The Galt City Council heard concerns over their decision to drop the adult softball league, which was a Parks & Recreation’s offering, from two residents who’ve participated in the sport for years. They also were asked to aide Parker Creek residents against the building of an AT&T cell tower on adjacent county land at the Oct. 1 regular meeting of the board at City Hall.
Both Brian Snoe and Alfredo Tapia told the council how much the softball program has meant to many in Galt. Tapia said it was a great way to get to know people and also helps with business networking.
“It’s the only program the adults have left,” Tapia said. “When I first came here and joined, it made me feel welcome.”
Snoe, a 15-year resident, said it was also the way he got to know people in this “Great American Little Town.”
“I really like this community with all the events – the Balloon Festival, Strawberry Festival and the recent celebration in Old Town of 150 years,” Snoe said. “When I walk into a store, I see at least 10 people I know.”
He listed many reasons that adult softball should continue.
“We just raised $15,000 to give for scholarships to the high schools,” Snoe said. “That wouldn’t have been possible without connections from adult softball. It’s a way to get to know people.”
Tapia said he had seen the number of players fall off in recent years and cited poor communication from Parks & Rec, and the raising of the fees as a possible reason why the program went from 11 teams to just four.
Thomas Hayes, a resident of Parker Creek, said he and neighbors have been concerned about AT&T’s plans to build a cell tower on county property near their homes. Hayes said the company is trying to buy rights on the Gonzales Farm, which is on county property but surrounded by city properties. He said he attended the recent Southeast County Planning Advisory Council (CPAC) meeting where AT&T tried to get the council to recommend the company be allowed to build the tower.
“None of us want the cell tower there,” Hayes said. “They’re proven to have negative effects on home values … health risks. This can affect a lot of people. CPAC did not give their approval, but unfortunately they don’t have the last word on this. County planning will vote on this sometime in December. If there is anything that council can do … put pressure on them or give us advice, we’d appreciate it.”
Both Mayor Paige Lampson and Vice Mayor Shawn Farmer suggested he talk to the owners of Gonzales Farms.
Craig Morris spoke on behalf of South County Services. He announced the annual Senior Holiday Luncheon would be on Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
“The Real Men’s Club will be cooking barrel-cooked pork chops, green beans with onions, mashed potatoes with gravy and Parker Rolls donated by Spaans Cookies. Last year, we had 23 volunteers. I’m here because we need 36 volunteers, so I’m asking for council members to help out, not to put any pressure on you.”
Lampson assured him all the council members would be there to help, even Councilman Curt Campion who was absent due to family needs. The event will be limited to 250 people this year. Last year, Morris said they had 285, and it was difficult to serve everyone.
Council approved the consent calendar, which included sending a letter to the county asking them to not approve “opting in” on the micro kitchen program from the State of California.
Finance Director Claire Tyson asked council to approve a write-off of uncollectable accounts in the amount of just over $96,000. She explained these debts had gone on for many years and that one account was for $61,000, which a private citizen owed to the city for a home loan. Some of the accounts were 13 years old. Council approved 4-0
Chief Sockman announced that both the city’s K-9 teams participated in the Western States K-9 Challenge. Galt’s own were awarded the top team of 2019 with Copper and Officer Slader and Kane and Officer Little competing.
Director of Community Development Chris Erias announced the final paperwork, a certificate of occupancy, had been awarded to the Best Western on their 10-room expansion.
Director Armando Solis of the Parks and Recreation Department thanked the high school FFA club for volunteering their time for a workday, the Galt District Chamber of Commerce for taking care of the promenade area and the Lions Club for mowing their park. He said many private citizens had helped pick up litter around town, and he was very appreciative.
Both the chamber and Lions Club have agreed to take care of their respective parks, to help relieve the financial burden on the city.