As Tracy voters prepare to make Election Day decisions that will determine how the city’s future growth will be managed, some facts need to be clarified. Mayoral and City Council candidates that are affiliated with the Tracy Region Alliance for a Quality Community are distributing campaign literature that accuses Brent Ives and other members of the City Council of supporting a city general plan that will cause Tracy’s population to reach 220,000 residents. These claims are a misrepresentation of the facts.
By definition, the general plan is intended to be a roadmap for the community to follow for the next 20 years. On pages 2 through 9 of the general plan, there is a forecast that Tracy’s population will be 109,000 in the year 2025. This forecast is based on applying the Measure A growth formula that was approved by the voters in 2000 as part of the Growth Management Ordinance.
On page 41 of the General Plan Environmental Impact Report, there is a discussion regarding Tracy’s “total buildout.” This pertains to when and if all potential development in the city has occurred. In this discussion, there is a reference to a potential population of 221,000 Tracyites. What TRAQC candidates are omitting from their campaign claims is the fact that build-out will not take place for at least 69 years and may take as long as 159 years. It is also important to note that the 220,000-plus number is a result of applying the Measure A formula to those future dates.
These population projections are a result of simple mathematics, using the TRAQC-approved formula. The general plan the TRAQC candidates are criticizing predicts a population of 109,000 in 2025. If you continue to apply that formula farther into the future, you will get a larger population figure. Pretty simple.
Any claims that mayoral candidate Ives, through the general plan, is pushing for a Tracy population of more than 200,000 are false.
The only question that remains is whether the TRAQC candidates are incapable of accurately working with their own formula or are they intentionally misrepresenting the facts. Perhaps instead of offering the citizens of Tracy a self-serving “contract,” they should offer an apology.
• Jack Wood, a five-year Tracy resident, served on the Tracy police force for 10 years as a lieutenant until his retirement in 2004.