Galt City Council unanimously approved a revised expenditure plan on Aug. 16, declaring its intention to spend revenue from a proposed 1-cent general sales tax on parks and recreation services and landscaping. It also appointed a member to a public cable commission and heard about community plans for transitional housing.

Sales tax spending plan

The sales tax resolution, which can be modified or overturned by a majority council vote, is meant to communicate to voters what Council will use the projected $3.6 million in new revenue for, while avoiding a special sales tax measure, which has a higher threshold for passage.

After seeing a version with less-specific language on Aug. 4, Council requested a more narrowly written resolution.

“Revenue generated by the Measure will be used for parks and recreation, including … maintenance and/or improvements to facilities, structures and property at all city parks and recreational facilities,” the resolution now reads, followed by a list of the city’s parks. It also allows for the income to support community events like the Independence Day Celebration.

The other area of spending is landscaping, weed abatement and blight prevention on city property. A list of thoroughfares, trails and city facilities to be maintained with the money includes places like Carillion Boulevard, Dry Creek Trail and City Hall.

Multiple council members said they do not generally want to raise taxes but cited survey results suggesting majority support among Galt’s likely voters for the sales tax.

“I just wanted to make it clear to the citizens of Galt that I am not a fan of increased taxes,” Vice Mayor Paul Sandhu said. “However, I do believe that since the survey said around 59% would be in favor of this, it is my responsibility to give the opportunity to the choice of the people and let them decide.”

Council Members Rich Lozano and Kevin Papineau both voiced interest in a less specific spending plan but said they would support the parks and rec-focused version.

“I, too, am no fan of taxes, but I do believe that the people have an opportunity to vote and want that opportunity,” Lozano said.

“I would agree that I believe there should be potentially a broader application of this,” Lozano continued, but he acknowledged discussions of how the city’s lighting and landscaping districts are “woefully underfunded.”

Mayor Shawn Farmer said he would have preferred a legally binding special sales tax, but he cited the survey’s finding that community support fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a special sales tax. A general tax, with revenue spent at Council’s discretion, needs only 50% plus one vote.

Farmer said that when people vote for a candidate, they put “a certain amount of trust” in the candidate.

“What I’m asking for is that you will trust that … by passing this resolution, those of us that vote in favor of it tonight are basically giving you that word that we intend to use it to this purpose,” Farmer continued.

Council passed the expenditure plan 5-0.

Papineau on Metro Cable board

City Council approved the appointment of Papineau to the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission consists of Sacramento County supervisors and city council members from the cities of Elk Grove, Sacramento, Citrus Heights and Folsom, as well as Rancho Cordova and Galt, which have shared a seat.

Metro Cable 14, a cable television channel operated by the commission, televises every city council meeting of the listed cities.

Recently, Rancho Cordova exceeded the population threshold of 80,000, which entitled it to its own seat on the commission, leaving an open seat for the city of Galt.

Meetings are held at 2:30 p.m. at the board of supervisors chambers, on the first Thursday of each quarter. The next meeting will be on Sept. 1.

Papineau, a criminal investigator with the Sacramento County district attorney’s office, nominated himself for the position.

“Geographically, it’s kind of close to where I work at in downtown, so I’m going to volunteer,” he noted.

With no public comment, Papineau was appointed by a 5-0 vote.

Proposed transitional housing

During general public comment, Mark Jackson, founder and CEO of St. Martin Foundation, said his organization is planning transitional housing in Galt to serve area residents. Jackson asked for funding from the city to help cover startup costs.

Jackson said St. Martin Foundation would help participants dealing with drug or alcohol addiction reintegrate into society with services like job training. He noted it would also serve some people coming from River City Recovery Center. The Herald facility of River City Recovery had a fire in December that displaced dozens of residents.

The foundation is considering a site on G Street while seeking longer-term funding from Sacramento County and Veterans Affairs.

Jackson’s mother, Cece Overton, said the facility would “give hope rather than just a place to stay.”

Farmer asked the two to get in contact with the city manager so staff could determine what options there are for city involvement.