The four Galt City Council candidates in the Nov. 2 election seem to be divided into two alliances.
They are incumbent Tim Raboy and challenger Kelly Keagy, who describe themselves as slow or controlled growth candidates. The other two candidates are Barbara Payne and Marylou Powers, who are backed by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce's political action committee.
The four candidates are seeking two available seats in the November election. Appointed incumbent Rick Stancil is not running.
Two other elected officials -- City Clerk Elizabeth Aguire and Treasurer Shaun Farrell -- are unopposed.
The major issues in the council race include how much Galt should grow, how to attract more businesses, retaining existing businesses, improving police protection and complying with state regulations regarding the city's sewer plant.
Keagy, 41, is a customer service representative for Building Materials Distributors in Galt and has 17 years of experience in banking, specializing in loss mitigation and underwriting real estate loans.
A Galt resident since 1992, Keagy is a member of the Galt Housing Advisory and Appeals Board and the executive board of the PTA at Valley Oaks Elementary School.
Keagy said she opposes annexation of land north of Twin Cities Road toward Arno Road, west to Christensen Road or east to Cherokee Road.
However, she doesn't necessarily oppose the 2,600-home Del Webb senior development proposed northwest of Twin Cities and Christensen roads.
Keagy said she may support the Del Webb complex provided that a school bond for a new high school is already passed by voters before seniors move into the Del Webb complex. She said she would also consider a senior complex if it is moved to a different location in Galt.
Payne, 62, who owns Olde Towne Gift Shoppe in Galt's Oldtown, said her main focus initially was to bring more business to Galt and especially to Oldtown, but it has shifted lately to law enforcement.
A 15-year Galt resident, Payne said she gained insight into the need for more police officers and training after going on a ride-along over Labor Day weekend and by hearing residents on the campaign trail citing the need for better police protection.
However, Payne and Powers question whether Measure S, the quarter-percent sales tax measure on the November ballot, is the answer because the measure doesn't guarantee that the tax would be used to hire new police officers, as the council promised in July.
Payne and Powers also support annexing land north, east and south of the city limits.
Raboy and Keagy, who describe themselves as slow-growth or controlled-growth candidates, oppose the annexations.
Powers, 58, has lived in Galt for six years and in Herald for two years before that. She has been executive director of the Galt Community Concilio for the past year and previously worked full time for Sacramento City Council Members Dave Jones and Sandy Sheedy and on a temporary basis for Council Members Darrell Steinberg, Bonnie Pannell and Lauren Hammond. She has also served on the Galt Planning Commission for almost two years.
Powers has been the subject of controversy during the campaign after she admitted pleading no contest twice in the 1970s to misdemeanor welfare fraud charges.
Powers told her story to a local newspaper recently after she feared that political opponents were about to disclose it publicly.
Powers said she considers the threat by others to disclose her personal issues from almost 30 years ago "dirty politics," the kind of tactic that keeps good people from seeking public office.
"If anybody came up with anything on Kelly or Tim, I wouldn't do it," Powers said.
Raboy, 37, has lived in Galt since 1989 and is a senior criminal investigator for the California Department of Equalization. He was appointed to fill a council vacancy in 1999 and won a four-year term in 2000.
Raboy has championed slow growth, chairing the Measure R slow-growth ballot measure that was defeated two years ago.
Raboy cites some of his greatest accomplishments as getting monthly crime statistics and more detailed sex offender information posted on the city's Web site and allowing homebuyers the option to purchase overhead fire sprinklers on new homes.
He is also pursuing additional developer fees to add police officers and firefighters.
Raboy said he will not accept any campaign contributions and pledged to finance his campaign out of his own pocket.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at email@example.com.