I believe that my 22 years of community service as a Park, Planning and Library Commissioner and an additional 8 years as a City Councilman gives me a very accurate evaluation of what issues the city must confront and resolve in order to keep Folsom a quality city. I remember the past, but I live in the future. I am not just a dreamer, but a doer. My agenda is to sustain and improve the quality of life for every child, parent, young adult, senior, and veteran in Folsom. I will not let the bad side of development, over commercialization, and special interests ruin Folsom’s quality of life. We will only accept the best!
Protect the river front: We need to protect the last Folsom river frontage (current corporation yard) from commercial or residential developments. This land is owned by the residents of Folsom. We do not need to sell it to increase profits for developers. It is a site to reflect Folsom history and for Folsom residents to enjoy.
Discourage further site development: We must discourage any Folsom further development south of White Rock Road. It is a myth to say we are protecting our borders from the “bad guys.” There are always new borders on expansion – where does it end?
Do not minimize water concerns: While on paper our water rights indicate we have adequate water to continue development. If there is no water, our rights mean nothing. The reality is we don’t control the climate, but we can respect it and with good water decisions. Manage it! If there is no water – you cannot drink mud. Water is a regional issue as well as local and may have to be resolved at the state level. Look at what the state did with redevelopment funds; we should be guarded with our water rights.
Traffic concerns: Our traffic challenges at certain times of the day will be tough. As Folsom South begins to take shape, it will be more so. Until the over-passes are constructed connecting Folsom North and South, it will not ease. Funding for these will also be a challenge. There must be patience by the commuters and out of the box thinking by city leaders and staff to make further improvements.
Folsom South Monitorship: South Folsom is a very complex development. This area will have a very serious impact on the city as a whole. I want to assure that what has been approved is delivered. Therefore, I expect to monitor all aspects of the development very closely.
Protecting our Quality of Life: The city must demonstrate it will protect residents that have lived for many years in their home will not forfeit their quality of life when new development occurs close by. A Folsom resident does not lose their property rights because of new development. If this loss is possible – deny the development. This is especially a risk in in-fill projects or zoning changes. Also, in many areas of the city, there is too many civic or business impacts on the right to normal living. Old Town Folsom is an example. Traffic, parking, and disorderly conduct incidents are real distractions to residents enjoying their homes.
Community College Enhancements: Strong city support should continue to our Folsom Lake College. We should encourage more classes allowing more degrees to be earned. Also, a strong joint use on recreational facilities be established between the city and college. If a four year college is needed in the future, “Let it Grow.”
Continue to Monitor City Fiscal Responsibilities: The city must continue to build up our reserves for future national financial crisis. This requires strong fiscal policies and show restraint and live within our means. The city should be very positive in actions so our residents receive the services they need to be healthy and safe.
Continued K-12 School Enhancements: The city should provide strong support to our local school district to ensure the promises of the recently passed bond Measure G are fulfilled.
Finish 10 Undeveloped Parks and 10 Unfinished Parks: The city needs to actively pursue a funding source to finish the park system North of Highway 50. We need to be creative, persistent, and responsible in our approval. Folsom has one of the best youth and recreational program in our area and will need all our parks finished and the equipment on them to keep that status.
ERNIE SHELDON (1934-2020)
Folsom City Councilmember and Vice Mayor