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Galt vice mayor submits growth-limit petition

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 10:00 pm

Galt Vice Mayor Tim Raboy completed a major hurdle Wednesday in his quest to place a growth-management initiative on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Accompanied by eight of his supporters, Raboy submitted his petition containing 1,311 signatures to the city clerk’s office shortly after 4 p.m.

Raboy needs 841 valid signatures to qualify his growth initiative for the city ballot. The Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Department will have 30 days to determine whether there are enough signatures, Assistant City Clerk Sue Cory said.

Tim Raboy

The Galt City Council could have adopted the ordinance Raboy proposes, but Raboy said he would rather have voters consider the measure so a future pro-growth City Council must abide by the initiative, he said.

If the growth initiative is approved by voters in November, it can only be changed or repealed by another ballot initiative, Raboy said.

Galt City Councilman Rick Stancil, a staunch slow-growth advocate, said the City Council has too much power in making such important decisions as how large Galt will be. That decision should rest with the voters, Stancil said.

Under the ordinance, the growth rate would be 5 percent until June 30, 2004. From that time on, the percentage of residential growth would depend on the city’s revenues. The higher the revenue, the lower the residential growth rate.

Revenue would most likely be enhanced by commercial or industrial growth, Raboy said.

No single subdivision would be allocated more than 25 percent of the residential building permits during each fiscal year.

The ordinance would not affect any structures not designed for human habitation, multifamily dwellings, replacement of an existing residence, rehabilitation or

remodeling of existing residences or applications for the construction of four dwelling units or less.

“I strongly support some kind of growth management,” said Rob Sealey, who circulated a petition for Raboy. “This is a step in the right direction.”

Raboy said he collected 208 signatures, more than anyone else. Galt resident Alexandria Loring collected 178 signatures, and Stancil acquired 171. Everyone else collected from 46 to 100 signatures apiece, Raboy said.

Joining Raboy on Wednesday as he submitted his petition to the city clerk’s office were Stancil, Tom Heuer, Corrine Sealey, Joann Walters, Teresa Pearson, Gail Hall, Donald Haines and Sealey.

Haines, a friend of the Raboy family who moved to Galt a little more than a year ago after 10 years in Lodi, said he believes the two to five percent growth rate stipulated in the initiative is reasonable.

“I thought it was written very well,” Haines said. “I like that they linked it to the general fund. I think it will make planning more manageable.”

Critics of the initiative maintain that it would discourage businesses from coming to Galt. They also question whether limiting growth will provide enough tax dollars to pay off bonds to finance the city’s new police station and other infrastructure.

Raboy countered that Galt’s small-town atmosphere is an attraction to potential business and industry.

Haines, who quickly joined the site council at Marengo Ranch Elementary School after moving to Galt, said he became concerned about the need for a slow growth rate after teachers and other school officials told him how crowded Galt schools are.

“I wanted to give the people of Galt a chance to make the decision,” said Hall, also a family friend of the Raboys.

Raboy will discuss the details of his ballot initiative at a public forum from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Valley Oaks Grange Hall, 347 Fifth St. The forum is sponsored by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee.

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