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Recall effort underway in Galt

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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 10:00 pm

A long-threatened campaign to unseat two slow-growth Galt City Council members is now underway.

Andrew Meredith

Members of Protect Galt's Future, a political action committee formed to push a pro-growth agenda, said Tuesday they plan to file a notice of intent to recall Mayor Andrew Meredith and Councilman Don Haines.

"They have not provided good stewardship … they have stymied any real development," said Jim Ferguson, a retired Galt resident and PGF member.

"We've been (speaking) in front of the City Council for about a year, talking about Delta Greens and other projects, (and) it's become very, very obvious that they're simply not listening to us," added Dick Smith, another PGF member.

Don Haines

Delta Greens is a senior living center proposed off Twin Cities Road west of Galt. An earlier version of the project, backed by the Del Webb company, was nixed from city growth plans in January 2007 by a majority of the current council, including Meredith and Haines.

Advocates continue to argue the senior project would generate millions in revenue and hundreds of jobs for Galt.

Haines and Meredith had been elected the previous fall on campaign promises to scale back Galt's growth plans.

Reached for comment, the two city leaders said they've followed the community's vision for responsible growth.

"I don't think the public is going to let them steal these seats from us," Haines noted. "This isn't going to go far."

Meredith said he wasn't surprised to hear of the recall effort. He noted he has heard threats of a recall from members of the group since he was elected in November 2006.

The earliest a recall vote could be held is during a March 2009 special election, City Clerk Liz Aguire said. Several requirements - including the collection of roughly 1,800 signatures from registered Galt voters - must be met before a recall vote can be set in motion.

Steps to force a recall vote

A notice of intent to recall must be filed with the city clerk. Twenty signatures of registered Galt voters must be included, and the notice must have been served in person or by certified mail to the subjects of the recall.

The notice must then be published in a local newspaper.

A recall petition must be drafted and then approved by the city clerk. It can then be circulated by organizers, who have 90 days to collect signatures from 20 percent of Galt's registered voters.

Those signatures must then be verified and an election scheduled.

Source: Galt City Clerk Liz Aguire

It would cost approximately $70,000 to hold such an election, Aguire said.

Smith called that price "a drop in the bucket" compared to what the current council has spent on recent consultant fees.

He cited the $160,000 the council paid the Lew Edwards Group of Oakland to survey and educate the public about a sales tax measure as wasted spending.

That measure, which aims to raise money to hire more police officers, will be on the November ballot.

Should the effort to recall Haines and Meredith move forward, nominations for new City Council members would be accepted by the city.

Names of qualifying candidates would then be placed on the special election ballot for a public vote.

Aguire said in her 20 years working for the city she could not remember a successful recall effort.

The threat of a recall is significant because any shift of council seats could dramatically alter the city's future growth policy.

Meredith, Haines and Galt City Councilman Tim Raboy comprise the council's slow-growth majority. Council members Darryl Clare and Barbara Payne have advocated for larger-scale growth.

Raboy has not indicated whether he'll seek re-election. Payne, on the other hand, recently pulled papers to run for re-election.

Protect Galt's Future has endorsed Payne and Galt businessman Rodney Stanhope for council, Smith said.

Randy Shelton, a former Galt city councilman who was narrowly defeated in his 2006 re-election bid, is also vying for a seat, along with Fred Goethel and Richard Salton.

Smith said Protect Galt's Future is comprised of "10 or 12 very active people." It formed first as citizens group in 2007 and later was registered earlier this year as a political action committee. Smith said members range from retirees to working citizens, all very concerned about Galt's economic future.

He added that the group has raised roughly $600, all in small donations. Because the group is registered as a Sacramento County PAC, and not a Galt PAC, it does not have to identify where donations of $99 and below are from.

Smith declined to disclosure the group's donation list.

He also denied a claim by Meredith and Haines that the group has financial ties to the Delta Greens project.

"None of us are tied into the developer," Smith said. "We have no financial interest whatsoever in that."

Contact reporter Chris Nichols at chrisn@lodinews.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 5:53 pm on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    RAISE MY TAXES??FOR WHAT?A handful of disgruntled people some of whom were in the recall efforts against Toni Gora and Tim Raboy want a Special $70,000 election. The same tiresome group that fought against Measure R the slow growth initiative. Like spoiled children they insist on having their way. This is not a new group, its the same group that has paraded around under different names that are concerned about Galt but actually its their own self interests they are concerned about. What are their self interest? Money or glory? When they keep all their activities secret from Galt citizens by not disclosing we'll never know until, by a stroke of luck, they ever are successful at something. Cash payments, lucrative contracts or just being able to sit on their porch talking about the "glory days" of the time they actually got away with it.

  • posted at 1:29 pm on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    I am for the Delta Greens development, but I won't sign a petition, and I won't vote against the two in the recall. They were elected fair and square. Besides, there will be another election someday. This is a total waste of city funds.

  • posted at 9:26 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    hey t&c: Please tell edumacation, wink, that I have his Campaign slogan sights to "Save Lodi from the "Gobs" finished. I need him to pick them up! Tell him he has my vote!

  • posted at 7:39 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    This is a complete waste of time and resources. I bet the money this costs us will end up coming out of the citizens pockets when more of the fees to live here go up. If this group is so concerned about our town then why would they spend our money so loosly on a recall, maybe they think Delta Greens will bail them out, Sure I won't be holding my breath.

  • posted at 7:25 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    This piece of property has been told NO for at least 14 years but this group keeps coming back. Now a recall - total disregard for the citizens of Galt and a waste of money. Smith says they are not connected to the development - not what we are hearing. Let's check that out. And while we are checking things out - where are the regulation for a county PAC - no one seems to know. Is this PAC running legally? How about someone finding out?? It wouldn't be the first time that developers back a political action in Galt without doing it legally - check out FPPC ruling against BUGG, etc.

  • posted at 3:31 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    Recall effort won't be successful. The people of Galt have already spoken and I don't see them changing their minds.Haines and Meredith were voted into the council on a slow growth platform.

  • posted at 3:16 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    What Galt needs in fiscal responsibility. In the past year, money has been spent as if the city had a printing press. That wouldn't be so bad if the projects were worth it, but many, like the consultant were a waste of money. Or the extra million spent to put fancy designs on the new C St overpass. If they don't stop spending, this town is going to wind up like Vallejo.

  • posted at 3:05 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    If the problem of illegal immigration was taken care of, much of the growth problem would disappear. But since it isn't, most of those revenue generating Americans will continue to leave California in droves, while California continues to fill with revenue using illegals.

  • posted at 2:26 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    $70,000 for recall, $160,000 for survey, raise taxes, charge kids to ride the school buses, charge kids for playing sports in schools. MONEY, MONEY. I don't have anymore money to give. My well is dry, bank account is empty. What you want my shirt now. Stop spending money you don't have people. We have too many houses for sale now. We don't need growth, we need control spending. Wake up.

  • posted at 2:24 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    All right, more Galt front page headlines. Much more interesting than the Lodi police survey. Who wants a Del Webb community on that valuable super Walmart land? Just like Lodi, the gob's are slowly choking from lack of money and now want to overbuild Galt again like they did in the 90's. You need to find some new vendors for your floundering flea market and shore up your local business community. Get rid of organizations like these that are always stirring the pot and still think money is their big influence. Citizens are tired of gob's buying their way around and now they have to be accountable like everyone else. You go, Mr. Meredith, with your new, young thoughts and ideas and don't let the old regime of Galt continue to bully and extort the citizens of Galt.

  • posted at 2:09 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    I do agree there is a lot of wasteful spending on this council. The $160,000 spent on consulting fees for the sales tax initiative was completely unnessary. This could have funded several police officers salaries, and all of the city members voted for that! Stop asking us residents to foot the bill for more police protection. We have to live within our budget, its about time you do the same. Cut costs and you'll have the money you need.

  • posted at 2:04 am on Wed, Jul 23, 2008.


    once again the millionaire landowners and developers are trying to take over this city. It is disgraceful. These recall proponents are just pawns of the developers. This recall is a sham! No one is against Del Webb being built and does not discount the monies this project would bring to this town. Our objection is the location, which is next to a sticky, smelly sewer plant and sensitive environmental grounds. Move it into city limits and the city council would vote for it.



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