City Council members heard an update from the executive director of the Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG), swore in a new city clerk, oversaw award presentations and heard from the public at their bimonthly City Council meeting on Oct. 15.
Executive Director James Corless addressed council on the current plans being made at his organization of the Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG), which includes members from six counties and 22 cities in the greater Sacramento Area.
He said plans include adding a sales tax for the coming year to help with road maintenance.
SACOG has also been working on a transportation plan that should be adopted next month. Included in his report was the future of retail and how they expect a dramatic shift in how retail will look in the coming years.
SACOG also oversees the Regional Housing Needs Allocations, which Corless said has funding attached to it. They are looking for additional funding from the state to include enough funds to actually build homes.
Council member Rich Lozano is Galt’s representative for SACOG and said he invites all to come out to the Unmet Transportation Meeting to be held in the council chambers on Oct. 30 to help identify any unmet transit needs within the region. According to the City Manager’s update, SACOG wants to know if the bus, dial-a-ride, paratransit or light rail services are meeting the public’s needs. The city of Galt, Sacramento County, Storer Transit Systems, and SACOG are looking for comments and suggestions that will help plan and improve transit services within the Sacramento region.
A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at the city of Galt Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive. Spanish translation will be provided. Transit access to be discussed: South County Transit (SCT)/Link General Public Dial-a-Ride, Delta Route, Highway 99 Express and Galt/Sacramento Commuter Express.
Executive Assistant Tina Hubert was considered for the position of city clerk. Council voted 4-0 to accept her application and was sworn in by Donna Settles who’s held the position for many years. Vice Mayor Shawn Farmer was absent, due to a family illness. Hubert will replace Settles, who announced her retirement earlier last month.
Barbara Payne and Mari Martinez of the Galt Community of Character Coalition recognized Bonnie Rodriguez and Terry Esparza for Pride in Community. Esparza has volunteered with the Galt Police Department for years, working as Grandma Cop greeting school children before and after school, attending most of the city events and promoting good will throughout the community.
Rodriguez is managing editor at The Galt Herald and currently holds the title as president of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce. She volunteers her time at nearly all the city and chamber events. She also is a supporter of local businesses and has been instrumental in working to find a solution to resolve the huge trash rate hikes to business and commercial customers.
Interim City Manager Haglund encouraged residents to come out for the upcoming meetings on the Galt Market Community Plan.
“We want to transition the market into a more stable source of revenue for our Parks & Rec Department programs,” Haglund said.
Community Planning Director Chris Erias said the planning phase could take as long as a year.
“We hope people come out and help shape the city,” Erias said. “We have no preconceived ideas of what that plan might be.”
The next meetings include:
• Oct. 24: Galt District Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Littleton Community Center, 410 Civic Drive. R.S.V.P. to 209-745-2529.
• Nov. 4: Community Forum hosted by Galt District Chamber of Commerce, 6 p.m., Littleton Community Center, 410 Civic Drive.
• Nov. 7: Galt Joint Union High School District Board Meeting, 6 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive.
• Nov. 20: Galt Elementary School District Board Meeting, 7 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive.
Robert Kraude, an outspoken opponent of how the city has managed the Galt Market and its funding to the Parks and Recreation Department, asked council if they had opened a bid before hiring its current consultant for the redevelopment of the Market grounds and the sports complex at the Oct. 15 meeting at City Hall.
The city is currently holding a series of meetings to include public input on how they might redevelop the property, which income has declined for the past 15 years, according to Interim City Manager Tom Haglund.
In 1969, the State of California deeded the 48-acre property to the city of Galt. In 1982, the legislature passed AB3773 to ensure that all money generated from the property be used for the sole purpose of the Parks & Recreation Department, which was spurred by concerns that the city had been misusing the funds.
Kraude, both a former mayor and council member for Galt, has long voiced his concerns that the city is still misusing funds. In addition to asking council about whether they went out to bid before hiring their current consultant, he also asked if Council had met with Assemblyman Jim Cooper to see if they could change the quitclaim deed and the parameters of AB3773. He also asked how much money is generated each year from the 48-acre property, excluding the market. His final question was the amount of sales tax dollars that are returned to the city from the state on sales made at the Galt Market.
Mayor Paige Lampson told Kraude the council would not comment on any items not on the agenda. With that, Kraude said he’d leave his questions for council for them to answer at a later time.
Resident Gene Davenport also spoke to council on his concerns over changing the zoning at Walnut Avenue and Carillion Boulevard from light industrial/commercial to residential. He said the city has to stop putting housing in places that were planned for businesses. He misunderstood that the new housing development currently being built across from the Community Park was only 16 houses. Mayor Lampson informed him there would be 60 residences in that development.