Amazon.com announced it would place a separate distribution and fulfillment center in Patterson, about 20 miles southeast of Tracy.



No. 8: Killed in the line of duty

Robert Lee Paris Jr., a Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy and Tracy native, was fatally shot along with a civilian April 12 while trying to serve eviction papers at an apartment at 2141 Chrysler Drive, in Modesto.

Friends remembered him as easygoing, charismatic and caring.

Paris, a 16-year veteran with the department, graduated from Tracy High School in 1977.

He and the civilian, a locksmith, were trying to open the front door of the apartment to formally evict 45-year-old Jim Richard Ferrario when they were shot through the door.

An 11-hour standoff ensued, and a fire began in the building shortly before midnight. The shooter — who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound — was found inside a bathroom.

Shortly after graduating from Tracy High School, Paris attended San Joaquin Delta College and then entered paramedic school in 1979.

Paris’ work led him to be named Paramedic of the Year by the Tracy Exchange Club, according to a Nov. 14, 1983, article in the Tracy Press.



No. 9: Tracy Ballpark preserved

The Tracy City Council voted unanimously Oct. 16 to leave the ballpark as it is and to seek options for how to protect it as parkland for years to come.

At a Sept. 17 meeting, a consultant and city staff presented ideas for redeveloping the 68-year-old park, including turning it into a housing development or apartment complex.

Tracy residents attended several meetings to oppose the idea, including an Oct. 2 City Council meeting and Oct. 4 Parks and Community Services Commission gathering.

During the Oct. 16 meetings, residents again hammered home their desire to keep the park — sold to the city for $10 in 1944 by C.E. and Margaret Ritter — as a park.



No. 10: Name game

The main classroom building at Tracy High School was named the Dr. James C. Franco Building on April 21 after the superintendent and longtime supporter of education in Tracy.

Franco began his career at Tracy Unified School District as the principal of Monte Vista Middle School in 1987, when he came to Tracy from Juneau, Alaska. Other highlights of his administrative career included several years as principal of Tracy High.

Initial discussions raised the possibility of naming Monte Vista Middle School after Franco. But such a move would have required a policy change, one trustees did not favor.

The Tracy Unified School District board approved the naming by a 6-1 vote during a February meeting.

Ted Guzman voted against the proposal because he wanted to honor Franco by naming a school after him.

The building was constructed as part of a $20 million project to replace the former 66,000-square-foot West Building, built in 1916.

• This list was compiled by the Tracy Press staff. If there’s a story you thought should have been included in the list, share your thoughts by writing to the Voice section at tpletters@tracypress.com or 145 W. 10th St., Tracy, CA 95376.
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