Swearing in

Cpl. Jeff Berdosh (from left), Cpl. Nestor Mejia and officers Sofia Bechler and Clinton Gardner take the Tracy Police Department oath of office at the July 2 Tracy City Council meeting.

The council recognized four Tracy police officers with a swearing-in ceremony last week.

Two officers, Nestor Mejia and Jeff Berdosh, were promoted from officer to corporal. Both have worked with the department’s special enforcement team and special investigations unit, and both are members of the department’s special weapons and tactics team.

Mejia, a 13-year veteran with the department, studied criminal justice at California State University, Stanislaus and holds a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Union University. He has been an instructor in defensive tactics, firearms and active shooter response and is the brother of Capt. Luis Mejia of the Tracy Police Department.

Berdosh joined the Tracy Police Department in 2007 after a year with the Stanislaus County Probation Department. His assignments have included the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from CSU Stanislaus.

Officers Clinton Gardner and Sofia Bechler joined the Tracy Police Department last month.

Gardner was an officer with the Oakdale Police Department before coming to Tracy and previously served with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department as a custody officer in the county jail.

Bechler served six years as a deputy with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and previously worked as a parking enforcement officer for the Redwood City Police Department.

In other action July 2, the Tracy City Council:

• Agreed to begin the process of increasing water rates by 25%. The council’s action set Sept. 17 as the date for a public hearing on the rate increase, which would hike Tracy residents’ water bills from $32.80 to $41, adding $8.20 to monthly water bills.

• Agreed to install a plaque at the new McDonald Park splash pad in honor of Frank A. Garcia. Garcia, who died in December 2016 at the age of 59, was a prominent volunteer with the South Side Community Organization, which will pay for and maintain the plaque.

• Agreed to spend $50,000 more on a downtown lighting project. Last year, the city approved a $348,260 contract with Crosspoint General Engineering of Palo Alto to permanently install strings of LED festival lights along Central Avenue and 10th Street. The change order will add seven new light poles for the festival lights. The city originally budgeted $400,500 for the project, so it will stay within budget even with the change order.

• Approved the sale of up to $18 million in bonds, in addition to about $32.6 million in bonds already issued, to fund a community facilities district within the Tracy Hills development. The district was established in 2016 and amended in 2018 to raise up to $80 million to pay for streets, water and sewer infrastructure, landscaping, parks, and retaining walls for 1,139 homes on 351 acres within the 2,732-acre development. The bonds will be repaid through a tax on the new homeowners, adding as much as $2,394 to $4,080 per year to their property tax bills, depending on the price of their homes, for the next 30 years.

• Approved issue of about $9 million in bonds for a community facilities district within the Northeast Industrial Area. In 2006 the city approved issuance of up to $13 million in bonds for the district to pay for streets and for water, sewer and storm drain lines. The property owners will be taxed a total of $692,268 annually across the full 231-acre district to pay off the bonds. Most of the land is owned by Prologis, and property already developed includes Amazon.com and Crate & Barrel facilities.

• Approved a water quality report for the city’s municipal water supply. While the report notes that naturally occurring contaminants like arsenic, copper and lead, gross alpha particle activity, and coliform bacteria were present in test samples, none came close to state or federal maximum contaminant levels that would require further treatment. The city will publish a summary of the report and send it out with the city’s utility bills.

Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com or 830-4227.

Sports editor at the Tracy Press

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