On Tuesday, voters will decide which 3 of 12 candidates running, will be joining Ernie Sheldon and Roger Gaylord to serve on the Folsom City Council for the next 4 years. To say this has been a contentious campaign would be an understatement.
Hit-pieces, smear campaigns, accusations of corruption and incompetence, have left many unsure about who or what to believe, and more importantly, who to vote for.
MyFolsom.com reached out to all of the candidates, offering them the chance to make one final plea for your vote. Here are the responses of those who chose to participate, posted in the order in which they will appear on the ballot.
Yedukondalu (YK) Chalamcherla – I came to the United States during the Y2K scare. My job was to fix software glitches. My first visit to Folsom was in October 2002, My family fell in love with this community immediately, and we bought a house, couple of years later we permanently relocated from BayArea. I have been married for 22 years. Our two daughters have grown up in this community. The older is at CalPoly and the younger at Vista. Our family is complete with our rescued dog Dharma.
Folsom residents take immense pride in public safety, excellent schools, parks & trails, and more, but we have some major challenges ahead like growing traffic, homelessness, infrastructure, affordable housing, vocational education in our schools and jobs.
My passion is to engage community members in addressing these problems. Throughout my life, I have been in public service, I have gained extensive knowledge in policy decisions making, I have spent the last 10 years with the State of California in a leadership role. My community Involvement includes Commissioner,of Parks and Recreations , the American River Park Way Advisory Committee Member.
I have worked in Folsom schools’ activities like PTA, Sober Gradnight; extensively participated in non-profit organization events like 5K/10K runs, tree planting, parks and trails cleanup. I conducted California State Jobs Awareness Workshops over 5 years and I participate in Folsom Community Service Day as a Steering Committee Member. Vote for YK:
Having extensive experience in government operations, and a passion for community service, I have decided to run for Folsom City Council to further improve overall quality of life in Folsom.
www.electYK.com. Facebook YK4FOLSOM 916-248-1156
Sarah Aquino – I’m running for City Council to provide strong, steady leadership and practical solutions to address the challenges we face as a growing city.
For the past four years I’ve served on the Folsom Cordova School Board where I’ve fought to improve education while protecting taxpayers. I authored policy changes to strengthen the authority of our bond oversight committees, voted against adding non-essential positions such as a full-time videographer, led the charge to reduce the unfunded liability of retiree health benefits, and pushed for competitive bidding.
Recently, I co-authored the ballot argument against Measure E – the $84 million dollar local sales tax increase on your ballot.
I’m a 15 year resident of Folsom and a 42 year resident of Sacramento County having grown up in Fair Oaks. I’m a life and health insurance broker; we have a small family business on Iron Point Road. My husband is a teacher in a neighboring district and both our children attend Vista del Lago.
If elected, I pledge to do four things: be accessible, listen, do my homework, and make common sense decisions. We won’t agree on everything, but you’ll always know where I stand.
Feel free to contact me anytime at (916)798-5380 or sarahaquino.com
Aaron Ralls -Folsom, it is time to stand up to the outside interests trying to control our city council.
Vote for the candidate that is strong enough to be your voice and do what is right even when it is not easy.
I am a 30 year resident, small business owner and dedicated father and husband.
I promise to do what is best for this city and guide us into a prosperous and safe future. We have many changes ahead of us and I will be one of the leaders that this city needs and the councilman that will listen to the residents and protect our town. A vote for Ralls is a vote for the people.
Elect the candidate that will talk the talk and walk the walk. Thank you for your trust.
Rob Ross – Folsom is one of those places that’s easy to fall in love with. It has all of the things that make up an amazing place to live.
We are fortunate to have the best of just about everything from parks and trails, schools, amazing recreation opportunities, and even the greatest small-town rodeo. My family and I count myself lucky to call Folsom home.
I’m running for Folsom City Council to ensure that Folsom offers plentiful well-paying jobs, many places to recreate and play, safe places for our children to learn, and the best opportunities for every resident.
I believe that as your Councilman, my No. 1 job is to represent your family. As a local small business owner and technology expert, I’ll increase city services while reducing costs, ensure our police and fire have the best tools and resources they need, and invest in creating more places where people like to gather which creates tighter community bonds keeping the small town feel we all love.
I will begin working quickly using technology to streamline city departments which will result in increased service levels, dramatically reduced red tape, and decreased overall costs. The first improvement will be to implement a much faster permitting process which I believe can reduce permitting times to one day or less.
I’m very humbled to have been endorsed by over 50 Folsom small business owners. Our economy depends on our local small businesses, and their success is one of my top priorities.
Thank you for your consideration, Rob Ross
Barbara Leary – As a community activist and volunteer, and a Parks & Arts commissioner, I am one of the only candidates who has taken the initiative to work on many of the various issues that have come up in my 26 years in town. I have always worked to gain community input, researched the issues, and collaborated with others as I’ve done so.
During my campaign I’ve had many conversations with voters; these conversations have been the high point of running for office. I’ve walked precincts and made calls in order to hear voter’s ideas and concerns.
One of the most important things to me is understanding what our community values, and what resident’s ideas for solutions to the problems that most concern them are.
The most common concerns were continued growth, our water supply, schools in the plan area, homelessness, traffic and parking, and our City’s ability to maintain existing neighborhoods and facilities. Many of the innovative ideas I’ve heard to handle these issues were expressed and should be utilized.
I think that my long experience in working with our City staff, Council Members, other Commissioners and the business/development community in finding solutions to challenges faced by our residents and neighborhoods is one of my assets. I am committed to working with all stakeholders, even when we disagree.
My goal is to continue to address the concerns of our community, continuing to work with all on viable solutions in order to keep Folsom a great place to live.
Kerri Howell – During my service on the Folsom City Council, I have strived to create a first-class city for all of our residents.
We should be proud that Folsom consistently ranks as one of the best places to live, work, and raise a family.
Some of my achievements on the city council include:
The Georgia Murray Building for the Folsom Public Library Three new fire stations to improve response times for firefighters and paramedics Additional staffing in the Folsom Police Department to keep our neighborhoods safe Miles of scenic trails, including the new Johnny Cash Trail A balanced the city budget, adding to our reserve.
I bring the knowledge and connections I have gained during my service on the city council to protect the interests of Folsom residents. During my service on the city council, I have served on the following regional boards and commissions:
Regional Water Authority Southeast Connector JPA Sacramento Transportation Authority Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
If you reelect me, my priorities for the next term on the city council include:
Decreasing traffic congestion on East Bidwell Street and Iron Point Road Maintaining the high level of city services we provide to our residents Ensuring the infrastructure is in place to accommodate new homes south of Highway 50 Planning city finances wisely for the next downturn in the economy
Thank you for allowing me to serve you. I hope you will vote for me by November 6.
For more information, follow me on Facebook at Kerri Howell for Folsom City Council, visit my website at www.VoteKerriHowell.com, or call me at (916) 849-6420
Chad Vander Veen – Safety. Kids. Infrastructure. I am Chad Vander Veen and these are the three key issues that are the foundation of my SKI Folsom plan. They are the areas we must focus on, invest in and defend to ensure the great character of Folsom is protected and our city’s future remains bright.
Distracted driving, school bullying and homelessness – these are some of the safety challenges I will confront as your city council representative.
Healthy lifestyles, campus security and reinstating vocational education opportunities are the issues I will address on behalf of our city’s children.
Municipal broadband, fighting traffic and demanding smarter growth are the infrastructure goals I will pursue as your Folsom City Council member.
Don’t be fooled by candidates backed by special interest groups and big money flowing in from outside our city. Their interests lie with the political action committees funding their campaigns.
Think for yourself. Vote for independent leaders not already beholden to developers planning to make millions off our city while crippling our infrastructure.
We no longer have to do things the way they’ve always been done. We no longer must accept antiquated idea and policies. Two incumbents, with a combined 40 years on the council, are finally stepping down. This is our chance to make real, meaningful change. This is our opportunity to create a better future for Folsom instead of clinging to solutions of the past.
I am Chad Vander Veen, candidate for Folsom City Council, and I would be honored to have your vote.
Mark Moore – A trusted public servant and experienced leader in the fire service, my 30 years of critical thinking, decisive actions, and selfless compassion has more than prepared me for an all-important seat on your Folsom City Council.
If elected, I will…
Insist that the “South of 50 Project” building pace be slowed, allowing only for a reasonably set number of new homes per year, thereby not amassing excessive inventory that will drive down existing home values and adversely affect quality of life.
Hold Developers responsible for their fair share of infrastructure costs. And, insist that the necessary infrastructure – water, roads, schools, etc – be in place prior to the completion of any qualified project.
Determine how many more schools are needed to alleviate the current overcrowding; and get them built. Fight for fair compensation and adequate staffing levels for Public Safety in recognition for their extraordinary value.
Partner better with resources such as HART of Folsom to combat the growing homelessness crisis. Advocate for tax credits and incentives for small business and commercial property owners in an effort to better enhance the opportunity of doing business.
And, encourage local publications to gift free advertising space to businesses on a rotational basis.
Ensure that environmental resources are vehemently protected from preventable contamination, including hazardous waste and over-development. Mark the development of excellent, assessable, comprehensive public transportation as a priority while service needs continue to grow.
Improve communication by holding Monthly Community Breakfast Meetings where all are welcome to share concerns and ideas, and be accurately updated on what is going on at City Hall and around town.
Well, there you have it. Has that helped you solidify your decision?
Feel free to comment in the forum: