Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hurrah for (most of) the City Council

Tracy's City Council takes a lot of flak, not least of which from me. So let me congratulate the council for doing something right Tuesday night when it passed an affordable housing initiative.

Well, at least the majority of council members did something right. Faced with the opportunity to give developers incentive to build more high-density, low- and moderate-income housing, Mayor Brent Ives, Councilwoman Evelyn Tolbert and Councilwoman Irene Sundberg all gave the green light.

Councilwoman Suzanne Tucker essentially said not in my backyard, wondering aloud if more low- and moderate-income homes would degrade the "character and higher standards we've worked for years to put in place."

Notice to those who can't afford suburban McMansions: someone doesn't want you here.

Luckily, four of five public representatives decided to address Tracy's need for affordable housing — a need that has been overlooked for some years. Hopefully, builders will take Tracy up on its incentive plan to provide more housing for young professionals and blue-collar workers.

Following through with this first step can only lead to the city becoming more diverse and vibrant — something that seems to go hand and hand with character.

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