The Oct. 20 City Council meeting ended with staff and Councilmembers wishing retiring Chief Tod Sockman congratulations on his retirement beginning in November and thanking him for service to the community.

Public Works Director Michael Selling said he knew Sockman would be a great fit in Galt, especially when he learned of Sockman’s love of 80s’ music. All staff members commented on how they would miss him and appreciated his leadership.

Sockman was touched by the comments and added his own.

“I was hoping to get away smoothly without having to comment,” Sockman said. “Galt has beautiful people and a strong sense of community. What I’m really inspired about is we have strong leaders and staff (at PD). I’m going to miss the camaraderie, the friendships and the fact that everyone comes together to work on whatever projects are going on. I’m going to miss this life of service.”

Special Events Manager Jackie Garcia highlighted the Halloween events being sponsored by the city. The Great Galt Pumpkin Hunt continues through Friday. Garcia said location hints will be posted on the Galt Market Facebook page, and winners will receive a large basket of Halloween goodies. The Spookishly Fun Family Night will begin on Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. with a drive-in movie, “Toy Story of Terror”, and a trunk or treat – all free to the public.

Council approved accepting the Local Early Action Planning Grants Program (LEAP) of $150,000 and to use it on consultants, extra staff time and workshops to prepare the mandated report on the Galt Housing Element for 2021 – 2029.

City Manager Lorenzo Hines gave the bi-monthly COVID-19 report. Galt’s death rate remains constant at seven deaths, as of the meeting date, but new cases have risen 4% over the past few weeks. Sacramento County’s new cases are at 4.4% in new cases. Hines said the county must get under 4% and stay steady for two weeks to go into the orange zone.

Social gatherings are still discouraged by the county, and no more than three different households should be socializing. The county strongly suggests all social gatherings be held outside, observing social distancing and face coverings.

Schools have now been given the okay to have students on site.

Human Resource Director Stephanie Van Steyn gave a report on the state mandated minimum wage increase of $1 that will affect some temporary and part time employees in January. That will bring part time and temporary employees up to $14 per hour starting in January, and in January of 2022 it will go up to $15 per hour.