The Galt City Council decided on Nov. 16 to hold in-person meetings, setting its return to the Council Chambers for Dec. 7. Additionally, Council began the process of implementing some traffic measures on Carillion Boulevard, but the potential for stop signs is in doubt.

In-person meetings

The consensus to hold Council meetings in person comes nearly four months after Council first tried to leave Zoom behind. After it held one in-person meeting on July 20, the delta variant of the coronavirus began its rapid spread, and teleconference meetings resumed.

In accordance with Sacramento County rules, City Manager Lorenzo Hines told the members that all meeting participants will be required to wear masks.

All five council members spoke in favor of in-person meetings. Mayor Shawn Farmer asked whether the ability for public commenters to call in would be retained, and Hines confirmed that it would.

Once Council has held the Dec. 7 meeting, all other city commissions and committees will have the option of gathering in person.

Public commenters, who also spoke against mask and vaccine mandates, thanked Council for the decision.

Carillion traffic safety

At its previous meeting, Council was split over action on Carillion Boulevard but ultimately voted to delay action on the thoroughfare and have city staff bring an option for stop signs at the intersections with Lake Canyon and Vauxhall avenues.

But, as Public Works Director Mike Selling said on Nov. 16, Galt’s municipal code grants the city engineer final authority over placement of traffic control devices. He asked Council to approve “detailed intersection evaluation and data collection” before staff recommends any traffic controls.

Staff’s other recommendations, carried over from the previous meeting, were to approve the purchase of radar speed signs and the hiring of a consultant to design a proposed re-striping of the roadway.

Farmer said the city engineer’s authority had not been adequately communicated to Council. Hines responded that he had sent the members a confidential memo “about a month ago” with that information.

Council Member Jay Vandenburg made a motion to approve the speed signs and re-striping, but instead of data collection, he requested that stop signs be installed at the two intersections.

Eventually, Farmer introduced an alternate motion restoring the original recommendation while requesting staff bring “any and all possible options” to improve safety at the intersections.

Farmer’s motion passed 3-2, with Farmer and council members Rich Lozano and Kevin Papineau in favor, and Vandenburg and Vice Mayor Paul Sandhu opposed.

Other business

Vandenburg volunteered to be Galt’s main representative on the Cosumnes Groundwater Authority Board of Directors.

Treasurer Shawn Farrell reported on the city’s finances and planned to take advantage of rising interest rates.

Jasanpreet Kaur was appointed as an adult mentor for the Galt Youth Commission.