Friday, July 22, 2011

More downtown business group tidbits

One significant thing that wound up on the cutting room floor of this column about the Tracy City Center Association is a brief primer on its origin. And it's a creation tale that chaps the hide of some folks who didn't get a say in the matter.

The genesis story of the TCCA involves a bit of politics.

Several city parcels, notably the Tracy Transit Station, were included in the district, giving the city one of the largest votes when it came to whether or not to approve the business association. Meanwhile, one of the largest private parcels historically considered to be in the downtown — the Tracy Inn, which includes Tracy Thai and the now-defunct Dick's Newsstand — was left out, after being included in initial draft plans for the district boundaries.

It was a move to help ensure the district was approved, and that maneuvering has left a bad taste in the mouth of several people — especially some merchants who didn't get a vote in the matter. Remember, the TCCA vote was one among property owners. (Which, for full disclosure, included the Tracy Press. Our ownership voted in favor of the TCCA.)

Second Thoughts wishes the TCCA all the best, and hopes it can bring new life to downtown. The revitalization of the city's historic core is essential to making Tracy the type of city many hope it can be, and the TCCA and its volunteer members are dedicated to making that happen.

The TCCA is an organization that has the potential to really change downtown for the better. But we'd be remiss if we didn't remember the "how" of it came to be, and the friction that resulted.

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