After a unanimous vote by the Tracy City Council on Tuesday to hire Troy Brown as city manager, the former assistant city manager for Livermore said he’s been watching the community for some time and sees more chances than challenges.
“I like the developmental opportunities that are here,” Brown said after the vote. “I think that there’s a tremendous opportunity to increase connectivity between here and what will eventually be (Bay Area Rapid Transit) coming down 580 and make this entire region its own Photon Valley.”
Brown, 47, is experienced in city management. He served as assistant to the city manager in both Elk Grove and Riverside and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from California State University, Northridge.
Tuesday night, Brown got a public vote of confidence from Livermore’s community and economic development director, Stephan Kiefer.
“We’d like to congratulate the city of Tracy on an excellent selection,” Kiefer said to council members during a public comment period before the vote to approve Brown’s contract. “We believe that Troy’s work ethic, Troy’s infectious leadership style, is going to be a great gain for this community. And we expect he’ll do great things for this community, just as he has for Livermore.”
Brown said he won’t move immediately to Tracy with his family, because his daughter just started high school in Livermore, but he likes what he has already seen in the community.
“One of the things I love about it is it just feels like home,” he said. “When I drive around Tracy, it just feels like I’m home. Everyone is so nice and warm. I can see kids playing out in the parks in recreation programs. I see parents walking and talking to each other in the shops. That’s the No. 1 thing that stands out.”
The new city manager said his first priority is ensuring Tracy’s financial health.
“There’s a challenge facing Tracy, and that challenge is the long-term fiscal sustainability and the expiration of Measure E,” Brown said of the half-cent sales tax increase due to expire in 2016. “There’s infrastructure improvements that need to happen. There’s infrastructure rehabilitation. How do we achieve long-term fiscal sustainability and retirement (fund for city employees)? Money doesn’t cure all problems, but it’s definitely going to be a focus of mine over the next several budget cycles.”
Brown said he is looking for economic development opportunities and sees similarities between Livermore and Tracy in the way technology and information industries are trying to expand.
“I think there’s also opportunities to stop some of the intellectual leakage that we experience,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of folks that live here and work in either the (Lawrence Livermore National) Lab or other places in the Bay Area. We’ve got to figure out a way to grow those businesses here. That’s a tremendous opportunity that I’m looking forward to tackling.”
Brown, however, does not believe Tracy should try to pattern itself after Livermore.
“I think Tracy has a different downtown, and it’s built under some of the same tenets, which is small business and being pedestrian oriented,” he said. “We have to capitalize on those things and use those things to spark development. You can’t do it the way Livermore did it. We have to do it the way that we can do it, that fits our vision.”
Brown — who will make a salary of $205,000 a year — will assume his role as city manager on Sept. 2.
• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4231.