Tim Reed, chair of the Galt Public Safety Committee, is running for a seat on the Galt City Council in this November’s general election.
Reed told the Herald that, if elected, he wants to improve the city’s public safety, and parks and recreation, encourage responsible spending, and address homelessness.
The other candidates in the race for three council seats are Tom Silva, president of the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District board of education; Galt Vice Mayor Paul Sandhu; Galt Mayor Shawn Farmer; and Galt City Council Member Rich Lozano.
Reed said he chose to run for Council because of a desire to “change things or make things better, and in the city of Galt overall, I see that that’s one of the top positions that can make a change.”
In 2010, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Lodi City Council.
Having served since late 2020 on the Public Safety Committee, he was recently selected as the body’s chair. His current term ends this year.
Reed said that he spoke to Farmer, who appointed him, about how to make the city better and that the mayor recommended running for Council as a next step from the committee. Reed’s wife agreed with the decision.
Reed identified public safety as one of four major priorities, and a long-standing element of his life. In high school, he took night classes to become an EMT, and then worked in an ambulance for 17 years, for both a private ambulance company and various fire departments around California. He also served as fire dispatcher and a firefighter.
He now works as a Disaster Logistics Unit manager for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, coordinating responses to disasters.
Reed said he sees multiple areas for improvement under the public safety umbrella, such as upgrading street and park lighting, and preventing property crimes like thefts and burglaries. He also wants to focus on 911 emergency response.
“The public safety here in Galt is good, but it can be better. So, the fire department right now is running behind the curve when it comes to response times,” Reed said. “You have your average national response time, and the Cosumnes Fire Department’s not meeting that right now, in Elk Grove and in Galt, but there are things that we can do to better that.”
He also cited the sometimes-lengthy periods that the department’s ambulance crews must wait with patients at hospitals. He said he planned to speak with the Cosumnes fire chief and the firefighter union about what city officials can do to help the situation.
He also said it is important to bring the Galt Police Department up to full staffing.
Another area that Reed wants to address is parks and recreation. He said, there needs to be more investment in afterschool activities for children.
“We’ve got to have more opportunities for these kids, right? What have the kids got to do after school when Mom and Dad or all these people have jobs they’ve got to stay at till 5, 6 o’clock at night?” Reed said.
He pointed to the city’s Camp SOAR program and also noted that the Gora Aquatic Center has closed on certain days due to lack of staffing.
Asked about the 1-cent general sales tax that Council has put before voters in order to fund parks and rec, Reed said he generally does not support new taxes but feels this one can help the city and free up General Fund money for other issues.
“So, parks and rec is a big thing, right? They’re very underfunded. They’re having to pull from the General Fund every year to fund their positions, and we’ve got to get them back to where they used to be, and this measure will do that,” Reed said.
Reed also said he wants to encourage responsible spending by the city government. He said several city funds are being “overspent,” with expenditures higher than their income.
“And unfortunately, … what it looks like they’re doing in the budget is, it looks like they’re pulling from our capital improvements to fund all these excesses, so we can’t go update buildings or update all of these (facilities) because you’re taking money and putting it in all these other funds.”
He said the accounts with deficits will be “jeopardized” if they run out of savings to draw on.
“Spending is a big thing; you’ve got to live within your means.”
Homelessness is another issue that Reed wants to address. Though he said homelessness is not currently prevalent in Galt, he said it will “overflow” into the city from Elk Grove and Lodi.
From conversations with unhoused people, Reed said his takeaway was that “they are not bad people.” He believed the main causes for homelessness are economic hardship, drug use and mental illness, and said the city should find ways to address those problems.
Reed was born in Solvang and spent the early years of his life traveling around the country with his missionary parents. They settled in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles. Reed moved to the local area at 21. He lives in eastern Galt with his wife of 15 years, Kristy, and two sons.
Reed said Galt voters should vote for him because he listens to the community. He cited his interest in the results of the city’s Get Involved Galt survey.
“They should include me because I’m here for them. Obviously, the top priorities of my campaign are based off of the feedback that they gave from the survey. The City Council’s job is to work for the residents of the city of Galt. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve always worked for people. I’ve been in public safety since I was 17 years old, and I’m 42 now, so that’s a long time. And I’m not going to stop fighting for the people of Galt.”