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Galt candidates sound off on issues

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Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 10:00 pm

The Galt City Council candidates have differing views on how to spur economic development in the city, but they all agree that moving the flea market is a bad idea.

The council candidates sounded off on a number of issues at the candidate forum Wednesday night, and the Galt High School Board candidates presented their ideas of what the school district will look like in 20 years.

Five of the six council candidates and all nine board candidates participated in the question and answer session hosted by the Economic Development Task Force and the Galt District Chamber of Commerce. Writein candidates were not invited.

Incumbent Darryl Clare said Galt needs to grow north on the Highway 99 corridor to boost economic development, while incumbent Tom Malson said Galt needs to develop its infrastructure first.

"When a business calls and wants to locate to Galt," Malson said, "We need to be able to tell them we have the infrastructure in place."

When asked if the Galt Flea Market should be moved out of town, all of the candidates admitted that it caused traffic and parking problems, but said moving it would be impossible.

"It would take an act of God to move the market," said challenger Marylou Powers.

Challenger Andrew Meredith said he is opposed to Galt connecting its wastewater to the County Sanitation District.

"I like the fact that we can control what we do with our sanitation services," he said. "When we control what we do, we make the best decisions."

The other four candidates agreed that it was not a good idea to connect to the county sewers.

One thing incumbent Randy Shelton said he would do if elected back to the council would be to finish the city's General Plan. Shelton said community input is key to spurring economic development.

Galt City Council candidates:

Darryl Clare
Randy Shelton
Tom Malson
Marylou Powers
Donald Haines
Andrew Meredith
Kathleen Amos

Galt High School Board candidates:

Patrick Maple
Dennis Richardson
Ben Cox Jr.
Sharon K. Gillies
Art Oelsner
Carrie Maylum
Len ReidReynoso
Terry Parker-Owning
Tom Santillian
- News-Sentinel staff.

"We should listen to what the community wants, find out what types of businesses they want to see come to Galt," he said.

If elected back, he said he would put together a task force to look into it.

Powers said Galt needed to expand and diversify the types of businesses the city attracts.

"We need to attract more businesses that we don't already have so citizens don't have to leave town to shop," she said.

Clare explained that the urban reserve classification in the General Plan is a way for the city to curb sprawl to keep a greenbelt between Galt and Elk Grove. He said, as mayor, he is currently dealing with the issue.

Most of the high school board candidates said Galt would have a third high school within 20 years. The city is currently planning to build its second high school.

The candidates were in agreement that career technical education is a good idea and they supported an expansion of trade skills training programs such as agriculture and shop.

Half of the candidates said students who do not pass the California exit exam should not be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies, while the other half said they should be allowed to walk across the stage with their peers.

The next Galt Candidate Forum will be on Oct. 19 at Wholey Ravioli, 1067 C St.

Contact reporter Matt Brown at mattb@lodinews.com.

First published: Thursday, October 12, 2006

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