For the past two plus decades, Barbara Payne has been a mover and a shaker in the city of Galt. Her soft southern drawl and warm smile has worked magic in the community from the youth to the elderly and everyone in between. But when she felt strongly on an issue, she was a formidable opponent.
After losing her husband Michael this summer, she’s decided to go home again to Texas to be with her children and many grandkids.
On Oct. 8, Supervisor Don Nottoli and around 30 of her friends honored Payne at her cherished Community Garden.
“In recognition of your contributions to our community, I proclaim today, Oct. 8th, Barbara Payne Day,” Nottoli said. “You’ve had a lasting effect on Galt. What I will miss most about you is your smile.”
Payne served on the City Council from 2004 to 2012, as well as serving as mayor. But that’s just the beginning of her accomplishments. She was instrumental in starting the Beautification Committee, the Youth Commission, the Galt Community of Character Coalition, organizing the Heritage Days and starting the Community Garden, which since has been named in her honor.
In 2015, Payne was honored as Person of the Year. She was always ready to work alongside her friends and neighbors at Galt Clean-up Day, an event started by her organization, Galt Looking Good committee.
She spoke after Nottoli at her send-off.
“In my mind, this is an agricultural community,” said Payne, patting her heart. “There’s something special about people who work with the dirt and the earth. I couldn’t have done anything alone without the support of the community. No one can do anything alone, but you all have an army of volunteers in the city to make this community a better place.”
The Galt City Council opened their Oct. 6 meeting by honoring Payne, starting with Mayor Paul Sandhu.
“Barbara is a kind, caring and passionate individual,” Sandhu said. “She was one of my first friends I met in this town. She will be missed.”
Councilmember Paige Lampson also honored Payne.
“You are the one who inspired me to run for City Council,” Lampson said. “You are my mentor and my idol. The grace and poise you’ve shown while being attacked is a testament to your character.”
Vice Mayor Rich Lozano and Council members Curt Campion and Shawn Farmer all thanked Payne for her many contributions to the community and wished her well going back home.