It was an emotional roller coaster on Mayor Rich Tran’s Facebook page last week when Tran accidentally announced the death of a longtime Milpitas ice cream truck vendor widely known by his first name, Chez, spurring an outpouring of grief, and then returning some hours later to say that Chez was still alive after all.
Tran’s page has over 6,500 followers and has become an active community forum over his 3 terms in office. Some hours after the initial announcement, Tran posted the good news of Chez being alive, writing, “Update — Chez is alive and well. Will need to talk to my people about the bad info.”
In a subsequent post, Tran shared a matching apology from the FB page of The Milpitas Store, wherein the store wrote, “We would like to apologize, we just got GREAT words that CHEZ is alive & well !!!”
The store also announced an upcoming team-up with Mayor Tran to throw a community block party in Chez’s honor.
Tran’s own correction was met with fury from some residents and acceptance from others…
Resident Tamera Dillon wrote, “It’s time for mayor tran to go.”
Dale Page wrote, “Mayor Rich Tran why is it other people’s fault that you posted without confirming. Sorry YOU f’d up is a better apology. it’s not their job to confirm or post for you.”
Wrote Dana Jimenez Valassis, “What the. I’m over here crying at work for no reason. God bless this man, the city owes him.”
But resident Ryan Zamora took a different tack, writing, “All you people out here lack Christmas spirit. Judging a city figure, who at the end of the day is still human, for an honest mistake. It’s not good news for anyone, yet it’s the best outcome for a wrong. A man the community obviously cares about is alive and still with us. End of story.”
Santino Fortes added, “Don’t make this a bigger issue than what it is. People need to relax. Thanks for owning up to it Mayor Rich. In the end, I hope this brings Chez more popularity and success.”
The Mayor was responsive to a variety of the commenters, posting at one point, “I will be taking accountability for the bad info I received. I try to honor people all the time and this wasn’t it. I will get this right.”